Traffic management plan for West Dunbartonshire to tackle congestion

-Credit: (Image: ands456/Getty)
-Credit: (Image: ands456/Getty)

Proposals for a traffic management plan to be implemented in West Dunbartonshire to try and reduce congestion are moving forward.

It comes after a high volume of unplanned emergency works, recently undertaken within the Dumbarton area, resulted in a significant impact on traffic on local roads.

The work being carried out had often clashed with planned roadworks already in progress and created a conflict with existing traffic and pedestrian control facilities.

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A motion was recently brought before full council by Labour councillor David McBride which requested that the local authority develop a road works protocol, in line with the code of practice, for “traffic sensitive locations”.

A report presented to members of the Infrastructure Regeneration and Economic Development (IRED) committee highlighted that the new plan should take into account minimal traffic management proposals as well as discussions on how temporary traffic management would work in tandem with existing traffic lights and nearby junctions.

It would also ask for assurances that works will be undertaken efficiently to ensure the length of disruption is minimised.

All traffic sensitive locations have been recorded on the Road Works Register and where possible works should be programmed for completion during periods of lower traffic levels.

Organisations carrying out roadworks will be required to provide evidence that consideration of holiday periods, weekends, overnight (where noise won’t be a factor) and out with peak times between 9.30am and 3.30pm and after 6.30pm have been considered.

They will also need to provide details if work cannot be completed during this time.

Minimal notice periods for emergency, urgent, minor, remedial, standard, major and substantial works will also be required to ensure members of the public have plenty of warning of upcoming roadworks.

During the meeting councillor Jonathon McColl said: “I note that the notice of expected starting date is only seven days. These works are often the ones that cause significant delays to people where the road is closed or there is a contraflow in place for a significant period of time.

“Is seven days' notice of the starting time enough for us to get information out there to the public that these works are going to take place?

“Some of the works have no advance notice required because they are only minor works but [are also required to produce a] three days' notice of the expected starting date. Is there a reason that we have only gone with three days rather than seven days to let the public know that there is going to be some sort of issue on roads they might be using?”

Liam Greene, Roads and Transportation Manager, said: “In terms of the notice period for major works - they actually have to give us three months advance notice of the works starting but the starting notice is just confirmation seven days before to confirm they are going to start.

“Once they give us that seven day notice period - they have to start on the day expected. With regards to the minor works - those time frames are set out by the commissioner and we can’t adjust them.”

Councillor McColl then asked about the measures being put in place to encourage road works to be carried out at “off-peak” times.

He said: “I note that in West Dunbartonshire that Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s our schools stop at 3pm rather than 3:50pm on the other days.

“I am wondering if the 3.30pm is appropriate given that there is a significant amount of traffic on the roads during the school run. Has that been taken into consideration?”

Liam Greene Roads and Transportation Manager advised these times were meant to act as a guideline for officers and operators.

He said: “Obviously with these types of works you have to take into consideration the particular location.

“If it is in a vicinity of a school, officers should be looking at that and adjusting those minimum requirements. They can be adjusted depending on specific issues.”

The Roads Authority will now be required to engage with all statutory undertakers and stakeholders to make them aware of the requirements set out within the protocol.

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