Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Transportation Board - Tuesday 8 March 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council chamber , Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

61.

Apologies for Absence.

Minutes:

All Board Members and Dartford Parish Council representatives were present.

 

Cllr. Matthew Davis (DBC) was also in attendance, and subsequently joined the debate with the Chairman’s permission, to update the Board on an ongoing issue in his Ward under Matters Arising (Item 7).

 

The Chairman advised that Kevin Gore (KCC Area Manager) had again declined to attend the proceedings on the advice of his Director. Conversely, Shane Hymers (KCC Fast Track Manager) had been given permission to attend the proceedings to update the Board.

 

Members agreed that the question of consistent attendance by all KCC Officers to update the Board needed to be clarified, and the Chairman undertook to write to the KCC Cabinet Member in an effort to finally resolve the issue.

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Hymers for his attendance and also welcomed the presence of the Council’s Principal Transport Planner, Mr Lukman Agboola to update Members.

62.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any).

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

63.

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Dartford Joint Transportation Board held on 7 December 2021. pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Minutes:

It was noted that attendance by Dartford Parish Council representatives had not been recorded in the minutes of the previous Board meeting on 7 December 2021 and the Clerk undertook to correct the publish record with his apologies.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the minutes of the Board meeting held on 7 December 2021 be confirmed as accurate, with the addition on the amendment noted above.

 

64.

References from other Committees (if any)

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees for the Board to consider.

65.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Board that he wished Members to consider KCC’s proposed ‘Bus Funding Reductions’ publication as a matter of urgency.

 

He advised Members that the KCC document had been issued by the County authority on a consultative basis, with a deadline for comments of 20 April 2022. KCC proposals included proposed cuts to existing funding for both supported and commercial bus services.

 

Dartford residents in Bean and Longfield would be particularly impacted over proposed funding cuts to the 474 and 475 services. It was also proposed to remove the current subsidy to the 433 and 489 services which would impact on New Ash Green residents.

 

The Leader of the Council [in attendance as a KCC Member], informed the Board that as a Longfield resident and Councillor he had investigated the proposed funding cuts for routes 474 and 475. He had been surprised to learn that KCC funding at present amounted to some £114K per annum. Were KCC to cease their current subsidy the Council would not be able to replace it. A possible solution would be the funding off a small demand-led ‘hopper/flyer’ service, to connect Bean, Longfield and Wilmington residents to current Fastrack services. He would ask Officers to produce broad running costs to support a joint presentation to KCC. He also undertook to seek some continued level of subsidy from KCC to the services under threat.

 

Members welcomed Cllr. Kite’s proposed actions as both KCC and Dartford Member, and expressed the following particular points of concern:

 

·         The proposed KCC funding cuts would particularly impact the elderly and adults travelling with children;

·         Any proposed cuts should be kept to a minimum to avoid multiple connection changes for users in the future;

·         Cuts to the 474/475 routes would sever the current direct link to Bluewater;

·         Was a ‘Kick’ service a possibility for the more rural routes in Dartford.

 

The Chairman invited the KCC Fastrack Manger, Shane Hymers [attending with the specific permission of his KCC Director], to update the Board on the proposed funding cuts to existing KCC subsidised bus services, and the implications for Fast Track A and B services [agenda Item 8 refers].

 

Mr Hymers confirmed the following points for the Board:

 

·         The KCC consultation on proposed funding/subsidy to existing services was open until 20 April 2022 and DBC and KCC Members were encouraged to submit representations to the County authority before the deadline;

·         Fastrack A and B services were not being cut;

·         The Arriva Clip service was developer funded at present and therefore not subject to KCC funding or cuts;

·         The KCC funding pot was being re-aligned and KCC were open to proposals for a Dartford ‘feeder’ service to Fastrack A and B, including the consideration of ‘through-ticketing’ from a feeder service to Fastrack A and B, and car or bike hire at final destinations;

·         Similar mini ‘feeder’ services were currently available from Age UK, so any KCC review would include consideration of a possible aggregation with those existing services.

 

The Chairman  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman had no other items to bring to the Committee’s attention.

67.

Fastrack Update

Mr Hymers will report on issues surrounding Fastrack.

Minutes:

Given the presence of the KCC Fastrack Manager, Shane Hymers, and the absence of the KCC Area Manager Kevin Gore, the Chairman proposed that Members receive a Fastrack Update first, then consider the updated ‘Matters Arising’ Appendix A document afterwards.

