Issue - meetings

Review of Highway and Car Park Safety Inspections and Intervention Levels and Response to Policy.

Meeting: 16/10/2018 - Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Expired 13/07/20 (Item 22)

22 Review of Highway and Car Park Safety Inspections and Intervention Levels and Response to Policy. pdf icon PDF 94 KB

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That the Committee recommends Cabinet approves the revised Highway and Car Park Inspection Policy (as in Appendix 1) which outlines the Council’s approach to all safety inspections, defect identification criteria, and response times.


The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) introduced a report to review the above Policy in line with the revised national guidelines following the implementation of the new code of practice in October 2018.  He provided background information and commented on the recognition in the recent budget announcement of the importance of the highway network in the delivery of economic and sustainable growth and said it was envisaged that 3 year funding would be made available for the resurfacing of roads.  The Chief Officer invited the Highways Network Manager to give an overview of the main considerations, as detailed in the report. 


Councillor Mike Peers commented on the Council’s statutory duty as a ‘Highway Authority’ to maintain all adopted highways including highway structures within the County and the potential for claims arising against the County from highway users for personal injury or loss arising from incidents or accidents in the event of a breach of that duty.  He commented that the priority must be public safety not ‘class’ of potholes.  He asked if the Authority referred to its inspection reports when dealing with claims arising from incidents or accidents which had occurred on the adopted highway network and were they available for Members to view. 


Councillor Peers referred to the proposed policy for highway and car park safety inspections, interventions criteria and response times which was appended to the report.  He commented on the defect identification criteria and expressed concerns that the category a defect would fall into was in the main down to interpretation.  He said more detail needed to be provided on the red category.


Councillor Peers expressed concerns around the response times and feedback to issues raised by Members and residents concerning defects and cited an example of a defect which had been reported regarding a pothole in his Ward.  He drew attention to the response time stated in the proposed policy.  The Highway Network Manager responded to the queries raised by Councillor Peers and explained that risk assessments were undertaken by the Streetscene Area Co-ordinator in line with code of practice.  He agreed to provide records on a case by case basis to Councillor Peers.  Councillor Peers asked that regular updates be provided by the Streetscene Area Coordinator to Members on the condition of the roads, footways and car parks in their Wards.  


Councillor Paul Shotton asked if consideration could be given to the use of drones to aid the Streetscene Area Co-ordinators to carry out their safety inspections or mend potholes.  The Chief Officer confirmed that electronic equipment was already used to assist in safety inspections and agreed to look into the possible use of drones.


Referring to the inspection of structures and retaining walls, Councillor David Evans commented on the problem of damaged railings and asked if this was included in the inspections.  He also said there were no timescales detailed in the proposed policy for the repair or replacement of any defects identified during the inspection of structures and walls. 


Councillor Evans referred to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22