Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions
Contact: Callum Wernham Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were submitted from Guy Grandison and Shirley Boyt. Andy Croy was present as a substitute for Shirley Boyt.
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2019
The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 June were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Vice Chairman in the Chair.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
There were no declarations of interest.
Public Question Time
To answer any public questions
A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.
The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.
Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting. For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions
There were no public questions.
Member Question Time
To answer any member questions.
There were no Member questions.
To consider an update on Civil Parking Enforcement within the Borough
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 13 to 24, which gave details of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) within the Wokingham Borough between June 2018 and June 2019.
Andy Glencross (Assistant Director – Highways), Geoff Hislop (Interim Parking Manager – Car Parks), Martin Heath (Senior Specialist - Traffic Management & Road Safety) and Pauline Jorgensen (Executive Member for Highways and Transport) attended the meeting to present the report and answer any Member questions.
The report outlined that CPE had assisted in improving traffic flow within the Borough by challenging drivers’ previous parking behaviours and increasing awareness by way of warning notices. The service had maintained, as expected, a cost neutral operating model by means of income from penalty notices and parking fees covering the cost of service operation.
The report stated that further improvements to the service were being considered, including introduction of CCTV enforcement at School Keep Clear areas and increasing the number of Civil Enforcement Officers to increase coverage across the Borough.
Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) embarked on a full replacement programme of its ticket machines, which was now in its final stages. The expectation was that there would be a significant reduction in lost patrol hours as a direct result of the warranty and maintenance agreement in place.
Country parks management had welcomed the introduction of CPE at their sites as the income derived from their car parks ensured that they were self-sustainable and could continue to provide excellent amenity space for residents at little or no cost to WBC. Since the introduction of CPE, country parks had seen an increase in customers paying for car parking of approximately 20%.
During the ensuing discussions Members raised the following points and suggestions:
· Specifically, how had the objectives of CPE been met? Officer and Executive Member response – CPE had been requested by residents as the police were not able to continually enforce restrictions. The set of objectives was continually evolving in order combat problems as they occurred. A target of 8,000 penalty notices had been set for the service, and in the last year approximately 14,000 penalty notices had been issued, achieving a cost neutral service. Up to this point, the scope of CPE had been relatively small to achieve a proof of concept, and the expansion of the service including CCTV enforcement at schools was being investigated.
· When could the proposed CCTV enforcement at School Keep Clear areas be expected to go live? Officer response – Subject to approval, the traffic orders would take approximately 3 months to go live with additional time required to procure the necessary equipment. In total, CCTV installation could be expected approximately 3 to 6 months following approval. A key component of the scheme was that once compliance at one school was nearly at 100 percent, the equipment could be quickly moved and redeployed to different school location.
· Why had the number of Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) not decreased over time? Officer response – There were a small ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
To consider an update on Wokingham’s ongoing bus network review, bus strategy and current bus provision
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 25 to 38, which gave an overview of Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC’s) ongoing bus network review, bus strategy and current bus provision.
Andy Glencross (Assistant Director – Highways, Martin Heath (Senior Specialist - Traffic Management & Road Safety) and Pauline Jorgensen (Executive Member for Highways and Transport) attended the meeting to present the report and answer any Member questions.
The report outlined that the draft bus network review was due to be released in late September 2019. The review would include an assessment of local, regional and national planning policy, data analysis of the current bus services and consideration of school transport services with future contracted public bus services.
The South of M4 Bus Strategy (SoM4) was secured as part of the planning permissions associated with the South of M4 development area. £2 million was to be made available by the University of Reading (applicant), as and when required, for the implementation of the bus strategy for 10 years following the first occupation on an occupational trigger point method. Phase 2a was underway with phase 2b expected between September and Christmas 2019.
The report stated that the primary issue for bus services in the Borough was congestion which caused variability to journey times on a day by day basis. A possible solution to this was the use of GPS tracking and real time operating systems within the buses, which would coordinate with the traffic light signals to allow smooth passage of the buses, albeit to the detriment of queuing on other arms of the junction.
During the ensuing discussions Members raised the following points and suggestions:
· Please clarify what was being done in anticipation of new occupations at housing developments? Officer response – Officers were trying to anticipate where new residents would be likely to travel to, and a concerted effort was being made to promote public transport within the borough, both for new and existing residents. A baseline service was needed for day 1 occupation and further services would be added via applicant funding based on occupation trigger points.
· When in 2020 would the Wokingham Town Centre bus services be re-tendered? Officer response – These timings would be researched and circulated to Committee Members.
· How would new residents be informed about public transport services? Officer response – Information would be included as part of a ‘welcome pack’ to each new build occupier, The MyJourney team would also target new developments with further information to ensure a sustainable service and a strong take-up.
· Could an estimate be provided as to when phases 3 and 4 of the SoM4 would go live? Officer response – Officers will get an estimated expected timeframe and feedback to Members of the Committee.
· Would the Local Travel Plan 4 (LTP4) be consulted through means other than a strictly online consultation? Officer response – LTP4 was going through various stages of consultation and feedback processes. Officers would look into advertising the consultation in areas such ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
To consider the work programme for the remainder of the 2019/20 municipal year
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 39 to 48, which outlined the Committee’s work programme for the 2019/20 municipal year.
The Committee were updated on the structure of the upcoming budget scrutiny items, which would include business cases for specific service areas, with the relevant Director(s) and Executive Members(s) being in attendance to present their specific service area’s spending.
Clive Jones suggested that an item related to Wokingham Borough Council’s property purchase group be added to the Committee’s work programme.
Andy Croy asked that an item relating to the Woodley Town Centre regeneration project be added to the Committee work programme.
It was suggested that items relating to the Police and Fire services and the Community Safety Partnership be moved to the March Committee meeting.
1) an item related to Wokingham Borough Council’s property purchase group be added to the Committee’s work programme, with a view of taking the item to the 25 November Committee meeting;
2) an item relating to the Woodley Town Centre regeneration project be added to the Committee work programme;
3) items relating to the Police and Fire services and the Community Safety Partnership be moved to the March Committee meeting.