Agenda item - 2018/19 Local Transport Plan Capital Programme
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2018/19 Local Transport Plan Capital Programme
- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 20th March, 2018 4.00pm (Item 65.)
- View the background to item 65.
Report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture
That the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee:
1) Recommends that Policy, Resources & Growth Committee agree the 2018/19 Local Transport Plan capital programme budget allocation of £5.365 million to projects and programmes and notes the additional allocations for schemes agreed at Budget Council, as set out in Appendix 2 of this report
65.1 The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture that requested the Committee to recommend to Policy & Resources Committee the 2018/19 Local Transport Plan (LTP) capital programme budget allocation of £5.365 million to projects and programmes and to note the indicative allocation of future LTP budgets to projects and programmes for 2019/20 and 2020/21 to continue to fund the LTP 4-year Delivery Plan.
65.2 The Head of Transport Policy & Strategy referred to several corrections that were required to the report. The 2018/2019 sub-total column of the Capital Renewal/Maintenance Schemes in Appendix 2 should read £3,333 not £3,445. The 2020/2021 sub-total column of the Capital Renewal/Maintenance Schemes in Appendix 2 should read £2,110 not £1,110. Furthermore, the 2018/2019 total column of the Total LTP Allocations in Appendix 2 should read £5,365 not £5,477. The Head of Transport Policy & Strategy noted that the corresponding figures in paragraph 7.2 of the report were correct.
65.3 Councillor Littman stated that following a site visit to Shelter Hall, he understood the reasons why an increased budget was required and supported the increased allocation. Councillor Littman stated his disappointment that only £0.245 million was allocated to improving transport for walkers and cyclists that was an insufficient amount to improve air quality and promote healthier lifestyles for residents. Councillor Littman enquired as to progress toward the creation of a Cycling Strategy and for clarification on paragraph 3.21 and what the £0.055m allocation would be spent on.
65.4 The Head of Transport Policy & Strategy clarified that the £0.055m allocation referenced in paragraph 3.21 would go toward increasing provision of the city’s electric vehicle charging point network. In relation to the Cycling Strategy, the Assistant Director- City Transport answered that the development of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), referenced in the following report would in turn enable the development of a specific Cycling Strategy.
65.5 Councillor Wares asked if parking revenue could be allocated to eligible projects. Councillor Wares noted that there were approved projects on the high-risk/pedestrian crossing sites where work had not yet started and asked for assurance that the agreed allocated funding was still ring-fenced to these projects and they would still go ahead. Furthermore, Councillor Wares queried whether the figure of £1m over a three year period was correct for Valley Gardens: Phase 3- engagement and preliminary design as it appeared excessive. In conclusion, Councillor Wares asked what increase could be expected from the allocation of £50,000 funding to undertake work on investing Section 106 contributions.
65.6 In response to the questions raised, the Head of Transport Policy & Strategy clarified that projects and schemes previously approved by the committee would certainly go ahead and would be delivered ahead of any others. In relation to funds allocated to Valley Gardens Phase 3, the Head of Transport Policy & Strategy answered that the figures were correct but that engagement and preliminary design would take place in 2018/19 and detailed design and construction would be expected to take place in 2019/20 and 2020/21 using funding received from the Local Growth Fund subject to the approval of a business case. In response to the query raised on Section 106 contributions, the Head of Transport Policy & Strategy clarified that the allocation would be used for staff resource to develop the design for approved projects but it was not yet possible to estimate how many projects that officer time could deliver. The Head of Transport Policy & Strategy noted that details of parking revenue allocations were not detailed in this report but in the Parking Annual Report received by the committee at its previous meeting.
65.7 Councillor Wares stated that he understood £2.3m worth of transport-related Section 106 projects were awaiting implementation and asked if that figure would reduce sharply with the allocation of £50,000 funding.
65.8 The Head of Transport Policy & Strategy clarified that the majority of the £2.3m related to large, ongoing projects such as the Brighton Marina and 3T’s Hospital developments. Progress could be made quickly with projects of a smaller scale.
65.9 In relation to Shelter Hall, Councillor Wares stated that he was aware that the project funding shortfall was known at the end of 2016 and there had been various applications for new funding through the course of 2017 to reduce or offset that shortfall. Councillor Wares stated that his cause for concern was not that additional funding was required for the project but that the shortfall was known for a significant amount of time and had not been communicated in a transparent manner. Councillor Wares added that because there had been no contingency plan in the original proposal, funding had to be taken from the LTP Capital Programme to the detriment of other projects. In relation to recommendation 2.2 of the report, Councillor Wares highlighted that he would be voting against the proposal as there were too many uncertainties and gaps in the indicative allocations.
