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Roads Committee

ANGUS COUNCIL MINUTE of MEETING of the ROADS COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday 8 March 2001 at 5.45 pm.

Present: Councillors SANDY WEST, KITTY RITCHIE, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN OBE, Councillors JOHN HENDERSON, ALEX KING, STEWART McGLYNN, IAN MACKINTOSH, PETER MURPHY, ROBERT MYLES, HELEN OSWALD, DAVID SELFRIDGE and RICHARD SPEIRS.

Also present with the concurrence of the Committee: Councillor GEORGE NORRIE MBE

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor STEPHEN LESLIE.

Councillor WEST, Convener, in the Chair.

The following matter was, on the determination of the Convener, dealt with as a matter or urgency, in light of recent events surrounding the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.

1. FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE OUTBREAK ­ DISINFECTANT SOAKED STRAW ON PUBLIC ROADS

The Convener indicated that the Scottish Executive Rural Affairs Department had issued the following advice relative to the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak:-

"Farmers are being advised to take all sensible precautions to minimise the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease. One common and effective measure is to place straw soaked in disinfectant across roads leading to farms. This is quite straight forward when the road is private, but procedural difficulties are arising when farmers wish to do the same on public roads.

SERAD's original advice was that farmers should check with local police before laying down straw across public roads. In some cases this had led to them being referred back and forward between police and local authority Roads Departments. The Executive consider that this is an effective precautionary measure and we would be grateful if police and Roads Departments could agree to such requests for minor public roads unless there are specific reasons, such as safety, for not doing so".

The Committee agreed to note that, in accordance with the above advice, Angus Council's Roads Department had already been working proactively by agreeing to any such requests from the farming community for straw soaked in disinfectant across public roads and ensuring that road safety considerations were taken into account when placing such measures close to junctions.

2. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 January 2001 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

Councillor Ritchie declared an interest in Item 3(iv) below and took no part in the consideration thereof.

3. ROADS DEPARTMENT ­ PROGRESS ON SERVICE PLAN 2000/2001

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 27 April 2000, there was submitted Report No 335/01 by the Director of Roads giving a brief overview of the progress made on the Roads Department's Service Plan for the 2000/2001 financial year and summarising progress against the 2000/2001 priority objectives in relation to engineering and design, traffic, maintenance and street lighting.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the significant progress made towards achieving the objectives stated in the 2000/2001 Service Plan as detailed in Appendix A to the Report;

(ii) to note that the Service Plan for 2001/2002 would be submitted for Committee approval early in the new financial year;

(iii) to note the important part the Service Plan continued to play in demonstrating compliance with the Best Value process; and

(iv) to note that, in relation to environmental improvements being undertaken by the Engineering and Design Section, the capital monies for Montrose Closes had recently been split 50/50 between the Closes and the Marquis of Montrose Statue Landscaping Works.

4. INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS ­ ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPAL ENGINEERS ­ SCOTTISH DIVISION

There was submitted Report No 336/01 by the Director of Roads advising that he had been appointed Chair of the Association of Municipal Engineers ­ Scotland for 2000/2001 at their Annual General Meeting held in October 2000.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to congratulate the Director of Roads on his appointment;

(ii) to note that, in line with tradition, a one day conference would be held by the Association in Angus in October 2001; and

(iii) to note that, in accordance with the Council's Corporate Priorities, the Director's appointment would facilitate in achieving enhanced recognition of Angus Council throughout Scotland and further afield during his year of appointment.

5. NORTH SEA CYCLE ROUTE ­ GRAND OPENING 5 MAY - 23 JUNE 2001

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 11 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 327/01 by the Director of Roads concerning the official opening of the North Sea Cycle Route and requesting authority to make arrangements to mark the opening of the route as cyclists passed through Angus.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the overall arrangements which were being made for the official opening of the North Sea Cycle Route between 5 May and 23 June 2001;

(ii) to approve the holding of a ceremony/ceremonies within Angus on Thursday 21 June/Friday 22 June to which various dignitaries, guests and riders would be invited to mark the occasion;

(iii) to note that a poster competition was being held for schoolchildren from primary schools adjacent to the route as part of the arrangements to mark the opening of the route; and

(iv) to note that a further report would be brought to this Committee giving details of the arrangements.

6. A92 PROJECT - THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT DIMENSION

With reference to Article (11) of the minute of meeting of the Planning and Transport Policy Committee held earlier this day, there was submitted Joint Report No 307/01 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Planning and Transport which identified, in summary format, the opportunities which the A92 project presented to improve and enhance the public transport services along the coastal corridor.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed to approve the recommendations in the Report.

