Angus CouncilTel: 03452 777 778

ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the ROADS COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday 23 January 1997 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors SANDY WEST, GEORGE ALLAN, WILLIAM CROWE, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Councillors JACK GIBB, IAN MACKINTOSH, WILLIAM MIDDLETON, ROB MURRAY, ALEX SHAND and RICHARD SPEIRS.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors FRANK ELLIS and BRIAN MILNE.

Councillor WEST, Convener, in the Chair.

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order No 27(2), that the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Articles 2 and 3 below so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, Paragraphs 1, 4 and 6.

2. FLEET VEHICLES FOR ROADS DEPARTMENT SUPERVISORY STAFF - SELECTION OF TENDERERS

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 November 1996, there was submitted Report No 110/97 by the Director of Roads on the above matter (a) listing applications received in response to an advertisement which had been placed in local newspapers and trade journals inviting tenders; (b) detailing those firms which were considered to be best able to provide the required combination of quality of service and competitive prices to ensure overall value for money; (c) recommending that, in compliance with the Council’s Financial Regulations, tenders be invited from a select list of 6 firms identified in the Report; and (d) setting out the financial implications arising therefrom.

The Committee agreed to approve the proposed selection of a short list of tenderers for the provision of fleet vehicles for Roads Department supervisory staff.

3. ROADS DEPARTMENT - REVIEW OF DEPARTMENT’S STRUCTURE

There was submitted Joint Report No 112/97 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Personnel setting out the current operational structure of the Roads Department and recommending that a number of changes be made in relation to the roles of the Network Manager and the HQ Manager.

The Report concluded that the adoption of the staffing structure proposed in Appendix 2 to the Report would improve operational efficiency and effectiveness and enable the Department to meet commitments previously approved by the Roads Committee. The detailed financial implications arising from the proposals were summarised in Appendix 3 to the Report.

The Committee agreed to note and approve the terms of the Report for its interest and recommended to the Personnel and Property Services Committee that the revised structure be approved.

4. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 November 1996 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

5. MEMBER/OFFICER GROUP DRAFT REPORT

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 10 December 1996, there was submitted Report 1049/96 by the Chief Executive, together with the Member/Officer Group draft Reports on Youth Strategy, Economic Development Strategy, Equal Opportunities Strategy, Rural Affairs Strategy, Community Regeneration Strategy and Valuing Staff.

The Committee, for its interest, noted and approved the terms of the draft Reports.

6. WHITE COLLAR SERVICES - CCT: MARKET CONSULTATION

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Local Services Contracts Sub-Committee of 19 December 1996, there was submitted Report No 108/97 advising of the market consultation exercise which had recently been undertaken under the CCT Regulations.

The Committee agreed to note:-

(i) the content of Report No 956/96 reported to the Local Services Contracts Sub-Committee on 19 December 1996; and

(ii) that the market consultation in respect of Roads Department engineering services as required by the CCT Regulations had been carried out within the framework of a corporate strategy as described in Report No 956/96.

7. MONTROSE INNER RELIEF ROAD - AND OTHER WORKS

(a) Environmental Improvements of Market and West End Park, Montrose

There was submitted Joint Report No 59/97 by the Director of Recreation Services and the Director of Roads advising of proposals to upgrade Market Park and West End Park, as part of the landscape environmental improvement in association with the Montrose Inner Relief Road, which would be funded by Scottish Enterprise Tayside. The Report recommended that the offers for the proposals for Phase 1 received from Angus Council Contract Services be accepted, subject to confirmation of finance by SET.

Having noted that the terms of the Report had been approved by the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee on 16 January 1997 (Article 5 refers), the Committee agreed to approve the terms of the Report for its interest.

(b) Formal Opening Arrangements

In connection with the above Article, the Convener announced that the official opening of the Montrose Inner Relief Road, to be known as Basin View and Medicine Well Drive would take place on Friday 28 February 1997.

