Venue: The Venue - The Curve, William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY. View directions
Contact: Nicholas Pontone 01753 875120
Declarations of Interest
Stuart Atkinson declared that he worked for Stuart Michael Associates who had been involved in the Wokingham Distributor Roads project.
Charles Eales declared that he worked for Microsoft based at Thames Valley Park Reading.
Resolved – That the minutes of the Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB) held on 17th November 2016 be approved as a correct record.
To note the appointment of Stuart Atkinson to the BLTB as a representative of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP.
It was noted that following a recruitment process, Stuart Atkinson had been appointed to the BLTB as a representative of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP.
Resolved – That Stuart Atkinson be welcomed to the BLTB as a representative of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP.
A report was considered that recommended that BLTB join a proposed sub-national transport body, provisionally titled ‘Transport for the South East’, on behalf of the six unitary authorities in Berkshire. Mark Valleley of East Sussex County Council gave a presentation on the transport strategy, proposed governance arrangements and communications and engagement for the proposed body.
The establishment of sub-national transport body would create a stronger, more unified voice to make the case for much needed transport investment in the constituent areas and set investment priorities. There was potentially a role in activities such as joint ticketing arrangements and the legislation also provided for the delivery of major schemes. It was noted that other parts of the country were already much further advanced in terms of joint working at a sub-national level. The geographic coverage of Transport for the South East was proposed to include Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire as well as Berkshire; with five Local Enterprise Partnerships engaged. A wide range of transport and economic development partners would be involved. Discussions were being held about establishing shadow board arrangements with a view to the formal launch of such a body on 1 April 2019.
(Councillor Richards joined the meeting)
Members discussed a range of specific issues including rationale for the proposed geography and the common strategic economic and transport issues were noted. The governance arrangements and voting rights were also considered and several Members emphasised the importance of ensuring Berkshire was fairly represented to reflect its economic importance. A financial contribution would be sought be each of the participating authorities and for Berkshire this was likely to be a single subscription from BLTB.
After discussion it was felt that a sub-national body would provide an opportunity to increase co-operation across the south east, provide a stronger, combined voice and help deliver transport improvements for local people. The recommendations to participate in the shadow body and receive a further report at a later stage on the detailed arrangements were agreed.
(a) That BTLB participate in the shadow arrangements for a sub-national transport body for the south east.
(b) That Councillor Page represent BLTB at the shadow board meetings.
(c) That further reports be received on the details of the governance and proposed strategy for the sub-national transport in due course.
A report was considered on the progress of transport schemes under the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Growth Deal. Since the last meeting, the government had announced Growth Deal 3 including six new schemes for the Thames Valley area worth a total of £33.826m for which programme entry status was requested.
The BLTB considered a progress report on the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Growth Deal and in particular the schemes included in the transport packages of the Strategic Economic Plan. Tables 1 and 2 should the overall financial position for Growth Deal allocations which now totalled £135.9m through to 2020/21.
The BLTB reviewed each scheme in the programme:
2.01 Newbury: Kings Road Link Road – update noted. The scheme was progressing well.
2.02 Bracknell: Warfield Link Road – update noted.
2.03 Newbury: London Road Industrial Estate – update noted. The scheme was on track.
2.04.2 Wokingham: North Wokingham Distributor Road, 2.04.3 Wokingham: South Wokingham Distributor Road and 2.04.4: Wokingham: Arborfield Relief Road – update noted. See Minute 25.
2.05 Newbury: Sandleford Park – update noted. The planning application had been submitted, although there were some outstanding planning issues to resolve with the developers.
2.06 Reading: Green Park Railway Station – update noted. Work on the station design was taking place with rail partners and the scheme was on track.
2.07 Bracknell: Coral Reed Roundabout – project completed. The one year on monitoring report was due in the Autumn 2017.
2.08 Slough: Rapid Transit Phase 1 – update noted.
2.09.1 Sustainable Transport NCN 422 – update noted.
2.09.2 Sustainable Transport A4 Cycle Route with Bucks – update noted. Work was now taking place on site.
2.10 Slough: A332 Improvements – update noted.
2.11 and 2.12 Reading: South Reading MRT phases 1 and 2 – update noted.
