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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the ROADS COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 20 April 1999 at 4.40 pm.

Present: Councillors SANDY WEST, GEORGE ALLAN, WILLIAM CROWE, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN Councillors JACK GIBB, IAN MACKINTOSH, STEWART McGLYNN, BILL MIDDLETON, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, DAVID SELFRIDGE, and ALEX SHAND.

Also

in Attendance: Councillor GEORGE NORRIE

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor RICHARD SPEIRS.

Councillor WEST, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 March 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. PASS PLUS FOR NOVICE DRIVERS

There was submitted Report No 440/99 by the Director of Roads considering the potential benefits of the Pass Plus Scheme for young drivers and discussing how the Scheme might be encouraged by sponsoring drivers to take part. The Pass Plus Scheme had been launched by the Driving Standards Agency in 1996 and was aimed at drivers who had passed the driving test but who, by definition, had little or no experience of certain types of driving or road conditions.

The Report concluded that the Pass Plus Scheme had the potential to significantly reduce road accident casualty numbers in Angus and recommended that Angus Council should promote the Scheme with a view to increasing the number of young people in Angus who would participate.

The Committee agreed unanimously to suspend Standing Order 12 to hear Mr Cecil Ritchie, Anstruther, Fife in support of the Pass Plus Scheme.

Mr Ritchie informed the Committee that for personal reasons, that he had become involved in the promotion of road safety involving young drivers, and in particular the Pass Plus Scheme. He referred to the accident statistics set out in the Report and suggested that the introduction of the Scheme would not only reduce the number of injuries and fatalities arising from accidents involving young drivers but would also greatly reduce the cost to taxpayers in the longer term. He therefore welcomed the promotion of the Pass Plus Scheme by Angus Council to convert novice drivers to mature drivers so that they would be well prepared to cope with all road conditions.

Having heard various members in support of the Scheme, the Committee thanked Mr Ritchie for addressing the meeting and agreed:-

(i) to note the road safety benefits which would result from improved driver training;

(ii) to allocate the sum of £6,500 towards the promotion of the Pass Plus Scheme on a pilot basis for 100 drivers in 1999/2000; and

(iii) to support Mr Ritchie in any further representation he might make to the new Scottish Parliament to have the Scheme extended.

3. UTILISATION OF THE ROADS AND TRANSPORT RENEWAL AND REPAIRS FUND

There was submitted Report No 441/99 by the Director of Roads proposing that the Roads and Transport Renewal and Repairs Fund be utilised for various necessary works which could not be contained within the Financial Plan for 1999/2000. These works were of such a nature that further postponement would be likely to result in increased risk to public safety or more expensive remedial work in the longer term.

The Committee agreed that the Roads and Transport Renewal and Repairs Fund be utilised to carry out the following works:-

(i) the bridge strengthening and repair schemes listed in Appendix A to Report No 441/99;

(ii) the renewal and replacement of street lighting apparatus as listed in Appendix B;

(iii) the renewal and upgrading of traffic signals with pedestrian crossings listed in Appendix C;

(iv) the road reconstruction/overlay/resurfacing schemes listed in Appendix D; and

(v) the footway reconstruction schemes listed in Appendix E.

4. 1999-2000 VILLAGE GATEWAY PROGRAMME

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 439/99 by the Director of Roads discussing the provision of village gateways, recommending a programme for 1999/2000 and setting out the financial implications.

The Committee agreed to approve the programme of village gateway works listed in Appendix I to Report No 439/99 and noted that these schemes would be carried out in the financial year 1999-2000.

5. A90 FORFAR BYPASS - JUNCTION IMPROVEMENTS

There was submitted Report No 458/99 by the Director of Roads advising that, in September 1997, the Scottish Office had appointed the Director of Roads to conduct a feasibility study on possible improvements to the junctions on the A90 Forfar Bypass to reduce the accident rate at the junctions. On completion of the study, the Director of Roads had presented the findings to the Scottish Office. As a consequence of that presentation, the Scottish Office had extended the brief to include the preparation of preliminary designs to improve the A926 (Kirriemuir) and A94 (Glamis) junctions on the A90 at the Forfar Bypass.

Having heard the Provost, as the local member, welcome the Report, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the recent appointment by the Scottish Office of the Director of Roads to carry out preliminary design work prior to the preparation of contract documents in respect of the junction improvements proposed on the A90 Forfar Bypass (A926 and A94 junctions);

(ii) to welcome the decision by the Scottish Office to initiate the design of these junction improvements and to note that determination of construction works start dates would be a matter for the Scottish Parliament; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Roads to pursue the earliest possible start date with the Scottish Parliament.

