Decision details

To acquire land for the delivery of the Old Gore Crossroads Safety Scheme and associated payment

Decision Maker: Director of Economy and Place

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The delivery of the Old Gore safety scheme comprises improvements to the junction which includes the installation of traffic signals to control traffic movements at the junction. The scheme has been developed to address accidents which have occurred at this site.

The junction improvements proposed require acquisition of land to enable localised road widening and to achieve the required visibility splays for a signalised junction.

0.05 hectares (500 sqm) of land outside of the highway needs to be acquired – all of this land is within a single landownership.

Negotiations with this landowner have concluded in the value set out in the decision made section of this report as the value which will be accepted by the landowner. This value represents a value per hectare which is above the agricultural value of the land but is recommended as it enables acquisition to be secured by agreement and within timescales to ensure works progress to programme on site and should be complete by end of 2021/2022 financial year. On this basis it is a without prejudice offer.

The project is funded from the Investment in Infrastructure capital budget, with a sum of £500,000 currently allocated within that budget for this project, together with £260,000 from the minor safety improvements budget within the 2021/22 Annual plan. This gives an overall budget of £760,000.

The annual plan decision can be seen on the councils website by following the link below:

https://councillors.herefordshire.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=7852

The current forecast of the scheme costs excluding the land acquisition costs and risk allowance but including scheme development costs are £760,000.

The costs of the land acquisition and risk allowance will be funded by allocating additional budget to this project from the annual plan LTP capital budget. This will be the subject of a future governance report.

The history of collisions at this site are significant, the 2021 Accident Cluster Site List 2021 ranked list has the ‘A449 junction with the B4224 Old Gore Cross Roads’ as the highest ranked site, this is based on the number of accidents and severity. There have been 8 accidents in previous 5 years.

The location has previously been treated with signing and lining, the continuous investigation into the site location, type and number of accidents has identified the need for a significant investment and change in how the junction is managed, Due to the topography the designed scheme is the preferred option.

The delivery of this scheme delivers significant benefits in regards to road safety and impact on people’s lives, communities and economy.

The cost of a collision and casualty is based on direct costs, loss of productivity and loss of welfare. Using the Anticipated Return on Investment criteria, which underpins the councils work on safety intervention, the first year return without land acquisition is a positive 47%, with land, a positive 45%.

If the delivery of the scheme was paused to enable further negotiation with landowner or the statutory compulsory purchase of this land it is anticipated that the costs of the scheme would increase. There are significant increases in material prices as well sub contract prices arising from high demand in the construction sector and the impact of volatility in the energy market.

If the scheme were delivered 6-12months later than currently programmed this could result in an increased cost significantly in excess of the land acquisition value.

On the basis it is recommended that land is acquired by agreement within a budget of £37, 000.


Contact: Mairead Lane, Acting Assistant Director for Highways and Transport / Head of Infrastructure Delivery Email: mlane@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432 260944.

Publication date: 15/10/2021

Date of decision: 15/10/2021

Accompanying Documents: