Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee
Agenda Item 29
Subject: A259 Active Travel Scheme - Walking, Cycling and Accessibility Improvements TRO Response
Date of meeting: 20th September 2022
Report of: Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture
Contact Officer: Name: James Hammond
Tel: 01273 294 643
Ward(s) affected: All
1.1 This report outlines the results of the Traffic Regulation Order consultation as required for alterations to the Public Highway in order to implement the Active Travel Funded A259 Walking, Cycling and Accessibility Improvement Scheme that was previously approved at ETS committee on the 15th March 2022. This report also presents the responses we received from the consultation.
1.2 Central government released their ‘Gear Change’ vision document in July 2020 which sets out the national ambition to make walking and cycling the natural choice for short journeys, or as part of a longer journey. Accompanying this is Local Transport Note 1/20 (LTN 1/20) which sets out a step change in how Local Authorities must deliver cycling improvements. These policy documents have been utilised when designing the proposed improvements.
2.1 That Committee agrees Officers have suitably addressed the objections received as part of the consultation.
2.2 That Committee authorises officers to commence the construction phase and to procure the Works Contract under the authority of the Executive Director.
3.1 The Government published its Gear Change Cycling Strategy and Cycle Infrastructure Design Guidance (LTN 1/20) in July 2020. The Active Travel Fund was made available by government, over two phases to date, to help
local authorities to implement this. As part of the first phase of this scheme, temporary cycle facilities were introduced along the seafront (between West Street and Fourth Avenue) in August 2020 in order to bring the existing cycle lane into line with the new national standards. Following consultation, including through the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, these temporary facilities were made permanent by ETS Committee in November 2021 and officers were instructed to develop options for permanent infrastructure and undertake further consultation for the second phase of the scheme.
3.2 Officers undertook this further consultation for phase two of this scheme which was presented and approved at ETS Committee in March 2022. Officers then proceeded with the additional consultation required as part of the Traffic Regulation Order process.
3.3 Locally, the new Local Transport Plan 5 (LTP5) contains objectives to support access around the city more safely, sustainably and easily. One of the key principles is shifting how people travel – broadly prioritising walking and cycling for shorter journeys and public transport for longer journeys. The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is also in development and identifies high priority strategic routes in the city for improvement, including all the routes being taken forward in the Active Travel Fund such as the A259. The LCWIP will strategically set out a network for active travel improvements in the city and will assist the Council in seeking funding for improvements.
3.4 In addition, the Council has committed to being net carbon neutral by 2030, the Carbon Neutral Program identifies the transport sector for the largest share of the required cut in carbon emissions in the City and includes a key action to develop a public realm which enables active travel.
3.5 The citizens’ Climate Assembly, held in autumn 2020, noted a representative group of residents’ own recommendations for improvement. These included ‘cyclists should be prioritised over cars through well designed cycle networks that are safe and practical for day-to-day use as well as leisure’ and the ‘creation of healthier low traffic/pedestrianised communities’
3.6 The A259 scheme was originally consulted on in February 2021 and the results of this were brought to the ETS committee in July 2021. Members requested a further consultation on the detailed design of this scheme, which was subsequently conducted between November 2021 to January 2022 and the results are outlined below.
4.1 These plans were developed in combination of two rounds of public consultation and stakeholder engagement. After presenting the initial plans to ETS committee in July 2021 a further design process was undertaken. An additional public consultation was then conducted between November 2021 and January 2022. The designs were then developed further and the final results including consultation feedback was presented to ETS committee in March 2022.
4.2 The ETS committee approved the scheme and accepted recommendation by officers to proceed to the Traffic Regulation Order process.
4.3 The planned changes to the Public Highway were advertised through the TRO process for which the results are summarised below. There are also full details of the feedback from this process in Appendix 3 of this report.
4.4 The detail design includes the following
· Reallocation of a general lane of traffic to form the extension of the westbound cycle lane on the A259, with cyclists separated from motor vehicles from Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road.
· Removal of the bus stop at Westbourne Villas South
· Introduction of a Bus Boarder Hybrid Solution at bus stops along the route.
· Improve visibility sight lines for pedestrians exiting from side access road by the West Hove Lawns.
· Increase of 26 parking spaces for Blue Badge Holders.
· Provision of around 70 cycle parking spaces, 10% of which will provide for specially adapted bicycles.
· Additional pedestrian space, including potential for outside seating along Victoria Terrace of circa 100m2
· Raised Table junctions on Medina Terrace, Sussex Road and King’s Esplanade to improve pedestrian access.
· Dropped Kerbs to assist wheelchair users, mobility scooter, pushchairs and all pedestrians.
· 3 new loading bays in Victoria Terraces and the Kings Esplanade.
4.5 For further detail and analyses on the designs please refer to the March ETS committee report.
5.1 In total we received 48 responses to the Traffic Regulations Order consultation. Including 13 objections, 34 comments of support and 1 general comment. Due to the level of objections exceeding 5 it is required that officers bring this matter to ETS committee for a decision.