6. ASSESSMENT OF ROAD BRIDGES IN THE OWNERSHIP OF RAILTRACK AND RAIL PROPERTY LIMITED - WESTHAVEN BRIDGE, CARNOUSTIE

With reference to Article 14 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 January 1999, there was submitted Report No 443/99 by the Director of Roads advising that Railtrack had carried out an exercise to identify and mitigate the risk to their bridges which had not yet been assessed by Angus Council. As a result of Railtrack’s assessment of their bridge carrying capacities, they had identified that a weight restriction would be required at Westhaven Bridge, Carnoustie.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the results of Railtrack’s exercise to identify the risk to their bridges resulting from the introduction of the increase in the maximum gross vehicle weight to 40 tonnes; and

(ii) to promote and implement a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to effect at an early date a 25 tonne gross vehicle weight restriction at Westhaven Bridge, Carnoustie, pending a subsequent structural assessment.

7. TRAFFIC ORDERS

(a) Update

With reference to Article 10(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 January 1999, there was submitted and noted Report No 437/99 by the Director of Roads providing, in an Appendix to the Report, an update of Traffic Regulation Orders currently being progressed and their stage of progress at 31 March 1999;

(b) Variation of Traffic Regulations at Birkhill, Muirhead and Bridgefoot

There was submitted Report No 436/99 by the Director of Roads on proposals to alter current traffic regulations in Coupar Angus Road, Birkhill and Kirkton of Auchterhouse Road, Bridgefoot, and to consolidate waiting restrictions in Birkhill, Muirhead and Bridgefoot into a single Angus Council Order.

Having heard Councillor Ellis, the local member, on existing waiting restrictions at Bridgefoot, the Committee agreed to promote a Traffic Regulation Order (i) to consolidate existing waiting restrictions in Birkhill, Muirhead and Bridgefoot, (subject to further minor alterations on the south side Dronley Road, Bridgefoot as agreed by the Director of Roads in consultation with Councillor Ellis,) and (ii) to effect minor changes to waiting restrictions at Coupar Angus Road, Birkhill and Kirkton of Auchterhouse Road, Bridgefoot.

(c) Variation of Speed Limits

There was submitted Report No 438/99 by the Director of Roads proposing the alteration of speed limits at Station Road, Barry and Kirkton of Auchterhouse in order to improve traffic safety.

The Committee agreed to promote the necessary Traffic Regulation Order to:-

(i) effect the change of speed limit at Station Road, Barry; and

(ii) extend a 30mph speed limit at Kirkton of Auchterhouse.

(d) Temporary Traffic Orders

There was submitted Report No 375/99 by the Director of Law and Administration advising that, at the request of the Director of Roads, the undernoted Temporary Traffic Orders had been made:-

(i) Angus Council (Golf Road, Kirriemuir) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 1999 - for two weeks from 15 February 1999 for the purpose of carriageway resurfacing;

(ii) Angus Council (High Street and Murray Street, Montrose) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 1999 - for five weeks from 15 February 1999 for the purpose of footway widening and gas and water services works;

(iii) Angus Council (High Street, Montrose) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 1999 - for five weeks from 22 March 1999 for the purpose of footway widening and carriageway reconstruction works; and

(iv) Angus Council (Westhaven Bridge, by Carnoustie) (Temporary Weight Restriction) Order 1999 - for twelve months to prevent possible damage to the structure of the bridge.

8. EXLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27(2), that the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following items so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 8 and 9.

9. ACCEPTANCE OF TENDERS

(a) 1999 Surface Dressing Programme

There was submitted Report No 442/99 by the Director of Roads detailing sites which would be surface dressed under the Roads Department’s programme for 1999 and recommending acceptance of the lowest tenders received for the works.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the sections of road which would be treated under the Roads Department’s Surface Dressing Programme for 1999 as outlined in the Appendix to Report No 442/99; and

(ii) to approve the acceptance of the lowest tender, being that submitted by Thistle Aggregates Ltd, in the amount of £104,828.42.

Councillor West declared an interest in the following item and took no part in the discussion thereon. Councillor Allan chaired the meeting for this item.

(b) Arbroath Harbour Dredging Contracts

There was submitted Report No 444/99 by the Director of Roads reporting on tenders received for (a) the dredging of Arbroath Harbour and (b) the dredging of the approach channel to the Harbour and recommending, for the reasons outlined in the Report, the acceptance of the contract for the dredging of the Harbour area only.

Having heard Councillor Shand express disappointment that the approach channel to the Arbroath Harbour would not be dredged at this time, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the acceptance of the lowest tender for the two year contract for the Harbour dredging, being that submitted by D Cook Ltd, Hull in the amount of £62,550;

(ii) to approve the estimated total cost of £64,550 (at outturn prices) for the works;

(iii) to note that allowance for this project could be met from the Arbroath Harbour Trading Account; and

(iv) to award no contract for the dredging of the approach channel at this time.

10. VALEDICTORY REMARKS

As this was the last meeting of this Committee to be held before the elections, the Convener thanked all the officers for the support which he and the Committee had received over the last four years.