Agenda and minutes

Highways and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee. - Thursday, 7 March 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Sparkenhoe Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

Contact: Mr A. Sarang (0116) 305 8644  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 126 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 18th January 2024 were taken as read, confirmed and signed.



Question Time. pdf icon PDF 255 KB


The Chief Executive reported that three questions had been received under Standing Order 35.


Question asked by Ms Rachael Wigginton (Better Biking for Blaby District)


“The progress made by the County Council in prioritising Active Travel is to be commended. We trust this will be reflected in an improved Local Authority Capability Rating when the results of the next assessment by Active Travel England are published. However there are elements of the approach taken in developing LCWIPs that are frustrating community groups and Active Travel campaigners, including:

1.     Lack of external Governance forums and involvement of second tier authorities and their active travel officers. They are currently operating independently with limited discussions around more detailed aspects of the LCWIPs.

2.     Limited face to face engagement or workshops held with key active travel community groups and stakeholders in order to build a small number of ‘trusted partners’ or ‘critical friends’ to engage with, as other local authorities do.

3.     Clarity of vision and strategy e.g. should commuter corridor routes be prioritised over travel to schools and short journeys?

4.     Missed opportunities for small schemes and quick wins.

As a result, it is difficult to see how the present approach will deliver the transformational change needed in the way our communities travel for short distances to schools, shops and local transport hubs.

Will the County Council commit to addressing the points above including a review of the approach taken in developing LCWIPs and bring the key small number of stakeholders and partners together to discuss and clarify the points above?”


Reply by the Chairman


“The Council recognises the importance of community engagement and involvement as part of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). The development of those to date has been informed by engagement exercises, including with representatives from relevant local groups and from district councils. A report to the Cabinet in November 2023 outlined the considerable amount of engagement work undertaken to inform the development of the first two LCWIPs – for the Loughborough and the South of Leicester areas - and this approach will continue as further LCWIPs are developed. Additionally, the Council is working with North West Leicestershire District Council and Blaby District Council to support work that they are undertaking to develop their own (equivalent) LCWIP documents.


In response to requests from, amongst others, Better Biking for Blaby, the Council established an Active Travel Forum to enable interested parties to participate in wider discussions around this agenda; this was welcomed and supported by those who attended its inaugural meeting in September 2023.  The next forum is due to take place in spring 2024. The Council would like to ensure the meeting date corresponds with other announcements about schemes and the latest funding position. The Council aims for the forum attendees to be in a position to be informed about wider events and developments at the earliest opportunity. An update has been shared with forum attendees and also on the ‘Choose How You Move’ website. Following the next forum, the Council intends to work to engage with key active travel community groups and stakeholders building smaller groups to act as critical friends and delivery partners.


In addition, the LCWIP development team has begun engaging with other stakeholders such as Neighbourhood Forum groups and further consultation with stakeholders will take place when the Council is developing specific local schemes.


As schemes progress towards implementation, the Council will be engaging with local active travel groups.


The Council is also now in the process of updating its Local Transport Plan (LTP) which will set out a vision and strategy for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Questions asked by members under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).


The Chief Executive reported that no questions had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5).



Urgent Items.


There were no urgent items for consideration.



Declarations of interest in respect of items on the agenda.


The Chairman invited members who wished to do so to declare any interest in respect of items on the agenda for the meeting.


Mr Phillimore declared a non-registerable interest in agenda item 9 (Special Educational Needs School Transport Service – Update) due to his wife’s employment.



Declarations of the Party Whip in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 16.


There were no declarations of the party whip.



Presentation of Petitions under Standing Order 35.


The Chief Executive reported that no petitions had been received under Standing Order 35.


Environment and Transport 2024/25 Highways and Transportation Capital Programme and Works Programme. pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport, the purpose of which was to inform the Committee of the development of the Environment and Transport Department 2024/25 Highways and Transportation Capital Programme and Works Programme, both of which were appended to the report, and to seek its view prior to these Programmes being presented to the Cabinet for approval on 26 March 2024.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 8’ is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussion, the following points were made:


(i)               Members welcomed the recent announcement of Network North Funding (NNF) allocated by the Government.  An indicative allocation for the County Council of £238m under the Local Transport Fund (LTF) element of NNF had been announced which would be received over a period of 7 years beginning in 2025/26.  Members noted that this did not therefore form part of the current capital programme now presented for comment.

(ii)              The annual allocation of the LTF had not yet been confirmed.  The Department of Transport (DfT) had indicated that this would be back loaded (i.e. start low and increase year on year).  The Director suggested it would therefore be a while before substantial funding was received.  Full details were awaited, but indications were that the funding could be spent on a wide range of capital works.  Further guidance was expected by the end of March.

