AT A MEETING of the NORTH EAST HAMPSHIRE AREA TRANSPORTATION STRATEGY PANEL held at Hart District Council, Fleet on Wednesday 8 October 2003.
Councillors: K.B. Estlin (Chairman); A.P. Collett; J.K. Glen; R.J. Kimber; M.J. Roberts.
Councillors: R.G. Benford; S.G. Parker
Councillors: Mrs P. M. Devereux; R. Dibbs; K. Dibble; J.P.M. Matthews
34. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members were mindful that, where they believed they had a personal or personal prejudicial interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting, they should, normally at the time of debate declare their interest, and having regard to the circumstances described in paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the County Council's Code of Conduct, consider whether to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed.
The Minutes of the meeting held on the 4 February 2003 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
It was noted that as the South West Trains franchise was due to expire within a year it was unlikely that they would construct a bridge with disabled access at Farnborough Train Station. Railtrack had also reported that they did not have the funds available to build a bridge, therefore the train station still lacked the disabled access that it required. The County Council had been in dialogue with rail operators, but had received no firm commitment that a bridge would be constructed.
36. CHAIRMANS COMMUNICATIONS
There were no Chairman's communications.
There were no deputations.
38. LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN - ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT 2003
The Panel considered the report of the Director of Environment (Item 5 in the Minute Book) updating Members on the delivery of the Local Transport Plan and the content of the Hampshire County Council's third Annual Progress Report submitted to the Government Office for the South East and the Department for Transport on 31 July 2003.
During 2002/03 Hampshire County Council had spent £22.7 million on transport policies. The Annual Progress report set out how this money had been spent, what targets had been set and which of the targets had not been met.
Rushmoor Borough officers queried the statement in the Annual Progress Report about the Borough Council's involvement in transportation issues. Officers from both Authorities would liaise to address this issue in the future.
Members questions focused on cycling targets. Although progress was not on target, it was noted that 11 % of the County Council's transport budget was spent on cycle schemes. Members agreed that cycle routes should remain a priority, particularly in new development areas.
Members were made aware of a forthcoming seminar on the highway assessment process which would be held on 3 November 2003.
That the performance on transport improvements, as set out in the report on the Local Transport Plan Annual Progress Report, and the County Council's performance in relation to meeting its objectives and targets be noted.
39. DRAFT TRANSPORT CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2004/05 AND 2005/06 FOR CONSULTATION
The Panel considered the report of the Director of Environment (Item 6 in the Minute Book) outlining the indicative programmes for the Integrated Transport Capital Programme for 2004/05 and 2005/06.
Members were invited to comment on the priorities for the 2004/05 and 2005/06 draft programme as summarised in Appendix 4 of the report. The Chairman made Members aware that the report was only a draft at this time and it was dependant upon confirmation of the Department for Transport (DfT) settlement which was due in December. The draft had been made available for discussion by Members and would be finalised in January 2004.
There was general agreement with the priorities highlighted in the programme, although officers were requested to investigate the speed of vehicles using the highway on the B3272 RMS between Blackwater and Yateley as this would not be covered by the Frogmore Community and Potley Hill Primary School Safer Routes to School schemes. Officers would consider this as an independent issue rather than including it in either of the proposed schemes. Questions were also raised about External Funding and it was confirmed that although some of the money available was time limited, the proposed programme would not cause any of the funding to be lost for that reason.
Officers reported on the Safer Routes to School scheme and the assessment criteria for the School Travel Plan. The various levels that a School Travel Plan needed to go through where clarified as follows:-
Level 1 - Working towards a School Travel Plan
A school that has taken ownership of travel issues and is keen to implement measures to address and resolve them.
Level 2 - Draft School Travel Plan
A school that has prepared and submitted a draft School Travel Plan (that includes specific targets and actions) in consultation with the school community.
Level 3 - Active School Travel Plan
A school that has had its School Travel Plan adopted by the school community, and submits annual progress reports with supporting evidence of achievements. Schools requiring a School Travel Plan as part of a Planning Application will need to achieve Level Three for their Planning Application to be approved.
Members strongly supported this initiative.
(i) That the report be noted.
(ii) That the Executive Member for Environment be advised of the views of the Panel, with any additional responses to be received by the County Council by 14 November 2003.
40. POLICY AND PROGRESS UPDATE
The Panel considered the report of the Director of Environment (Item 7 in the Minute Book) setting out the progress on several studies and schemes being undertaken in the North East Hampshire Transportation Strategy area.
Members discussed the four schemes set out in the report:
(i) North Lane, Aldershot - Four options had been considered in order to reduce the number of HGV's using this road; a weight restriction; a height restriction; a one-way option; and a full closure. None of these were considered appropriate as any benefits gained would be offset by the increased flow of traffic in Redan Road and the High Street. It was therefore recommended that no action be taken.
Members were disappointed with this conclusion as they felt that it did not adequately deal with the problem. Further possible options were suggested such as widening the bridge or rerouting HGV's down an unused track behind Holybush Lane. It was also felt that the possibility of height restrictions should be reconsidered. Whilst it was recognised that money should not be spent on a scheme which would prove counter productive once Project Connaught had been completed, this did not negate the need for solutions to existing problems. Officers would continue to investigate this scheme.
(ii) A323 Ash Road Studies - Further design work had been suggested for this proposal, and it was in the draft capital programme for 2004/05. While there was agreement with the scheme, Members raised concerns about the substructure of the road. It was also suggested that the County Council could enter into dialogue with local companies with the intention of reducing the number of HGV's using the A323.
(iii) North Camp Wider Area Study -Proposals had been drafted but these were subject to confirmation of traffic conditions in the area. Concerns were expressed that Project Connaught would have severe effects on Lynchford road and that this needed to be taken into account when finalising proposals.
(iv) B3272 Route Management Strategy - The scheme had been split into two phases one focusing on Yateley and the other on Eversley. Members felt that the suggestion of removing the slip lane at Cricket Hill was counter productive and would only cause further problems in the area.
That the report be noted.
41. REVIEW OF TRANSPORT STRATEGY AREAS AND TRANSPORTATION STRATEGY PANELS
The Panel considered the report of the Director of Environment (Item 8 in the Minute Book) reviewing the current Area Transportation Strategy Panels.
Members were invited to comment on the review of the Transportation Strategy Panels. The general consensus was that transportation strategy should continue to be discussed in regional panels, as they offered a forum to bring together invaluable local knowledge. However the advantage of Executive Member to Executive Member meetings was noted, particularly for more immediate issues. There was also further discussion concerning the geographical area that a future panel might cover. The view was expressed that the North East Hampshire Transportation Strategy Area had different issues from Basingstoke and therefore the present area should be retained. Members put forward the view that any new panel should combine transportation with spatial strategy and land use issues.
That the outline proposals for the review of transport strategy areas and Transportation Strategy Panels be noted and the comments made in discussion by this Panel be included in the subsequent reports to the Executive Member for Environment and the County Council, as appropriate.
42. PROJECT CONNAUGHT - THE REDEVELOPMENT OF ALDERSHOT MILITARY TOWN - PROGRESS REPORT
The Panel considered the report of the Director of Environment (Item 9 in the Minute Book) outlining the progress on proposals by the Ministry of Defence for the redevelopment of Aldershot Military Town, known as Project Connaught.
It was reported that following the Government Strategic Defence Review, Andover Military Town will be redeveloped. This would create 137 hectares of `Alienated Land' to be developed privately. It was expected that land would begin to be released for development by April 2004. All Members agreed that this timescale was far too rapid and that further time was required in order for the Council to implement the necessary infrastructure that the developed land would require.
Rushmoor Borough Council officers reported that they were working in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and that working groups had been arranged to ensure that measures were taken to implement the required infrastructure. However Members remained concerned that the redevelopment was taking place irrespective of how prepared the District and County Councils were.
That the report be noted.
43. FLEET TOWN CENTRE - UPDATE REPORT
The Panel considered the report of the Director of Environment (Item 10 in the Minute Book) updating Members on the Fleet Town Centre improvements.
Officers reported that a project manager has been appointed and preliminary designs were nearly completed although consultations were still proceeding. Work was expected to begin in 2005/06. It was also confirmed that the legal debate with Elvetham Heath had been successfully resolved.
That the report be noted.
44. QUEEN ELIZABETH II BARRACKS - UPDATE
The Panel considered the verbal update by the Director of Environment concerning the Queen Elizabeth II Barracks.
Officers reported that a transport assessment had been carried out by the development consultant, but that it was not felt to have adequately covered all the issues raised. It was confirmed that the appraisal for Queen Elizabeth II Barracks would look at the wider area including the Fleet Corridors and Beacon Hill Road even though these schemes were included in the draft Capital Programme for possible funding in the period 2006/07 and beyond.
That the verbal report received be noted.
45. A31 HINKLEY'S CORNER UNDERPASS
With the consent of the Chairman this additional item was tabled at the meeting. Officers distributed information from Surrey County Council's website detailing plans to build an underpass at Hickley's Corner on the A31. There was general agreement with the scheme as long as Surrey County Council had the required resources to complete the scheme.
That the information distributed be noted.