Agenda and minutes

Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 8th January, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Wendy Le, Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 6 November 2018.

 

Minutes:

Regarding the Fees and Charges Pricing Strategy 2019/20 report on 6 November 2018, the Chair asked the Committee to agree the recommendations as no further comments had been made post meeting. The Committee agreed the recommendations.

 

The minutes of the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 6 November 2018 were approved as a true and correct record.

23.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

24.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

Councillor Hamilton declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was a substitute for the Planning Committee.

25.

Grays South Regeneration Project: Delivering the Pedestrian Underpass pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

Presented by the Regeneration Programme Manager, the report informed the Committee of the process of the pedestrian underpass. The project was in a position to begin the next design stage.

 

In the design process of the underpass, Councillor Anderson asked for assurance that the design included measures to prevent the underpass from becoming a hub for anti-social behavior. The Regeneration Programme Manager answered that certain parameters would be set such as the height and width of the underpass and installing CCTV. Network Rail would be drafting the technical design and Thurrock Council would add in the finishing touches. There were 3 design stages to follow:

 

1.    Design in principle and approval.

2.    Applying for planning permission.

3.    Consultations with the public and businesses.

 

Voicing concerns on anti-social behavior, Councillor Pothecary understood why residents would be concerned on a underpass as there was already one in Grays. These concerns had to be taken into consideration for the design of the Grays South underpass. Referring to paragraph 5.3, Councillor Pothecary queried when the last consultation had been. Agreeing with the concerns of anti-social behavior on a underpass, the Regeneration Programme Manager went on to say the last consultation had taken place prior to the April 2017 Cabinet report. The service was scheduled to open consultation with the local business community again in February 2019.

 

Continuing on, the Regeneration Programme Manager said the membership of the town party had changed since the last consultation and had been supportive of the proposed underpass at the time. However, overtime, the Grays barrier crossing would become busier as c2c would be adding on more frequent train services and there would be more freight trains passing as the Tilbury Port and DP World becomes busier. As a result, the barrier would close more often than the current times of every 5 – 12 minutes. The Grays barrier crossing was also known as one of the most dangerous crossings in the Eastern England region and businesses at the time had agreed there had to be an alternative. Although there was a bridge to cross when the barrier closed, making this bridge higher was not possible because it would require more ramps. Having an underpass would give more free flow to pedestrians. Safety issues would be implemented within the design which included CCTV linked to the Council and lighting which was important as well.

 

Councillor Pothecary agreed there had been issues with the Grays barrier crossing and remembered when the local community had fought against the closing of the barrier. Many residents depended on the barrier crossing to get into Grays town centre otherwise they would have to take a much longer route around. As the report mentioned the Thurrock Council civic offices extension, Councillor Pothecary sought assurance that the proposed underpass did not depend on the extension of the civic offices. The Regeneration Programme Manager reassured the Committee that the underpass would not depend on the extension of the civic offices.

 

Councillor Piccolo declared a non-pecuniary interest as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

A13 Widening - Scheme Update pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Presented by the Programme Manager Major Schemes, the report detailed that:

 

   the Department for Transport had confirmed funding of £66.057m for the A13 Widening scheme;

   land had been compulsorily acquired;

   that a detailed designer and contractor had been appointed;

   that a Communications Plan had been approved; and

   that preparatory works were ongoing.

 

Regarding traffic lights to be installed on the Orsett Cock, Councillor Piccolo asked if these would be intelligent traffic lights. Confirming this was so, the Kier Representative said traffic flow would be monitored through the intelligent traffic lights. Councillor Piccolo continued on to congratulate Kier on their persistency in inviting the Stanford Le Hope community forum to Kier information events and meetings regarding the scheme. The Kier Representative said the community forums were a good source of information and welcomed any suggestions that came from the local community.

 

Councillor Pothecary queried on the overall benefit of the scheme and asked if the service was confident that there would be enough traffic at leaving Stanford Le Hope to allow traffic to flow more freely going from two lanes into three lanes. In reply, the Kier Representative said it was not just the volume of traffic but the size of vehicles that came from DP World. A modelling of the scheme had been drafted which showed the overall benefit of the scheme. Councillor Pothecary went on to ask if there were figures or a forecast to evidence the benefits. Answering that a number of reports had been carried out by Aecom, the Programme Manager would share some of these with the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the progress on the A13 Widening Scheme.

27.

Grays Town Centre Traffic Flow Update pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Projects Engineer gave a presentation relating to the report which gave a clearer view of the design of the two way traffic flow to be implemented.

 

Commenting that the one way traffic system around Grays town centre had caused delays and congestions, Councillor Pothecary stated the project had been signed off by Cabinet in September 2015. She went on to say phase 1 of the project had finished in March 2016 and the next phase had started in October 2018 so questioned why there had been an 18 month wait in between. The Principal Projects Engineer explained that the 2015 Cabinet report envisaged a period of monitoring of the phase 1 schemes before implementing the phase 2 schemes. Adding to this, the Corporate Director explained there had been a need to see if there were any impacts to phase 1 which had been reviewed via modelling of the phase.

 

Councillor Pothecary thought it was puzzling that the two way traffic system implementation at Crown Road had been delayed by the Grays Town Centre Traffic Flow scheme because there had been support for the Crown Road two way traffic flow and it had been signed off by Cabinet in September 2015. As there had been improvement works within the multi-storey car park, the Principal Projects Engineer said modelling works had required justification of the Crown Road two way traffic flow.

 

Continuing on, Councillor Pothecary noticed the Crown Road two way traffic flow had since ‘disappeared’ and questioned its progress. There had been detailed discussions on bus routes in the area but not on the project itself. Explaining that bus operators were not in favour of a two way traffic flow, the Principal Projects Engineer said the service was in discussions with bus operators to resolve this. Councillor Pothecary mentioned that the original proposal had been to create a bay for buses to stop at in Stanley Road. The Corporate Director answered the service would look back on the proposal and check what had changed which would be brought back to the Committee in a future meeting.

 

The Chair commented that some of the residents in Grays could give a history of the roads. He went on to ask what measures would be undertaken to ensure there would be minimal disruptions to local residents. The Principal Projects Engineer answered advanced notices of 3 months would be given on temporary road closures when islands were to be removed. The website would also be used as a form of communication. Agreeing that giving advanced notice would help people on school runs, the Chair questioned the measures that would be taken to minimise disruption to residents at home. The Principal Projects Engineer answered early warning would be given on engineering works and the service would ensure residents had access to their property.

 

Regarding speed limits, Councillor Hamilton questioned if the limit would remain at 30mph and whether there would be a no stopping zone. In answer, the Principal Projects Engineer confirmed the speed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

The Chair asked for:

 

·         A future update on the A13 Widening Scheme.

·         A future update on the Grays South Regeneration Project in terms of community engagement.

 

Councillor Pothecary requested an update from C2C and Network Rail in terms of service progress and impacts.