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Venue: The Curve - William Street, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1XY
Contact: Nicholas Pontone 01753 875120
Declarations of Interest
It is a principle of the BLTB that the interests of the Thames Valley Berkshire area will take precedence over a member’s own interests or those of their nominating authority.
All members must declare, and take relevant action, if they believe they have a pecuniary or other interest on a matter to be considered at the meeting in accordance with the Code of Conduct of the nominating authority or LEP.
The Chair will invite any member representing a local authority seeking financial approval for a scheme to declare that interest.
Matthew Taylor declared that he worked for Stewarts Coaches Ltd, which had potential commercial interests in providing services for Mass Rapid Transit schemes.
Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB) held on 15th November 2018 and the Extraordinary meeting held on 31st January 2019 be approved as a correct record.
Members noted a briefing note that summarised the process by which Thames Valley Berkshire LEP and the Berkshire Local Transport Body operated in investing in local transport schemes.
The Chief Executive of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP updated members on the progress of reviewing its Assurance Framework to ensure it complied with the requirements of the new National Assurance Framework (NAF). The LEP Forum would consider ratification of the revised Assurance Framework on 26th March and the LTB Assurance Framework would need to be revised to ensure alignment. In the meantime, draft minutes of LTB meetings would be published within 10 days of meetings in line with the requirements in the National Framework to promote openness and transparency.
Resolved – That the BLTB ‘How we work’ briefing note be noted.
A report was received on the progress of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Growth Deal which set out the status of approved schemes, updated financial profile and identified risks.
Updates were provided by scheme promoters on each of the approved schemes:
2.01 Newbury: Kings Road Link Road – good progress was being made on site.
2.02 Bracknell: Warfield Link Road – completed.
2.03 Newbury: London Road Industrial Estate – completed.
2.04: Wokingham: Distributor Roads – update noted. Good progress was being made and the planning process was underway.
2.05 Newbury: Sandleford Park – update noted.
2.06 Reading: Green Park Railway Station – update noted.
2.07 Bracknell: Coral Reef Roundabout – completed.
2.08 Slough: MRT Phase 1 – completed.
2.09.1 Sustainable Transport NCN 422 – update noted. The works were almost completed.
2.09.2 Sustainable Transport A4 Cycle Route with Bucks – completed.
2.10 Slough: A332 Improvements – update noted.
2.11 and 2.12 Reading: South Reading MRT phases 1 and 2 – update noted. The scheme was almost completed.
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 and 2.25 Reading: East Reading MRT Phase 2 – withdrawn.
2.15 Bracknell: Martins Heron Roundabout – update noted. The impact of current utility works was noted.
2.16 Maidenhead Station Access – update noted. The scheme was progressing well and was on target.
2.17 Slough: A355 Route – completed.
2.18 No scheme.
2.19 Bracknell: Town Centre Regeneration and Infrastructure Improvements – the scheme had been completed. The one-year-on report would be considered later on the agenda.
2.20 No scheme.
2.21 Slough: Langley Station Access Improvements – update noted.
2.22 Slough: Burnham Station Access Improvements – the scheme was due to be completed by the end of April 2019.
2.23 Reading: South Reading MRT Phases 3 and 4 – update noted.
2.24 Newbury: Railway Station improvements – update noted.
2.25 – see 2.14.
2.26 Wokingham: Winnersh Relief Road (Phase 2) – see 2.29.
2.27 Maidenhead Town Centre: Missing Links – update noted. Good progress was being made with completed due by 2021.
2.28 Bracknell: A3095 Corridor Improvements – update noted. Preliminary works were underway to carry out detailed design.
2.29 Wokingham: Winnersh Parkway – a report seeking financial approval would be considered later on the agenda.
2.31 Slough: Stoke Road Area Regeneration – a report would be considered later in the meeting informing the LTB that the scheme could not be delivered by 2021 due to deliverability issues and that the funding be re-allocated.
2.32 Maidenhead: Housing Sites Enabling Works Phase 1 – update noted. Progressing well and on track for delivery by 2021.
