Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 13


Subject:                    Liveable Neighbourhood Pilot Project (Hanover & Tarner)


Date of meeting:    21 June 2022


Report of:                 Interim Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Oliver Spratley

                                    Tel: 01273 290 390

                                    Email: oliver.spratley@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Ward(s) affected:   Hanover & Elm Grove, Queen’s Park



For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         Following consideration of a deputation from Hanover Action by the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee (ETS) in June 2020, and a further report to this committee in March 2021, work has been undertaken to develop the city’s first Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in the Hanover & Tarner area as a pilot project. 


1.2         The Brighton & Hove Climate Assembly (2020) recommended the ‘creation of healthier low traffic/pedestrianised communities’, as a key aim in supporting a transition to achieving carbon reductions across the city that can be achieved in combination with other key transport and planning policy, and programmes of work.


1.3         This report sets out the progress made through two stages of community engagement, which has played a key part in piloting a process of co-production to inform the evolving LTN design and, has helped to identify and develop the overall measures required to deliver this pilot scheme. The results of this engagement are provided in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3.


1.4         Decisions are required which will be key in guiding the project through its next stages. These include committing the preferred option (Appendix 1) to public consultation and the adoption of a draft Project Monitoring Framework (Appendix 4), that is defined to track outcomes of this experimental project, once delivered.








2.            Recommendations


That Committee


 2.1     Welcomes the progress made through local community engagement and co-production, which has helped develop the preferred option for the Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood.


2.2      Agrees that the preferred option, as shown in Appendix 1 of this report is progressed through a public consultation exercise, and that the proposed final scheme be reported back to a future meeting of this committee.


2.3      Agrees that, based on current cost estimates, consideration will be given to seeking additional funding from the 2022-23 Carbon Neutral Fund, as outlined in 7.1, subject to approval by the Policy & Resources committee in the second half of 2022.


2.4      Agrees the proposed Project Monitoring Framework set out in Appendix 4 of this report.


2.5     Agrees that officers will engage with members of the local community to explore potential mitigation and improvement measures on roads that border the pilot LTN project. This will include the prioritization of those measures, should there be insufficient funds, to carry out all the potential measures explored.


3.            Context and background information


3.1      In June 2020, the ETS Committee agreed for an Officer Report to be produced on the matters detailed in the ETS Committee deputation presented by Hanover Action (Group). The Deputation requested the piloting of a Liveable or Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme (LTN) in the Hanover area. At that ETS Committee it was also agreed that the Council’s Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) should include an action to ‘develop a pilot Low Traffic Neighbourhood as requested in the Hanover Action Deputation’.


3.2       In September 2020, the ETS Committee considered the Council’s updated Urgent Response Transport Action Plan – (Appendix A) updated September 2020 Executive Summary; The update stated that the Hanover LTN was not considered to be eligible for the Government’s Active Travel Tranche 2 funding, and therefore would be removed from the Action Plan and considered as part of a future Local Transport Plan Capital (LTP) Programme.


3.3       At the March 2021 meeting of this Committee, an LTN Pilot update report noted that a consultant had been appointed to progress the initial pilot project planning and design stages and that stakeholder and community engagement processes were being planned by the council. The LTN Pilot Project workflow is based on emerging best practice that includes early engagement to be conducted prior to the standard non-statutory and statutory public consultation stages. The methodology and the results of the two initial stages of engagement are provided in Appendices 2 & 3. These engagement processes are also outlined in more detail in section 5 of this report and have been used to inform the preferred option, as set out in Appendix 1.


3.4      The wider background to LTNs and associated benefits in the UK have been set out in previous reports. A number of schemes have been implemented in a number of cities and regions such as London, Bath, Somerset, Oxford and Edinburgh.

3.5      The Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood / LTN pilot project will help inform the development, funding and delivery of future LTN projects in the city. This project is piloting the process of LTN engagement/co-production, consultation and design. These processes required to plan and deliver the LTN will be reviewed after its completion.  This review will also help inform the further development of the Liveable Neighbourhood Prioritisation Framework which will initially be reported to this Committee later this year.

3.6      The most recent stage of the project has focused on community and stakeholder engagement and co-production to help generate and explore ideas that have been incorporated into draft concept plans for the pilot LTN.  This has also included technical assessment of the LTN area and survey work. The study area was extended to include the Tarner area to the south of Hanover to ensure that suitable main roads bounded the project area and that the size of the LTN area was closer to the recommended size which is required to produce the shift to other forms of travel.   This inclusion of an area with a different profile in terms of Joint Strategic Need Assessment data was also a justification for the increased study area.


