Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Gravesend, Kent

Contact: Committee Section  Email: committee.section@gravesham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

116.

Chair's Announcement

Minutes:

The Chair noted that since the elections in May there had been a number of issues that had been bought to the attention of the Board. The Chair intended that an email be sent to all Members, all County Councillors for Gravesham and Parish Council Chairs reminding them that bringing issues to the attention of the Board was a last resort. In the first instance, issues should be brought to the attention of the appropriate KCC or GBC officer. The proposed email would include the contact details of appropriate officers. If no response or an unsatisfactory response was received, then it should be bought to the attention of the ward Councillor, or appropriate County Councillor (if this had not already happened), only then should it be bought to the attention of the Board. The item “Any Other Business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency” should only be used for urgent matters for example, the accidents at The Hill, Northfleet which had involved a death and injuries to members of the public and had only happened just before the last meeting of the Board. The Chair would be strictly applying this interpretation at future meetings. The Chair also asked that the Committee Section (committee.section@gravesham/.gov.uk) be copied in to any emails to the Chair requesting that an item be placed on the agenda.

The Chair had also noted that there was no mechanism with regard to Matters Arising and he proposed the addition of an item on the agenda for the report back of items raised at previous meetings and this would include bullet points from previous minutes.

117.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Leslie Hills and Kent County Cllr Diane Marsh.

118.

To sign the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 June 2019 were signed by the Chair.

119.

To declare any interests members may have in the items contained on this agenda. When declaring an interest members should state what their interest is.

Minutes:

Cllr Nirmal Khabra declared a voluntary other interest in that he was a registered Hackney Carriage Driver in the Borough of Gravesham.

120.

Redroute buses

Arriva are regularly invited to present information about their service and answer questions but some routes in the Borough are served by Redroute buses.  Therefore the Redroute Bus Company Ltd has been invited to attend the meeting.

Minutes:

In the absence of Mr Jason Mee - Director (Transport Operative) for RedRoute Buses, the Chair deferred this item to the next meeting of the Board.

121.

Bus Hub, Barrack Row and Garrick Street, Gravesend (For Information) pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Richard Shelton, one of the Project Managers from the Major Capital Programme Team from KCC Highways introduced himself as the technical support officer for the Barrack Row and Garrick Street Bus Hub in Gravesend. The Board was apprised of the outstanding key areas of the project which included the proposed layout. It had originally been proposed that old bus shelter and bus stop furniture would be re-used. However, Garrick Street would need a Fastrack canopy system as it was the intention to use two Fastrack buses with the Arriva services using Barrack Row. The Board was referred to the officer’s report which set out details of the project.

The following comments were made in relation to this subject:

·                    A request was made that taxis be allowed to go through the Bus Hub. It was explained that when clients were dropped off at the railway station, drivers had to travel round the long way to return to the rank. The same applied when collecting passengers at the station as they had to pay more for their taxi service because of the road layout. It was confirmed that taxis would not be allowed to use the Bus Hub. However, the officer undertook to look into this matter and would report back to the Board. However, there had been some concern about the number of taxis this would involve and the impact on the Hub,

·                     It was noted that queueing traffic on Darnley Road caused by abuse of the bus gate at the junction with Barrack Row and the layout of the associated roads meant there was additional pollution. It was suggested that taxis should be allowed to turn into Darnley Road. The Board was advised that Kent County Council was aware that there has been regular abuse of the bus gate that was putting additional demand on the traffic light systems that were not working efficiently for traffic on the Ring Road. Consideration was being given how best to enforce the bus gate to assist with traffic flow. The officer advised that a detailed design was being produced and he would submit it to a future meeting of the Board. The layout of the Bus Hub had been challenging, especially fitting all required bus stops onto the site which had not been possible in such a limited area which also had to include adequate waiting areas for pedestrians, seating and soft landscaping.

·                    Enforcement had been mentioned and the issue experienced by car drivers in Chelmsford was raised. Enforcement cameras had been installed into a bus lane in Chelmsford and approximately 5,000 motorists had been fined in the 25 days after installation. This had led to criticism of Essex County Council in relation to inadequate signage. Officers were urged to consider signage when installing enforcement cameras.

·                    An issue was raised on how long the beautiful design of the Bus Hub would last if such things as the possibility of public toilets on the site was not factored into the design. It was noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.

122.

The Crossing outside the Meopham Academy, Longfield Road, Meopham - Requested by Cllr Frank Wardle

Reason - because of the proximity to the corner of Longfield Road and Wrotham Road, some cars are coming around the corner faster than they should and are unable to stop in time before reaching the crossing.

Minutes:

It was noted that Cllr Wardle was not present. It was requested that if a Member requested an item be included on the Board’s agenda then that Councillor should ensure they were present at the meeting.

County Cllr Sweetland advised that an issue with the location of the crossing outside the Meopham Academy had been raised because of the proximity to the corner of Longfield Road and Wrotham Road. Some cars were coming around the corner faster than they should and were subsequently unable to stop in time before reaching the crossing.

