- Meeting of Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee, Tuesday 29th May 2018 10.00 am (Item 9.)
Members will consider the TfB Annual Report for 17/18, the Improvement Plan and the Business Plan for 18/19. Members will review areas of success and challenge, performance of key areas of business and areas of focus within the improvement plan going forward. Members will identify if there are specific areas of business that require further examination within the Committee's work programme.
· Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation
· Paul Irwin, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transportation
· Mark Kemp, Director for Transportation
· Simon Dando, Contract Director, TfB
· Mark Averill, Head of Highways, Client.
The Committee thanked Mr M Shaw and his team for their work over the weekend in resolving flooding issues caused by the heavy storms in areas of Buckinghamshire.
The Chairman welcomed the following contributors to the meeting to present the report:
- Mr M Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation.
- Mr P Irwin, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transportation.
- Mr M Kemp, Director of Transportation.
- Mr D Stewart, TfB.
- Mr M Averill, Head of Highways, Client.
The Cabinet Member provided and overview of the Transport for Buckinghamshire annual review. The full discussion can be viewed on webcast. The areas highlighted included:
- That Council had invested £120 m from its own budget into the road network.
- The impact of the severe weather over the winter on our road network.
- The extra £3m received from government was being used to fix potholes and plain and patch work.
Areas raised through Member questions and discussions included:
- Quality and Inspection of repairs: Members heard that the quality and guarantee of the potholes which were repaired by Velocity were guaranteed by Velocity. The quality was dependent on the weather and the road structures. Quality also depended on whether it was a temporary or permanent repair, for example if a road closure was required, a temporary repair would be carried out in the meantime, in the interests of safety a quick repair would be put in place.
- Members heard that this year the plain and patch programme would enable larger areas to be fixed so that by next year TfB would have caught up with pothole repairs from the destructive winter.
- Communication Issues: Members highlighted that access to information on timings of programmes of works was required by Members to manage public expectations. Members were encouraged to speak with their Compliance Officers who had been briefed to address this with their staff to avoid future repeat issues.
- Grass cutting frequency: Members raised concern over the number of grass cuts and the time it had taken for some of the first cuts to be completed, e.g. in South of county. Members heard that there would be 4 cuts completed which were started at the end of April through to October. Rural areas only get one cut a year unless there were exceptional safety circumstances that meant that an area required a further cut. Members were concerned about the safety of footpaths that were over grown and used by school children. TfB advised that they would focus on the school paths if they were reported. The Cabinet Member encouraged Members to feed back their local knowledge of areas that posed safety risks, so that that information could be used to schedule additional cuts where appropriate.
- Contract management and customer expectations: Members heard how the contract management team has increased from 1 person 3 years ago to 5 now providing much more effective contract management. The customer experience would see an improvement due to the Member’s portal going live to all Parish Councils in July. Roadshows were being rolled out to the public to encourage engagement and interaction with this portal.
- Street Lighting: Members raised concerns about the time it takes to fix defect in street lighting and stumps not being removed. They were told that this is an area of focus for improvement. Members agreed that they would examine this area further with a detailed agenda item to come back to Committee in September. Members also heard that a new street lighting manger was in post which would help drive improvements.
- Gulley Cleaning: Members raised concern over perceived lack of gulley cleaning highlighted by the recent flooding. Members were told that gulleys were being cleared every day and that an additional £125000 had been approved in Feb which was being used for pipe cleansing. Members heard that the Gully cleaner was not coping with the recent flooding’s and TfB were investing in pipe cleaning to ensure that where gulleys were cleared the pipes were also clear. Members confirmed that Gulley Cleansing and maintenance would be on their work programme for the 6th November meeting where they would examine this in more detail.
- Hs2 and investment in roads: Members raised concern over issues surrounding concrete roads around the County and their poor conditions as well as the lack of clarity on HS2 and any deals agreed with them to mitigate the impact of their freight on the County’s roads. Members were told that there were no actual deals in place about what HS2 were doing at present.
The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member and his team on their update and confirmed that areas of street lighting and Gulley Cleaning would be examined in detail in upcoming meetings.
- Restricted enclosure
- TfB Annual Review Report, item 9. PDF 1 MB