Agenda and minutes

Harlow Local Highways Panel
Thursday, 28th November, 2013 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Joel West 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chairman welcomed all attendees to the meeting and invited Councillors and Officers to introduce themselves.


Apologies and declarations of interest


Apologies of absence were received from Harlow Councillor Phil Waite, Essex County Councillor Karen Clempner, and Harlow Council Officer Graeme Bloomer.


Opportunity for public speaking pdf icon PDF 14 KB


A member of the public had submitted a written question (attached) and was in attendance to address it to the Panel. A response was provided as follows:


Mr and Mrs Potter, 25 Priory Avenue, Old Harlow


The Chairman thanked Mr and Mrs Potter for their question. The Chairman advised the Potters that the scheme to install Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) along Old Road had been progressed by the Panel via the proper mechanisms and would not be amended, but the proposal to install a VAS along Priory Avenue could be pursued with funds previously agreed for speed surveys. Rissa Long advised that a speed survey along Priory Avenue had recently been undertaken. The findings of the survey are expected to be available shortly after Christmas 2013. If the speed survey indicates that the site is suitable for a VAS, a proposal to agree funds will be brought back to the Panel.


An attending member of the public asked the Panel for advice on a blocked drain which caused frequent flooding along Tendring Road (west). The Chairman indicated that he was already aware of this issue, and advised that the fault had previously been reported to Thames Water. He further advised that he would again pursue this issue by writing to Thames Water on behalf of the Panel.


Minutes of last meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 75 KB


Matters arising


Further to minute 18 – Update on Schemes Approved 2013/14 – Harlow Councillor Guy Mitchinson stated that, during consideration of this item he had asked if Officers could explore the possibility of a delegation arrangement that would allow Harlow Council to re-paint white lines demarcating parking spaces along County Council adopted highway.


Further to minute 15 – Opportunity for Public Speaking – Members of the Panel asked if Officers had received the results of the 20mph speed limit trial in Chelmsford. Rissa Long advised that this data had not yet been received. She also asked the Panel to note that a blanket 20mph speed limit policy may incur significant additional costs, as purchase/installation of street furniture would be necessary to ensure limits were enforceable.


Further to minute 17 – Update on Schemes Approved 2012/13 – the Panel sought an update on the scheme to install safety improvements near Little Parndon Primary school. Joe McGill advised that the Traffic Restriction Order for the scheme would be progressed via the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP).


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of 3 September 2013 are agreed as a correct record, subject to the inclusion of Councillor Mitchinson’s comment above in minute 18.


Local Highways Panel Budget Changes


David Sprunt summarised the implications of the recent decision of the Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, to amend local highways panel budgets. David explained that this decision means that the budget for the Harlow Local Highways Panel for 2013/14 reduces from £487,000 to £200,000, around £16,000 of which is uncommitted. It also means that, from 2014/15, the Panel will progress schemes on a two-year cycle: year one for design, year two for implementation. The Panel noted that the reallocation of unspent local highways panel monies to other uses, including maintenance, would provide some benefit to Harlow.


The decision of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation can be viewed from the County Council’s website.Copies of a summary note on the decision were circulated. The summary note is appended to the minutes of the 24 October Essex County Council Place Services and Economic Growth Scrutiny Committee, which also can be found on the County Council’s website.


Update on schemes approved 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel received a report from Essex County Council on the status of minor schemes previously approved by the Panel for 2012/13. Rissa provided further updates on several of the listed schemes, including dates of installation for several items. Specific attention was paid to the following schemes:


Minor - Feasibility for laybyamendments to helpfacilitate better parking inMoorfields


The Panel noted that the phrasing of the recommendations in Appendix 3 to the report was confusing, as wording in section 4.1 appeared to suggest a need to allow two cars to pass, whereas section 4.3 appeared to suggest that only one car would pass.


RESOLVED that Option 2 from the appendix be pursued, subject to removal of confusing phrasing as identified above.


Minor - VAS sign for Parsloe Road


Rissa Long advised that the results of the speed survey have now been made available and confirm that the location is eligible for installation of a VAS.


Minor - design works for scheme to relieve safety and congestion concerns withinHarlow


Joe McGill advised that these funds were intended for survey work to examine solutions to safety and congestion issues in residential areas across the Town. The Panel affirmed that the results of the Town-wide Parking Review, carried out by Harlow Council’s Community, Citizenship, Regeneration and Environment Overview Working Group, would be appropriate to determine which locations were progressed.


