Hampshire County Council

New Forest Highway and Transport Advisory Panel

21 September 2004

Other Highway Related Programmes

Report of the Director of Environment

Item 12

Contact: Richard Chinn, tel 023 8042 7000 email: richard.chinn@hants.gov.uk

1. Summary

1.1 This report covers a wide range of activities undertaken by specialist teams within the Environment Department and gives details on programmes for:

2. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)

2.1 The ITS Group of the Environment Department is responsible for feasibility, design, implementation, operation and maintenance of traffic control, and traffic and travel information systems throughout Hampshire. Most new implementation is funded through the capital programme or external funding, whilst the maintenance of the central systems and facilities on-street are funded through the revenue budget.

2.2 During 2004/05 the deployment of ITS continues to be significant and includes a large number of new traffic signals, pelican crossings, cycle crossings, real-time bus passenger information systems, car park information systems, variable message signs, bus departure information systems, etc. This has resulted in a significant increase in the scope and geographic coverage of ITS facilities in Hampshire. The increase in the deployment of ITS will mean increased traffic control facilities, and an enhanced traffic and travel information service can be provided and disseminated through the media and internet. This aspect of traffic and travel information will be further enhanced and integrated on a sub-regional basis through close working with the City Councils on the Solent Transport Initiative.

2.3 As part of the wider geographic coverage of ITS the following applications of ITS are now operational within the New Forest area. Working with the District Council a total of 20 highway related CCTV images (Totton, Lymington and Ringwood) from their town centre CCTV security system are now available in the Traffic and Travel Information Centre (TTIC) in Winchester to enable traffic and travel information to be disseminated. A bus departure information system is also in operation in Lymington bus station to assist travellers using this facility.

2.4 An important role of the ITS Group is the maintenance and operation of the traffic control and other associated on-street ITS equipment. The majority of traffic signals and pelican crossings report faults automatically through to the TTIC in Winchester and all sites are visited regularly to inspect the condition of the equipment. Any faults are then reported to the appropriate maintenance contractor for remedial action and repairs. Sites are refurbished or replaced through the revenue budget to ensure that equipment is operating in a safe and effective manner and complies with current standards and regulations.

2.5 It is likely that the provisions contained in the secondary powers of the Traffic Management Act will place greater emphasis on the role of the ITS Group, as the requirements for monitoring and improving the operation of the highway network will place greater responsibilities on the County Council.

2.6 The following schemes are proposed for implementation during 2004/05 as part of the pedestrian crossing programme within the New Forest area:

3. Bridgeworks

3.1 The Bridges Section of the Environment Department is responsible for inspection maintenance, replacement, load assessment and strengthening of all existing county highway structures, together with new structures built as part of road improvements, housing schemes and industrial developments. Raynesway Construction Southern (RCS) carry out the majority of bridge maintenance, through a term maintenance contract. Some specialist work, such as graffiti removal, and larger schemes, such as bridge replacements, are awarded by tender.

3.2 The majority of bridge maintenance, replacement, assessment and strengthening is capital funded via the Local Transport Plan (LTP), but inspections, routine maintenance and environmental maintenance of subways are revenue funded.

3.3 This programme was instigated by EU legislation that allowed 40 tonne lorries on UK roads from 1 January 1999. The assessments are now complete and strengthening of sub-standard bridges is ongoing.

3.4 Following the Selby crash in February 2001, parapets and safety fences at road/rail interfaces, the majority of which are bridges, have been evaluated and prioritised, and a rolling programme for protective measures has been started. This will continue over several years, as funding is made available.

3.5 The Highways Agency has identified that aluminium vehicle parapets made by BACO, installed before 1994, are not to current standards. All such parapets on county bridges have been prioritised and a contract for their replacement is out to tender at present. Further information on individual bridges affected is given below.

3.6 Redbridge Rail Bridge, Totton

3.7 Leybrook Bridge, Sandford and Ford Bridge, Ripley

3.8 Breamore Great Bridge, Breamore

3.9 Holmsley Rail Bridge

3.10 Aluminium Parapets

4. Hampshire Country Towns Initiative

4.1 The Country Towns Initiative is a County Council programme which carries out schemes of environmental enhancement in the county's rural centres to reinforce their environmental, social and commercial attractiveness. It focuses on highways and other public areas and works in partnership with local councils and representative organisations. It brings together funding from the County Council, District Council and local sources and links highway and environmental objectives and funding.

4.2 A comprehensive renovation of this underused and run down area is planned to create a public waterside space with improved pedestrian and highways access. A highway maintenance scheme will be undertaken at the same time to improve the approach to the promenade area using complementary materials and finishes. Tenders have been received from selected contractors but indicate a funding shortfall. A report will be submitted to the Executive Member for Environment in October for a decision on the way forward.

5. Development Related Works

5.1 Works within the New Forest area currently being carried out under Section 38 or Section 278 Agreements are detailed in Appendix 1.

5.2 External funding and schemes relevant to that funding are detailed in Appendix 2.

6. Recreational Cycling

6.1 The Environment Department, in partnership with the Recreation and Heritage Department, administers the county-wide Recreational Cycling programme, which currently has an allocation of £100,000 from the Transport Capital programme. The principle of supporting the programme was approved by the Executive Member for Environment, resulting from an earlier review of the Recreational Cycling Strategy (2002-06), showing that the prioritisation of the Strategy's delivery in both cycling promotion and facility delivery has considerable potential to assist the implementation of the County Council's Local Transport Plan and Road Traffic Reduction cycle use targets(now under review). There was support that, to deliver important links in the cycling facilities' network, often in rural areas, the Strategy needs to be assisted with capital funding support from the LTP. The programme also aims to contribute to the delivery of the National Cycle Route (NCN) and the National Byway, thus giving increased opportunities for cycle use both within Hampshire and linking to networks developed by neighbouring authorities.

6.2 The Castleman Trailway is a disused railway line through the New Forest. Before it was closed in the 1960s, the trailway linked Southampton with Dorchester via Poole. A number of sections of the trailway have been reopened as recreational paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and have proved popular. In May 2003, a 1.1 kilometre section of the trailway was reopened, linking Ringwood with the Hampshire/Dorset border, and the lengthy section of trailway already open in Dorset.

6.3 This project proposes to extend the trailway east from Ringwood for a length of 1.5 kilometres. This new section will be dedicated as a bridleway and will be surfaced with a durable unbound surface which will be in keeping with the local environment. A plan of the proposed scheme is attached as Appendix 3.

6.4 The cost of the scheme is £35,000 (£9,500 contribution from Recreational Cycling) and the construction date is January/February 2005.

6.5 The project is in partnership with the County Council's Rights of Way Section and Estates Practice. A suitable link through Ringwood is currently being progressed through the Ringwood Cycling and Walking project managed by the Environment Department.

Recommendation

That this report be noted.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1.

Published works.

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

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