 

Mr. Shane Hymers, KCC Fastrack Manager informed Members of the following developments regarding Fastrack A and B services [including items 1-5 from the Matters Arising Appendix A report]. He also confirmed additional points in response to specific questions from Members regarding Fastrack services:

 

·         The Fastrack service remained unsatisfactory overall but had improved in the last 4 (four) weeks and was meeting its KPIs (Key Performance Indicators);

·         Arriva vehicles had been used to bolster Fastrack services, but other Arriva routes had suffered as a consequence;

·         The new dedicated AZ bus route for Amazon staff had been expanded to accommodate staggered shift times for Amazon workers but the service was due to cease in the near future;

·         The current bus turning circle in the Council’s Acacia car park would continue to be used by Fastrack services, with a proposal to expand the current facility to include electrical charging facilities for Fastrack’s new fleet of electric vehicles, and possibly taxis. Discussions were ongoing with identified energy companies with the aim of making Acacia a Fastrack Hub and relieve the current congestion in Home Gardens. A further update would be submitted to the Board in June;

·         Ingress Park was not serviced by Fastrack B which originated in Gravesend and was routed to Dartford via Bluewater. The new AZ route for Amazon workers did service Ingress Park thrice daily a.m. and p.m. to coincide with Amazon shift patterns. No reductions were envisaged for Fastrack B but timetable changes were due from April 2022;

·         Amazon staff had a pass which enabled use on all buses, Fastrack and AZ service, but through-ticketing for residents using both Fastrack A and B services was not yet a reality. Arriva had their own ticketing platform but KCC were in negotiations with the company over through-ticketing proposals. For the 2023/24 fiscal year Arriva like TfL would be introducing a 1 hour (70 minute) through-service bus ticket;

·         No fares increases for concessionary journeys were proposed for Fastrack in 2022/23, but Arriva fares were set to increase in that period. An on-line consultation with Bridge residents had gone well, and residents would continue to benefit from a special concession from the developer Prologis at 97p per journey, with weekly, monthly and annual tickets priced pro-rata available to purchase on-line;

·         The bus lane on William Munday Way was currently used by the AZ Amazon service. However, from April 2022 the route would be taken over by Fastrack A. It was hoped that the new Fastrack service once in operation, allied to proposed future surveillance camera installation, would stop motorists using the track as an illegal rat-run as at present. Possible interim measures could be a manual barrier as in Gravesend Town Centre or blue ‘Bus Only’ lane markings. KCC would consider and continue to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

KCC

68.

Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 64 KB

This report advises Members on the progress of matters arising at previous meetings of the Board, and on issues identified for future consideration.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received copies of an updated Appendix A documented with annotated comments in blue on published items 12, 13,15,18, and 21 from Kevin Gore (KCC Area Manager), given his inability to attend the proceedings that evening. 

 

Following Member discussion that evening the Chairman proposed that items 11, 13, 17, 20, 21 and 23 in Appendix A be ‘closed’.

 

Members agreed that some concerns/outstanding action remained on the following listed items in Appendix A:

 

·       Item 9 Bean Interchange - no update on proposed highway improvements;

·       Item 10 Lower Thames Crossing – the area of impact was now subject to proposed changes/considerations and the new proposals had been referred to Ministers. Dartford Library was a Hub for resident consultation and input;

·       Item 12 – keep open [despite KCC assurances over bollard repairs], to monitor proposed new signage installation and railings at Church Rd;

·       Item 14 – CCTV of parking around schools: the Leader of the Council advised the Board that parking tickets issued were down which was positive, but that enforcement resources were finite. The Council hoped to expand the present CCTV camera operation in the 7 (seven) designated priority areas, with Brent, Swanscombe and Temple Hill being identified as key areas for CCTV installation;

·       Item 15 – Work in Central Road Dartford: chase KCC over traffic calming measures;

·       Item 16 – Parking Management Prioritisation Scheme – a report had been submitted to Cabinet for information by the Principal Transport Planner (DBC). The pilot study on Bow Arrow Lane [agenda Item 11 refers], had produced a poor resident response, and Double Yellow Lines were now proposed rather than a Scheme. Cabinet had proposed a Member Working Party to consider this and other proposed parking schemes including Ann of Cleaves Road;

·       Item 17 Kent Rural Bus Study / Routes 428 and 492 – no update from TfL;

·       Item 18 – Priory Road South Flooding Gutter – this remained subject to investigation by KCC’s Drainage Team.

