Colin Chick, Executive Director of Economy, Environment & Infrastructure to update the Committee on current issues. To include an update on Motion 787: Pavements and Quarter 2 2020/21 performance data.
5.1 Colin Chick, Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Infrastructure, updated the Committee on current issues. In particular, members noted that:
· Services were dealing with going back into national lockdown restrictions and new challenges of protecting frontline staff through the winter e.g. gritting workers.
· On 16 December 2020, GCC signed the GDA with Homes England to secure £250m for M5 J10. The Cabinet had also approved the use of CPO for land acquisition if the project required further down the line.
· The Highways skills academy continued to be really successful, with apprenticeship positions now increasing up to 20.
· The ambition bid of £10.5m for the Tranche 2 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) had unfortunately only resulted in £864,750 being awarded.
· Improvements on the A419 were now complete.
· The ITU team continued to work closely with schools to ensure the services were running safely. This had been an incredibly difficult area to bring back online after the first lockdown. The services had however continued to run through the second lockdown.
· E-scooters were proving to be very successful and providers were happy with the current usage.
· The footways spend update requested at 3.8.
· There were some last minute concerns from DfT of the M5 J9 improvement options, which should be going to consultation in January 2021.
· The LTP was being presented to Cabinet in January and full Council in March next year.
· Early feedback on the new booking system used at HRCs was very positive and many residents want to system to be permanent.
· The Quarter 2 2020/21 performance scorecard showed green stars on all services which reflected the hard work and dedication of officers tackling the challenges from the pandemic.
5.2 It was queried whether officers had considered looking at transport waste by water, due to the number of water courses in Gloucestershire. It was advised that it was a difficult concept as the cost would go up quite dramatically and it would require double/triple handling, but potentially worth looking at in some circumstances.
5.3 Referencing the recent Tranche 2 EATF funding allocation, it was questioned how this money would now be allocated. It was advised that the amount would all be put towards building a pot for the B4603 cycle scheme. GCC did not want to lose the leverage they had for this scheme and still hoped to deliver the cycle route as soon as possible. The scheme would provide a solid backbone to connect existing and new cycle routes throughout the county.
5.4 A member was glad to see that the London Road cycle scheme had progressed regardless of parking concerns. They were however concerned about the removal of the speed camera and reported they had witnessed speeding which raised an issue of safety for cyclists using the new cycle lane. Officers confirmed once the scheme was in properly, they would be doing a full review of it and will look at things such as speeding. There was no plan at the moment to reinstall the speed camera.
5.5 Under 2.3 a member noted the reference to a potential new contract for street lighting and queried whether this would require the involvement of the Highways Procurement Cabinet Panel.
ACTION: Colin Chick