MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Maidstone Joint Transportation Board
Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 14 October 2015
Councillor Burton (Chairman), and
Councillors Ash, Bird, Carter, Chittenden, Clark, Cooke, Cuming, Daley, Hotson, D Mortimer, T Sams, Springett, Mrs Stockell, Vizzard and Mrs Whittle
Councillors Ells, Harper, Mrs Hinder and Sargeant.
91. Apologies for Absence
It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Brown, English, Fort, Willis and J.A.Wilson.
92. Notification of Substitute Members
The following Substitute Members were noted:
Councillor Mortimer for Councillor Willis.
Councillor Taylor-Maggio for Councillor Brown
The Committee was informed that Councillor Springett intended to substitute for Councillor Fort but would be arriving late to the meeting.
93. Notification of Visiting Members
The following members were in attendance as observers and reserved the right to speak on any item on the agenda:
Councillor Mrs Hinder
94. Amendment to order of business
RESOLVED: That Item 17 Report of KCC Project Manager – Maidstone Bridges Gyratory Scheme and Item 18 Report of Parking Services Manager – Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders be taken after Item 11 (Report of KCC Head of Transportation – Chatham Road Report – Experimental Traffic Regulations Order) on the agenda.
95. Disclosures by Members and Officers
There were no disclosures by members or officers.
96. Disclosures of lobbying
It was noted that all members had been lobbied on Item 16, Progress report on the technical work for the Integrated Transport Strategy.
Councillor Cooke had been lobbied on all items on the agenda.
Councillor Vizzard had been lobbied on Item 11, Report of KCC Head of Transportation – Chatham Road Report – Experimental Traffic Regulations Order and Item 18, Report of Parking Services Manager – Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders.
Councillors Ash, Bird, Burton, Chittenden, Clarke, Hotson and Mrs Stockell had been lobbied on Item 18, Report of Parking Services Manager – Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders.
97. To consider whether any items should be taken in private because of the possible disclosure of exempt information.
RESOLVED: that all items be taken in public as proposed.
98. Minutes of the Meeting Held on 22 July 2015.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2015 be approved as a correct record and signed.
99. Petitions (if any)
There were no petitions.
100. Questions/Statements by members of the public
Mr Hinder addressed the Board on the Chatham Road – Experimental Traffic Order Report. He informed the Board on the success of the scheme.
Mr Stevens addressed the Board on the Chatham Road – Experimental Traffic Order Report. He highlighted the anti-social behaviour issues affecting residents.
Ms Evenden addressed the Board on the Chatham Road – Experimental Traffic Order Report. She highlighted the anti-social behaviour issues affecting residents and informed the Board that because of the restrictions in place the problems had now moved to the southern end of Chatham Road.
Mr Scofield addressed the Board on cyclists, speaking in favour of the cycling initiatives detailed in the agenda reports.
Mr Stevens addressed the Board on Chatham Road – Experimental Traffic Order Report, speaking in favour of the traffic order and the effect it had on anti-social behaviour. Mr Stevens also spoke on cycling initiatives, highlighting that retaining cyclists on the carriageway was preferable.
101. Report of KCC Highways, Transportation and Waste - Highway Works Programme 2015/16
The Board agreed to note the report providing an update on the identified schemes approved for construction in 2015/16 for information only.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
102. Report of KCC Head of Transportation - Chatham Road Report - Experimental Traffic Regulation Order
Michael Health, KCC Traffic Engineer provided the Board with an update on the Chatham Road Report – Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. This was put in place to address lorry parking in Chatham Road, causing problems going back over a number of years. The problems affecting residents had included anti-social behaviour in the form of verge fouling with human waste, litter and noise as well as the obstruction of buses and chemical spills resulting in costly resurfacing. Previous attempts to address the issues had proved ineffective.
In January 2015 an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order was introduced.
The measures implemented were reported as having largely addressed the problems in Chatham Road.
A member of the Board raised the issue of lorry parking and the inability of the Police to enforce the Order when there was nowhere to move the vehicles on to.
Visiting Member, Councillor Mrs Hinder addressed the Board, asking that the report be supported.
NOTE: Councillor Taylor-Maggio joined the meeting at 5.25 p.m.
RESOLVED: That the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order be made permanent and that the works to improve the shared path be implemented once funded.
103. Report of KCC Project Manager - Maidstone Bridges Gyratory Scheme
Russell Boorman, KCC Project Manager and Abigail Lewis, Economic Development Officer introduced the Maidstone Bridges Gyratory Scheme report. Kent County Council received funding from the Local Growth Fund along with a significant contribution from Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) to deliver the Maidstone Bridges Gyratory Improvement Scheme with construction due to commence in Spring 2016.
The Board was shown the detailed design of the scheme which had been progressed in conjunction with MBC through regular steering group meetings.
The following areas were highlighted as being of importance by the Board during the course of the discussion:
· Integrating the town rather than dividing it;
· Addressing pollution;
· Potential for cycling routes; and
· Improved signage for disabled drivers using parking bays in the high street.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
104. Report of Parking Services Manager - Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders
Charlie Reynolds, Operation Manager introduced the Objections to Traffic Regulation Orders Report.