2.13 Wokingham: Thames Valley Park & Ride (previously called 2.13 Reading: Eastern Park & Ride) – update noted.
2.14 Reading: East Reading MRT Phase 1 – update noted. The scheme linked to 2.25 East Reading MRT Phase 2 which was awaiting programme entry under Growth Deal 3. The LTB asked for assurance about the delivery of the schemes and it was noted that progress was being made and work on the businesses cases was advanced.
2.15 Bracknell: Martins Heron Roundabout – update noted.
2.16 Maidenhead Station Access – update noted.
2.17 Slough: A355 Route – the scheme had been completed and traffic flows had improved.
2.18 No scheme.
2.19 Bracknell: Town Centre Regeneration and Infrastructure Improvements – update noted. The scheme was nearly complete.
2.20 No scheme.
2.21 Slough: Langley Station Access Improvements – update noted. The scheme was on schedule. Detailed designs were awaited.
2.22 Slough: Burnham Station Access Improvements – update noted. The scheme was on schedule.
Members considered in detail the six further schemes approved in Growth Deal 3 which were awaiting programme entry:
· 2.23 Reading: South Reading MRT Phases 3-4
· 2.24 Newbury: Railway Station Improvements
· 2.25 Reading: East Reading MRT Phase 2
· 2.26 Wokingham: Winnersh Relief Road Phase 2
· 2.27 Maidenhead Town Centre: Missing Links
· 2.28 Bracknell: A3095 Corridor Improvements
The scheme promoters explained the key aspects of each scheme and Members asked a number of specific questions about the risks and deliverability of each scheme. At the conclusion of the discussion, the BLTB agreed to give programme entry status to the six schemes as recommended.
Members noted the approval given to the ‘Smart Reading, Bracknell and West Berkshire’ project which had a strong transport element but was not appropriate for the LTB assurance framework and did not therefore require formal approval.
(a) That programme entry status be given the following schemes:
2.23 Reading: South Reading MRT Phases 3-4
2.24 Newbury: Railway Station Improvements
2.25 Reading: East Reading MRT Phase 2
2.26 Wokingham: Winnersh Relief Road Phase 2
2.27 Maidenhead Town Centre: Missing Links
2.28 Bracknell: A3095 Corridor Improvements
(b) That the approval given to the ‘Smart Reading, Bracknell and West Berkshire’ project be noted.
(c) That the progress made on schemes previous given programme entry status, as set out in Appendix 6 to the report, be noted.
A report was considered on the process and timetable for finalising the LEP’s response to the government’s Airports National Policy Statement consultation. The report set out the outline response to the consultation questions which focused on the need for additional capacity in the South East including a number of issues regarding the preferred option of the Heathrow Northwest runway scheme.
Members agreed that the draft response broadly reflected the collective position and endorsed the outline comments which would go forward to the LEP Forum on 24th May for final agreement prior to submission.
Resolved – That the process for finalising the LEP’s response to the government’s Airports National Policy consultation be endorsed.
A report was considered which reviewed the progress made in delivering the Wokingham Distributor Roads programme and sought the support of the LTB for the allocation of £24m identified in Growth Deal 1 to support the 2.04.04 Arborfield Cross Relief Road only.
The original proposal was to spread the Growth Deal contribution across three roads, however, after discussion with Department for Transport official, it was proposed that this be simplified to by concentrating on the Arborfield Cross Relief Road only. After due consideration, the request was supported.
Resolved – That the request of Wokingham Borough Council to concentrate all the available £24m for the Distributor Roads programme in scheme 2.04.04 Arborfield Cross Relief Road be supported.
A report was considered which reviewed the BTLB Assurance Framework in light of revised Government guidance issued in November 2016. The report proposed an approach for conducting one and five year post completion monitoring reports. Table 1 summarised the key points for discussion and these were discussed and recommendations approved.
(a) That the BLTB Assurance Framework dated 14th November 2013 be confirmed as being fit for purpose.
(b) That the approach for conducting one and five year post-completion monitoring reports as set out in Appendix 2 be approved.
The forward plan was considered which set out the pipeline of schemes anticipated to come to the LTB for funding approval in 2017/18.
Resolved – That the BLTB Forward Plan be noted.
Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 20th July 2017 at 4.00pm at The Curve, William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY
The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Thursday 20th July 2017 at 4.00pm at The Curve, William Street, Slough.