Update on schemes approved 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 56 KB


The Panel received a report from Essex County Council on the status of minor schemes previously approved by the Panel for 2013/14. Comment was offered on the following items:


School Crossing Patrol - District Wide Funding


Rissa advised that this funding was for physical improvements only, i.e. could not be used to fund staff for patrols. Members of the Panel asked that Henry Moore School be considered in any proposals to improve crossing facilities.


Bus Stop Improvements


Members of the Panel queried the disparities in cost between similar improvement works at different bus stop locations. Rissa advised that, due to the Panel’s previous allocation of a lump sum for bus stop improvements, the figures provided may not reflect actual individual scheme costs. The Chairman affirmed that any surpluses would be returned to the budget pool.


Potential Schemes List pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Summary of schemes which have been validated and are available to commit funds to.

Additional documents:


The Panel received a report from Essex County Council which included several proposed minor schemes for inclusion in Harlow’s 2013/14 capital allocation. Comment was offered on the following items:


Bus Stop Improvement 1: The Panel stressed that funding would only be appropriate if the timetable frames would be utilised, i.e. if operators would actually display timetables within them. Officers confirmed this would be the case.


Bus Stop Improvement 2: The Panel noted that, due to its revised budgetary position, it would be more appropriate to consider this scheme in the 2014/15 year.


Harlow Councillor Guy Mitchinson advised of an upcoming County Council scrutiny review of bus services and suggested the Panel may wish to make representations to Essex County Council.


Casualty reduction 2 - David Sprunt advised that a feasibility study for a ‘No Right Turn’ from Fifth Avenue into Burnt Mill Lane could also be pursued within the estimated cost of this scheme. The Panel agreed to pursue this option.


RESOLVED that the following minor schemes are progressed for 2013/14:






Casualty Reduction

A1184 Cambridge Road J/w Old Road, Harlow

Signage amendments relating to the accident location



Casualty Reduction

A414 Fifth Avenue J/w Burntmill Lane, Harlow

Signage amendments and other remedial safety measures; No Right Hand Turn feasibility study.



Bus Stop Improvements

56 bus stops in Harlow


Installation of timetable frames across the whole Town



Minor Schemes

Hamstel Way

Feasibility and design works into the possibility of installing a pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of the ambulance station










Highways Rangers and Revenue Expenditure pdf icon PDF 78 KB


The Panel received a report from Essex County Council on the Highways Rangers Service. The report listed those works which had been carried out by the Rangers in response to direct requests from Councillors. The Panel is encouraged to report highways related defects to ECC by sending an email to making sure to include “Harlow” in the subject line. The Chairman suggested the process to report and refer work to the Highways Rangers could be improved, including officers taking a greater role in decisions to refer work and ensuring that every work request is accompanied by a reference number, which would allow Councillors to track progress more easily.


RESOLVEDthat the report is noted.


Capital Maintenance Programme (for information) pdf icon PDF 70 KB


The Panel received an information report from Essex County Council on scheduled capital maintenance to highways in Harlow in 2013/14. Councillors were encouraged to report highway defects online at


David Sprunt advised that several of the cancellations listed had been a result of other major capital schemes at nearby locations. They would be rolled-forward into future years.


RESOLVEDthat the report is noted.


Major Capital Schemes Update


David Sprunt advised the Panel that Essex Highways will shortly be holding a series of public exhibitions on a proposed new junction 7a on the M11. The public exhibitions will be held at six venues in Harlow and Epping from 2 December 2013 until 31 January 2014.

The exhibitions are taking place at the following venues:

  • Harlow Civic Centre from 2 December to 31 January 2014
  • Epping Library from 2 December to 31 January 2014
  • North Weald Library from 9 December 2013 to 13 December 2013

There will also be staffed events at Old Harlow Cricket Club (3 December), Churchgate Hotel (5 December), Sheering Village Hall (10 January), and Harlow Civic Centre (9 December, 15 January). Officers will be on hand on these dates to answer any questions. Full details of the consultation event are available from Essex County Council’s website.


Any other business


Harlow Councillor Guy Mitchinson asked whether the Panel could help to promote Essex County Council’s salt bag partnership scheme. Officers provided some information on this scheme and advised that, in Harlow, local interest groups are invited to participate in the scheme. Members of the Panel and attending members of the public suggested that local residents’ associations may be keen to participate. More information on the salt bag partnership scheme is available on Essex County Council’s website.


Date of next meeting

7pm, Tuesday 18 February 2014, Council Chamber, Civic Centre.


7pm, Tuesday 18 February 2014, Council Chamber, Civic Centre.