MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Maidstone Joint Transportation Board
Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 19 October 2016
Councillor Hotson (Chairman), and
Councillors Bird, Boughton, M Burton, Chittenden, Cooke, Cuming, Daley, English, Hastie, T Sams, Springett, Wilby and Willis
15. Apologies for Absence
It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Brown, D Burton, Carter, Clark, Garten, Grigg, Vizzard and Whittle.
16. Notification of Substitute Members
The following Substitute Members were noted:
Councillor Boughton for Councillor D Burton;
Councillor M Burton for Councillor Garten;
Councillor English for Councillor Grigg;
Councillor Hastie for Councillor Vizzard.
17. Notification of Visiting Members
There were no Visiting Members.
18. Disclosures by Members and Officers
There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.
19. Disclosures of lobbying
There were no disclosures of lobbying.
20. Minutes of the Meeting Held on 13 July 2016
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed.
21. Matters Arising from the Minutes
Kent Police correspondence regarding vehicle obstruction
The Chairman advised that he had met with the Acting Super Intendant to discuss the issue. Kent Police had provided further information via email.
The Chairman read the email which stated that:
· Members were encouraged to raise persistent issues to their local PCSOs;
· Parking as a service area was owned and enforced by district and borough councils. The Police would only remove vehicles causing a danger on a road, and each case was taken on its own merit;
· The rank of Police Sergeant or above could authorise the removal of a vehicle.
The Chairman advised that the full text of the email would be circulated to the Board outside of the meeting.
Revision of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board Agreement
The Democratic Services Officer provided an update on matter and explained that KCC Legal had approved the changes made to the agreement. The agreement was with MBC Legal to make the amendments required as per the councils change in governance system, and this would be ready for consideration at the January meeting of the Board.
22. Petitions (if any)
There were no petitions.
23. Questions/Statements by members of the public
Ms Sue Cooke asked a question of the Chairman in the following terms:
Severe traffic congestion has been caused on Hermitage Lane and the A20 by the poorly designed junction at the new Aldi and McDonalds retail park.
There has been a huge response on Streetlife and 34,000 likes and 2-300 comments on Facebook, from locals, businesses and hospital workers alike.
What is Kent Highways planning to do to resolve this congestion and the resultant pollution?
The Chairman provided the following response:
A new signal controlled junction has recently been introduced on Hermitage Lane close to the A20 London Road. This is to serve a new mini retail complex including an Aldi and McDonalds.
During the planning process for the site, we advised the applicant and planning authority (Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council) that a number of measures would be needed to improve access and minimise congestion. These included linking the site access signals to co-ordinate with nearby junctions, provision of a new signal controller and SCOOT loops and alterations to lane markings and signing at the Coldharbour roundabout. We subsequently learnt the planning conditions did not refer to the need for the applicant to deliver these measures.
Subsequently, we have been working closely with the Borough Council and the applicant has now agreed to provide them. We are now working with the applicant’s consultant to ensure the measures can be delivered at the earliest opportunity. The consultants have sought quotes from BT and the plan is to complete the work alongside their S278 snagging list. We have asked for a clearly defined programme to complete the works.
Observations of the operation of the new junction have also shown there are significantly more vehicles turning right into the development, than the number per cycle identified in the traffic assessment. This is blocking southbound traffic on Hermitage Lane and is causing congestion back along the A20 London Road as well as a queue extending towards the hospital for northbound traffic. The displacement of traffic across the town due to the on-going Bridges Gyratory roadworks is also known to be having an effect on traffic levels in this area.
In view of this, we have identified a number of further potential measures which could be taken to reduce congestion. The applicant has declined to carry out this further work. We have gone back to them to propose a limited widening scheme which can be completed as part of their snagging work at our expense.
In the longer term the County Council has secured Government funding to implement a package of junction improvement schemes at either end of Hermitage Lane and to improve access to the M20. This includes improvements to A26/ Fountain Lane junction and Hermitage Lane/ Duke of Edinburgh junction and A20/ Hermitage Lane, A20/ Coldharbour and M20 Junction 5. These schemes are now undergoing detailed design.
Ms Cooke asked a supplementary question that, in view of the response received, how could the situation be prevented from occurring again.
The KCC Strategic Transport and Development replied that KCC would continue to work with planning authorities to raise concerns and keep highways matters at the forefront of developments.
24. Report of the KCC Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste - Highways Work Programme 2016/17
The KCC Highways District Manager for Maidstone introduced the report setting out identified highways schemes that had been approved for construction over the year 2016-17.
During discussion the following points were raised:
· A new footpath on one side of Willington Street highlighted the poor quality of the footpath on the opposite side.
· Surveys had been undertaken on the A229 Engineers Way to identify where additional signage was required. Results of the survey would be made available to Members.
· Yellow lines had been implemented at Gatland House prior to a traffic regulation order coming into effect, which could cause confusion regarding enforcement. Officers agreed to look into this matter.
· Information on the new traffic signal junction at Hermitage Lane West would be reported back to Members.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
25. Report of the KCC Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste - Verbal Update on Petitions Submitted to Kent Highway Services
The KCC Highways District Manager for Maidstone advised that no new petitions had been submitted.
In relation to a previously received petition regarding a proposed 20 mph restriction around residential areas in North Maidstone, Members were advised that this scheme was not yet approved and was still in the design stage.
RESOLVED: That the verbal report be noted.
26. Report of the KCC Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste - Verbal Update on the Maidstone Bridges Major Capital Project
The KCC Projects Manager gave a verbal update on the progress of the Maidstone Bridges Gyratory project.
It was explained that two new northbound lanes would be operational by Christmas. A delay in the delivery of granite material matching that used in Maidstone’s public realm had resulted in construction being extended until January.
In response to questions it was confirmed that:
· A two metre wide walk way at the bottom half of the High Street, utilising existing pedestrian crossing points, would maintain footfall around the area.
· Major works in the surrounding area should have been contained until the completion of the Gyratory works. KCC Highways were aware that some works in other areas had been started, and these had been dealt with.
· Construction works could experience obstacles. Where affected parties could not be made aware during a quickly arising issue, all efforts were made to make information available as soon as possible.
· The programme of works would be circulated to Members outside of the meeting.
The Chairman thanked the KCC Projects team and the construction company for their efforts.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
27. Report of the KCC Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste - Local Transport Plan 2016-2031 Consultation Draft
The KCC Transport Manager presented the report detailing the priorities for Maidstone within KCC’s draft Local Transport Plan (LTP) 4: Delivering Growth without Gridlock.
The Board was advised that:
· There was a statutory obligation to have the LTP in place under the 2008 Local Transport Act;
· The purpose of the LTP was to pull together KCC’s key priorities and objectives;
· Inclusion of a scheme in the LTP – whilst not guaranteeing delivery – would give strength to future funding applications.
The MBC Planning Policy Manager stated that MBC’s response had been agreed at Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee on 11 October 2016.
In response to a question it was clarified that, although MBC had agreed its response, individual responses to the consultation could be submitted.
The Chairman requested an update on all consultation responses received to the January meeting of the Board.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
28. Duration of Meeting
5.01 p.m. to 6.05 p.m.