TAG TRANSPORTATION AUTUMN/WINTER 2003 NEWS LETTER 04/12/2003
TAG TRANSPORTATION AUTUMN/WINTER 2003
Queens Speech – Traffic Management Bill
We have known for some time that Ministers were keen to introduce new legislation
to deal with streetworks. The new Traffic Management Bill aims;
“To give Highway Agency and local authorities in England and Wales new powers
and responsibilities to keep roads clear, minimise disruption caused by road works
and keep traffic moving.”
The content of the Bill is likely to be in 4 parts
• Traffic Managers/Directors
• Permit Schemes and Utility’s Street Works
• Civil Traffic Enforcement
• Traffic Management on the Trunk Road
Look out for the draft Bill being introduced and be ready to support local government
people in responding as this passes through Parliament.
Prior to the above announcement, DfT reported that good progress was being made
with the Traffic Management Bill. Key elements are Traffic Manager powers for
LHAs, permits (including highway maintenance) and strengthening of other powers
for streetworks, extending LA traffic enforcement and HA Traffic Officers. Duties of
Traffic Managers will be supported by guidance from the Secretary of State, to be
developed in conjunction with the LHAs along with performance indicators. The SoS
would also have reserve powers to appoint Traffic Manager, though only in England.
New Legal Ruling – Housing footpaths to be highway
An Appeal Court decision in July has ruled after a claim for compensation for a trip
on a Housing estate footpath, that the Highway Authority is responsible for
maintenance and claims! The judgement found that the path was a highway in a
common law sense, the pathway was constructed using Housing Act powers, the path
maintainable as a highway at public expense under Section 36(1) of the Highways Act
1980 and the court found that the path had not been maintained as a highway for the
purposes Section 41 of the Act. (will this now extend to other paths or roads open to
the public ie in parks and open spaces?)
Reference -Gulliksen v Pembrokeshire County Council (2002)
The DfT and Office for National Statistics are working with pilot Local Transport
Authorities and PTE’s to develop an accessibility planning tool for authorities to use
and produce accessibility indicators. Authorities have been invited to attend seminars
and should try and participate as they are likely to be a key part of the next LTP
Annual Highway Claims Burden £200m
A DfT survey found that claims themselves are difficult to interpret, as people have 3
years to submit a claim, following an accident, or, if they were minors at the time of
the accident, until they are 21 years of age. However claims are currently running at
approximately £200 million per year. Roughly 75% of claims are successful. There
has been a great increase in fraudulent claims but also in genuine ones.
Ice Clearance – New Rules
The duty to remove snow and ice “as is reasonably practicable” now forms Section
111 of the new Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003. Authorities need to review
and endorse their Winter Maintenance Plans.
PFI for street lighting seems to be rolling out and is attractive to LHA’s who need
substantial investment at an early date. However the fund for PFI schemes could at
best only deal with 45% of the likely need. Current bids substantially exceed the
funds available to be released.
A new leaflet from the ICE “Street Lighting – Protecting a Vital Asset” is now
Street lighting survey – Summary results reported.
In 2000 27% of units were over 30 years old.
– Now (2003) 32% are over 30 years old.
– Now 13% are over 40 years old.
– In 10 years time (2013) 57% will be over 30 years old at current renewal
Traffic Management Research
Four draft research briefs that had been circulated to the Roads Board for Traffic
Management Division projects to be let this year:
1. Signal Control Design Options for Roundabout Junctions
2. Reducing Impact of Traffic Management on Street Scene
3. Strategic Operational Management of Urban Road Networks
4. Maximising existing Traffic Management
5. Better design in Traffic Management
6. Contribution of Traffic Management and Parking to Congestion Targets
Symbol Signed Routes
The concept of Symbol Signed Diversion Routes is not new and the Traffic Signs
Regulations and General Directions already permit their use without special
authorisation. The Highways Agency is considering providing symbol signed
diversion routes for each link of the core trunk road network. To take this matter
forward, the Highways Agency would like to develop a tri-partite protocol / MOU
between the Highways Agency, the LGA, and ACPO. Much of the network is, or has
previously been covered, by symbol signed diversion routes, but the passing of time
has led to many of these routes falling into disrepute such that the signing is no longer
usable and/or appropriate. Looks like the powers in the new Traffic Management Bill
will require us to progress such a review.
Ben Page of MORI presented a challenging assessment of how roads issues are
perceived by citizens to the Roads Board. MORI research shows that we have not
traditionally connected with the issues that really matter in terms of highway
management. We need to raise our game. In practical terms it was agreed to join
MORI into the project steering arrangements for the Highway Maintenance Code
of Practice Review and for the machine survey project.
DfT’s view is that Network Rail has sufficient funding over the next three years to be
able to make their agreed contribution to road/rail interface works. However, if
authorities are unable to secure a timely contribution from network Rail, they are
permitted to bid to DfT for additional funding.
Footways Maintenance Guide
The footways maintenance guide has been prepared by the TRL Publishing unit. The
Footways Group are looking at ways to promulgate this guide to the wider
community. It may be necessary to issue it as a CD or place it on the DfT web site.
(Total TRACS Survey – machine surveys for road condition)
The DfT is producing a specification for the accreditation work and will be looking to
commission the work for its development. Many of you will have been invited to
participate in scoping workshops. This is a very important piece of work to get right
so let’s get involved.
Roads Maintenance Backlog
The Transport Select Committee have identified that there is insufficient data to
quantify the backlog (or even to define it) and so to know whether the 10 Year
Transport Plan target of eliminating the backlog by the end of the plan period has
been met. Dorset County Council and WDM have carried out some work to calculate
Dorset’s backlog. The Local Transport Services Working Group backed WDM’s
proposal that they could extend this approach to other authorities that had WDM
pavement management systems. But will Metropolitan areas be involved? DfT’s
Statistics Division (TSD) is also revising the backlog figures that they produced
previously. This includes consideration of the costs of maintaining a network in its
current condition. The Roads Board agreed that backlog calculations should be based
on an agreed defectiveness threshold, which represents the most economic
maintenance level. TAG has been asked to work with the DfT and others to produce
a figure that can credibly be put to Treasury.
Asset Management Plans
Most Authorities have now reached the “good” standard for Corporate Asset
Management Plans, but can we relax? No. The latest information is that Asset
Management Plans will still be required for Highways and thus still need to be
prepared. The Roads Board, CSS and TAG are working on the guidance and
POS – Excellence in Land Use Transportation Planning Policy
POS is developing the next paper in a series to identify the characteristics
compromising an excellent Land Use Transportation Planning Policy Service.
Streetscene – work has started in Government with some
institutions to develop the concept of better design in the
streetscene. Do you know anyone who has been invited to
If you would like to know more about the work of the
Transportation Committee, or would like to come and join us
then contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings of the Committee are every quarter, mainly in London
but we do visit other parts of the Country. Come along and
join us. Contact email@example.com for details
March 26th 2004 London
June 18th 2004 Doncaster