Issue - meetings

Highways and Transport Presentations

Meeting: 26/02/2024 - Devizes Area Board (Item 62)

62 Highways and Transport Presentations

To receive presentations on topics such as strategic business plan priorities, maintenance, LTP, congestion, public transport and air quality.

Supporting documents:


The Area Board received a presentation from Sam Howell (Director Highways and Transport), Adrian Hampton (Head of Highways Operations) and Cllr Caroline Thomas (Cabinet Member for Transport, Street Scene, and Flooding). The presentation covered, but was not limited to, the following matters:



·       An overview of the Wiltshire transport context was provided, including how the highway network represented the Council’s largest and most valuable public asset with a replacement value of over £5billion including over 2,8000 miles of road.

·       The relation of Highways and Transport to the Wiltshire Council Business Plan was outlined.

·       Statistics were provided regarding asset management, including maintenance.


Investment in the Network:

·       An overview of the funding available to Highways maintenance was outlined, including that there was a Highways Maintenance fund of £21million, which was topped up by additional funds, such as an additional £3.6million pothole fund.

·       Other additional sources of funding top ups were covered, including additional investment from Wiltshire Council and further Government funding to span a two-year period.

·       It was noted that as a local authority, Wiltshire was robust and had a preventative eye with the importance of prioritising issued outlined.


The Local Transport Plan:

·       The importance of having a Local Transport Plan was outlined, with it setting a framework for maintaining and improving transport in Wiltshire.

·       The importance of the Local Transport Plan aligning with the Local Plan Review to help deliver Wiltshire Council’s Business Plan priorities was stated, with key themes identified including decarbonisation, freight, and active travel.

·       It was noted that there would be plenty of opportunities to be involved in the consultation of the Local Transport Plan.


Public Transport Review:

·       An overview was provided regarding the public transport review, which would aim to shape the future bus policy as well as priorities for support.

·       The consultation timeframe, which ended on 10 November 2023, was outlined as well as that there had been over 1,000 responses.

·       The aim was for a new policy and network to be implemented from April 2024.


Local Issues:

·       The following areas were identified as being specific local issues:

o   Highway Maintenance

o   Flooding

o   Air Quality

o   Peak Hour Traffic Delays


Highways Maintenance:

·       It was outlined that the Council has three different approaches to maintenance:

o   Reactive Maintenance - Responding to issues as they arise, such as repairing potholes or replacing damaged signs.

o   Planned Maintenance - Scheduling regular maintenance tasks to prevent issues from arising in the first place or getting worse.

o   Asset Maintenance - Taking a long-term view of highways maintenance and involves evaluating the condition of roads and infrastructure and prioritizing maintenance tasks based on factors like condition, safety, cost, and rate of deterioration.

·       An overview of benchmarking for Highways was provided following a 2022 South West Road condition scanner survey, with Wiltshire in a good position compared to other local authorities. Furthermore, it was noted that this data was used to prioritise investment.

·       An explanation of why so many potholes have occurred was provided as well as detail regarding interim and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62

Meeting: 06/12/2023 - Melksham Area Board (Item 41)

Highways and Transport Presentations

To receive presentations on topics such as strategic business plan priorities, maintenance, LTP, congestion, public transport and air quality.


The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting and handed over to the Highways Matters panel. The panel comprised the following:


·       Councillor Mike Sankey – Melksham Area Board Member and Melksham LHFIG Lead Representative

·       Sam Howell – Director Highways and Transport

·       John Derryman – PCC’s Office – Road Safety

·       Chris Clark – Head of Local Highway

·       Councillor Caroline Thomas – Cabinet Member for Transport, Flooding and Street Scene


Councillor Caroline Thomas introduced a series of presentations on highways in Wiltshire, providing context as to the role and importance and impact of transport across the county.


Samantha Howell then spoke to the strategic context of the highways network in Wiltshire, noting that the Council was responsible for maintaining an extensive network of roads, public rights of way and public transport.


The panel described how the highways network is funded and the investment that has gone into it in recent years and going forward. Samantha Howell further outlined the significance of the Council’s Local Transport Plan.


The panel noted that the major local issues that had arisen from public engagement included highway maintenance, problems with the A350, road safety and the Local Walking and Cycling Improvement Plan (LWCIP). 


Chris Clark explained the approach the Council undertakes towards highway maintenance and the difference between reactive and planned maintenance alongside asset management.


He also touched on potholes and explained why the weather conditions over the last twelve months had been so problematic for the roads. The panel also noted the Defect Dashboard that would be further implemented over the coming months to help ensure that the Council’s approach to prevention and repairs remains cost-effective and evidence-led.


Councillor Thomas also noted the ‘We’re Targeting Fly-Tippers’ and ‘Don’t Miss with Wiltshire’ initiatives to tackle verge and litter clearance, also noting that the Council was loaning cleaning equipment to local parish councils.


John Derryman from the PCC’s Office noted that the PCC quickly recognised road safety as a priority for investment, which manifested itself in the form of community speed watch teams, community speed enforcement officers and road safety officers, alongside more vehicles and state-of-the-art cameras. Wiltshire and Swindon road safety partnership a valuable infrastructure to bring together several organisations concerned with road safety. SID data being used to inform enforcement, encouraged parish councils to get community speed watch teams and SIDs in place.