Agenda item

Highways and Transport Performance Report to June 2021.


The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and Director of Environment and Transport which provided the latest performance update on the key performance indicators that the Council was responsible for within its Strategic Plan covering Highways & Transport Services. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 9’, is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussions the following points were noted:


(i)          A member raised concerns regarding the amount of warehousing in Leicestershire that was only accessible via minor unclassified roads and the consequent impact on those roads from HGVs. In response it was explained that the statutory duty of the local authority was to facilitate the movement of vehicles through the network however the local authority did have the power to impose weight limits on roads for safety reasons and the County Council had exercised this power throughout Leicestershire where it was appropriate. HGVs were exempt from the weight restrictions if they were accessing a property that was only accessible via a minor road.


(ii)         The performance indicators which related to ‘where maintenance should be considered’ did not indicate whether that maintenance work had actually been carried out and a member questioned whether there should be a separate performance indicator relating to maintenance work actually carried out. In response it was explained that these performance indicators related to maintenance work that was still required after the planned maintenance programme had already been carried out. The maintenance was carried out both proactively and reactively and there was often extra maintenance work that was required to be carried out in addition to the planned maintenance work. The planned maintenance programme was published on the County Council’s website annually.


(iii)       During the Covid-19 pandemic both service provision and patronage of bus services had significantly dropped. Service provision had now increased to approximately 90% of pre-pandemic levels however patronage was currently 60-80% of pre-pandemic levels. Bus operators were aiming for patronage to return to 90% of pre-pandemic levels by 2022.


(iv)       During the pandemic Government had provided the Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) to support bus services but this funding ceased on 31 August 2021. To replace the CBSSG a recovery grant of £226.5 million would be available nationally from 1 September 2021 to 31 March 2022. Should patronage not return to close to pre-pandemic levels by the end of March 2022 then there would be a challenge to maintain bus services without additional Government funding.


(v)        Public satisfaction with the Rights of Way Network had increased and it was believed this was because of more people using footpaths during the Covid-19 pandemic as exhibited by the increase in enquiries from the public received by the Rights of Way Team. Satisfaction with cycle routes and facilities had decreased and in response to a question as to whether this was due to reduced funding it was explained that it was likely to be due to a variety of factors. Local Authorities were required to bid for funding for cycle routes; there was no funding provided by central government for cycling as a matter of course. 


(vi)       It was questioned why the ‘% of businesses saying that a reduction in traffic congestion would significantly affect their business’ was at 53% when there had been much less traffic congestion due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was noted that the data for this performance indicator came from a survey conducted by the Local Enterprise Partnership and the question was a small part of a much larger survey. Whilst these surveys did not always provide the whole picture with regards to public satisfaction, they could be used to monitor trends over time and decide when and where action needed to be taken.


(vii)      The NHT survey in relation to the number of people satisfied with the condition of the condition of pavements and footpaths was sent to Parish Councils and County Councillors as well as to the public for feedback. The survey needed to be completed by as broad a section of residents of Leicestershire as possible to ensure an accurate picture was received and that any anomalies did not affect the overall results. Suggestions from members for how the surveys could be disseminated wider were welcomed. 


(viii)    A member requested that future performance reports provide the sample size when referring to key performance indicators.




That the update on the key performance indicators that the Council is responsible for within its Strategic Plan covering Highways & Transport Services be noted.


Supporting documents: