Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 28


Subject:                    Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood Pilot Project


Date of meeting:    3 October 2023  


Report of:                 Executive Director – Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Andrew Renaut

                                    Tel: 01273 292477



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


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         Following an initial decision by the former Environment, Transport & Sustainability [ETS] Committee in 2020 in response to a deputation, work was undertaken to develop a pilot Liveable Neighbourhood (also known as a Low Traffic Neighbourhood) for the Hanover & Tarner area.  Community engagement and technical assessment and design helped to shape concept proposals and a preferred option was agreed for consultation by the committee in 2022.  The consultation followed and further engagement on the boundary roads took place in early 2023.  Since then, there have been a number of decisions made regarding funding for the project.


1.2         This report sets out the results of the consultation and engagement processes and proposes that work on the project ceases; identifies some measures within the original study area that can be progressed; and proposes further actions in relation to the funding allocation that was made for the project.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee agrees to note the outcomes of the consultation that has been undertaken for the preferred option for the pilot Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood area, which indicate that the proposals do not have the full support of local residents.


2.2         That Committee agrees to cease work on a pilot Liveable Neighbourhood project in the Hanover & Tarner area.  


2.3         That Committee requests that previously agreed priorities to improve pedestrian crossing facilities in Elm Grove at Hampden Road/de Montfort Road and Bonchurch Road are developed and delivered at the earliest opportunity, subject to the approval of recommendation 2.6.



2.4         That Committee requests that officers undertake the development and delivery of designs to upgrade the Elm Grove/Queen’s Park Road junction as part of the council’s programme for upgrading the city’s traffic signals, at the earliest opportunity, subject to the approval of recommendation 2.6.


2.5         That Committee requests that officers assess the existing crossing point at the Queen’s Park Road/Egremont Place/West Drive junction, and the possible introduction of vehicle activated speed signs in Queen’s Park Road as part of the council’s Safer, Better Streets prioritisation framework, at the earliest opportunity. 


2.6         That Committee requests that officers seek the necessary approvals from the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration Committee to reallocate £400,000 from the £1.0 million budget allocation previously made to the Hanover & Tarner Liveable Neighbourhood pilot project from the Carbon Neutral Fund, to the Local Transport Plan capital programme to enable the work referred to in recommendations 2.3 and 2.4 of this report to be commenced.


3.            Context and background information


Development of proposals

3.1         Following a report to the former ETS Committee in March 2021, and feedback received from engagement with local communities in October 2021 and March/April 2022, the Committee agreed in June 2022 to undertake public consultation on a preferred option for the wider, pilot Liveable Neighbourhood study area, including Elm Grove, Queen’s Park Road and Egremont Place, which formed the northern and eastern boundaries to the study area  The proposals were primarily designed to make the core area less permeable to motorised, ‘through’ traffic (often referred to as ‘rat running’) and encourage greater use of active travel for some journeys and more social use of streets by the local community. 


Consultation and engagement outcomes

3.2         The consultation took place over a 9-week period between July and September 2022.  The consultation methods and distribution of material are explained in Appendix 1 of this report as part of the full analysis of the feedback to the consultation is also set out in Appendix 1.  The headline results from the survey showed that a total of over 1,200 responses were received from nearly 1,100 individual households. 


3.3         Appendix 1 shows that almost 3,900 comments were received, and a number of themes were identified as part of the analysis.  Most were related to concerns about the displacement of traffic onto particular roads such as Elm Grove, Queen’s Park Road/Egremont Place and Bentham Road, and the potential associated impacts such as longer journey times and difficulties accessing properties and parking, and increased emissions.  These were reflected in comments made by residents and businesses.


3.4         Comments were also made that generally supported the proposals or particular elements of them, including more speed reduction and enforcement measures, greening/planting, and cycle parking/hangars or that changes should be made to remove pavement parking or reduce parking.  However, these were outweighed by the number of overall concerns and issues that were raised. 


3.5         In response to the consultation feedback, some further initial redesign work was undertaken.  This included removal or changes to some of the proposed filters designed to restrict vehicle flows through the core area, and retaining the existing direction of flow in a number of streets. A number of the proposed measures also had implications for the number of parking spaces that may be removed, and therefore the implications of this for residents’ parking and income were being reviewed.  In addition, further consideration was required of the location and form of potential additional greening/planting within the area to ensure that it was sufficient to provide benefits and would be able to be provided and maintained within existing budgets, or through agreements with local community groups.   