5.2 The 1 neutral comment we received was from the HourBike who manages and maintains the city’s BikeHire scheme. Their concern was that servicing access was not provided for cycle hire station by the King Alfred Car Park. Officers will investigate if this can be achieved.
5.3 Of the 13 objections received most were related to the Disabled Parking Bay operations. The largest number of objections were from people asking for the new disabled bays along the Kings Esplanades and by the King Alfred to be limited to a max stay. While we understand there is a concern that people may camp out in these bays. The Organisation BADGE, who represent many disabled car drivers in the city, have requested that no time restriction be placed on these new disabled parking bays.
5.4 It has been said that time restriction unfairly restricts disabled access to the seafront. Some users of these bays have complicated access needs and it can take time to setup and settle on the beach. A 4 hour restriction would significantly restrict the amount of time these users would have to enjoy the seafront.
5.5 The next two biggest concerns from feedback also relate to the disabled parking bays unrestricted times and concern they will be misused by campervan owners. As previously stated while we understand this is a concern we feel allowing unrestricted access to disabled users is of a higher priority. We shall monitor the situation moving forward and make further recommendation should this become a significant issue.
5.6 From comments of support, the largest number of comments were related to improvements to road safety, with 15 people raising this. 13 people commented they felt the scheme will encourage more people to cycle. After that there are comments about the city’s “Increasing demand for cycling infrastructure”, “faster journeys/less interruptions in journeys for cyclists” and “more attractive street environment” with 11, 8 and 6 comments respectively.
6.1 Concerns about campervans shall be closely monitored and officers will make recommendations to mitigate the situation should this become a significant issue.
6.2 Due to the significant support we received from the TRO consultation officers recommend we proceed with the A259 walking, cycling and accessibility scheme and seek authority to commence the construction phase and to procure the Works Contract under the authority of the Executive Director.
7.1 The proposed works are estimated to cost £0.475m which is expected to be spent during 2022/23. This will be funded using £0.171m allocated within the Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 grant and £0.304m from the 2022/23 Local Transport Plan (LTP) capital allocation for 2022/23.
7.2 The estimated impact on income due to the removals and changes to parking bays is £0.0011m. This will be reflected in parking income projections within the Targeted Budget Management reports to Policy & Resources committee during 2022/23 and built into future year’s budget setting.
Name of finance officer consulted: James Hengeveld
Date consulted: 05/08/2022
8.1 The Traffic Regulations Orders required as a result of the detailed design are subject to the statutory processes set out in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996
Name of lawyer consulted: Alison Gatherer Date consulted (01/09/22):
9.1 Statutory guidance from Department for Transport (DfT) updated in February 2021 reiterates that the public sector equality duty continues to apply as Local Authorities make changes to their road networks in response to Covid 19. The Council must ensure that elements of a scheme do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, and must consider their duty to make reasonable adjustments anticipating the needs of those with protected characteristics. The guidance emphasises that groups representing disabled people and others with protected characteristics should be consulted at an early stage of scheme development and accessibility requirements apply to both temporary and permanent measures.
9.2 DfT’s Local Transport Note 1.20 (LTN1/20) which sets the standards for cycling design, and which Local Authorities receiving the Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 funding must abide by, states: (4.5.11): Local authorities are bound by the Equality Act 2010 in discharging their functions, which includes managing their road networks. Designers should provide infrastructure that is accessible to all, and the dimensions and other features set out in this guidance should help ensure that their designs comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
9.3 Officers have conducted an overarching Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for the Active Travel Fund schemes. We have also consulted with various disabled groups from across the country and locally including guide dogs for the blind, Badge and Possibility People.
9.4 These proposals would see all crossing points in the area brough up to disabled compliant standards. Additional footway to provide better and easier access to those with disabilities. 27 additional motor vehicle disabled parking spaces, on top of the 5 additional disabled bays recently included in as part of phase one and disabled accessible cycle parking.
9.5 Working with Possibility People a group that represents disabled persons, we ask them to produce a accessibility Audit for the area around Victoria Terrace and Kings Esplanade. They were able to provide us with a long list of issue with accessibility for persons with disabilities, through working with our design team we have been able to find solutions to the majority of issues raised.
9.6 As part of this scheme we will be able to bring many areas and crossing into line with national standard to provide accessible crossing, accessible footway, disabled compliant cycle lanes and significant increase in disabled motor vehicle parking.
10.1 The measures will improve the transport network for sustainable modes of transport by reallocating road space. This will give opportunities for more people to switch to low carbon modes of transport from single occupancy car use.
11.1 Enabling greater uptake of active travel across the City will provide both short and long term benefits to the mental and physical health of our residents. This approach supports the implementation of the Brighton & Hove Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
1. Appendix 1: A259 Active Travel Scheme – Detailed Design Pack.pdf
2. Appendix 2: A259 Active Travel Scheme – Parking Loss Summary
3. Appendix 2: A259 Active Travel Scheme – Consultation Report