3.7      To inform the LTN project planning and design stages an Accessibility Audit has been conducted by the Get Involved Group (Possability People), as outlined in Section 9 of this report. Improving the area to facilitate safer, healthier and greener walking and wheeling environment is a key objective of the project for the short to longer term. Initial engagement has resulted in the scheduling of highway condition surveys across the project. This highway conditions surveying work includes Elm Grove and Queen’s Park Road, which will inform where the public highway will be fixed, and for example, where dropped kerbs still need to be installed.


3.8      At the March 2022 meeting of this Committee, the city’s first Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) was approved. This plan sets out; the strategic; the local areas; and the routes for improvement, across the city to be addressed over the next ten years. The Hanover & Tarner area is defined in the LCWIP as part of the city to be considered for an area-based approach.  It includes Islingword Road as a local link for improvement, Elm Grove as a strategic route for cycling infrastructure improvement and Queen’s Park Road, Edward Street and Grand Parade / Richmond Place, which are all classified as priority strategic routes for improvement. The LTN pilot project will ensure that the area is future-proofed for LCWIP based improvements if budgets for this LTN pilot project does not allow full integration of all LCWIP infrastructure planned.



4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         The main aim of an LTN scheme is to encourage greater use of active travel choices and community activities in a local area, thus reducing private motor vehicle use, particularly for shorter trips.  Providing infrastructure and deterring traffic from further afield cutting through residential streets can contribute towards achieving this.  Residential areas can then be transformed over time into greener, healthier and safer spaces and places for residents to live, with improved cycling and walking networks. It is important that main roads on the boundary of an LTN are also improved, to ensure that there are overall benefits throughout the area over the short to medium term.


4.2         Following the first community engagement exercise feedback in Autumn 2021, two sketches of concept LTN plans for the area were designed to show potential ways in which the project’s objectives could be delivered. These draft concept LTNs, which are provided in Appendix 3, were based on a core LTN design with some alternative proposals for accessing and exiting the LTN area principally in the NW corner.


The concept LTNs for the project area were reviewed by residents during the second engagement period in Spring 2022, the results of which are outlined in Appendix 3; this has resulted in informing the preferred option shown in Appendix 1 of this report, which is now proposed to be committed to public consultation.


4.3         As a result of the community engagement, Appendix 1 sets out a revised draft LTN plan with additional proposed measures for delivering improvements to Elm Grove and Queens Park Road, to be delivered as part of this project, including new crossing point(s), traffic calming measures, bus bays and greening.  These additional measures have been included as a result of ongoing technical discussion and community engagement as outlined in Section 5., below. While the LTN will initially be a temporary scheme, such changes to boundary roads will be permanent, assuming no problems arise. We will continue to work on measures beyond the scheme to improve traffic flow and reduce the amount of traffic on these roads.


4.4         Concerns have been expressed about the ‘displacement’ of traffic and associated increases in traffic on main roads following the initial LTN implementation.  Research into schemes in Waltham Forest (Waltham Forest Village Review 2021) has shown traffic volume to level off over time, as the scheme beds in. However, as this is not always the case, a pilot/experimental scheme is being developed rather than permanent LTN scheme and its impact on traffic levels will be monitored. An additional closure on Franklin Road is included in the revised LTN concept plan to mitigate the risk of rat-running. All closures included in the revised plan will be open for walking and cycling, as well as emergency and waste and recycling services.


4.5         The Project Monitoring Framework as set out in Appendix 4, defines how the project will be evaluated and measured in terms of success. The LTN will be monitored by repeating traffic counts and speed surveys, comparison of collision and casualty data, plus the analysis from 12 new air quality monitoring sites to be installed at the across the project area mainly on the boundary roads.


4.6         Air quality data will be collected before, during, and after the construction of the project. Furthermore, there is initial scoping underway to procure and install three real time air quality monitors at Elm Grove Primary School, Carlton Hill Primary School, and Orchard Day Nursery. All datapoints used for monitoring purposes will be published on the council’s website.


4.7         The decision to progress this pilot LTN was partly based on significant local support for an LTN as demonstrated by the Hanover Action Deputation.  The Hanover & Tarner area is of a suitable scale and kind to pilot an LTN with issues associated with rat-running on residential streets evident, such as on Southover Street and Islingword Road amongst others.


4.8         However, the site does have some design and planning challenges due to the steep gradient. There will be a requirement for a bus gate within the design that will limit the access for cars to enter the area from the west.


4.9         Appendix 1 shows a bus gate on the western end of Southover Street. The proposed operation of the bus gate is still to be finalised which could be operational for 24 hours a day or for example, at peak times only, with these options open for consideration as part of the public consultation. Taxis are exempt from traffic restrictions stipulated by bus gates in Brighton & Hove.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1        This pilot project also includes a process of co-production with the local community in addition to and in advance of more standard public consultation exercises conducted by the council. This engagement process has so far consisted of two key stages to inform the production of the preferred option as shown in Appendix 1 of this report.