7. RESERVOIRS ACT 1975 ­ BIENNIAL REPORT

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 June 1999, there was submitted Report No 332/01 by the Director of Roads summarising the duties of the Council as enforcement authority under the Reservoirs Act 1975 and updating the Committee in respect of the Biennial Report for the reservoirs within Angus submitted to Scottish Ministers.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Biennial Report submitted to Scottish Ministers.

8. SAFER ROUTES TO SCHOOLS

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 6 March 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 296/01 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Education updating the Committee on progress already made on the Safer Routes to Schools programme and seeking approval to continue with this programme in 2001/2002.

Having heard Councillor Ritchie and Provost Duncan, local members, on the need to progress the programme, the Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note that to date, there had been no resolution to the negotiations with Railtrack regarding the flooding of the footpath at the railway bridge between Hillside and Montrose Academy but that this problem would be addressed as soon as possible;

(ii) to note that the proposal for a cycle lane at Craig o' Loch Road/Queenswell Road, Forfar had been postponed pending the construction of the junction improvement at Castle Street for the new Tesco Superstore, but that it was hoped that works would commence on site as soon as possible and that the cycle path could be completed within approximately 14 weeks;

(iii) to note the progress already made on the Safer Routes to Schools programme;

(iv) to note that, to date, there had been no indication that there would be any further direct funding from the Scottish Executive for Safer Routes to Schools to maintain the momentum generated by the additional Capital funding of £109,000 received in 2000/2001; and

(v) to authorise the Director of Education and the Director of Roads to prepare a programme for Safer Routes to Schools in 2001/2002 for approval by the relevant Committees.

9. ASSESSMENT OF ROAD BRIDGES IN THE ANGUS COUNCIL AREA IN THE OWNERSHIP OF RAILTRACK AND RAIL PROPERTY LTD ­ 2001 UPDATE

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 27 January 2000, there was submitted Report No 333/01 by the Director of Roads regarding the progress on the assessment of eleven Railtrack bridges and four Rail Property Ltd bridges carrying public roads in Angus. The Report gave details of proposals to complete the outstanding assessments, and compared Angus Council with progress being made by other local authorities. The proposals would allow the programme to assess all privately owned bridges in the Angus Council area to be expedited as early as possible, following which the Council would be in a position to prioritise any strengthening work required.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the current progress on assessment of public road bridges in Angus owned by Railtrack Ltd and Rail Property Ltd;

(ii) to note the proposed method of progressing the outstanding assessments; and

(iii) to note the progress made by Angus Council in comparison to other local authorities.

10. DUNLAPPIE BRIDGE REPLACEMENT

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 24 August 2000, there was submitted Report No 326/01 by the Director of Roads detailing the options available for Dunlappie Bridge and recommending that the existing listed structure be replaced with a "Bailey Bridge" type structure with a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years.

Having heard Councillor Myles, local member, welcome the Report, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note that the Director of Roads and the Director of Finance had investigated the funding issue regarding Dunlappie Bridge, and that whilst there had been some additional funding made available for the roads network, this was insufficient to meet the shortfall in the budget available for a permanent replacement bridge given other priorities within the road network and the limitations of the Council's capital budget; and

(ii) to approve the replacement of the listed structure with a permanent "Bailey Bridge" type structure with a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, subject to a Notice of Intention to Develop and Listed Building Consent being approved.

11. GENERAL FUND REVENUE AND CAPITAL BUDGET 2001/2002 ­ E GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES AND SKID RESISTANCE AND ROAD SAFETY WORKS

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of the special meeting of Angus Council of 15 February 2001, there was submitted Joint Report No 334/01 by the Director of Finance and the Director of Roads seeking approval for the transfer of funds from the Local Capital Fund to meet expenditure pressures which could not be accommodated in setting the 2001/2002 revenue and capital budgets. In addition, it was proposed to transfer Renewal and Repair Fund resources to the Roads 2001/2002 revenue budget, with these transferred resources to be used to fund E-Government initiatives and a programme of skid resistance and aligned road safety works in financial year 2001/2002

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the proposed transfer of resources from the Local Capital Fund (£430,000) and Roads and Transport Renewal and Repair Fund (£100,000) to the Roads 2001/2002 revenue budget, as outlined in the Report; and

(ii) to note that the Director of Roads would bring forward a Report to the next meeting of the Roads Committee providing details and costings of a programme of skid resistance works.

12. WINTER MAINTENANCE EXPENDITURE

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 March 2001, there was submitted Report No 331/01 by the Director of Roads informing the Committee of the projected expenditure on winter maintenance for 2000/2001, taking into account the severity of the winter maintenance season and, in particular, the heavy snow events at Christmas/New Year, from 3 to 6 February 2001 and 25 to 27 February 2001.

