Issue details

21/00007 Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) Project

The Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport is asked to give approval for KCC to accept the capital grant from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) and to take the UTMC project through the stages of development and delivery.


Specifically, to provide:


i. Approval for KCC to enter into a funding agreement with EDC subject to the approval of the Corporate Director of Finance, Corporate & Strategic Services


ii. Approval to undertake the design and surveys for the UTMC project. The design work will be undertaken by the KCC Traffic & Network Solutions Team.


iii. Approval to progress all statutory approvals or consents required for the schemes, including transfer of land and rights;


iv. Approval to carry out any additional consultation required for the schemes;


v. Approval to enter into construction contracts as necessary for the delivery and future maintenance of the schemes:


Approval for any further decisions required to allow the schemes to proceed through to delivery to be taken by the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment & Transport under the Officer Scheme of Delegations following prior consultation with the Cabinet Member.


Reason for the decision:


This fully funded scheme proposes to upgrade the existing Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) system by ensuring the traffic signal junctions within or adjacent to Ebbsfleet Garden City are utilising the latest traffic control systems.


UTMC enables traffic signals to react to traffic conditions and incidents by adapting traffic signal timings to ease congestion. The UTMC system will integrate real time traffic information informing road users of conditions via Variable Messaging Signs (VMS).


The purpose of the scheme is to improve journey times for all road users and ensure that the transport infrastructure across Ebbsfleet and the surrounding area is used as efficiently as possible.


·     Options (other options considered but discarded)


EDC and KCC have considered options for the scale of UTMC implementation within the business case for the UTMC project. The following options were considered:

·       No implementation of the UTMC across all junctions

·       Scaled back, partial implementation of UTMC on some of the identified junctions only

·       (Chosen option) Implementation of UMTC on the identified 41 junctions


For UTMC to effectively work the scheme coverage needs to include groups of junctions coordinated through UTMC. This means there is no practicable option that would reflect a scaled back version of the preferred option, without eroding the coherence of the overall intervention.


·     How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’


Implementation of the scheme will support the Council in meeting its Strategic outcome for “Kent Communities to feel the benefits of economic growth by being in work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life”. This will be achieved through the projects supporting continued operation of key transport networks in Dartford and Gravesham, as well as helping support growth by enabling new residential and commercial development.


The key priorities set out in the County Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy ‘Delivering Growth without Gridlock’ in terms of providing additional highway capacity, improving accessibility, and reducing congestion are also delivered . The scheme will set out to provide improved growth and economic prosperity through having an efficient highway and transport infrastructure.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Dartford East; Dartford North East; Dartford West; Swanscombe and Greenhithe; Wilmington;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/01/2021

Decision due: Not before 2nd Feb 2021 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Reason: to enable the proposed decision to be on the FED for 28 days

Lead director: Simon Jones

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Toby Butler, Intelligent Transport Systems Manager 03000 413554 Email: Tel: +443000413554.


No public consultation on the proposals has been completed or planned as these works are to existing traffic systems infrastructure and in line with our statutory duties to maintain such assets. There will be no fundamental change to the operation of the junctions and no facilities for vulnerable user groups will be adversely affected, only improved to meet the latest standards.


The Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee’s views and recommendations on the proposed UTMC project will be sought to inform the decision requested of KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.


Which Divisions / Local Members are particularly affected:


This scheme covers several junctions across the urban areas of Dartford and Gravesham.


Dartford North East – Cllr Dave Butler

Dartford East – Cllr Penny Cole

Dartford West – Cllr Jan Ozog

Swanscombe and Greenhithe – Cllr Peter Harman

Wilmington – Cllr Ann Allen


Views and opinions have been sought from local members through the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Infrastructure Programme Steering Group, on which the Leaders for Dartford and Gravesham sit. 

Financial implications: The UTMC project is fully funded by EDC grant funding and S106 funding collected for the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Infrastructure Programme. Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is providing KCC with a grant of £3.81m between 2020/21 and 2024/25 to deliver the Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) scheme. This grant funding will consist of a revenue grant of £0.18m, a non-repayable capital grant of £1.93m and a repayable capital grant of £1.7m which KCC will repay once developer contributions have been paid into STIPS. Based on forecasted development build out rates, these contributions are anticipated to be repaid by 2028. The risk of any potential financial overspend will be prevented by only delivering improvements within the available level of funding. KCC Officer time required for the delivery of the programme will be capitalised and met from the project funding or met from the EDC revenue grant, where it is not appropriate to capitalise the costs. There is no reve

Legal implications: KCC will be entering into a funding agreement with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation detailing the conditions of the grant funding. KCC will be appointing Invicta Law to progress this. No further legal implications have been identified

Equalities implications: An initial equalities impact assessment has been carried out for the scheme. This identified no adverse impacts or discrimination against any person with a protected characteristic. In addition, those members of the public who regularly use or rely exclusively on public transport should experience more reliable journey times by better functioning of Fastrack route junctions. This will be continually reviewed throughout the project. Data Protection implications - A DPIA is not required for this project


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