- Meeting of Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee, Tuesday 17th July 2018 10.00 am (Item 6.)
Members will review the current and forward programme of works and the performance dashboard for TfB.
· Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation
· Mark Averill, Head of Highways ( Client)
· Simon Dando, Contract Director, TfB
The Chairman welcomed the following contributors to the meeting to present the report:
Mr M Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation.
Mr M Averill, Head of Highways, Client.
Mr S Dando, Contract Director, TfB.
The Cabinet Member provided an overview of the Transport for Buckinghamshire Programme of Works and Performance Dashboard. The full discussion can be viewed on webcast.
Member questions and discussions covered the following areas:
- Contract monitoring: Members were told that the strategic board met every quarter and monitored performance against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - the KPI’s were also monitored throughout the year.
- Street Lighting: Members raised concerns about the street lighting performance, in particular, the time taken to fix defects and the removal of stumps. The Cabinet Member and officers recognised and acknowledged that street lighting had not been in a good place, but reassured Members that recent improvements would continue.
- Members heard that there would be a challenge over the next 2-3 years around the replacement of old streetlamps, due to the age of them. However, they heard that there was a current SALIX bid for new columns that would help with this.
- Members heard how the street lighting manager who was recruited a year ago was helping drive improvements.
- Concerns were raised about street lights which had been knocked down in car accidents. They were advised that this was down to the individual drivers to take responsibility for their safety and security as well as those around them. An employee had been appointed to manage the Green Claims, claiming money back from drivers who caused the accidents and damage.
- Members asked how the service monitored and managed deterioration of lamps and questioned whether the performance targets were realistic. Members were told that the targets were amended at different times of year and took into account changes over winter and summer models. They were aspirational but realistic and ensured the Council received value for money and acknowledged that it was a high area of concern for residents when street lights were not working.
- Members heard that there was a need to move to a dilapidation model of repair. Officers acknowledged that they needed to improve the repair time. This had been a resource issue, but they would be focussing on this before going into the winter and the darker evenings, with a focus on the priority areas.
- Members asked how they would know who owned the streetlights. Officers told members that they would be able to look into adding this information to the Member’s Portal and the Parish Portal being developed.
Simon Dando to look into options to add information on streetlamp ownership onto the Portals.
Members agreed that they would examine this area further within the detailed item due at the September Committee.
- Underperformance in Routine Works for Cat 1 defects: Members were told that the high sickness levels over the winter had impacted on this, along with the severe weather conditions experienced. Members were assured that the service had been robustly working through the potholes and that the situation was rapidly improving. There had been an extra £3m in the budget this year. It was acknowledged that the performance indicator was low but that the service had to balance productivity of the crews and the risk to the network to ensure the crews were as productive as possible. Members were assured that the indicator had significantly improved.
- Asset Management and compliance with the Well Maintained Highways (latest Code of Practice) recommendations: Members heard that there were 36 recommendations that authorities needed to demonstrate their compliance or approach against. It was important that the service met the 36 different requirements by October 2018, to avoid risk to the County. Members were told that the service were looking at each of these and to date, only 3 were off track, with the remainder on track for compliance by October 2018.
- Understanding the asset groups – Drainage as a key asset that the service need to understand more fully: Members heard that gulley cleaning was an area of focus, there had been extra budget allocated. The key challenge was a lack of information on what the asset looked like underground. A Member raised concerns about a roundabout in Halton Village that had poor drainage and would flood badly after even small amounts of rain. Mr S Dando said he would investigate and report back.
ACTION: Mr S Dando
- Quality: £1m of the conventional surfacing works would be market tested to ensure the Council received value for money. They were advised that this would start in August and take 6 weeks to complete the testing. The latest schemes and tenders approached in the local market and the recommendations reported to the client team demonstrated that the Council was receiving value for money.
- Spray and Jet patching: The service would have three machines in the County during the peak operation. The jet patching work had a 12 month warranty. Members heard that the surface dressing programme needed to be prioritised across the county.
- Footways target performance: The target was 90-105% but was currently performing at 80%. Members were told that they did not normally start the pavement schemes until November. This year, however, they were starting earlier which would improve this performance target. This year they had to prioritise the roads due to the extreme levels of damage caused by the severe winter.
The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member and his team for their update.