Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Gravesend, Kent

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

Items
No. Item

68.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Colin Caller, Cllr Tan Dhesi (KCC) and Parish Councillor Pat Luxford (Meopham)

 

69.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

The Chair explained that the attendance list on the minutes had been corrected by replacing Linda Carnell (Higham Parish Council) and Sheila Buchanan (Meopham Parish Council) with Elizabeth Jeffrey (Higham Parish Council) and Pat Luxford (Meopham Parish Council)

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2017 were signed by the Chair.

 

70.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.   

 

71.

Arriva Bus Routes in Gravesham - General Discussion

Minutes:

The Board welcomed the Arriva Commercial Manager and Arriva Northfleet General Manager and discussed Arriva Bus Routes in Gravesham.

 

The Arriva Commercial Manager highlighted the following:

 

  • There are 174 drivers in Northfleet and 70 vehicles
  • The Biggest challenge is traffic; it is very unpredictable, the A2 / Dartford Crossing is an issue which makes journeys longer and less predictable so more buses are required.
  • 95% of services are commercial

 

 

County Councillor Bryan Sweetland explained that he had attended a meeting earlier today with Borough Councillors and members of the public where an Arriva representative answered questions and the following issues were discussed:

 

  • Issues with the 306 and 308 route
  • Punctuality issues
  • The fact that people now have to change buses for Bluewater access
  • Difficulty getting to Darent Valley Hospital
  • No Sunday Service anymore

 

The Arriva representative said that he would take back the issues raised and look into a change in timetable to assist with the punctuality problem.

 

 

The Arriva Commercial Manager highlighted the following:

  • Arriva look at the timetable for the 306 and 308 every year but it almost becomes out of date as soon as it’s finalised due to traffic issues.
  • The biggest challenge is the size of the route – it’s hard to catch up when there are delays.
  • The Bluewater service was cancelled due to the volume of traffic.
  • Darent Valley Hospital is challenging to serve; there’s a balance to be struck there.
  • The 306 and 308 don’t make Arriva any money; the Sunday service was not used enough so it was withdrawn.
  • Evenings are another challenge; they’re not very attractive to people, it’s hard getting the amount of buses right.

 

 

 

 

The Arriva Commercial Manager fielded questions from the Board and highlighted the following:

 

  • Arriva has a Punctuality Improvement Partnership with KCC that looks at junctions and hotspots.
  • Arriva work with railway stations where they can but there are too many on the 306 and 308 route.
  • 90% to 95% of Arriva drivers do a good job but they could perhaps be friendlier; this will be fed back. Arriva drivers do undertake training including customer service and disability awareness training.
  • Hard copies of bus timetables are still produced and placed in locations such as Gravesend library.
  • The driver is half the cost of running a bus.

 

The Arriva Commercial Manager agreed to pass on the performance percentage for the 306 and 308 route to the Board and advised that it definitely wasn’t hitting 95%.

 

 

The Arriva Commercial Manager and Northfleet General Manager requested that their email addresses be circulated to the Board for future use. The Committee Services Officer undertook to pass on the contact details.

 

The Board thanked the Arriva Commercial Manager and Northfleet General Manager for attending the meeting.

 

72.

Gravesham Highway Works Programme 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

The Gravesham District Manager presented a report to the Board updating Members on the schemes that have been programmed for delivery in 2017/18, including:

 

  • Footway and Carriageway Improvement Schemes
  • Drainage Repairs & Improvements
  • Street Lighting
  • Transportation and Safety Schemes

-       Casualty Reduction Measures

-       Externally funded schemes

-       Local Growth Fund

  • Developer Funded Works
  • Bridge Works
  • Traffic Systems
  • Combined Member Fund

 

The Board discussed the Highways Works Programme and the following was agreed:

 

  • The Gravesham District Manager agreed to provide further details on the Lion Roundabout Developer Funded Works and look into speeding vehicles from Dering Way
  • The Gravesham District Manager agreed to look into the coordination of works (drainage and road resurfacing) in Forge Lane, Shorne.
  • The Gravesham District Manager agreed to come back to the Board with further details about the Cyclopark works.

 

 

The Gravesham District Manager explained that Nikola Floodgate, Schemes Planning & Delivery Manager, has confirmed that yellow lines won’t be funded generally anymore. However; if there is a crash cluster and yellow lines are needed on safety grounds Kent Highways will do them.

 

The Highways Manager explained that regular monthly meetings are held with the police; each highways incident is looked at in great detail and if the police think Kent Highways should take action they provide recommendations. Kent Highways do not receive many recommendations because many accidents are due to driver behaviour.

 

 

The Board congratulated Kent Highways for their good work during the period of heavy snow and requested that their thanks be passed back to the relevant teams.

 

 

Resolved that the Board noted the information contained within the report and agreed the following:

 

·         The Gravesham District Manager provide further details on the Lion Roundabout Developer Funded Works and look into speeding vehicles from Dering Way

·         The Gravesham District Manager look into the coordination of works (drainage and road resurfacing) in Forge Lane, Shorne.

·         The Gravesham District Manager to come back to the Board with further details about the Cyclopark works.

 

73.

