A well connected and accessible borough
Are we achieving our targets?
Green – 8; Amber – 1; Red – 4; M – 0
Are we getting better?
Stayed the same
Further information is needed or the latest measure in unavailable
Analysis and issues
Overall, six of the eight Key Performance Indicators within this Outcome Plan are reporting as Green at year-end. Five relate to road safety and road condition. The number of people killed or seriously injured is 133, and is Green compared to the projected year-end level of 168, however this reflects a decline in performance compared to 2017-18. The target is based on the average between 2010 to 2014 with an overall 10% reduction over the 4 years, so the Council needs to achieve 164 or less casualties by 2020. The reasons for setting these targets on a long-term average basis is that setting a target based on the previous year’s performance is highly challenging due to the significant variability of the measure. Road traffic collisions are rare, random events and local authorities find it difficult in setting robust targets based on a previous year as collisions can dramatically go up or down. Positively, National and Regional data evidences that KSI’s are steadily declining. This is due to a combination of Engineering, Education and Enforcement together with the increased safety technology in cars. Furthermore, the number of children killed or seriously injured is 5, compared to the projected year-end level of 7, which represents better performance than 2017-18, which reported at 7.
Three measures relating to road condition, defined as those roads requiring structural maintenance, on A, B, C and U roads report as Green at year-end. However performance has declined by 1% in relation to the condition of A and U roads, but has maintained the level of 3% on B&C roads.
The number of passengers using Park & Ride to access Chester City centre has met its target of 500,000, reported a year-end figure of 500,480. The rate of usage in the last reporting period, between quarter three and quarter four, was marginally lower than the rate of improvement than the rate between quarter two and three, therefore declining performance is reported.
The availability of superfast broadband has continued to consistently increase in recent reporting periods, and now stands at 95%, a 0.3% increase from mid-year, levels of availability are however below the target level of 99%.
One measure reports as Red, relating to the proportion of residents who are satisfied with highways overall. This has reported at 52%, a 1% decrease since 2017-18, and 6% below the target level of 58%. Further context regarding this measure is provided in Appendix Four.
Wider Performance Indicators
Across the wider performance measures, the proportion of residents who are satisfied with highways condition is at 26% compared to the target of 50%, a decline of 14% from the 40% satisfaction reported in 2017-18. Furthermore, the proportion of residents who are satisfied with highways maintenance has dropped by 5% to 47%, compared to 2017-18 performance, and is below the target level of 60%. The availability of digital technology has reported at just under the Amber threshold, reaching 33% against the year-end target of 35%. This demonstrates a 9% increases on 2017-18 performance. Year-on-year progress continues to be made where the digital programme takes hold and current priorities are proactively identified. Additional development has been carried out to provide the best experience possible – for example in Highways the Council will publish known faults on ‘report it’ forms to minimise calls to tell us about issues that are already logged. Qwest have also replaced and improved all legacy Galaxy and Lagan forms to improve customer journeys online and so we can look to retire these legacy systems. Qwest have also worked with the service areas on enhancements to further improve the back office processes (e.g. formatting the data output for the Integrated Access and Referral Team form so that the information can be moved more easily into the back office system).
As part of the Council’s digital programme, examples of the work underway to increase the proportion of customer contact via digital channels include:
- Qwest will continue to be actively performance managed at a Contract Management and Digital Channel Shift Programme Board level providing robust challenge to underperformance;
- As Qwest continue to “on-board” more online functionality through the digital programme, this will by definition improve future performance;
- This programme is phased in order to introduce enabling infrastructure before further development will trigger the positive results in terms of channel shift;
- A 2018-20 work plan continues to be monitored/ prioritised to set out what further measures by Qwest propose to take in order to continue to improve channel shift performance whilst delivering the Council’s corporate digital priorities;
- The performance trend is favourable and on-track for achieving the Year five target of 50% by March 2020 as more services come “on board” through the Digital Programme.
In the Well Connected outcome plan, more than 65% of actions have been initiated and remain on target to timescale. Headline progress made in 2018-19 to report from within these actions include:
- The Low Emission Strategy was approved at Cabinet on 12 September 2018. Action plans are to be developed. An Electric Vehicle Feasibility Study is almost complete, and the adoption of powers to enforce against idling engines is complete.
- The introduction of connectivity and public wifi will commence from July 19. Procurement has now been completed for Chester city wifi with an agreed implementation plan in place.
- Work has continued on a 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.
- The development of a council strategy on public access to technology has a linked dependency with the wider Evolution programme shared with Cheshire East. It is anticipated the strategy will be delivered on target. The products the programme will deliver cover both public and core Council ICT. Public services will be deployed once core Council services have been addressed
- Implementation of Road Safety Plan schemes and initiatives: Engineering, Education and Training programme completed for 2018/19. Engineering schemes to be designed and implemented, Education and Training programmes ongoing throughout the year. Road Safety Plan for 19/20 to be completed.
- 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.”
As reported at mid-year, 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.
Next Reporting Period
The following are examples of tasks and milestones expected to be completed in 2019-2020:
- Work with Highways England to further develop M56 priorities – the Council is awaiting Highways England decisions on road investment strategy funding priorities.
- Scheme development of the Chester to Broughton growth corridor with the Welsh Government;
- Continued implementation of the Council’s digital programme, to recognise the opportunities and benefits of becoming a digital Council.