 

Post Meeting Note: Cllr Davis, Ward Member subsequently advised the Chairman of the following update from KCC:

 

The survey [on 30 January] went well. I’ve only recently received the drawings back and I need to study the plans in greater detail with my manager. We are meeting this week so will go from there. It certainly appears that there are a lot of services located on the west side where the damaged gully is. My initial thoughts are to connect the gully to the one on the opposite side of the road as we cannot connect directly to the Thames Water sewer. That route is the least congested with other services although still very close to the UKPN high voltage cables so they would need to be consulted.

 

·       Item 19 – Enforcement Cameras at Blue Star Roundabout: Kent Police were being contacted over the number of tickets issued to motorists blocking the yellow box enforcement system;

·       Item 22 – Double Yellow Lines at Priory Close: Principal Transport Planner to chase up action with KCC.

69.

Arriva Buses: Performance of Route 414

The Chairman will report on this matter.

Minutes:

The Principal Transport Planner (DBC) advised the Board that reliability on the 414 Arriva route was running at between 70-74% with some challenges over the new tender process to be worked through. He undertook to pass precise figures to the Board Clerk for circulating to Members.

70.

Members Enquiry Items

Members have the opportunity to raise  the following: -

 

·         Questions in relation to capital and revenue funded works programmes

·         Suggestions for future traffic regulation orders or street management proposals

·         Questions on policies, plans and strategies related to highways, road traffic and public transport.

·         Suggestion of a future agenda item (subject to the Chairman’s approval)

 

Minutes:

The following new concerns were raised by individual Board Members for consideration and adding to the Matters Arising Appendix A action document [agenda Item 7 refers]:

 

·       Ingress Park: Need to improve access for bin lorries and emergency vehicles. Action – Ward Cllrs. Butterfill, Harman and Mote to liaise and put agreed proposals to the Councils Waste & Parks Manager, including the identification of 8 (eight) specific ‘problem corners’ for Double Yellow Line painting by KCC (Sarah Rogers contact);

·       Common Lane: consideration of Yellow Lines with timing restrictions [Cllr. Sandhu];

·       Whitehead Close Wilmington: resurfacing required [Cllr. Sandhu/Chairman to pursue off-line].

71.

Prioritising the Investigation of Reported Parking Issues and Parking Management Schemes - Pilot Study, Bow Arrow Lane. pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received an update from the Principal Transport Planner under ‘Matters Arising’ [Agenda Item 7 Min. No. 68 refers].

72.

Minor Traffic Regulation Orders Progressed by Officers under Delegated Authority pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Minutes:

No update from Officers.

73.

Lower Thames Crossing - Update

Mr Agboola will update Members verbally on this matter.

Minutes:

Members received an update from the Principal Transport Planner under ‘Matters Arising’ [Agenda Item 7 Min. No. 68 refers].

74.

KCC - Environment, Highways and Waste pdf icon PDF 20 KB

For Members information the following have been attached for Members information: -

 

Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee – Minutes 8 September 2021 and 3 November 2021.

     

        

NB: If a Member wishes to discuss any of these items at the meeting, please advise the Member Services Section (01322) 343251 prior to the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No update was made.

75.

KCC - Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee (KCC E&T CC)

Minutes:

The Board received and noted the Minutes of the KCC E&T Cabinet Committee meetings of held on 8 September and 3 November 2021.

76.

KCC Officer attendance at JTB

Minutes:

The Chairman and KCC Board Members re-iterated their concerns over the non-attendance of some KCC Officers at the December 2021 and 8 March 2022 Board meetings to update Members.

 

It was agreed that the Chairman (DBC) would liaise further with Mr Ozog (KCC) with a view to making written representations to the KCC Cabinet Member Cllr. David Brazier.

 

Mrs Cole (KCC) advised the Board that to her knowledge, KCC Transport Officers had participated remotely in Gravesend and Sevenoaks Council meetings and this might be an option for Dartford JTB meetings.

 

Post Meeting Note: DBC IT Officers subsequently confirmed to the Board Clerk, that remote participation by KCC Officers was possible on request via Zoom or Teams.