Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 87


Subject:                    Trial Park & Ride


Date of meeting:    15th March 2022


Report of:                 Executive Director – Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Andrew Westwood

                                    Tel: 01273 292468

                                    Email: andrew.westwood@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Ward(s) affected:   Withdean


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         This report is to provide an update on the intention of the Bus Operator (Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company) to trial a Park & Ride (P&R) on Mill Road.  This P&R will operate in a similar way to how the site is used by the football club on match and event days at the AmEx Community Stadium as part of its Travel Management Plan.


1.2         This report sets out how the site will be used for the trial and details how it will operate. The report will also indicate where responsibility resides for both the Council and the Bus Operator, including implications of the use of Mill Road for all road users and residents.


1.3         Introducing a park and ride to minimise car use in the city is one of ten recommendations made by the City’s Climate Assembly in 2020.


1.4         If successful, this trial may help the Council understand how a park and ride scheme may reduce car use.  It will also identify any limitations and sustainability implications of the wider impact on air quality and with respect to reducing car parking capacity in the city.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee agrees to the use of Mill Road as a Park & Ride for a trial period between June and September 2022 to enable Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company to plan and progress their park and ride trial scheme.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         Mill Road links the two roundabouts, Patcham Roundabout and Dyke Road Roundabout. These junctions link the strategic A23 and A27 highways, operated as Trunk Roads by National Highways. Mill Road suffers from high vehicle speeds particularly on the downhill section.


3.2         The road is used on match days by Brighton and Hove Albion as a P&R, along with another location at the Brighton Racecourse. The capacity of the Mill Road site is in the region of 450 spaces and the operation is managed by the football club.  The Bus Operator manages the bus element of the site.  Generally, the site is full 2 hours before a game and fills quickly from when it opens. The Council does not receive many complaints and the P&R works well.


3.3         Mill Road has an events’ Traffic Regulation Order in place that designates the road as one way up hill.  Cars enter the P&R from the Patcham Roundabout and then park on the right side of the road keeping the road clear for buses which stop at a number of designated stopping locations.  Access onto the bus service is not possible for disabled people at all stops, and therefore blue badge holders and those with mobility issues have a designated parking area at the entrance to the P&R. Access to properties and Waterhall is maintained at all times


3.4         The trial P&R will operate in the same manner as the football operation with dedicated stopping points and marked disabled parking bays at the bottom of Mill Road.  This will require some physical improvements to the stopping points to improve access. These changes will also help with the Match Day P&R and will cost approximately £70,000 and then once the trial has ended a further £34,000 to remove lining changes and some signing. Once the site is full signs will be erected to indicate that it is full. This is the same as the operation during the Match Day P&R.


3.5         The trial will operate from June until September every day except on Match Days.


3.6         The trial will be managed and operated by Brighton & Hove Bus Company and promoted widely to encourage longer distance car trips by workers and visitors to the site. It will be signed strategically, in partnership with National Highways. A new Traffic Order will be required to allow the use of Mill Road as a P&R. The Bus Company will provide stewards at the road closure.


3.7         Closure of the road to allow the P&R to operate will offer an opportunity to consider the long-term use of Mill Road, as it is currently used as a short cut by some local drivers to avoid using a section of the A27. 


3.8         A national cycle route also cuts across Mill Road at the eastern end and any closure will help to improve the access for cycling.


3.9         There will also be benefits for the Dyke Road Avenue/King George VI Avenue Roundabout as it will improve opportunities for vehicles entering from Dyke Road Avenue and may reduce queuing and congestion.


3.10      Parking data will be obtained before and during the scheme in Westdene to ensure that any possible displacement of parking when the site is full is understood. This will include flow data to understand if traffic is displaced through the Westdene area although it is anticipated that most of the traffic will transfer onto the A27.


3.11      The site will continue to be used by the football club on match days, including the upcoming Women’s Euro competition. On these days, messaging will be used to ensure that it is clear that the site cannot be used by the general public for these periods.


3.12      The Bus Company will be responsible for promoting the site to areas outside of the city where public transport is not an option and will be responsible for messaging


3.13    There has been £15,000 set aside to re-evaluate and reassess possible permeant P&R sites that require further work. This work is separate from the Bus Operators scheme for a trial at Mill Road as outlined in this report.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company will recruit an independent consultant to survey users to get feedback on the trial arrangements, how they could be improved and gather information to show where the users come from to determine if they had alternative sustainable options available to them. The City Council would be consulted on the research brief.


4.2         The survey will consider any impacts due to displacement and if the P&R trial attracts extra trips to understand what impact it is having in the wider sense.


4.3         There are no other options for a trial other than do nothing, as there are no readily available locations within the city that can offer the space required to deliver changes in driving habits, and the site is already tried and tested as an operational P&R on Match Days.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1         The Traffic Order has a 12 week objection period and will enable anyone the opportunity to express their views on the trial. During the P&R trial the Brighton & Hove Bus Company will be collecting data on views expressed about the trial and will share these with the Council.


5.2         Affected local residents will receive letters informing them of the trial and will also provide a source for residents to express their views.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         The P&R trial scheme will enable the use of Mill Road to be monitored and to provide evidence of any benefit it may have to reduce the impact of vehicles in the city.


7.            Financial implications


7.1         The recommendation to use Mill Road as a trial for a Park & Ride will have financial implications. The trial will be operated by the Brighton & Hove Bus Company, resulting in the running costs being met by them. The Council will fund the physical elements and signing costs of approximately £0.070m from the Bus Service Improvement Plan should funding be successful. If funding is not successful, the costs would then need to be met from an alternative source. At the end of the trial there will also be costs of approximately £0.034m to remove lining changes and some signing also funded from either the Bus Service Improvement Plan or an alternative source.


Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack    Date consulted: 24/02/2022


8.            Legal implications


8.1      The Council regulates traffic by means of orders made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The procedure for making such orders is contained in the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996 which require public notice of proposed orders to be given and for the relevant documents to be placed on deposit for public inspection. Any person may object to the making of an order and such objections must be considered in determining whether or not the order should be made.


An experimental traffic regulation order would not be appropriate for the Mill Road trial scheme as the statutory objection period of 6 months would extend beyond the trial period.


Name of lawyer consulted: Hilary Woodward     Date consulted 22/2/2 


9.            Equalities implications


9.1         Equalities Impact Assessment is attached.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      Encouraging use of the trial P&R will provide drivers with a more sustainable travel option that eventually avoids vehicles circulating and parking in the city-centre if supported by further reducing city centre car parking capacity.


10.2      The trial will be targeted towards the surrounding areas of the city where suitable public transport options are poor or not available. The Bus Operator will be targeting these areas with a focused campaign.


10.3      Assessment of any air quality implications arising from the Park & Ride Trial will be evaluated and can be reported following the outcome of the trial.


11.         Other Implications


11.1      None





Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.            1. Equalities Impact Assessment


2.            Background documents


2.            None