Agenda item

Chris Smith asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:



Can I have an update on recent and planned works on Bus Stops in Earley?




Can I have an update on recent and planned works on bus stops in Earley?



First of all I must sincerely apologise to Councillors for my incomplete answer to your question at last week’s Full Council around road activity in Hillside. My answer was given in good faith based on the information provided to me. I was as surprised as you were when comments on social media indicated activity on a bus stop further down Ryehill Way. I have escalated this to the highest level as withholding information, either deliberately or by accident, is simply not acceptable. A full-scale investigation is currently underway by the relevant Director and local Councillors will be kept fully informed of any outcome from this.


Now the project around bus stops in Earley has almost been completed. In all cases other than the two on Ryehill Way the other laybys simple required a refreshment of the markings and have been completed. So, what about these two laybys – why are they different.


We sincerely apologise again for the unexpected and unavoidable delay in completing the works at Ryhill Way bus layby and the works that are now taking place at Rosemary Ave. 


To give you a brief overview of what has caused the delays at Ryhill Way, a standard design, which had been implemented elsewhere across the Borough, was used as part of the construction originally and no unusual issues were identified at the time.  However, undulations on the surface were brought to our attention and deeper excavation took place which identified unexpected and unusual ground conditions.

Our contractor undertook ground testing of the exposed problem area and based on these results
a final solution was agreed and the works were completed last week.


Both Ryhill Way and Rosemary Ave bus la-bys were originally part of the same project and the initial works were carried out at the same time. When the ground testing was carried out at the other bus layby the team decided, as a precaution, it would be wise to check the Rosemary Ave bus layby as well. Similar undulations were also found in Rosemary Avenue.


Testing was also carried out and the results came back similar to that of the Ryhill Way bus layby but not as severe. However, to avoid another long and drawn out situation, it was decided that the same successful resolution used at Ryhill should be carried out at the Rosemary Ave bus layby. Furthermore it should be started as soon as possible which was this week with a scheduled completion of Tuesday 5th June subject to weather conditions.


Supplementary Question


Firstly thank you for arranging most of the works during half term.  That is a busy road that leads up to one of the main primary schools in Hillside so at least a lot of the works will be less disruptive. 


Given the issues with the Ryhill Way bus stop, particularly the lack of communications I and my fellow Councillors in the Ward received, I was incredibly disappointed to find out about the works on the bus stop only once they had started.  Indeed I received a written response from you at 6.15 on the Tuesday stating that there were no planned works other than the Redhatch Drive resurfacing at which point the contractors would already have been on site and had equipment there.  So what will be changed to ensure I and other Councillors are kept informed about these works in the future?


Supplementary Answer

I have already said that a detailed investigation at the highest level is going on and as soon as the outcome of that is known I will communicate that with the Hillside Councillors so that they understand what happened and I am expecting the Directors to put in place measures to make sure that that never happens again.  I felt extremely embarrassed giving an answer that was not complete and I never want to be in that position again and I will make sure that it doesn’t happen.