Agenda item



[Note: this item was taken prior to Agenda item 6]


The Committee received the Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) Annual Statement Report 2021, presented by Cabinet Member for Environment and supported by a PowerPoint presentation delivered by the Highways and Transportation Services Manager.


The following questions/issues were raised on the report:-


·       It was asked if the low expenditure in comparison to other Councils was directly attributed to the large road network within Carmarthenshire?  The Director of Environment explained that the expenditure allocated to highways was attributed through the conscious decisions made by Council during the budget setting and would have an impact upon the road network under the responsibility of Carmarthenshire Council.  The detail cited within this report would be considered when making representations against the other pressures and demands facing the Council.


·       Concern was raised that the new method of re-surfacing had failed and had to be re-done and that some roads within Carmarthenshire were still waiting to be repaired after a lengthy period of time.  More information on this matter was sought.  The Highways and Transportation Services Manager explained that road surfacing carried out by contractors were warranted and that any issues with materials would be rectified at the contractors’ expense.   The Highways and Transportation Services Manager, in response to the ongoing specific issues relating to road surfaces, stated that he would liaise the Members outside of the Committee meeting.


·       In response to a question raised in relation to the conversion of the public lighting to LED’s, the Highways and Transportation Services Manager confirmed that the programme was completed in the summer of 2020 and as a result of the conversions, it was estimated that a reduction of 1200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions had been achieved.


·       Reference was made to the Drainage Surveys within the report.  In regard to the passage “The surveys so far have shown that 32% of our drainage pipes are either severely reduced or blocked and unsafe”, concern was raised that as a result of the reduced and blocked drains, excess water would cause impairment of road surfaces.  The Highways and Transportation Services Manager stated that the figure of 32% was concerning it was based on a small sample of drainage surveys undertaken along the A484 and other critical routes that were prone to issues during adverse weather.  It was hoped that a high percentage of blockages would be resolved by way of high-pressure jetting, however it was recognised that some drainage networks may have structural issues along pipelines and would therefore require further assessment. The Head of Highways and Transportation added that capital bids had been put forward to help address the issues and in reaction to storm events, further bids for funds from the Welsh Government were pursued to assist in addressing any damage caused.


·       The Head of Transportation and Highways, in response to a query raised in regard to the progress of the Cardi Bach footpath, confirmed that the joint project was at feasibility study stage, however, he was unaware of the current position of the project.  An update would be forwarded onto the local Councillor for information. 


·       It was commented that potholes were arising as a result of repair works by utility companies.  It was asked, if the warranty of 2-years was considered long enough and if this could be extended?  The Highways and Transportation Services Manager explained that the 2-year warranty was a national standard, however the Council was increasing its focus on the inspection regime with utility works.  To assist with the inspection regime, Committee Members were informed that an additional resource had been secured on a temporary basis.


·       Reference was made to the 3 investment options outlined within the report.  It was asked if there was any potential that the Welsh Government would continue to contribute towards the £6m in 2022/23 as detailed within option 3?  The Head of Highways and Transportation explained that it would certainly assist with the pressures on the wider capital programme, however Members were informed that the Welsh Government was currently undertaking a highways review and the outcome of the review would determine any future funds.  In relation to the budget, the Cabinet Member for Environment acknowledged that the condition of the roads affected all members of the public and encouraged all Members to consider the road network during the budget setting process.


UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the Highway Asset Management Plan – Annual Statement Report 2021 be noted.


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