Enquiries regarding Highways, Transport and Traffic
In response to the continuing high volume of requests for Highway, Traffic and Transportation works from private individuals, local organisations, Parish Councils and Elected Members, I would like to confirm both the constraints we have on budgets and the process for dealing with enquiries that are not able to be reported online.
For your information, officers have set out a list of contacts for enquiries pertaining to Highways, Transport and Traffic.
Simple Transactional Service Requests - The hyperlink inserted below takes you to the 'report it in online' area of our website which explains how to report a problem or issue associated with the title. This will be suitable for most enquiries and the quickest way to get the issue resolved.
The report a problem on the Road link takes you to 19 different categories of issue to report online e.g. Potholes, Overhanging Vegetation, Flooding, Blocked Drains and Gullies which should all be reported online as you will receive a faster response as they are directly linked to our Highways Team. Report a problem on the road (somerset.gov.uk)
For More Detailed Enquiries - From experience we are aware that Elected Members get detailed enquiries, often with multiple issues and locally derived solutions and proposals, from Parish Councils and the public. These enquiries are 'Casework' and Members are of course free to respond from their own point of view and knowledge of the local context in the first instance to filter, amend or separate out issues. The new process for Casework was communicated on 22/07/22 to members from Democratic Services.
Officer advice is for Members to try and separate out issues from their casework that can be dealt with through the 'report online functions' or where there is an existing online mechanism to register the request (e.g. speed limit requests), from those that would require additional officer input and political support from the Exec Member for Transport & Digital to progress (e.g. alterations to the Highway, Footway Improvements, Pedestrian Crossing, Traffic Calming).
The hyperlink Roads, travel and parking (somerset.gov.uk) takes you to 11 sub-menus of different enquiries and information that.
The following enquires have a dedicated link which is quickest way to gain a service response.
If the remaining enquiries cannot be dealt with by any of the 11 sub-menus under the Roads, Travel and Parking hyperlink then Members can submit enquires to Contact Somerset Highways - Somerset Council
However please bear in mind the following:
Budget Constraints - We look after 6,600 km of roads in Somerset and have to very carefully prioritise works in line with the limited budgets available. This involves making some very difficult decisions to make sure our resources are directed where there is clear evidence of significant problems or incidents (Statutory Duties). At present there is unfortunately, no capital or revenue budgets available to deliver discretionary improvement schemes. This means that beyond statutory safety provisions we have no means of either processing or delivering request for discretionary works, and therefore currently we can only queue such requests to be considered for deliver only when we have budget.
To support Members to determine whether a request is statutory or discretionary, please contact the local Area Traffic Engineer via e-mail address: email@example.com. They will make an initial assessment to determine whether low cost signing and lining measures can be introduced to mitigate the issue or whether a larger scheme is required, in which case the request will be added to a register which is managed by the Improvement Scheme Delivery team.
Proposals for SIS type schemes – Members were sent information on the holding position for the development of a future programme of small improvement schemes in October 2022. To summarise there is currently no budget to deliver any new SIS type schemes but the Improvement Scheme Delivery team: ISDelivery@somerset.gov.uk are accepting draft proposals that we will provide comments on and place on a long list where they fit the assessment criteria should future funding become available.
Councillor, Lydeard Division
Lead Member, Transport & Digital
Somerset Council, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY
16th June 2023