Report by Executive Director for Place Service and Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.
The Committee is asked to review the update and consider:
· The progress to date.
· The adequacy of resources allocated to, and arrangements in place for, managing the contracts.
· The strategy relating to the long-term management of West Sussex’s highways assets.
20.1 The Committee considered a report by the Executive Director for Place Services and Director of Highways, Transport and Planning (copy appended to the signed minutes).
20.2 The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport introduced the report, advising that report provided an update on progress to date, the adequacy of resources and the strategy for the long-term management of highways assets.
20.3 The Committee received presentations from Guy Bell, Head of Highways – Planned Delivery and Michele Hulme, Head of Local Highways Operations. The presentation outlined the key details of the contract model, delivery programme, service preparedness, management of the network, investment matters, size of the task and road conditions and maintenance.
20.4 The Committee made a number of comments including those that follow. It:
· Sought clarification and information on:
- Costs to stop deterioration of the condition of the county’s roads.
- The amount of funding, including from block funding, provided to different aspects of road maintenance.
- Methodologies and crewing for litter picking and filling of potholes.
- How quality assurance is undertaken.
- How the contracts are working in practice and the ability of contractors to deliver the contract outcomes within agreed timeframes, , including those contractors with multiple-contracts.
- Previous and new road surfacing practices and materials and the impact on road conditions and safety and costs.
- The Council’s ability to inspect and manage the quality of road works and resurfacing carried out by external companies, e.g. utility companies and developers.
- What is being done to address blocked drains and flooding, particularly in light of heavy weather incidents.
- About preferred lorry routes in West Sussex and the impacts of HGVs on road conditions.
- That in order to avoid the county’s highways deteriorating borrowing is likely to be needed.
- That there has been a significant improvement regarding cats eyes and white lining and that investment must continue.
- An issue with sunken drainage covers (ironwork), particularly on minor roads and that this matter should given a higher priority.
- That if improvements could be made to drainage resulting in reduced road surface water caused by poor drainage this would have a positive impact on the Council’s ability to encourage more walking and cycling.
- That public finances are not keeping up with the degradation of highways infrastructure and this needs to be born in mind when the Council agrees funding for other matters.
20.5 The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport advised there has been a noticeable improvement in quality of repairs; that competition is helping in delivery and capacity, and there have been improvements in the inspection regime. Additionally, he noted the improvements as a result of the funding received from the pothole fund but that continued investment will be required. The Cabinet Member advised that a review will be undertaken after the contract have been in place for a year.
20.6 The Committee resolved that it:-
1. Notes that officers and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure ... view the full minutes text for item 20
Highways and Transport Delivery Programmes 2020/21
Verbal update on progress in implementing the 20/21 programme, including the new maintenance arrangements and service levels, and to share any feedback from vendors who unsuccessfully bid for aspects of the highways maintenance service.
The Committee is asked to consider the update, and identify any areas of concern.
153.1The Committee received a verbal update from the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.
153.2The Committee made a number of comments including those that follow. It:
· Raised concerns that members had not been fully informed of the changes.
· Sought clarification on whether the previous service standards were being retained particularly around the issue of temporary pothole repairs.
· Welcomed that Government is looking into the issue of local roads funding and that the Transport Committee stated that 5-year funding is required.
Resolved – That the Committee
1. Would like to review the programme in 6 months to check if the new approach is working.
2. Would like to request that a Member Day or half day is held to ensure that all members up to speed on the new arrangements.