A well connected and accessible borough

Are we achieving our targets?

Green – 3; Amber – 1; Red – 2; M – 7

Are we getting better?

2

Improved performance

3

Stayed the same

1

Requires improvement

7

Further information is needed or the latest measure in unavailable

Analysis and issues

Overall, four of the eight Key Performance Indicators within this Outcome Plan are reporting as M at this stage, due to being annual measures that report at the end of the financial year. Two measures report as Green at mid-year, relating to road safety. The number of people and children killed or seriously injured is projected to be lower than the full-year end target of 168. Due to a data error, this target was misreported in Q4 2017/18; the 168 target is consistent with the original PMF and outcome plan but was not included in Q4 in error.

The number of passengers using Park & Ride to access Chester City centre has not reached its target. Strategic initiatives to address this reduction include:

  • The service has now become the focus of a cross directorate service review.
  • Economic/Financial Impact Assessment brief being developed and potentially procured to understand how offers such as loyalty discount will affect the service income.
  • Measures are being taken to look at how the contractual arrangements and service levels could potentially be varied more in line with demand.
  • A cost saving options appraisal has been developed and will be decided upon and implemented subject to approval.

There is more detail on the factors behind this and the mitigating actions within the specific template on actions being taken around this indicator found within Appendix Four. The availability of superfast broadband has continued to increase and is now available to 94.7% of properties and businesses across Cheshire and Warrington. This is within the 5% tolerance of the 99% target and so at this stage is Amber.

Wider Performance Indicators

Across the wider performance measures, the use of Community Transport significantly exceeded the target of 7,573, with current performance at 8,234 trips per month. However the availability of Digital Services is at 32% and so at this stage is not on course to meet the year-end target of 35%.

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A well connected and accessible borough

View all the measures for this outcome

Actions

In the Well Connected outcome plan, more than 75% of actions have been initiated and remain on target to timescale. Headline progress made in the first half of 2018-19 to report from within these actions include:

  • The development of a road scheme to improve access between Winsford and M6 Motorway (Mid-Cheshire Towns Transport Strategy) is progressing well, and work has been completed on Mid Cheshire Town Study – phase one report.
  • Work has commenced on joint commission with Welsh Government to review the Chester to Broughton growth corridor taking in the Welsh partnership scheme. The scheme brief for the relief road has been drafted jointly and consultants were appointed in late summer 2018.
  • The 20 mph first year evaluation report has been prepared and was presented to Scrutiny Committee in September 2018. The evaluation of the first year schemes was shown to be very positive.
  • Appropriate wording has been incorporated into the Local Plan part 2 to promote digital connectivity. “Developers are required to make provision for the installation and maintenance of information connection networks, such as superfast broadband, within new developments. New development should be accessed by fibre to the premises (FTTP) or similar technology enabling access to superfast broadband speeds of at least 30 megabits per second (or the most recent Government requirements, if higher). Where this is not possible, adequate ducting should be provided to enable fibre to premises connection at a later date, unless it can be shown that this is not economically viable in this location.”

The action that is considered no longer viable is securing funding to convert the Park and Ride Fleet to fully electric vehicles and convert to electric vehicle fleet. A bid was submitted and successful but could not be implemented due to contractual and procurement restrictions. The Council are considering other potential bids, and options including retrofitting.

Actions that have been re-phased include:

  • The development of an updated Coach strategy – including funding for coach pickup, drop off, facilities, marketing and improvements. Currently, the Coach strategy is being reviewed to identify delivery actions for Highways and regulatory services to be taken forward.
    • The delivery of infrastructure improvements at the Park and Ride sites has been re-phased. These improvements will include modular buildings to deliver a more cost-effective scheme.
    • The Wi-Fi strategy implementation plan. This is linked to the ongoing work to deliver a Wi-Fi service in Chester. Given the unique nature of Chester compared to other towns across the borough, it is believed Chester can be used as an opportunity to learn and inform the wider Borough strategy. While this is marked as re-phased, it has been re-phased for less than a month.
    • The alignment of mobile connectivity to the property asset strategy and Council strategy on public Wi-Fi service – the original tender for a service failed to award as the preferred bidder did not pass financial back ground checks. The delivery route has been changed to leverage the Council’s Wide Area Network Contract. Negotiations have progressed quickly and final proposal for delivery of a service to Chester are expected 18/19 with delivery in 19/20.

Next Reporting Period: The following are examples tasks and milestones expected to be completed in 2018-19:

  • Implementation of key actions from the Northwich Transport Strategy;
  • Work with Highways England to further develop M56 priorities.
  • Scheme development of the Chester to Broughton growth corridor with the Welsh Government;
  • Implementation of the Council’s digital programme, to recognise the opportunities and benefits of becoming a digital Council.