2.33 GWR: Maidenhead to Marlow-Branch Line Upgrade – update noted.
2.34 Slough MRT Phase 2 – update noted.
2.35 Reading West Station Upgrade – update noted. Discussions were ongoing with GWR and Network Rail. The scheme promoter aimed to seek financial approval in July 2019 but the timescale was tight.
2.36 Wokingham: Coppid Beach Park and Ride – update noted.
2.37 Bracknell: A322 A329 Corridor Improvements – update noted.
2.38 Theale Station Park and Rail Upgrade – update noted. Work was ongoing.
2.39 Wokingham: Coppid Beech northbound – update noted.
2.40 Windsor: Town Centre Package – update noted. Discussions were taking place with the Independent Assessor about the mechanism to assess the scheme.
2.41 South Wokingham Distributor Road Eastern Gateway – update noted.
Resolved – That the progress made on schemes previously given programme entry status be noted.
A report was considered that sought financial approval for scheme 2.29 Wokingham: Winnersh Triangle Park and Ride (previously referred to as Wokingham: Winnersh Parkway). A total contribution from the LEP of £2,850,000 was sought over two years and conditional approval was requested.
The purpose of the scheme was to redevelop the transport links at Winnersh Triangle and included double-decking the new park and ride site to add at least 250 additional car parking spaces, improving the station building and reorganising the highways layout. There were significant plans to intensify the use of the Winnersh Triangle Business Park and the scheme would make a major contribution to the growth of economic activity. The scheme had a high benefit to cost ration of 4.4.
Members asked whether a modular design was being used to potentially provide additional car parking spaces in the future if capacity was reached. The scheme promoter confirmed that the design would provide the option of an extra deck in the future. There was a discussion about the long term impact on car parking of new transport technologies such as autonomous vehicles. This was an issue being considered in the development of long term strategic plans. The business case for investment in this particular scheme remained strong.
At the conclusion of the discussion, BLTB agreed to give conditional financial approval on the terms set out in the report.
Resolved – That scheme 2.29 Wokingham: Winnersh Triangle Park & Ride be given conditional financial approval in the sum of £250,000 in 2019/20 and £2,600,000 in 2020/21 on the terms of the funding agreement set out a paragraph 11 step 5 of the report, subject to meeting the following conditions:
(i) Either: Provision of clear evidence to justify the different journey time and vehicle operating cost impacts across all user classes.
(ii) Or: Provision of updated VISUM model and TUBA model outputs that demonstrate both positive and consistent impacts across all user classes.
(iii) Provision of benefits sensitivity test outputs for a low growth and reduced P&R occupancy scenario that demonstrate the scheme will continue to represent high value for money from investment under these circumstances.
(iv) Provision of additional evidence to support the commercial case to demonstrate the optimum procurement approaches will be adopted by both Wokingham BC and South Western Railway (SWR).
(v) Provision of confirmation of SWR management arrangements for delivering the internal station works.
(vi) That the scheme retains high or better value for money once these conditions have been met.
BLTB considered the One Year Impact Report for scheme 2.19 Bracknell: Town Centre Regeneration. Bracknell Forest Council had received £2m towards the £6.382m for highway network and public realm improvements.
The reports of the scheme promoter and the Independent Assessor, Hatch Regeneris, on the impacts were summarised. The benefits of the scheme were based on the modelled forecast year of 2026 and it was therefore too early to assess the impact of the delivered schemes but it was concluded that the overall movement and capacity at the junctions had been improved which was important in managing the local highway network and supporting the significant regeneration of the town centre. There had been 17 million people movements in the year to August 2018 with 54% travelling by car. Increased traffic congestion had been avoided and accidents had fallen.
On behalf of Bracknell Forest Council, Councillor Turrell stated that the objectives of the scheme had been met and made a big difference locally. There had also been an increase in pedestrian and public transport movements, although members commented that the use of sustainable modes did not come through strongly in the impact reports.
At the conclusion of the discussion, the LTB welcomed the initial positive impacts and noted the reports.
Resolved – That the One Year Impact Reports from the scheme promoter and the independent assessor for 2.19 Bracknell: Town Centre Regeneration be noted.
