To receive and consider the attached report which provides the Outer North East Community Committee with an update on the Highways Annual Improvement Consultation
(Councillor D Cohen joined the meeting during consideration of this item and the meeting then became quorate)
The report of the Executive Manager, Highways provided the Outer North East Community Committee with an update on the Highways Annual Improvement Consultation. A presentation was shown at the meeting and the Community Committee were invited to make comments.
The Community Committee were informed of the following points by the Highways Asset Manager:
· The consultation on next years’ programme closed on 2nd September. Lists of the proposed works had been provided to Councillors and Parish Councils at the start of July requesting comments.
· Members were provided with an explanation of the Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure Code of Practice.
· Explanation of how the Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy aligns with the corporate vision and contributes to the vision for Leeds.
· Members noted that the service is currently undertaking more preventative works, such as surface dressing. It was noted that the life of a road is generally ten years.
· The service is continually reviewing all streets, and these are added to a sheet with a colour code to show what stage of repair the road is in. All roads are inspected by an engineer and a scoring system is used and checked over a three-year cycle. The service wish to get to the position that under 10% of local access roads are in poor condition.
· Each year all Members receive lists of roads requiring work and the priority given to them. Members are requested to make comments. Members were advised that all emails are noted and responded to.
The Community Committee discussions included:
· The role that Highway Asset Management will play in the mass transit system proposed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and their involvement in the consultation process, as ultimately the responsibility of road repairs in Leeds will be in the remit of that department.
· How road repairs and associated works, such as tree and gully maintenance, are co-ordinated with other council departments. It was confirmed by the Highways Asset Manager in attendance that defects noted to be outside of the jurisdiction of highways are reported to the relevant department and pro-activeness to deal with these issues are encouraged.
· The role artificial intelligence (AI) will play in the future of determining which parts of the road network requires attention. Although AI may be an efficient method for gathering data it was noted by Members that officer impact and action is essential for progressing work to highways and report of road issues or failure by the public should be a forefront reason for action.
· How public safety and distance from amenities help determine the hierarchy of roads needing work. Traffic flow is an integral consideration to prioritising highway maintenance.
· How funding will be distributed and where it will be ringfenced. It was outlined to Members that the settlement from WYCA was to be divided between the five local authorities proportional to the size of the road network the authority is responsible for.
· The process for covering funds if a highway is damaged by heavy goods vehicle as part of a building development should be more robust and enforceable as it is largely done through section 106 money which doesn’t apply to all approved planning applications. If the highways department are notified of a large development, they will abstain from any repair or maintenance work until after completion to limit repetition of work.
· Communication issues internally between council departments and also to the public regarding scheduled projects were noted with work being cancelled or delayed without informing local residents and waste management being unaware of works.
· The permit system for works to highways, such as utility company installations was queried as permits will have a start and end date and there is a fixed penalty system for work outside the conditions of the permit. Members suggested the funds gained from the penalties should be spend within the area that was affected rather than going into a collective pot.
(Councillors P Harrand joined the meeting during consideration of this item)
RESOLVED – That the report and presentation be noted.