5.2      An Accessibility Audit of the area has also been conducted by the Get Involved Group, Possability People (Autumn 2021) which has helped inform the targeting and planning of specific project activities. Section 7.1 of this report includes funding for introducing further dropped kerbs and tactile paving where they are currently missing, as well as maintenance surveys, which are currently being programmed to take place. 


5.3       Following a comprehensive technical review by officers of the available engagement platforms, the platform used for the BHCC Climate Assembly, ‘Bang the Table’/Engagement HQ, was used for the purposes of progressing the pilot LTN project community engagement activities, supplementing in-person workshops.


5.4      In September 2021, the Liveable Neighbourhood pilot project was officially launched in terms of public involvement with the first stage of the engagement process being initiated.  The project was publicly promoted through digital social media channels, and through the mailing out of more than 7200 postcards to all addresses across the immediate project area, asking local residents and businesses to ‘get involved’. Information about the pilot project was promoted through twelve on-street stalls with exhibition boards. The initial co-production activity asked people to study their area and use an interactive map to indicate where issues and opportunities existed.


5.5      This mapping exercise identified more than 900 points of interest covering a range of ideas and issues, that if addressed could support the creation of a Liveable Neighbourhood, as shown in Appendix 2.  The dataset generated by this mapping process was then used to inform the initial draft concept plans, that were then carried forward to the second stage of engagement. 


5.6       In March 2022 the second stage of engagement commenced with a further 7200 postcards being delivered to streets in the proposed Liveable Neighbourhood project. An online virtual workshop with a questionnaire using the engagement platform was made accessible and three in-person workshops were arranged. The engagement workshops were well attended.  Two further workshops were also arranged and held during the five-week engagement period to ensure wider awareness of the project.


5.7      In addition to the engagement activities to progress the LTN planning, key stakeholders have been consulted through the LTN planning and design process including the two Primary Schools and the emergency services and City Clean, which has resulted in the concept design being revised. Waste and recycling service vehicles and Fire & Rescue appliances will be able to pass through all physical road closures used in the pilot project.


5.8      Some residents and parents associated with Elm Grove Primary School have expressed concern regarding potential displacement of traffic over the short to longer term, with regards to road safety for children, and current issues with anti-social driving and speeding which might conceivably be exacerbated if more traffic resulted through the LTN on the main roads.  Concern has also been expressed regarding the impacts of additional traffic on local air quality.  To ensure that this is measured effectively, air quality monitors will be installed to assess changes over time.


5.9      Meetings have been held with representatives of Elm Grove Primary School and residents. Discussion has resulted in a range potential measures, now being proposed in principle, to improve safety and introduce traffic calming, greening and footway protection on Elm Grove and Queen’s Park Road. Such measures would remove access for pavement parking which damages the footways and landscaping and is a risk to safety.


5.10    A recurrent theme evident in the feedback provided by respondents through the new engagement process was that many wheelchair users, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians experienced issues with the camber intersection of footways and carriageways at junctions, across the steeper inclines on the western side / central project area.


5.11    Condition surveys of surfaces across the area including Elm Grove, Queen’s Park Road are being planned to inform complementary maintenance programmes as soon as possible. These surveys enable defects to be identified for targeted maintenance measures.


5.12    A summary of the results from the second engagement period is provided in Appendix 3. which includes a summary of the proposals now featuring in the Preferred option Appendix 1 which is now prepared for public consultation.


5.13    Ongoing stakeholder engagement and the public consultation, which is planned to run from 11 July until 11 September 2022, will further inform the evolving LTN design before it is reported back to this Committee later this year.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         The pilot project work is involving the public, community representatives, and local Councillors in the area, people coming together to explore the principles of LTNs and how they can be developed within a central residential area in the city.


6.2         As the first in the city, the Hanover & Tarner Pilot LTN will help to test the local Brighton & Hove context and the local public highway network, to inform and influence the future co-production, development, and delivery of the city’s future LTNs and/or other liveable neighbourhood measures across the city.


6.3         Furthermore, this project work will help shape the Liveable Neighbourhood Prioritisation Framework, which is currently being developed by officers. This Framework will be reported to a meeting of this committee later this year, to be considered for adoption by the council to help best target limited funding based on eligibility and feasibility criteria, to be confirmed. However, it is anticipated that the future screening of requests with regards to assessing prioritization will include factoring in Joint Strategic Needs Assessment insight.


6.4         The decisions required to progress the Liveable Neigbourhood pilot project are critical given that such a project can contribute to the transitioning to a carbon neutral city. The council is committed to delivering and transitioning through programmes of work that consist of individual projects – the sum of which work towards this aim.


