MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Maidstone Joint Transportation Board
Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 17 October 2018
Councillors Bird, Brown, D Burton, Chittenden, Clark, Cooke, Cooper, Cox, Cuming, Daley, English, Hinder, Hotson, D Mortimer, Prendergast, T Sams, Spooner, Mrs Stockell and Wilson
Councillors Hastie and Perry
It was noted that apologies were received from the following Members:
· Councillor Carter
· Councillor Wilby
· Councillor Springett
The following Substitute Members were present:
· Councillor Spooner for Councillor Springett
· Councillor English for Councillor Wilby
· Councillor Cox for Councillor Fermor
Councillors Hastie and Perry were present as Visiting Members, but did not register to speak.
There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.
All Members disclosed that they had been lobbied on Agenda Item 17. Maidstone Cycleway Consultation.
RESOLVED: That all items be taken in public as proposed.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed.
There were no petitions.
There were no questions from members of the public.
The Committee made the following comments on the Committee Work Programme:
· Highways England had been asked to attend the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board meeting in January 2019 to speak on Operation Brock and Future Management of M20 Closures.
· An update report on Bearsted Road was to be included on the Committee Work Programme.
RESOLVED: That the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board Work Programme be noted.
Note: Councillor Stockell arrived at 5.23 p.m. during consideration of this item.
It was noted that an urgent update had been submitted for this item. The reason for urgency was that the map provided additional clarity to the issues raised in the reference.
The Committee recognised the concerns of residents regarding highway and pedestrian safety at Roundwell. It was stated that a safety audit would be beneficial, and that suggestions for improving road safety for all users at this location were welcomed.
RESOLVED: That a report be submitted to the Joint Transportation Board outlining the results of a safety audit for the Barty Farm Development, including recommendations for improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic speeds.
Mrs Susan Laporte, Kent County Council District Manager, Maidstone, gave a presentation to the Committee regarding the A26 Tonbridge Sinkhole. Mrs Laporte stated that the road would be opened during the week commencing 22 October 2018.
The Committee recognised the successful delivery of a complicated project in difficult circumstances. Members suggested that, at the discretion of Officers, a lessons learned report be reported to the Committee to help to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted.
Mr Russell Boorman, Kent County Council Senior Major Capital Programme Project Manager, outlined the work that had been undertaken as part of the Maidstone Bridges Gyratory Safety Audit. Mr Boorman informed the Committee that there had been an overall reduction in incidents for all highway users following the resolution of issues identified in the Safety Audit.
Mr Boorman responded to questions from the Committee, stating that:
· KCC were working with contractors to deliver the Maidstone Bridges Gyratory Performance Report.
· The blocking of designated yellow boxes by traffic could not be enforced by Local Authorities outside of London, however, this issue had been raised with the Secretary of State.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
It was noted that an urgent update was submitted for this item. The reason for urgency was that the reference by the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation (SPST) Committee occurred after the publication of the Maidstone Joint Transportation agenda, and needed to be considered alongside the report.
Mr Boorman outlined the deadlines associated with the Maidstone Integrated Transport Package (MITP), and advised the Committee that all business cases were on track to be delivered by 16 November 2018. Mr Boorman stated that there was a risk that the MITP work, as presented in the report, would not be fully delivered by the 2021 deadline. Consequently, a contingency project had been identified in Tonbridge and Malling.
Members commented that, at the SPST Committee, a risk that the business case deadline would not be met was highlighted, which resulted in £4m of funding being at risk. Mr Boorman reassured the Committee that £4m was not at risk.
The Committee emphasised that it was concerned about the prospect of funds being diverted to a project outside of Maidstone Borough Council’s boundary, and that the MITP must deliver on the promises that had been made previously.
1) That the contents of the Maidstone Integrated Transport Package (MITP) be noted.
2) That given the risk highlighted in the published report, the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board urges Kent County Council to deliver the MITP per the reported milestones, to ensure that we do not lose funding.
Voting: For – 13 Against – 3 Abstentions – 1
Note: Councillors J Wilson and Sams left the meeting during consideration of this item.
Mr Stephen Gasche, Kent County Council Principal Transport Planner - Rail, presented the report, which highlighted the importance of the Thameslink Service to Maidstone. It was conveyed that the introduction of the new Thameslink service had been deferred three times. Concerns had been raised with the Minister of State for Rail, who had provided no commitment to preventing further delays.
The Committee stated that an improved rail service was vital to the economy of Maidstone, and that lobbying needed to be sustained to ensure that the area was provided with the services that were needed. To this end, it was suggested that a joint letter was sent to reiterate the concerns about the rail service network in Maidstone and the subsequent impact that delays would have on economic growth.
1) That the report be noted.
2) That the Chairman of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board sends a letter to the appropriate authority, signed by Members of Parliament, Kent County Council, Maidstone Borough Council, local business groups and community groups, and that this is presented to the Leaders of KCC and MBC for comment prior to submission.
Mrs Laporte stated that the Pothole and Footway Repairs Report was for information only. Ms Laporte confirmed that a measure demonstrating the number of outstanding repairs was to be included in further reports.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
Mr Michael Hardy, Kent County Council Schemes Project Manager, and Ms Emma Green, Kent County Council Schemes Programme Manager (West), introduced the Maidstone Cycle Way Consultation report. Mr Hardy explained that the scheme linked Maidstone East Station with Mote Park. The scheme had recently been subject to consultation.
Officers explained that the route allowed for travel into the Town Centre from the South via King Street. Furthermore, it was stated that clear signage could help to mitigate safety risks.
The Committee raised the following concerns:
· The timescales for the work to be completed were not feasible.
· That vegetation on private property impacted on lines of sight at crucial points on the route.
· The proposed crossing point was not safe. It was suggested that this should be moved to Mote Avenue, as this would provide access to the lake without needing to cross at a dangerous location.
Councillor English, representative of the ward in which the developments were proposed, requested that he be involved in future conversations regarding the Maidstone Cycle Way Scheme.
1) That the Maidstone Cycle Way Consultation responses be noted.
2) That the recommendation to proceed with Mote Avenue cycle and footway enhancements be supported, on the provision that an additional safety audit is carried out, considering all of the concerns raised at the JTB.
Voting: For – 10 Against – 1 Abstentions – 4
Note: Councillors Brown and Stockell left the meeting during consideration of this item.
It was stated that this item was for information only, as the report was regularly circulated to Members.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
5.02 p.m. to 7.55 p.m.