A report was considered that recommended approval of a payment to Slough Borough Council from the Business Rates Retention Pilot under the revenue support scheme for the development of a strong pipeline of future infrastructure schemes.
The LTB had already agreed the funding for the other five authorities in Berkshire and Slough’s proposal to utilise the £100,000 allocated was set out in Appendix 1. This included support to develop the Heart of Slough strategic routes scheme. After due consideration, the LTB agreed the revenue support proposals from Slough Borough Council.
Resolved – That the revenue support proposal and the drawdown of BRRP funds by Slough Borough Council as set out in appendix 1 to the report be approved.
A report was considered that sough approval to give programme entry status to a new scheme from the July 2018 prioritised list, 2.42 Wokingham: Barkham Bridge for £4,265, 431.
Following the withdrawal of the East Reading MRT scheme, the LTB had agreed in January 2019 to reallocate this funding to six schemes and postpone a decision on a seventh scheme, 2.41 Slough: SMaRT Phase 3 A4 West Park and Ride. However, the scheme promoter had confirmed that due to complexities of land ownership the SMaRT Phase 3 scheme could not be delivered by March 2021 as required. It was therefore recommended that the next scheme on the prioritised list, Wokingham: Barkham Bridge be given programme entry status.
Assurance was sought from the scheme promoter that it could be delivered within the required timescales. Wokingham Borough Council gave a high level of assurance by confirming that the scheme was well advanced and was almost ready to go on site. It was also confirmed that all of the scheme was within highway land.
BLTB agreed to give programme entry status to 2.42 Wokingham: Barkham Bridge.
Resolved – That programme entry status be granted for scheme 2.42 Wokingham: Barkham Bridge for £4,265,431.
A report was considered on the informal engagement process for Transport for the South East (TfSE) to secure statutory status as a sub-national transport body. Councillor Page reminded members that he was BTLBs representative on TFSE and that he was the Vice-Chair of that body.
The TfSE Shadow Board had approved a draft proposal to Government for informal engagement and responses had been sought from authorities in Berkshire to respond to this draft proposal. The informal engagement process closed on 1st March and retrospective endorsement of the response set out in paragraph 22 of the report was recommended. A formal consultation period would take place after the local elections on 2nd May which would run to 31st July 2019.
Several authorities had already hosted presentations from TfSE and these had been well received. Members welcomed the response which was endorsed subject to a minor amendment to paragraph 22(v) which should read “consensus within the Partnership Board”.
There was a wider discussion about the membership and voting arrangements and it was confirmed that the one seat for Berkshire would carry six votes operating collectively following consultation through the LTB and Berkshire Strategic Transport Forum. Authorities could decide to have individual membership at a later stage.
At the conclusion of the discussion, the recommendations were approved.
(a) That the response set out in paragraph 22 of the report be endorsed.
(b) That the comments and minor amendment as above be made to the response.
(c) That it be noted that TfSE proposed to conduct formal consultation on its final proposal to government and that would be the subject of a further report to BLTB on 18th July 2019.
A report was considered that informed the LTB of the Transport for the South East (TfSE) call for schemes for the government’s £3.5bn Major Roads Network (MRN) programme.
The MRN was for A roads administered by local authorities which sat below the network of motorway and trunk roads. The government had indicated that sub-national transport bodies would have a major role in identifying priorities and TfSE had therefore issued a call for schemes with a deadline of May 2019.
It was noted that cross-boundary schemes would be particularly important through this process and it was proposed and agreed that a further report with a list of schemes be received by the LTB in July 2019.
Resolved – That the Transport for the South East call for MRN schemes be noted and that a further report detailing any schemes submitted to TfSE would be produced for the July BLTB meeting.
The BLTB Forward Plan set out the matters to be considered at future meetings. It was noted that the One-year on impact report for 2.02 Bracknell: Warfield Link Road would be moved from November 2019 to March 2020.
Resolved – That the BLTB Forward Plan be noted.
Date of Next Meeting - 18th July 2019
The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 18th July 2019.