Agenda item

Highways and Transport Presentations

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


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 permanent repairs.

·       It was noted that officers have a defect dashboard which enables them to monitor real time data relating to reported and completed defects by area.

·       Work regarding flood prevention was outlined, with it noted that the gullies of A and B roads are emptied annually with 5,500 gullies classed as high risk.


Local Highway & Footway Improvement Group (LHFIG):

·       The role of the LHFIG was outlined as well as areas which they could fund.

·       It was stated that currently the Devizes LHFIG has 18 live projects with a budget of £57,065 and spending commitments of £66,783.


Parish Stewards:

·       The role of Parish Stewards was outlined, with it noted that there is 18 Parish Stewards, one for each area, who work with representatives in their parishes to ensure all work requests are clear and are logged for review before they start the work.


Verge and litter clearance:

·       It was outlined that grounds maintenance and street cleansing in the Devizes area was the responsibility of Devizes Town Council and Wiltshire Council was responsible for the wider area Wiltshire Council.

·       Litter collection of main routes and trunk roads had received an extra investment of £0.3m this year.

·       Enforcement resources were being increased to tackle the issues of fly tipping and rural littering.

·       The following Wiltshire Council campaigns were outlined 'We're Targeting Fly-Tippers' and 'Don’t Mess with Wiltshire'.


Public Transport – Devizes Town:

·       It was outlined that a revised Devizes Town Bus Service would be introduced from 1 April. 

·       The service would now service Lay Wood and include several changes and additions as requested in last year’s public consultation.

·       Data was provided on the Demand Responsive Transport Service with a genuine patronage growth of almost 50% between August and December.


The Area Board received a presentation from Perry Payne (Road Safety Partnership Manager, OPCC). The presentation covered, but was not limited to, the following matters:


Partnership Work and Community Road Safety Team:

·       The role and membership of the Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership working was outlined.

·       An overview of the work conducted by the Community Road Safety Team was provided.

·       The #FATAL5 education campaign presented as well as how mobile phones are one of the largest forms of distraction.

·       An overview of the partnership events which had taken place was provided.


Community Speed Watch in the Devizes Area:

·       The role of the Community Speed Watch Team in the Devizes area was discussed, with data from July 2020 to January 2024 provided, including that a total of 3,326 letters had been provided to offenders.

·       The role of Traffic Surveys was discussed, with 5 areas in Devizes recognised as needing speed education.

·       The positive impact of SIDs (Speed Indication Devices) was outlined.


Road Policing Unit:

·       The role of Roads Policing Unit was discussed, with previous examples of their enforcement work cited with 2,071 tickets issued to motorists for road related offences.


Forensic Collision Investigation Unit (FCUI):

·       The role of the FCUI was outlined with it noted that approximately 90 road traffic collision deployments (25-30 fatalities) are attended a year.


Community Speed Enforcement Officers:

·       The role of Community Speed Enforcement Officers was outlined, with it noted that though these were not police officers they do have power for enforcement.

·       County-wide statistics from January 2023 to January 2024 were provided, this included a breakdown of the Devizes area, where 91 speed awareness courses had been issued, 9 fines and points, and 4 court involvements.

Supporting documents: