Corporate, Adult Services & Social Inclusion Select Committee Minutes

Tuesday, 16th September, 2008
Ground Floor Committee Room, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton-on-Tees. TS18 1AU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Mick Stoker (Chairman); Cllr Mrs Lynne Apedaile, Cllr Mrs Ann Cains, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Roy Rix, Mrs C.Clark, Mrs T.Fraser (Parent Governor Representatives).
Ms E.Bird, J.Kavanagh, W.Trewick (DNS); N.Hart, Mrs J.Trainer (LD).
In Attendance:
Apologies for absence:
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Cockerill, Mrs Fletcher, Larkin and Womphrey.
Item Description Decision
There were no Declarations of Interest recorded.
CONCLUDED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15th July 2008 be agreed and be forward to Council for consideration.
CONCLUDED that the information be noted.


Consideration was given to the following evidence of progress made against the transport issues contained within the Older People Strategy Action Plan:-

-Road Safety Issues affecting Older People;
-Accessibility issues regarding access to key services by public transport;
-Access to Community Transport Service;
-Uptake of Concessionary Scheme;
-Improvements to Public Transport Information.

With regard to road safety issues, the results of the 1992 AA Research Foundation Study were noted which advised of the factors affecting pedestrians within the over 70 age group which, in some cases, placed them as a high risk group in terms of their risk of being involved in an accident involving a vehicle-the same level of risk as an 18 year old; with frailty being another issue with 50% of pedestrian fatalities coming in the over 60 age group. The research had led to many improvments being introduced, such as re-designed pedestrian crossings with radar detection allowing people more time to cross, increased number of pedestrian refuge points, provision of education and road safety training programmes, improved vehicle design and improved condition of pavements.

It was noted that generally the number of older people driving was increasing, however there was an increasing number of accidents/collisions involving people aged over 75-again comparable with the statistics for 17 year olds. As a result of this, Members were advised that this authority, in conjunction with Cleveland Police, were soon to undertake a joint initiative whereby motorists caught speeding slightly over the allowed speed limit would be offered the opportunity to enrol for driver training for a fixed fee, instead of incurring a fine and penalty points. The funding obtained from those people undertaking such training, would in turn be re-invested into initiatives such as driver training courses for older people.The Committee was also advised of statistics indicating the improvements made in terms of road and pedestrian safety within Stockton High Street following pedestrianisation.

With regard to accessibility to key services provided by public transport, members noted the current level of provision to town centres, hospitals, dentists and supermarkets. Reference was made to the chosen location for the new hospital at Wynyard; which currently had no public transport provision and was therefore an issue requiring further consideration.

The Committee was advised that whilst the target of issuing 28,000 Concessionary Travel passes by the end of March had fallen fractionally short, this had been reached shortly after. Over 30,000 passes had now been issued; equivalent to take up of over 82%. Stockton's performance remained good in comparison with other local authorities. It was hoped that future improvements such as increasing the number of 'point of sale' outlets, reduced turn round time based on web cam technology and live internet applications. A review of the scheme after six months would allow more service improvments to identified. Reference was also made to the possible effects of high fuel prices and increased trips on the future level of funding required for the scheme from the Council.

With regard to public transport information, it was noted that progress had been slow in some areas with regard to the use of 'real time' information, whilst the use of mobile phone information was currently being looked at.

It was noted that whilst concessionary travel was increasing, bus service patronage, other than concessionary travel was declining. Factors that may cause this included the age, appearance and comfort of the vehicles, their cleanliness and low floor access. The fact that frequent services are only provided on popular core routes, with rural communities and the like having poorer provision, was also a factor. It was noted however that Stagecoach intended to upgrade their Stockton fleet over the next two years.

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