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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 4th February 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services

Five Mile Lane Highway Safety Improvements - Progress

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of progress being made with the Five Mile Lane Highway Safety Improvements project.

Recommendations

1.         That Members note the contents of the report.

2.         That a further progress report be presented to this meeting of Cabinet under Part II advising of the Managing Directors use of emergency powers to appoint a contractor for this project.

3.         A further report will be presented to Cabinet on completion of the Scheme.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         For information.  

2.         To permit Cabinet to note the decision taken within the relevant disclosure rules.

3.         For information.

Background

2.         A report was presented to Cabinet on 21st September 2011 entitled 'Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme Update'.  Members resolved the following:

(1) That the progress made on the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme to date be noted.

(2) That the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).

3.         The report had advised Members that the Council had provided the Welsh Government (WG) with a draft WelTAG Stage 1 Report and an amended Collision Report in February 2011 but had no contact with WG since that time.

4.         In January 2012 WG contacted the Council with a wish to revisit the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme as the scheme had been included in the National Transport Plan (NTP) for delivery in financial year 2012/13.  A meeting was subsequently held on 10th January 2012. 

5.         WG requested that the Council prepared a project plan and cost estimate to progress the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme based on the recommendations and conclusions identified in the Draft Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) Stage 1 Report.  These recommendations proposed that major safety improvements should be undertaken at Sycamore Cross Junction (either a roundabout or traffic signal solution) with minor improvements being undertaken at junctions along Five Mile Lane and at Waycock Cross Junction.  The Council subsequently provided WG with a project plan and cost estimate of £1.424m.

6.         On 9th March 2012 WG provided the Council with a grant of £20k to progress certain elements of the project during the remaining few weeks of financial year 2011/12 including:

·                Finalise the WelTAG Stage 1 Report,

·                Review previous environmental studies,

·                Undertake traffic volume/turning movement studies,

·                Prepare feasibility studies/initial designs,

·                Undertake a topographical survey.

·                Due to the very short timescale available to utilise this grant, the then Chief Executive used his Emergency Powers to accept these funds and to incorporate them into the Capital Programme.

7.         On 30th April 2012 WG provided the Council with a grant of £1.411m to progress the project to completion during financial year 2012/13.  The then Chief Executive used his Emergency Powers to accept these funds and to incorporate them into the Capital Programme.

8.         Any highway safety improvements at Sycamore Cross Junction had to be accommodated within the existing adopted highway boundary.  Initial designs were developed including a roundabout and traffic signal solution.  Both options were subjected to an independent Stage 1 Highway Safety Audit and the traffic movements for each were modelled.  A cost estimate for each solution was also prepared.  This information was presented to WG at a meeting held on 27th June 2012.  It was agreed that the traffic signal option offered the most cost effective solution and also provided for the most efficient traffic movements through the junction both now and at year 2027.  In addition, the traffic signal solution included a pedestrian/cycle facility which enhanced the safety of the junction by these vulnerable users.  It was therefore agreed that this solution should be taken through to detailed design and construction.

9.         The detailed design for the traffic signals at Sycamore Cross Junction was progressed and the proposals were provided to Councillor Rob Curtis (Cabinet Member) and Councillor Jonathon Bird (Local Member).  A plan indicating the proposals is attached to this report at Appendix 'A'.  Councillor Bird confirmed his support for the proposals following a meeting on 23rd August 2012.  This information was subsequently provided to St Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council along with an indicative programme for the procurement and delivery of the works.

10.      Tender documents were produced and a list of contractors chosen from Constructionline in accordance with the Council's Contract Standing Orders.  Subsequently, four contractors plus the Council's in-house Construction Section were invited to tender for the A48 Sycamore Cross Junction Improvement Works.    

11.      Due to the short timescale for the delivery of this project, the Managing Director approved the use of her Emergency Powers to accept the most economically advantageous tender for these works. A separate Part 2 report entitled 'Five Mile Lane Highway Safety Improvements - Appointment of Principal Contractor' has been prepared for Cabinet.  This report includes a copy of the Tender Assessment Report and the recommendation for the appointment of LGA Ltd. 

12.      The Works commenced on site on 26th November 2012 and are anticipated to take 16 weeks subject to suitable weather conditions and no unforeseen problems on site.  During this time, a significant amount of temporary traffic management will be required for the safety of construction workers and motorists and will include a temporary 30mph speed limit which will be enforced throughout the construction phase.  Following completion of the Works a new permanent 40mph speed limit will be implemented along the A48 from St. Nicholas to Bonvilston.  This will eliminate the existing short section of national speed limit over this section.

Relevant Issues and Options

13.      The details of the minor improvement works at junctions along Five Mile Lane and at Waycock Cross Junction are still to be determined and cost estimates developed.  The physical constraints of the sites and the funds available are likely to limit what can be done at these locations.

14.      The main Works are progressing well and are currently on programme and within budget.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.      Details of the grants provided by WG in respect of this project have been identified in the report.  All costs associated with this project are claimed from WG retrospectively.  Council officers will provide WG with a revised total scheme cost estimate, programme and spend profile in due course.

16.      The design, site supervision and project management of the A48 Sycamore Cross Junction Improvement Works and the highway safety improvements on Five Mile Lane and at Waycock Cross Junction is being undertaken by the Council's Highway Projects and Traffic Management Group, Highways and Engineering. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.      The change to the design of this particular junction will improve road safety whilst also providing for an increase in future traffic volumes.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18.      The Highways Act 1980 allows highway authorities to undertake improvement works including the provision of equipment.  The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 allows highway authorities to make and vary Orders to regulate the movement of vehicular traffic and to improve the amenities of an area.

19.      There are no Human Rights Implications with regard to this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

20.      Improvements to the highway network are likely to reduce the incidents of public disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

21.      The proposals will benefit all sections of the community by improving highway safety and reducing congestion.

22.      Any signage associated with this project will adhere to the requirements of the Council's Welsh Language Scheme.

Corporate/Service Objectives

23.      To maintain and develop a safe and effective highway.

Policy Framework and Budget

24.      This is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

25.      The Ward Member has been consulted on the proposals at Sycamore Cross Junction and has confirmed his support.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

26.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Paul Gay - Group Engineer (Highway Projects and Traffic Management)

Tel. No. 02920 673086

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal Services

Accountant, Building and Visible Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing.

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