The Strategic Lead for Transport Services presented the report.He explained that the report sets out how the Transportation Services team will prioritise funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) Integrated Transport Block Capital Programme (ITB) to enhance transport infrastructure and service provision within the Borough in 2023/24. He explained that paragraph 2.4 sets out the key areas of policy direction for delivering the programme.
The report also sets out the Highways Maintenance Block Allocation for 2023/24 for the Highways Maintenance Service within the Public Realm Directorate is to be prioritised in alignment with Thurrock Council Highways Assets Management Strategy and Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme.
The Strategic Lead for Highways Infrastructure confirms they receive funding which is ring fenced for maintenance. They look at the condition of the network and usage and come up with schemes that are in accordance with the asset management policy.
Councillor Allen queried why drainage was going into ditches and not into the water system. Thurrock parkway near ASDA has seen constant flooding and also Lansdowne road which is outside a school and complaints have been received from parents. He noted that the Council is not always responsible for these roads but it seems that these issues are not been addressed.
The Strategic Lead for Highways Infrastructure responded that in relation to Thurrock Parkway they are working with their colleagues in the Flood Management Team regarding enforcement. They do try and engage with partners to resolve these issues. There are lots of challenges with drainage, they are often antiquated systems and our systems feed into Anglian Waters systems and their systems are at capacity too. We cannot connect to Anglian Water systems without their permission and they need to upgrade their systems. He agreed Thurrock Parkway cannot remain as it is and assured members they are pushing for it to be sorted and it is a priority.
The Chair queried how each figure is allocated and why £150,000 has been allocated to electric vehicles.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services confirmed that they use a data led approach to identifying areas of intervention which need to be prioritised across the programme. They have data which looks at incidents and accidents regarding road safety. They also look at safe routes around Thurrock’s schools. In relation to electrical vehicle charging there is an opportunity to take advantage of the OSEF funding and by putting money into EV charging they can gain more from the grant.
The Chief Engineer explained that the main routes attract more accidents, and they receive data on accidents from the police. If a fatality occurs if gets the highest rating and becomes a priority as the more serious the accident the more it costs society.
Councillor Gledhill commented that he had struggled to comprehend the report and why certain amounts of funding are allocated to certain schemes. He stated that elected members need more detail.
Councillor Allen was very pleased to note the Marsh Foot injunction will be re-designed and requested whether a roundabout or traffic lights were being considered.
The Chief Engineer confirmed that they are working on the design of it now and it is likely to be a proper roundabout which HGV vehicles can navigate. Implementation is likely to be next year.
The Chair proposed that a Sub-Committee is put together to go through in more detail the ITB and AIP with a view to coming up with recommendations for Cabinet. This was seconded by Councillor Gledhill.
1.1 Note and provide comment on the 2023/24 ITB capital programme allocations, policy and prioritisation direction for the DfT ITB Block funding under the key Policy areas of Road Safety Engineering, Safer Routes to School, Area Intervention Programme and EV Charging programme (as detailed in Appendix 1).
1.2 Note and provide comment on the 2023/24 Highways Maintenance Block Allocation Programme (as detailed in Appendix 2).
1.3 Note that delegate authority to the interim Director of Place and the Director of Public Realm, will be sought in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Transport and Public Safety to make any required changes to the ITB programme and the Maintenance programme, for 2023/24, within the overall programme budget, as well as other government funding allocations that may arise within the year to ensure delivery of the programme and to ensure spend of the grant allocations.
1.4 A Sub-Committee is put together to go through in more detail the ITB Capital programme and Area Intervention Programme,