Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 91


Subject:                    Valley Gardens – Phase 3 Traffic Regulation Orders


Date of meeting:    14 March 2023


Report of:                 Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Tracy Beverley



Ward(s) affected:   St Peter’s & North Laine, Regency, Queen’s Park


For general release



1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         The council’s adopted City Plan Part 1 (2016) identifies the Valley Gardens corridor as a Special Area (policy SA3). Valley Gardens Phase 3 is also a Local Transport Plan project which will complete the final and southern-most section of a strategic sustainable transport corridor that will contribute towards the council’s and city’s economic growth, regeneration, planning, public realm, and transport objectives.


1.2         In order to deliver the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme Traffic Regulation Order -5-2023(TRO-5-2023) has been advertised to introduce a number of parking, bus lane and traffic management amendments in the Valley Gardens Phase 3 area (Old Steine, Castle Square, Pool Valley, Marine Parade, Grand Junction Road and Madeira Drive)


1.3         This report provides details of the responses from the TRO-5-2023 consultation undertaken between 27 January to 17 February 2023 and makes recommendations on how to proceed.


2.            Recommendations


2.1      That the Committee, having taken account of all duly made comments and representations from the Traffic Regulation Order TRO-5-2023 consultation, agreed that the Order can be sealed and authorise officers to progress with the scheme construction stage.


3.            Context and background information


3.1      The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the results of the TRO-5-2023 consultation undertaken for Valley Gardens Phase 3 and recommendations on how to proceed.


3.4      This report outlines the number of responses received with how many supported and objected to the scheme proposals.


3.5     Drawings for the traffic order consultation are attached in Appendix 1 (Drawings 1000007131-610-01/02). The table in Appendix 2 states the number of objections received and the reasons for each objection. Officers have considered objections and have made recommendations based on these objections.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         Design options have been previously considered at this committee and the preferred option approved. The supporting Traffic Regulation Order has been advertised to support the preferred design option.


4.2         If the recommendations in this report are not approved the required Regulation Orders cannot be put in place and this would prevent the scheme being developed. 


4.3         If the scheme is not progressed the benefits set out in the Valley Gardens Business Case will not be realised and the Council will be required to return the £6 milllion funding received to deliver the scheme back to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1         The development of the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme planning and design, has now been subject to three public consultation exercises, and key stakeholder design workshops, at key stages of the project.


5.2         Officers received 62 responses to the advertised TRO-05-2023. Of the 62 received 57 we supportive of the scheme. There were 5 objections received, of the 5 objections received 3 were from the same person. The objections can be seen in Appendix 2.


5.3         The supportive comments include users looking forward to being able to cycle directly into the City Centre safely with the provided cycle tracks being used by people of all ages.  The new layout was praised as being beneficial for traffic flow and congestion reduction but especially beneficial for cycle and pedestrian safety and ease of more direct movement travelling between the City Centre, Kemptown and the seafront. In terms of safety there were comments that these proposals will reduce the number of collisions at the Pier roundabout.


5.4         The objections were related to concern over potential traffic jams and increasing waiting times for parking spaces. Concern was raised about potential increase in collisions between pedestrians and cyclists.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         The Traffic Regulation Order-05-2023 has been advertised to support the development of the Valley Gardens Scheme. The majority of the responses to the consultation were positive with relatively very few objections to the proposals. Therefore, officers have provided recommendations to procced to seal the TRO and progress with delivery of the scheme.


7.            Financial implications


7.1         The council has secured £6.0 million Local Growth Fund (LGF) capital funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and has committed £1.840 million match funding consisting primarily of Local Transport Plan (LTP) capital funding and Section 106 contributions from approved developments (including Brighton Language School).


7.2         At the January 2022 ETS Committee meeting, £5m from capital borrowing was recommended and approved at the January 2022 Policy & Resources Committee to supplement the already held £7.84 million from LGF, LTP and Section 106 contributions.


7.3         The loss of revenue to the Council from the new layout of Valley Gardens 3 due to the loss of parking spaces, following completion, is estimated at £78,899 per year.  This will be drawn from the recurring pressure funding allocation of £0.500m set aside in the budget for active travel measures from April 2024.


7.4         The project cost estimate is currently being reviewed considering increasing construction costs following the Pandemic and Global increases in material shortages, energy costs and supply chain issues that have led to increases in UK inflation. Any significant variations to approved capital budgets will be reported as part of the Capital Programme to Policy & Resources Committee including future years variations and funding source if required.


          Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack     consulted: 28/02/23


8.            Legal implications


8.1         The needed traffic regulations orders have been subject to statutory consultation and has been brought to this Committee for a final decision.


Name of lawyer consulted: Katie Kam           Date consulted 23/02/23


9.            Equalities implications


9.1         The Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) for this project was initially included in the February 2019 Valley Gardens ETS report.  The (EqIA) was further updated in accordance with the proposed Final General Highway Arrangement and will be reviewed during construction stages and again upon scheme completion to reflect the final ‘as built condition’


9.2         In 2020 Get Involved Group/Possability People conducted an Accessibility Audit of the Phase 3 area which has been used to rectify existing conditions and to inform design matters and principles to be included in the scheme, such as removing clutter and obstruction across the existing footways.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      The delivery of the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme will help to complete key links in the sustainable transport network. Providing better opportunities for people to travel using sustainable forms of transport such as walking and cycling to help achieve modal shift and reduce unnecessary private car journeys.


11.         Other Implications


Public health implications:


11.1    The Phase 3 scheme will deliver an integrated, sustainable transport corridor which includes new infrastructure to support and increase active travel. Increased pedestrian and cycling movements across and through this City Centre corridor are key objectives to increase positive health outcomes and to improve air quality. The scheme will include future proofing infrastructure for electric charging points for all vehicles where there is scope to do so, to promote cleaner travel.


Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.            Traffic Regulation Order plans (Drawings 1000007131-610-01/02)

2.            Table of Objections