65.10 The Assistant Director- City Transport confirmed that there was an awareness of a funding shortfall late in 2016 that related to unforeseen ground conditions and the extra work required to keep the public safe and highway open. The Assistant Director- City Transport explained that when funding had originally been applied for, the full scale of works required was unknown as a thorough site assessment could not be undertaken due to the possibility of structural collapse. Costs were now more certain having secured a fixed priced contract for the remaining work. The Assistant Director- City Transport explained that over the past year a number of funding applications had been made that were unfortunately unsuccessful and discussion had taken place with central government ministers and the LEP to no avail.
65.11 Councillor Wares noted that the bids made to the LEP and DfT were unlikely to have been successful as both were in part already made contributions to the project. Councillor Wares stated that he strongly believed that potential funding should be found from elsewhere to free up LTP Capital Funding.
65.12 The Chair replied that potential funding would continue to be explored as had been relayed to lead spokespersons before the meeting.
65.13 Councillor West expressed his disappointment that the indicative funding for 2019/20 and 2020/21 was not clear and nor was there a comprehensive list of projects. Councillor West noted that paragraph 3.20 of the report outlined the benefits of promoting the benefits of cycling and walking yet only accounted for a small percentage of the overall budget, which he found an inadequate response to the issues posed to the city. Councillor West stated his concern that the committee were yet to receive a Cycling Strategy, the development of which had been agreed by the committee some months before. Councillor West added that a Cycling Strategy should not be confused by officers with a LCWIP which was a central government directive.
65.14 The Chair clarified that the committee had received a Notice of Motion (NoM) approved by Full Council and had agreed to note that NoM rather than agree to the request to develop a Cycling Strategy. Subsequent to the meeting and following discussions with the lead spokespersons on the committee, she had instructed officers to begin work on a Cycling Strategy, the results of which would be presented to a future committee meeting.
65.15 The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that initial discussions had been held on scoping the LCWIP. That was different from a full Cycling Strategy but was a first step in how the council could explore how to attain additional funding.
65.16 Councillor Janio asked for clarification on why Wilson Avenue and Roedean Road had been chosen for Intelligent Transport System (ITS) improvements as the area did not appear to be a vital transport link. Councillor Janio noted that a specific project board for the Valley Gardens scheme had been very productive for phases 1 and 2 and he hoped this would be the same for phase 3. Councillor Janio stated that funding shortfall relating to Shelter Hall meant that £1.5m out of the overall £5m LTP Capital Programme was being directed to that site. Councillor Janio asked when and who had made that decision and expressed his belief that an update should have been provided to Members when the full situation was known.
65.17 The Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture stated that whilst officers were aware of the potential budgetary pressures relating to the unforeseen costs of the Shelter Hall project, the full scale was not known until a tender process for the work was finalised and this had only been completed recently. Whilst this meant that it had not been possible to inform this committee of the scope of work required, the information had been reported to Policy, Resources &Growth Committee as part of its Targeted Budget Management (TBM) and capital allocation process and to Budget PR&G Committee and Budget Council that had agreed to the allocation.
65.18 In relation to the ITS improvements at Wilson Avenue and Roedean Road, the Head of Transport Policy & Strategy explained that this location had been identified as a key junction to the Marina and because the lights at the junction were nearing the end of their lifespan. Furthermore, the work was associated to S106 funding relating to the 3T’s development and there was a requirement that funding be spent within 2 kilometres of that location. The Head of Transport Policy & Strategy stated that phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme would take into account lessons learnt from phases 1 and 2 and the process would be similarly inclusive in its engagement.
65.19 The Chair noted that the lead spokespersons of the committee had received an email that day making clear that phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme would be conducted in an inclusive manner and that the three lead members of the committee would have a chance to review the proposed timetable.
65.20 Councillor Wares stated that whilst he acknowledged the explanation provided in relation to the unforeseen costs relating to Shelter Hall, there was an early awareness of the issue at the end of 2016 and the committee should have been notified at that stage.
65.21 The Chair then put recommendation 2.1 to the vote which passed.
65.22 The Chair then put recommendation 2.2 to the vote which failed.
65.23 RESOLVEDTO RECOMMEND- That the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee:
1) Recommends that Policy, Resources & Growth Committee agree the 2018/19 Local Transport Plan capital programme budget allocation of £5.365 million to projects and programmes and notes the additional allocations for schemes agreed at Budget Council, as set out in Appendix 2 of this report.
- 2018/19 Local Transport Plan Capital Programme, item 65. PDF 288 KB
- 2018/19 Local Transport Plan Capital Programme APX. n 1, item 65. PDF 420 KB