The Committee commended the dedication and commitment of those members of staff who had worked to clear the snow and ice in the severe weather conditions and agreed:-

(i) to note the projected expenditure for Winter Maintenance of £1,660,000 for 2000/2001 (compared to the Budget of £1,280,000) for third party payments; and

(ii) to note that the Director of Roads and the Director of Finance had taken steps to manage the effects of this projected overspend and contain it within the Roads Department's overall Revenue Budget and the Roads and Transport Renewal and Repair Fund.

13. TRAFFIC ORDERS

(a) Update

With reference to Article 6(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 23 November 2000, there was submitted Report No 329/01 by the Director of Roads providing, in the Appendix to the Report, an update of Traffic Regulation Orders currently being promoted and their stage of progress, as at 1 February 2001.

Having heard Councillor Norrie, local member, on the proposed closure at Panter Crescent, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the Appendix to the Report; and

(ii) to note that the Traffic Order in relation to Panter Crescent, Montrose had been advertised and would be subject to public consultation.

(b) Variation of Speed Limits

There was submitted Report No 328/01 by the Director of Roads, recommending, in response to concerns of local residents regarding the speed of traffic, alterations to current speed limits at Inchbare, by Edzell, and Dundee Road, Forfar.

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

(i) to effect changes to the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph at Inchbare, by Edzell; and

(ii) to introduce a 40mph speed limit on a section of the Dundee Road, Forfar.

(c) Variation of Waiting Restrictions at Arbroath, Carnoustie and Montrose

There was submitted Report No 330/01 by the Director of Roads proposing, for the reasons outlined in the Report, the creation of separate Angus Council Traffic Regulation Orders covering Arbroath, Carnoustie and Montrose to replace the existing Tayside Region Orders for those burghs, and to introduce additional waiting restrictions.

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

(i) to revoke the current Tayside Regional Council Orders for Arbroath, Carnoustie and Montrose and create replacement Angus Council Orders pertaining to those burghs; and

(ii) to introduce additional waiting restrictions in these burghs as detailed in Report No 330/01.

(d) Temporary Traffic Orders

With reference to Article 11(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 January 2001, there was submitted and noted Report No 337/01 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 (Hill Street, Arbroath) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 2001 for two weeks from 20 January 2001 for the purpose of carriageway repairs;

(ii) Angus Council (Kirkton of Menmuir) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 2001 for two weeks from 22 January 2001 for the purpose of replacing a culvert;

(iii) Angus Council (River Street, Brechin) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 2001 for six weeks from 22 January 2001 for the purpose of laying a new sewer;

(iv) Angus Council (High Street, Brechin) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving) Order 2001 for approximately seven hours on 11 January 2001 on the occasion of a film shoot; and

(v) Angus Council (Woodville, Arbroath) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving and Temporary Speed Restriction) Order 2001 for six weeks from 12 February 2001 for the purpose of carriageway repairs.

14. SAVE THE POUND STALL ­ CARNOUSTIE HIGH STREET

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee on 29 January 2001, the Committee agreed to homologate the decision taken by the Convener, in consultation with the Director of Roads, to permit the Angus Conservative and Unionist Association to have a "Save the Pound" stall under the canopy at the Spar Store in Carnoustie High Street on Saturday 3 March 2001 from 10.00 am until 2.00 pm.

15. EXCLUSION 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 item 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, paragraph 1.

16. TRUNK ROAD CONTRACT- NORTH-EAST UNIT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 12 October 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 325/01 by the Director of Roads and the Director of Personnel updating the Committee on the Scottish Executive's decisions on the Trunk Road Network in Scotland and assessing the impact to Angus Council on losing the North-East Unit contract.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note that the Scottish Executive had announced that the Trunk Road North-East Unit contract had been awarded to BEAR Scotland Ltd;

(ii) to note that the two members of staff seconded to the TPU Trunk Road works since 1996 would return to Angus Council Roads Department's staff establishment as from 1 April 2001;

(iii) to note that the Scottish Executive had initiated an inquiry via the Transport and Environment Committee into the wider picture on issues relating to the tendering and award procedures for the four Trunk Road Units which had all now been awarded;

(iv) to note that the Scottish Executive would be subject to an audit by Audit Scotland on issues relating to the tendering and award of the Trunk Road Contracts; and

(v) to note that the Director of Roads was liaising closely with the Managing Director, Tayside Contracts on staffing operational issues relative to Tayside Contracts staff currently based in Angus who might transfer to BEAR Scotland Ltd under the TUPE Regulations.

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