The report identified proposals intended to resolve parking problems and improve traffic flow by reducing localised congestion in accordance with the Council’s priority to improve access across the Borough through better roads.
The Board considered each of the recommendations identified in the report in turn, voting on each before agreeing the overarching recommendations of the report.
NOTE: Councillor Chittenden requested that Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council work together urgently to resolve the flooding and cleaning problems that exist along The Mallows.
1. That the Joint Transportation Board recommends to the Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transport Committee each of the recommendations identified in the report be agreed and the objectors informed of the outcome; and
2. That the Board recommends to Kent County Council as the Highway Authority that the orders be implemented as outlined in the report.
105. Report of KCC, PROW and Access Service - Loose Greenway Scheme
Colin Finch, KCC Senior Public Rights of Way Project Manager and Toby Howe, KCC Highways Operations, East Kent introduced the Loose Greenway Scheme report which provided further detail on the approved Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) scheme to provide a direct active travel route between Loose and Maidstone, known as Loose Greenway.
The overall purpose of the investment was to encourage cycling and walking by providing attractive, direct routes for cyclists and pedestrians to Maidstone Town centre and reduce the need for vehicular use on short journeys to the school and local services in Loose.
Visiting Member, Councillor Harper spoke in support of the scheme.
The Board put forward its support for the scheme.
NOTE: Councillor Hotson stated that he had no objection in principle to the scheme although he was aware of objections made by Loose residents.
RESOLVED: That the report and the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board’s support for the scheme be noted.
106. Report of KCC, PROW and Access Service - River Medway Towpath Scheme
Colin Finch, KCC Public Rights of Way Project Manager introduced the River Medway Towpath Scheme Report, providing further detail on the approved (Local Enterprise Partnership) LEP scheme to improve the River Medway towpath between Barming Bridge and Aylesford Bridge. The overall purpose of the investment was to encourage cycling and walking by providing attractive, direct routes for cyclists and pedestrians to access employment, education and other facilities in Maidstone Town Centre and along the River Medway corridor.
Visiting Member, Councillor Harper addressed the Board and spoke in support of the scheme.
In response to member’s questions it was clarified that Kent County Council supported shared use only cycle routes.
The timeline was clarified; a detailed design would be produced by the end of the year, the tendering process would take place in spring 2016 and construction would commence in summer 2016.
NOTE: At 6.32pm Councillor Ash left the meeting and Councillor Springett joined the meeting as a substitute for Councillor Fort.
NOTE: Councillor Bird expressed concern about the proposal to close Cranborne Avenue to exiting traffic and questioned whether Plains Avenue would be a suitable alternative exit, having worked on current problems of joining the A229 in peak times there (using his devolved budget to create a yellow box junction).
RESOLVED: That the River Medway Towpath scheme be given the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board’s ongoing support.
107. Report of LED Conversion Project Manager - Street Lighting LED Project Update Report
The Board agreed to note the report providing an update of the LED conversion project, trail switch off sited review and consultation on street lighting for information only.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted
The meeting was adjourned from 6.50pm to 7.02pm.
109. Report of KCC Highway Manager - Operation Stack Update
Toby Howe, KCC Highways Operations, East Kent introduced the Operation Stack Update report. Operation Stack was originally introduced as a method to safely hold goods vehicles unable to cross the channel sue to industrial action.
The Board commented on the pilot use of Manston airfield to divert traffic away from the motorway. It was felt that the closure of the motorway was still the first option being taken.
RESOLVED: That the report and the unanimous support of Maidstone Joint Transportation Board be noted.
110. Report of KCC Head of Transportation - Progress report on technical work for the Integrated Transport Strategy
Tim Read, KCC Head of Transportation introduced the progress report on technical work for the Integrated Transport Strategy. The report summarised the progress made in evaluating the feasibility and affordability of the highway schemes identified by the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board for inclusion in a future Integrated Transport Strategy and describes the approach to further traffic modelling.
The Board was informed that the transport modelling work for ‘Do Something 4’ (DS4) was due to be completed by the end of the month. This would enable Kent County Council to make a response to regulation 18 of the Local Plan.
During the course of the discussion the Board considered:
· Local areas in Maidstone where traffic modelling was required; and
· The premise of what constituted a ‘constraint’ in planning policy as a result of a new development and its impact on traffic.
In relation to modal shift the Board discussed:
· Working families and their reliance on car travel in order to get children to school and to get to work; and
· The impact of bus lanes and whether or not bus prioritisations would have an impact on traffic flow and achieving modal shift.
The Board was informed that the Government advocated sustainable modes of transport.
It was clarified by the Head of Planning and Development that Maidstone Borough Council were not consulting on the Development Management Policy for Public Transport, DM14, which was the policy that would set out the Council’s policy on bus lanes. No member decision had been made.
The Board felt that it was important that it met as soon as possible to consider the results of DS4 transport modelling and the affordability of the options put forward.
NOTE: Councillor Clarke expressed concern about the proposal to close Cranborne Avenue to exiting traffic and questioned whether Plains Avenue would be a suitable alternative exit, having worked on current problems of joining the A229 in peak times there (using his devolved budget to create a yellow box junction).
RESOLVED: That a meeting of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board be arranged to consider the results of DS4 Transport Modelling.
111. Duration of meeting
5.00pm to 8.31pm