(iii)            In response to questions about how the back loading of funding might affect activity in the earlier years, the Director explained that larger projects had a long lead in time due to the level of preparation and planning needed.  It would therefore be possible to plan these scheme and contract at appropriate times in line with when funding would be received.  This would also become clearer when the annual allocations had been confirmed. 

(iv)            Low, static levels of funding in recent years had limited the amount of improvement and maintenance works carried out by the Department.  Members were pleased to hear that the NNF would allow for a more long-term approach to be taken.  The Director highlighted, however, that some context was required to manage expectations. The Department’s current capital budget for maintenance was £18m for 2024/25, and the additional NNF Road Resurfacing funding stream for maintenance would increase this next year by approximately £2.25m.  Whilst the funding would be welcome, it would not therefore address all the issues currently faced across the County’s road network.

(v)             The Department was required to develop a two year delivery plan for the LTF by the end of the year.  Officers were currently working on this and engagement with members, MPs and other stakeholders would take place as appropriate over the coming year.  The guidance expected later this month would provide more clarity on what could be included in the plan.

(vi)            Members welcomed the announcement by Government of a LTF for highways and transport capital improvements.  This would be aimed to support more small-scale improvements across the network.  The Director reported that if this came to fruition, along with the Road Resurfacing NNF, an improved capital program might be possible in future years.

(vii)          Funding would, if appropriate under the conditions of funding and where investigations highlighted possible schemes, be set aside to support flood alleviation work.  A significant amount of work had been undertaken in response to recent storms, like Storm Henk.  However, this was in addition to considerable work still in progress from ongoing section 19 investigations which related to past flooding events.  Investigations took time to resolve and would likely result in actions for the various  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.


Special Educational Needs School Transport Service - Update pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport, the purpose of which was to provide an update on the performance and delivery of Special Educational Needs (SEN) Transport for the 2023/24 academic year.  The report also provided a summary of the next steps to be taken by the service over the next 12 months.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussion, the following points were made:


(i)               Members acknowledged the challenges faced by the Service and the limited ability to plan ahead when demand continued to grow so quickly.  Members recognised that other authorities were experiencing the same problems and questioned what was being done nationally to address this. A Member expressed concern at the lack of additional funding being provided in the Government’s recent budget to address the crisis affecting local government with regards to SEN services, including SEN transport.

(ii)             The Director reported on discussions by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS). Members were reassured that the Council regularly fed into discussions at a national level directly and through these groups.  It was noted that there was general agreement across both Associations that children should be at the core of how services were directed with transport tailored to a child’s needs. However, this did not always align with parental expectations.  A change in legislation to redress the balance and to move away from what was currently an adversarial system was needed.  Representations had been made to the Department for Education on that basis, but unfortunately feedback to date was that there was no appetite by the Government to amend the legislation. 

(iii)            Members noted the ADEPT toolkit which shared actions taken by authorities to address pressures locally within the current legislative framework.  The Council was seeking to learn from what others had done, and it had shared its work undertaken with Blaby District Council to trial the introduction of school only taxi license badges.  Members noted the success of the trial so far which was in its very early stages, and the Director undertook to provide more detailed information on this after the meeting.  A Member questioned if this type of targeted licence could be rolled out to other types of volunteer drivers (for example, those providing community transport in rural areas).  The Director undertook to share details of the contact at Blaby District Council so that members could discuss future options. 

(iv)           The Authority provided transport services as required by legislation but had discretion to determine locally how best to deliver this. It was therefore difficult to make comparisons with other authorities as each operated differently and this was reflective of the level of funding they received. The County Council’s low funded position meant it had, over a number of years, sought to deliver its services as efficiently as possible and it would make use of the ADEPT toolkit to look at other areas for improvement. One example being considered was improving its independent travel training which other authorities had done to make sure those over the age of 16 were better able to use public transport, rather than require personal transport services from the Council.

(v)             A Member expressed concern that some children were not able to attend their nearest special school which added to the transport burden. The Director explained that under current regulation’s placements were agreed as part of a child’s ECHP (education and health care plan) and transport was considered at the end of that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Road Casualty Reduction in Leicestershire. pdf icon PDF 444 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport, the purpose of which was to provide an update on confirmed reported road casualty statistics up to the end of 2022, the Council’s approach to casualty reduction and the Leicestershire Police’s approach to road safety (as set out in Appendix A to the report).  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 10’ is filed with these minutes.


The Chairman welcomed Mr Graham Compton, Road Safety Officer at Leicestershire Police, to the meeting.  Mr Compton presented the Police Road Safety update (attached as appendix A to the report).