(c) Montrose Town Centre - Streetscape Concept Design

There was submitted Joint Report No 83/97 by the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development and the Director of Roads advising that, earlier this year, Scottish Enterprise Tayside had commissioned the consultants, Gillespies, to develop a Streetscape Concept Design for Montrose Town Centre together with Public Art and Signing/Interpretation Strategies for the town.

The Report outlined the main elements of the "Montrose Economic and Environmental Projects" study by Gillespies which identified Montrose as having a superlative setting with its history and townscape all contributing fundamentally to the quality of life of its inhabitants. Montrose therefore had potential to be a major factor in attracting tourists. However, the study also revealed a number of weaknesses, including the gradual erosion of the quality of the townscape, a lack of identifiable image and inadequate information and interpretation about the town. The strategy outlined in the study attempted to tackle these weaknesses in a manner which was highly appropriate to the town and could be achievable within a realistic timescale.

Having noted that a presentation on Report No 83/97 would be given at a meeting of the Planning and Transport Policy Committee, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve in principle the Streetscape Concept Design for the Montrose Town Centre and the Public Art and Signing/Interpretation Strategies for Montrose;

(ii) to undertake a public consultation exercise with a view to the outcome being reported back in due course.

8. A90 FORFAR BYPASS JUNCTIONS - ROAD SAFETY

There was submitted Report No 104/97 by the Director of Roads discussing the continuing accident problems at the A94/A929 Coupar Angus Road/Glamis Road and the A926 Kirriemuir Road junctions on the A90 Forfar Bypass and setting out the injury accident statistics relating to these junctions from 1987 to 1996.

Having noted comments by Provost Mrs Duncan on the unacceptably high accident rate, the Committee agreed that the Chief Executive should write to the Scottish Office Development Department in the strongest possible terms (i) expressing, once again, concerns at the continuing accidents at the A94/A929 Coupar Angus/Glamis Road and the A926 Kirriemuir Road junctions on the A90 Forfar Bypass and (ii) recommending that they include the provision of grade separation at both these junctions in the trunk road programme at the earliest possible opportunity.

9. A92 DUNDEE - ARBROATH - MONTROSE - DEVELOPMENTS

(a) Proposed Upgrading (A92 Dundee-Arbroath): Update

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 November 1996, there was submitted Report No 103/97 by the Director of Roads referring to recent correspondence between the Scottish Office Minister of State and the Chief Executive and developments on the A92 upgrading project.

The Report indicated that the viability of the upgrading of the Dundee-Arbroath section to dual carriageway, procured on a private finance initiative (PFI) basis, was dependent upon the availability of sufficient capital funding to enable the project to proceed and on the affordability to the Council of the future revenue funding consequences. These issues were currently the subject of continuing discussion between the Secretary of State, the Scottish Office, the Council and COSLA and, until agreement was reached on this matter, the final decision on the viability of the project could not be taken.

In this connection, the Convener drew the attention of the Committee to a further letter from the Scottish Office to the Chief Executive and expressed his disappointment that this latest correspondence was not helpful in resolving the future funding of the project.

Following discussion, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the recent correspondence between the Minister of State and the Chief Executive in respect of the proposed upgrading of the A92 Dundee-Arbroath Road;

(ii) to note that the key questions of the net revenue implications and affordability to the Council would not be answerable until finalisation of the ongoing dialogue between the Loans and Leasing Group of COSLA’s Distribution Committee and the Scottish Office Local Government Finance Unit; and

(iii) to request a further Report to this Committee in due course.

(b) National Tourist Route

There was submitted Joint Report No 106/97 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development which considered the implications of the recent decision by the Scottish Tourist Board to designate the A92 between Dundee and Aberdeen as a National Tourist Route.

