Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cost of installing dropped kerbs

Questions and Answers from Transportation and Street Services – 27th June 2006 – part 2

As new Scrutiny Chair for Transportation and Street Services I am holding weekly meetings with Neil Dancer, Chief Highway Engineer, and Ian Coghill, Assistant Director of Fleet and Waste Management. The meetings are organized around answering the questions set out at the bottom of this e-mail.

Answers to previous questions can be found at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.com/

The two departments are presently pulling together information to answer these questions. However I am satisfied that one of the questions has now been answered.

The question is:
What is happening with reducing the cost of installing dropped kerbs to allow parking in front gardens?

The answer is:
There is no simple answer to this, however a comparison of neighbouring authorities is useful.

All authorities charge on a square metre of dropped kerb required, plus administration charges. Aditional charges may be made for moving street lights or trimming trees, etc.

To make some sense of the comparison, we will calculate how much it would cost to install a dropped kerb for my house. My drive is 2.5metres wide and the pavement is 2.5metres deep. You have to calculate for the entire depth of the pavement since the paving slabs have to lifted and re-laid with a firmer foundation to take the weight of a car driving over it. So the square metre of dropped kerb in front of my house is 2.5 x 2.5metre = 6.25squaremetres.

The cost in each authority is:
Birmingham: £70 per square metre + £140 administration. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £577.50


Solihull: £105 per square metre. No administration charge. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £656.25. Until recently the cost in Solihull was a lot cheaper at £69 per square metre.

Sandwell: Sandwell subsidized their dropped kerbs. The cost is £350 for any sized dropped kerb. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £350

Wolverhampton: £55 per square metre (it is expected to increase to approx £70 soon). There is no administration charge. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £343.75 (this will probably go up to £437.50 soon)

Walsall: £63 per square metre + £60 administration. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £453.75


Dudley: £62 per square metre + £30 administration if above £300 or 10% of the cost if below £300. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £417.50

Coventry: £107 per square metre + £10 per square metre administration. So the cost of a dropped kerb at my house would be £731.25

Warwickshire County Council: Householders get their own accredit contractors and supervise the work themselves. Birmingham have taken legal advice on this method and it considered to be unlawful.


So in the neighbouring authorities, the cost of installing a dropped kerb for my house would be as follows:

Coventry: £731.25
Solihull: £656.25.
Birmingham: £577.50Walsall: £453.75Dudley: £417.50Sandwell: £350Wolverhampton: £343.75 (this will probably go up to £437.50 soon)
Warwickshire County Council: cost unknown, but make sure no one trips over your dropped kerb since you will most likely be liable.

Efforts are being made to investigate reducing the cost of installing dropped kerbs by increasing the number of accredited contractors who can install these. At the moment the Council has four accredited contractors.

If a significant reduction in cost of dropped kerbs is needed, then we would have to go the Sandwell route and subsidize installation of dropped kerbs


The remaining questions I awaiting answers for are as follows:

Street Services
Could we have a scheme where graffiti is removed off brickwork without the need for prior permission from the owner? This is a particular nuisance with empty shops or abandoned houses where the Council insists the non-existent owner must sign a form to allow the graffiti to be removed.


Transportation
What is happening with providing funds to allow one residents parking scheme per Ward per Year? At the moment it is only one residents parking scheme per District per year.

Why can’t Councillors be provided with a Ward map showing where road accidents have happened over the last 5 years? This would allow Councillors to prioritize traffic calming measures, if any.

What are we doing to make it easier to install mobile CCTV cameras on lampposts? At the moment the Highways Department insist that any lamp post that is to have a rapid response mobile CCTV has to be first individually tested to ensure the lamp post will not topple over. They then charge an exorbitant rate to put the camera on and off the lamppost.

What are we doing to make it easier and quicker to change Traffic Regulation Orders?

When is the Highways Department going to start removing Advertising A-boards that clutter our High Streets? Other Councils do this, but Birmingham Highways Department refuses to do so.

3 Comments:

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