Arising from discussion the following points were made:


(i)               Members noted that despite efforts by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership drink and drug driving were still on the rise. There was also an emerging problem related to e-scooters and e-bikes which had been involved in a number of collisions during the reporting period.  It was questioned whether current communication routes had been reviewed to ensure these provided the best reach to the widest demographic of people. Members were pleased to hear that the Partnership had its own communications officer that liaised with Councils and the Police and other partners and ran a number of campaigns through a range of media sources.  The Board had also identified possible actions to improve contacts with communities through community centres and existing locality groups and networks, as well as improve messaging through social media.  It was suggested that engaging with schools and universities, particularly regarding e-scooter and e-bike safety might be beneficial.  A Member also suggested the use of the Council’s Leicestershire Matters as a means of reaching every household in the County.

(ii)             Concerns were raised about the number of vehicles that had attempted to drive through flooded roads during the recent storms and the safety and resource implications this gave rise to.  The Director confirmed that through the recently revised Flood Risk Management Strategy action to improve messages around flooding were being undertaken.  Mr Compton further commented that responding to vehicles stuck in flood water used up considerable Fire Service resources and it had therefore done some excellent work in providing advice to residents and communities on this issue.  A Member commented that early flood warnings advising which roads were affected could help to encourage people to plan their routes to avoid these in the first place.

(iii)            Members commented that a growing number of complaints were being raised by residents about parking on footpaths.  This not only caused damage to footpaths but also hindered or prevented use entirely by those, for example, with pushchairs, who were partially sighted, or in a wheelchair.  It was recognised that the Police had limited resources to address such matters.  It was suggested that more needed to be done to educate communities to change their behaviour.

(iv)           Members welcomed the actions being taken by the Partnership to engage directly with hauliers regarding the inappropriate use of weight restricted roads.  Members noted that public reports of lorries travelling through weight restricted zones should be passed to local town or parish councils.  They were able to collate this data and the Partnership then used this to identify patterns of use or use by a specific business to support action being taken.  It was recognised that policing weight restricted zones to pursue a formal prosecution was labour intensive.  The Partnership therefore utilised the data provided by the public to issue warnings to drivers and/or hauliers.  A fall in complaints suggested that this approach was helpful.  The Director undertook to consider with the Partnership where residents in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.


Development of the Leicestershire County Council Road Safety Strategy pdf icon PDF 145 KB


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport, the purpose of which was to inform the Committee of the development of the Council’s Road Safety Strategy, and to seek its views on the draft as part of the engagement being undertaken and on the new casualty reduction targets proposed.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 11’ is filed with these minutes.


Members noted that the full revised draft strategy would be shared with Members at the end of March/early April and feedback was welcomed.


Arising from discussion, the following points were made:


(i)           In response to a question regarding the A5, the Director advised that this was managed by National Highways. The Strategy would include a commitment from the Council to work collectively with National Highways regarding those parts of the A5 which passed through Leicestershire.

(ii)         Members noted that fewer traditional ‘cluster’ sites in terms of accidents were coming through due to measures introduced in those areas.  However, the Strategy retained the Council’s commitment to look at sites or stretches of road where patterns of behaviour were identified.  The Council would continue to seek to understand these and respond appropriately.  It was acknowledged that a single approach would not be appropriate.

(iii)        The Council looked at the motorway network, including the M1, to help its understanding of how this impacted the use of roads in the County for which it was responsible for.  Through the Road Safety Partnership information and learning was also shared.  However, the County Council would not intervene in measures adopted on such roads.  This was a matter for National Highways.




That the development of the Council’s Road Safety Strategy be noted.


Highways and Transport Performance Report to December 2023. pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport, the purpose of which was to present the latest performance update on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) the County Council was solely or partly responsible for within its Strategic Plan covering Highways and Transport Services to December 2023 (Quarter three).  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 12’ is filed with these minutes.


A Member commented on the condition of byways open to all traffic in the Belvoir division which required remediation works and action taken to stop inappropriate use.  It was noted that this was an issue being seen in other parts of the County too.  Members noted that the Council did not have a statutory duty to upgrade or maintain public byways for vehicle use and so due to a lack of resources, this was a low priority issue.  However, this could be looked at in the future depending on how much funding was received.


It was noted that the emissions figures contained in the report were in arrears and related to 2022 and so were reflective of post pandemic increases in traffic.



That the performance update for the period up to December 2023 (quarter three) be noted.



Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for 6 June 2024, at 2.00pm.





It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on 6th June 2024 at 2.00pm.