Having noted that the terms of the Report would also be considered by the Planning and Transport Policy Committee, the Committee agreed, for its interest:-

(i) to note the recent decision by the Scottish Tourist Board to designate the A92 between Dundee and Aberdeen as a National Tourist Route;

(ii) to note that the Director of Roads was investigating the provision, maintenance and funding of suitable signs in conjunction with the other affected parties with a view to having these provided before the start of the 1997 tourist season;

(iii) to note that the Angus and Dundee Tourist Board and the Scottish Tourist Board were looking at means of marketing the route;

(iv) to approve the name "Angus Coastal Tourist Route to Aberdeen/Dundee" as the preferred name for the route;

(v) that, in the event that the three participating Councils were unable to agree on a mutually acceptable name, the final choice should be left with the Scottish Tourist Board;

(vi) that the Chief Executive should again write to the Scottish Tourist Board seeking the provision of additional tourist route signing being extended to the Friarton Bridge, Broxden Roundabout and the Tay Road Bridge turn-off on the A90; and

(vii) to note that a further Report would be submitted in due course.

10. TOURISM SIGNING POLICY BOOKLET

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 October 1996, there was submitted Report No 111/97 by the Director of Roads drawing the Committee’s attention to the production of a booklet entitled "Tourism Signing Policy" setting out the qualifying criteria for the use of tourism signs in Angus.

Having noted that the terms of the Report would also be considered by the Planning and Transport Policy Committee, the Committee agreed to note that a "Tourism Signing Policy" booklet had been prepared which would be made available free of charge to prospective applicants for tourism signing.

11. FRIOCKHEIM TRAFFIC CALMING

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 6 June 1996, there was submitted Report No 105/97 by the Director of Roads presenting detailed proposals for a traffic calming scheme through the village of Friockheim and setting out the financial implications.

The Committee welcomed the traffic calming scheme for Friockheim detailed in the Report and agreed that it be put into effect at the earliest opportunity.

12. VARIATION OF SPEED LIMITS

There was submitted Report No 107/97 by the Director of Roads dealing with proposed alterations to speed limits at Kirriemuir, Hillside and Montrose. In order to alter or extend the existing speed limits or impose new speed limits, the current Orders would require to be amended, and the Report set out the financial implications.

The Committee agreed to the promotion of the necessary Traffic Regulation Variation Orders:-

(i) to effect changes to the speed limits at Cortachy Road, Kirriemuir and Coronation Avenue, Montrose from 60 mph to 40 mph; and

(ii) to extend the 30 mph speed limits at Brechin Road, Kirriemuir, Dubton Road, Hillside and Charleton Road, Montrose

13. TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDERS

(a) Update

With reference to Article 15(d) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 17 October 1996, there was submitted Report No 109/97 by the Director of Roads providing, in an Appendix to the Report, an update on those Traffic Regulation Orders currently being processed and their stage of progress at 16 December 1996.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

(b) Temporary Traffic Order

There was submitted and noted Report No 40/97 by the Director of Law and Administration advising that, at the request of the Director of Roads, the Angus Council (High Street and Murray Street, Montrose) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 1996 had been made to cover a period of five hours on 15 December 1996 in conjunction with a Christmas Extravaganza.

14. COSLA INITIATIVE: LACK OF RESOURCES FOR ROADS AND TRANSPORT

There was submitted Report No 113/97 by the Director of Roads, outlining in a Note attached to the Report, an initiative being carried out via COSLA with respect to highlighting concerns about the impact of lack of resources on all aspects of roads and transport activities.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the ongoing initiative via COSLA whereby the Roads Committee Conveners and Directors of all the local authorities in Scotland were co-ordinating details of the severe under funding of roads and transport activities;

(ii) to note the Angus situation, which was typical of many other Scottish local authorities, whereby substantial underfunding of structural maintenance in the short term would undoubtedly lead to much more costly surfacing/reconstruction treatments in the future;

(iii) to approve the participation of the Convener of the Roads Committee and Director of Roads in the COSLA campaign, the primary objective of which would be to highlight the magnitude and "build-up" effect of under provision for roads structural maintenance funding across all Scottish local authorities, with a view to securing additional monies for roads and transport funding from Central Government; and

(iv) to note that a further Report would be submitted to this Committee in due course on the development of a national initiative.