Petitions from residents at the JTB (KCC Petition Scheme) pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Minutes:

County Cllr Bryan Sweetland explained that he had asked that this matter come to the Board to clarify the Boards position on petitions and to put forward his view that the Board should be happy to accept petitions from residents; especially as some areas / villages are too small to meet the requested amount of signatures for certain petition schemes.

 

The Gravesham District Manager highlighted the KCC Petition Scheme to the Board and explained the current KCC process for petitions, so future petitions can be forwarded to KCC to follow the correct format for a formal response. 

 

The Highways Manager explained that Joint Transportation Board agreements are not standard so the Board could look at their agreement and work with KCC on this matter.

 

County Cllr Diane Marsh highlighted the value of petitions and explained that the work to achieve speed reduction at Valley Drive had begun with a petition.

 

The Board discussed the subject of Petitions at JTB and agreed that they’d like to look at the original JTB Legal Agreement between KCC and GBC and amend it to include some guidance / protocol for Petitions coming to the Board.

 

Resolved that the Board look at the original JTB Legal Agreement between KCC and GBC with the view to amending it to include some guidance / protocol for Petitions coming to the Board. The Board will discuss this matter further at its next meeting.

 

 

74.

Petition - Speed Limits and Traffic Calming in The Ridgeway and Pear Tree Lane - Request from Cllr Robin Theobald pdf icon PDF 341 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received a petition signed by 228 Shorne residents, presented by Cllr Robin Theobald, to implement traffic calming and extended 30 mph speed limits in The Ridgeway and Pear Tree Lane in an effort to make the road safer for residents, pedestrians and other road users.

 

Cllr Robin Theobald clarified that action on this matter has already begun with Kent Highways putting down speed monitors and County Cllr Bryan Sweetland agreeing to fund the scheme. Therefore; Cllr Robin Theobald asked the Board to endorse the petition but note that action is already taking place.

 

 

Resolved that the Board unanimously endorse the petition to KCC to implement traffic calming and extended 30 mph speed limits in The Ridgeway and Pear Tree Lane and note the work that has already begun.

 

75.

Parking in Pitfield Drive (junction A227), Meopham - request from KCC Cllr Bryan Sweetland pdf icon PDF 758 KB

Minutes:

County Cllr Bryan Sweetland, on behalf of the residents at Pitfield Drive and Meopham Parish Council, highlighted the parking problems in Pitfield Drive (junction A227), Meopham for discussion by the Board.

 

The Board discussed the best way forward with this matter and agreed that a letter from the Enforcement Team (KCC Kent Highways) placed on the inappropriately parked cars would be the best option.

 

The Gravesham District Manager agreed to take this matter forward and produce an appropriate letter template.

 

Resolved that the Board agreed that a letter from KCC Kent Highways Enforcement Team be drafted to discourage inappropriate parking in Pitfield Drive, Meopham

76.

New traffic system following the Rathmore Road development in Gravesend - General Discussion - request from Cllr Leslie Hills

Minutes:

Cllr Leslie Hills highlighted the issues with the new traffic system following the Rathmore Road development in Gravesend.

 

 

The Gravesham District Manager provided the Board with the following update:

 

         Update from Richard Shelton Project Manager for KCC responsible for             the delivery of Rathmore Road Scheme, questions from John Pexton             Project Manager GBC

 

1.    Q: Vehicles back up in Wrotham Road from its junction with Rathmore Road, round Woodville Place and back to Lord Street. Part of this appears to be linked to traffic queuing at the traffic lights at the Rathmore Road I Darnley Road junction. Are the timings reasonable on those lights or does the time they are green need extending. The knock on impact is rat running through Cobham or DarnleyStreet

(whichever one allows traffic to drive westward).

 

A: The traffic systems engineers have recently increased the green time at this Junction to aid traffic flow, is there still an issue here.

 

2.     Q: Someof thetailback in WrothamRoad isdue tothe hatchingof the offside'lane'. Cars stay to the left when they intend going straight ahead at the Rathmore Road junction towards Thamesgate, lengthening the queue here rather than spreading the weight across the two possible lanes. Safety is also compromised as some drivers (myself included) are aware that the hatching is edged by a broken rather than solid line, so driving over it is not an offence.  This can cause issues when those in the left lane pull across at the end of the hatching without checking their mirrors, or they are unable to pull across due to traffic to their offside, resulting in them blocking the lane that turns into Rathmore Road.

 

A: The comment is noted, although this had not previously been picked up as an issue. We will review to see if the traffic has become more aware of the layout and using the ahead lane for Thamesgate now that the layout has had a chance to bedin.

 

 

3.    Q: When traffic tails back to Lord Street, drivers coming out of the lights there to head round to Rathmore Road, block the way for traffic heading south alongside community square, this in turn can back around railway place to Rathmore Road, resulting in a circular blockage with no-one able to move anywhere. A yellow box at the junction wouldassist.

 

A: I would be happy to install a yellow box at this junction if this is still perceived to be a problem now that the traffic has had time to become accustomed to the new layout. Subject to agreement from the District Manager.

 

4.    Q: Finally there are times when traffic tails back from the lights at Railway Place, beyond the Rathmore Road junction. This prevents traffic joining Stone Street from Rathmore Road and has a knock-on impact into Wrotham Road. This may be an issue with traffic light timings but, again, maybe a yellow box(es  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.