To note the attached update report on progress made to date.
4.1 The Chair invited Kath Haworth, Lead Commissioner, to present the report.
4.2 Members were advised that this is the second update that the Committee have received on this item; it was last presented at Committee in March 2018. This report intended to give Members an update on progress to date.
4.3 The Committee were reminded that the task group was initially prompted due to concerns about the strategic nature of the A429 noting its importance for linking the north and south of the County. The task group explored a number of aspects including safety and the level of development of the route, potential opportunities for addressing concerns such as the level of freight use and its close links with neighbouring authorities due to its position.
4.4 The following points were noted:
· Recommendation 1: completed at the time, there is no further update.
· Recommendation 2: it had been concluded that the likelihood of reclassification of the A429 was very low and October 2019’s publication of the report “A Major Road Network for England” did not include the A429 as a trunk road.
It had been agreed that attention should focus instead on managing HGV traffic and capacity issues that are GCC control and influence, rather than campaigning for reclassification.
Officers await feedback on the draft Local Transport Plan Review (LTPR) which includes a section on freight.
· Recommendation 3: completed and the data had been used to inform discussion on a proposed lorry ban in Burford.
· Recommendation 4: details noted from the report.
· Recommendation 5: looking at countywide analysis of accident data, the A429 was not providing sufficient evidence to support a reduced speed limit enforcement across the whole route. As an alternative, GCC have been in discussions with the police about increasing speed enforcement along the route to manage existing limits.
· Recommendation 6: details noted from the report.
· Recommendation 7: details noted from the report.
· Recommendation 8: details noted from the report.
4.5 Cllr Moor, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, thanked the highways team for their work to date and detailed report. It was highlighted that the White Young Green report would be useful for all members to look at as it may give ideas to members for approaching similar highways issues in their area. The report would provide good guidance and an established priority for a number of years.
4.6 A member queried the figures on appendix A of the report relating to the removal of a footway (£30,000) and VAS sign at bridge (£70,000). It was advised that this was not the costs of the schemes but the contributions that had been made available to address the issue. Once the final solution had been agreed, the funds would be ready to implement.
4.7 There was concern raised about the availability of public consultation sessions for the LTPR. It was agreed that the member and relevant officer would discuss this further after the meeting.
4.8 In relation to the accident ‘hotspots data’ mentioned in regard to recommendation 5, a member quested whether there was a priority list of junctions that were prone to accidents available per district and if so could members see this information.
4.9 It was advised that the Road Safety Team do an annual analysis of accidents which involved further analysis once ‘hotspots’ are identified, this is usually produce around June. The Committee were informed that if they wanted further information on this data to speak with their Local Highways Manager or the Road Safety Team. It was highlighted there was also a lot of information available on the GCC website under ‘Road Safety’:
4.10 In understanding the effectiveness of the task group, a member requested a summary of its primary objective. The Committee heard that the request initially came due to a number of public concerns about the route. The A429’s role was confusing as it had a major strategic role but also passed through a number of settlements.
4.11 The task group’s research therefore assisted in producing a more comprehensive understanding and view of the role of the route, which also enabled GCC to be on the front foot with neighbouring authorities when it came to new developments in the area.
4.12 The report and recommendations had been really helpful for members responding to constituent concerns and had also provided a baseline of data for informing further traffic management.
4.13 A member asked whether the actions taken in relation to road safety had had an impact on the KSI (killed or seriously injured) figures for this route. In response, it was advised that reducing the KSI was not a primary aim of the task group, but to identify road safety concerns in general. As previously mentioned, the A429 had not been identified as an accident ‘hotspot’ but the task group clearly identified other road safety concerns. It was advised that when funding became available, the road safety analysis data would be used to identify areas to address such as the A429.