The Strategic Lead Transport
Development introduced the report and stated that there were no
fundamental changes to the Priorities List, and was on the agenda
for the Task Force to note. He stated that HE were currently
analysing 26,000 consultation responses, and that because of this
the Council were unlikely to hear from HE until later on in June. He elaborated that HE
were currently looking at the scheme design, but the Council had
not received detail on this. The Strategic Lead Transport
Development then added that HE had provided the data sharing
agreement and cordoned model, and these had been separated into two
sections. The first section related to 2036-2041 and had been sent
over on 13 May 2019; and the second section related to 2031-2051
and had been sent over on 6 June 2019, and the Council’s
consultants, PBA, were currently analysing the data. He moved onto
discussing the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), which was being
progressed and officers had now agreed to its scope. The Strategic
Lead Transport Development finished by stating that the Council
were expecting an announcement from HE in the next few weeks, which
would allow for matters to be progressed further.
The Chair asked if the LTC Task Force would be able to take part in a traffic modelling workshop, as this had been mentioned in a previous meeting. The Strategic Lead Transport Development replied that this could now be progressed and a suitable date could be identified. He clarified that PBA would need to analyse the data first, but at the July meeting of the LTC Task Force, a discussion could take place regarding a date for the workshop.
The Vice-Chair asked if officers were waiting on any information from HE that they had requested and not yet received. The Strategic Lead Transport Development replied that they had been waiting for the cordoned model, but there had been a legal delay in signing the data sharing agreement. He commented that the Council had no other data issues and were content with the information HE had made available, although it had been delayed.
The Chair questioned the HIA, as this would feature heavily in the design. He asked when the Task Force would be able to see this document. The Strategic Lead Transport Development replied that an item would be coming to the July Task Force when Members could talk about it with officers from the Public Health team.
The TCAG Representative provided an update from the Thames Crossing Action Group (TCAG) as HE had been in communication and stated they were starting pumping works north and south of the river which would run until late August. The TCAG Representative also stated that HE had announced they would be boring 700 holes in 400 locations north and south of the river, and had invited the TCAG to view the works.
The Chair then drew Members attention to page 18 of the agenda and asked how the project would be funded. The TCAG Representative replied that she believed that HE would be funding the project entirely through public money, which had not been allocated yet. The Chair mentioned that the deadline for central government funding was October 2019, and this would not be open again for another 5 years. He felt that if HE could not meet this deadline, then the scheme could not go ahead as planned. The TCAG Representative commented that the A303 at Stonehenge were in the same process, but were at examination phase, and could prove to be a good comparator. The TCAG Representative asked if the cordoned model only provided traffic modelling for the proposed route C3. The Strategic Lead Transport Development replied that it provided a baseline for the current proposal of LTC.
The Chair asked the Thurrock Business Representative if the Port of Tilbury had received any response from HE regarding their consultation submission, or any news on the proposed Tilbury Link Road. The Thurrock Business Representative replied that although the Port of Tilbury had spoken with HE, they had been provided with no clear answers.
The Chair commented that it was important to mitigate against the scheme and protect urban areas. The TCAG Representative stated that during the construction of HS2, many trees along the route had started to die and needed replacing. She commented that she did not want this to occur during construction of the LTC, and the route needed proper screening. The Chair also asked what arrangements were being made to protect Coalhouse Fort. The Strategic Lead Transport Development replied that he would email a response to Task Force Members.
The Vice-Chair drew the Task Force’s attention to page 34 of the agenda, and the section relating to engagement with stakeholders. He asked if the Council were joining forces with other major stakeholders, such as the Port of Tilbury, to formalise their complaints and experiences dealing with HE. The TCAG Representative added that this was an important suggestion as other stakeholders were experiencing issues with other projects, as well as LTC.