The Board was advised that cars exiting the A227 travelled quickly. However, the problems were mostly experienced at the Academy’s drop off and pick up times. The crossing would be difficult to move as another, less risky location was difficult to identify not to mention the cost implication. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) reported he had asked the Planning Team to look into this matter. The Chair asked that the District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) report any findings direct to County Cllr Sweetland and Cllr Wardle.

123.

Parking Outside Shorne Woods Country Park - Requested by Cllr Bob Lane pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Reason: This was raised at the Parish Council Chairman's Meeting on 22nd May – see note at Item 8. Additional parking restrictions are required, but it is essential that the existing parking restrictions and traffic regulation order is enforced.  It would appear that no enforcement officers from Gravesham ever visit Shorne, hence existing parking and traffic regulations are widely ignored. 

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKkNDl3mG0&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2hSgd5dmlWMPu3KugzWiFDiO3qKXAG3IknaDVWlQVDax3qS-pOWOZGTrI

Every parked vehicle in this video (filmed in April) is in contravention of existing restrictions.

Minutes:

Cllr Lane reminded the Board that Park Pale had been built to provide access to an industrial site which was currently being used by Harlech Haulage Ltd and the golf club. The road had a traffic order in place to prohibit access and there were also parking restrictions on Brewers Road.  The users of Shorne Country Park preferred to park on the road rather than use the Park carpark where they had to pay parking fees. Car parking on the road caused it to become single track which was exacerbated by the size of the Harlech Haulage trucks. Parking restrictions were not enforced even though there had been a proposal to extend. It was noted that Kent and Gravesham Council officers had attended a meeting held two months ago with Harlech Haulage, Shorne Parish Council and Kent Police.

The Parking Services Manager advised that there was a Traffic Regulation Order in place on Park Pale in relation to a moving traffic restriction (access only) that was implemented by KCC Highways in 1989 and was the enforcement responsibility of the Kent Police who were not known for enforcement of access restrictions, as this type of issue was not a high priority mainly due to resources. However, the double yellow lines in Park Pale and Brewers Road fall within the remit of the Borough Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) to enforce. On receiving an email from Cllr Lane just before the last Board meeting in June, CEOs had been sent to check on the area two to three times a week and every Saturday and Sunday especially throughout the school summer holiday. It was noted that the double yellow lines had become very faint to the point of being invisible. As a result the lines had been repainted and since then, cars had not been seen parked on the double yellow lines when the CEOs had been in the area patrolling.

Parish Cllr Lindley advised that the principal problem was a safety issue as HGVs were using the road at the same time as pedestrians which included children and dogs. Staff at Harlech Haulage had expressed concern as they felt they may be held responsible in the event of an accident.

Following a question on the possibility of sending statistical information to parish councils on the date, time and location of Traffic Enforcement Officer’s visits to individual parishes, the Parking Services Manager advised that this information was not recorded unless the officer was ticketing a vehicle or was recording a visit to a time limited bay. Detailed recording would be very difficult due to the high level of detail needed and would take a high level of resources to download and plot GPS data. CEOs attended a daily briefing to plot their routes and to take account of any new issues raised. A record could be made of targeted areas but not for the wider Gravesham area as there would be too much information to record.

A suggestion was made that Parish  ...  view the full minutes text for item 123.

124.

Corner Protection (Yellow Lines) at the junction of Cob Drive and Forge Lane - Requested by Cllr Bob Lane

Reason: At school drop-off and pick-up times, Forge Lane becomes heavily congested with parked cars, restricting or blocking access to and from the village of Shorne. Corner protection parking restrictions are urgently required.

Minutes:

Cllr Lane recognised that there were always traffic and parking issues outside schools. However, these particular issues meant that access on the main road into Shorne village was often blocked. Double yellow lines had been proposed in three areas and two had been agreed. Cllr Lane asked that the two agreed areas be implemented as nothing more had been done and also that the third option be reconsidered.

The Chair reminded Members that this question should have been put to officers before being bought to the attention of the Board.

The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) advised that the issue was being looked into and it was intended that residents be consulted as parking in the village was already limited.  County Cllr Sweetland asked that Kent Highways be consistent as six months ago, KCC had issued an edict that no more double yellow lines would be installed on street/road corners. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) responded that a safety perspective would always be taken into account. The Highway Code stated that parking within 10 metres of a street corner was enforceable by the police although this was not a priority and police had the same finite resources being experienced by local government. It was noted that the police did not carry Fixed Penalty Notice books in their vehicles.

County Cllr Burden reminded the Board that last year the Government increased funding to increase police numbers. In addition, the Borough Council used to have an understanding with the Kent Police and other appropriate teams such as Environmental Services to enable them to swap out of hours powers. A question was raised as to whether this might still be a possibility.