6.5         LTNs can deliver safer, healthier, and greener environments which must factor in such improvements to their boundary roads to be a success. This consideration will be critical to realise the benefits of successful projects and is also critical in enabling the shift to a carbon neutral future and to support the path to achieving carbon neutrality.


7.            Financial implications


7.1       Initial Local Transport Plan (LTP) capital funding of £300,000 has been allocated to this project for the Hanover area, however the project area has been expanded to better align the project to recommended LTN geographies and design guidance. Furthermore, given the project context and the feedback from the stakeholder and community engagement including permanent improvements required on the proposed LTN main roads, the estimated cost of the LTN has now been reviewed.  This process has indicated that additional funding of up to £1.1 million would be required. It is intended that a bid will be made from the council’s Carbon Neutral Fund for 2022/23 budget. Bids will be considered and recommended for approval by Policy & Resources Committee later this financial year. Alternative funding options may include borrowing, revenue contributions or additional LTP capital allocations.  


7.2       Any reduction in the number of parking bays currently provided will become clearer once the scheme has progressed through the public consultation and a final scheme reported to this Committee later this year.


7.3      Name of finance officer consulted: Rob Allen     Date consulted 22/05/2022:


8.            Legal implications


8.1      Traffic regulation orders required as a result of an approval of a final scheme will undergo statutory public consultation.


8.2      The additional funding of up to £1.1 million required to enable the delivery of the pilot LTN as noted in Section 7 above, sought from the council’s Carbon Neutral Fund budget, is subject to approval by Policy & Resources Committee later this financial year.  Alternative funding options are available.


Name of lawyer consulted: Hilary Woodward    

Date consulted (13/05/2022):


9.            Equalities implications


9.1      Recent literature produced by equalities campaigners and representatives such as, Pave the Way, published by Transport for All (2021) notes support for LTN type schemes that factor in disabilities and protected characteristics from the outset.  Works need to be planned to mitigate the risk of reduced accessibility by motorised vehicles where possible.  Disabled driver parking bays must be maintained given that many disabled people need to drive, as well as travel actively.


9.2        People with disabilities are more likely to be in a household without a car. A reduction in traffic flow within the LTN should make streets safer and easier to navigate on foot or with mobility aids. Complementary measures, such as more dropped kerbs with tactile paving, are included in the additional proposed budget increase referred to in Section 7.1 above and, will further improve accessibility in the area.


9.3       A draft Equalities Impact Assessment has been completed and will be updated as the project progresses as further equalities engagement meetings are held.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      LTN schemes are consistent with the aims and objectives of the council’s Carbon Neutral Programme, sustainable communities' and public health interventions. By reducing the impact of unnecessary traffic and, by enabling greater use of active and sustainable travel options within the Hanover &Tarner area as part of this pilot project, there will be local and citywide sustainability benefits.


11.         Other Implications


Social Value and procurement implications


11.1      At the appropriate time, this project will require a proportionate level of social value to be achieved through the procurement of a construction contract.


Crime & disorder implications:


11.2      LTNs have been shown to be associated with falling levels of street crime and a reduction in collisions and casualties as noted in references provided by London Borough of Waltham Forest & Sustrans.


Public health implications:


11.3      The Council’s Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2030 has three key priorities: planning of major developments and transport schemes will promote health and wellbeing; more people will travel actively, and walking and cycling will be prioritised, benefitting physical and mental health, and air quality will be improved. These outcomes can be supported through LTN scheme planning and delivery and are key to the success of the Hanover & Tarner pilot project. Joint Strategic Needs Assessment data has been retrieved for baseline data


11.4      Improving air quality is an important objective to be achieved though LTNs by promoting and encouraging active travel choices and to promote a reduction in car use for local trips. As set out in Appendix 4 public health outcomes will be monitored and referenced back to the project baseline data points throughout the monitoring period for up to three years following construction of the pilot scheme. The monitoring period is considered to be part of the project lifecycle.





Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.            Liveable Neighbourhood (LTN) Pilot project: Preferred option

2.            Stage 1 Engagement Summary Report

3.            Stage 2 Engagement Summary Report

4.            Draft Project Monitoring Framework


2.            Background documents


1.            ETS Committee Report and minutes - June 2020, Deputation by Hanover Action

2.            ETS Committee Report and minutes - September 2020 Urgent Response Transport Action Plan - update  

3.            ETS Committee Report and minutes - March 2021, agenda item 85 Hanover Low Traffic Neighbourhood Pilot Update report

4.            Walthamstow Village review | Enjoy Waltham Forest

5.            Transport: Disability and Accessibility Statistics, England 2020 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

6.            Get Involved Accessibility Hanover & Tarner LTN Project Area Report Autumn 2021