County Cllr Sweetland advised he had a Member Highways Grant and would be happy to use this resource to pay for the installation of double yellow lines on the corner at the junction of Cob Lane and Forge Lane in Shorne. However, he only made this offer if the work could be carried out within a reasonable timescale of 4 months.

125.

Regular Parking Enforcement - Requested by Cllr Bob Lane

Reason: Existing parking restrictions are widely ignored in Shorne, since it appears that GBC's parking enforcement staff never visit Shorne.  Visits to Shorne should be included on their schedule.

Minutes:

Cllr Lane noted that this subject had already been discussed and he would await information from the Parking Services Manager in relation to CEO visits to parishes.

126.

Parrock Road, Gravesend - Speeding - Requested by Cllrs Marsh and Thompson

Reason - as agreed at the meeting of the Board on 5 June 2019. Please see below a link to the minutes:

http://democracy.gravesham.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=109&MId=3122&Ver=4

Minutes:

The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) reported that a request for the installation of lines and bollards had been passed to the contractor together with the requirement for increased candela and the work should be completed within the next three months.

Cllr Thompson, who referred this issue to the Board, reported that he was very disappointed as, at its last meeting, the Board had agreed that the District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) would conduct a full review of this stretch of road and bring all the possible solutions/options to make the road safer back to this meeting of the Board.

The Chair requested that officers bring a formal report to the next meeting of the Board. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) agreed to this request and offered to invite the appropriate officers from Kent County Council to attend the meeting.

127.

The Hill, Northfleet - Speeding issues and Accidents - Requested by Cllr Scollard

Reason: As agreed at the meeting of the Board on 5 June 2019. Please see below a link to the minutes:

http://democracy.gravesham.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=109&MId=3122&Ver=4

Minutes:

The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) reported that he had attended a meeting on the site with County Cllr Whiting, the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste and County Cllr Sullivan. Plans had been put forward which included the increase and alteration of lining and refreshing the candela (creating a rumble strip effect). Plans had since been sent to the appropriate officer for implementation. This site also fitted the criteria for a safety camera which might take up to six months to installed should it be approved.

The Board noted that the decision to install a safety camera on this site would fall within the remit of the Kent Community Safety Partnership. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) agreed to share Tara O’Shea’s contact details with County Cllr Sullivan.

A 20mph speed limit had been discussed at the site meeting but had not been favoured by the Cabinet Member. It was noted that Kent Police preferred not to enforce 20mph speed limits. However, a 20mph limit during school run times had been discussed.

128.

Highway Works Programme 2019/20 onwards pdf icon PDF 127 KB

This report updates Members on the identified schemes approved for construction.

 

Minutes:

The Board was presented with a report that provided an update on identified schemes approved for construction in 2019/20.

The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) advised that:

·                    the footway improvement scheme at Newmans Road was now complete.

 

·                    Following the flagging of replacing flagstone with tarmac in the town centre, the use of a new system of concrete slabs printed with a flagstone pattern was to be used instead. All utility companies were on board with this suggestions and a report would be submitted to the next meeting of the Board on this subject together with samples and photos.

With regard to the replacement of flagstones in the town centre, County Cllr Burden expressed concern as to what would be used to replace the concrete system when they had to be lifted. IT was explained that it was intended to keep a stock of replacements so the slabs could be replaced like for like.

Cllr Scollard asked why unbroken flagstones could not be re-used and rebedded. Some of the slabs in the town centre had been there for a long time and were part of the town’s heritage. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) explained that the old slabs often constituted a trip hazard and it was KCC’s policy to replace them. The new concrete print system would be trialled outside Tesco’s.

·                    The street lighting at the Pepper Hill Roundabout had been largely resolved with only four lighting columns now not working.

The Vice-Chair reported that on driving past the roundabout last night, 17 streetlights had been out including the signage uplighters on the Pepperhill Roundabout. Some of the streetlights on the A2 slip roads were also not working but this was acknowledged to be the responsibility of Highways England. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) undertook to check this issue again.

·                    KCC and the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation were trying to find out who was the responsible for the lighting at Church Path, Northfleet as they were not on the KCC asset list.

The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) was advised that this had been implemented by former County Cllr Leslie Christie and it remained a KCC footpath and he agreed to follow up of this matter.

·                     The meeting with Cllr Hills had not yet taken place in relation to the Lion roundabout.

 

·                     The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) and the Parking Services Manager had visited Ebbsfleet United Football Stadium in relation to commuter parking.

 

County Cllr Burden reported that a juggernaut and its trailer had been permanently parked outside the stadium. The Dutch owners (identified by the name on the truck) had been contacted but had denied ownership. KCC and Kent Police refused to take any action. The location of the parked truck was causing chaos with vehicles trying to access the site. The Parking Services Manager offered to pass the issue onto the GBC Waste Management Team. The District Manager – Gravesham (KCC) noted that if informed, Kent Police would track down the owners.

 

·                     The application for a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 128.

129.

Any Other Business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

None.