3.6         Technical work to assess the changes to proposals involved some indicative modelling in order to help understand the possible initial effects of the wider Liveable Neighbourhood measures on traffic flows.  This work included assessments of a number of junctions bordering the project area, including the A23/Edward Street, which is also part of the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme, and A270/Elm Grove junction.  This work indicated there would be some significant delays to traffic, including bus movements, at peak times. 


3.7         The consultation proposals included potential opportunities for various permanent measures on the boundary roads as part of the overall scheme.  These reflected priorities that local residents had identified through a survey, and also included two crossing locations on Elm Grove which had already been prioritised for delivery by the ETS Committee in November 2022 as part of a separate assessment of citywide requests.  These are at the junctions of Hampden Road/De Montfort Road, and Bonchurch Road.  The need to upgrade the Elm Grove/Queen’s Park Road junction was also identified due to ageing equipment.


3.8         Further design work and engagement was undertaken on proposals for the boundary roads.  This involved four online and in-person sessions at St Luke’s and Elm Grove primary schools in February 2023.  These were attended by approximately 80 people in total and provided a number of comments and suggestions, as set out in Appendix 3 of this report.  These included more pedestrian crossings, a review of the pedestrian crossing point at Egremont Place/Queen’s Park Road/West Drive, support for improvements to the Queen’s Park Road/Elm Grove junction to address safety concerns, vehicle-activated flashing speed signs, and potential greening and tree planting (although there was concern about the potential loss of parking due to proposed tree planting), bike hangars and greater accessibility and shelters at bus stops. 


            Funding allocations

3.9         Several decisions have been made about funding allocations in relation to the pilot Liveable Neighbourhood for the Hanover & Tarner area.  These are detailed in Appendix 2 of this report and have included decisions made at Budget meetings of Full Council and by the ETS and Policy & Resources [P&R] committees.  These involved addressing increased, estimated scheme costs to deliver a comprehensive, pilot scheme and then the reallocation of funds to other projects.   


3.10      At this point, the further work that was being undertaken following the consultation and engagement on the proposals was stopped.  A further committee decision in March 2023 then allocated £1.0m in principle from the CNF to a scheme that had ‘buy-in’ from residents, subject to further reports to committees. 


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         The preferred option that was published for consultation reflected a significant amount of the feedback that had been received through previous engagement and consultation on options, alongside the technical design that would enable a Liveable Neighbourhood to achieve stated objectives.  


4.2         The progression of some measures in the area that have already been agreed (two pedestrian crossing points on Elm Grove) and identified as being required as part of other investment programmes (upgrading the Elm Grove/Queen’s Park Road traffic signals) is recommended.  Requests for other measures that residents wish to propose via their ward councillors can be considered through the council’s Safer, Better Streets framework.


4.3         Elm Grove has also already benefitted from the successful introduction of a pavement parking ban and there may be future potential to consider greening of the existing tarmacked verges or SuDS (sustainable drainage system) proposals to reduce surface runoff and downstream impacts at some point in the future if funding becomes available.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1         There has been extensive consultation and engagement during the development of the Liveable Neighbourhood proposals for the Hanover & Tarner area.  The particular approach and outcomes of the work that was carried out during the summer last year and the further engagement that has been carried out in early 2023 are summarised in section 3 of this report.   


5.2         Discussions also took place with a number of groups of stakeholders including bus and taxi operators, and emergency services to inform the development of the proposals.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         The consultation results indicate that there were considerable local concerns about the potential effects of the measures, especially regarding the displacement of traffic onto other roads in the area, and the impacts on local access.  Concerns were also raised about the possibility of increased danger around schools and nurseries.  The consultation has therefore not shown overriding support for the scheme, as was sought in the committee decision made in March 2023, which refers to a scheme which has ‘buy-in from residents’.  Technical analysis also indicated that delays would be likely on key routes.


6.2         In overall terms, it is therefore not considered appropriate to continue with the development of the scheme, but that some planned and prioritised measures in Elm Grove are delivered, and that some measures in Queen’s Park Road are assessed within the council’s Safer, Better Streets prioritisation framework. 


6.3         Other measures that residents wish to see implemented in the local area can be requested and reviewed through the council’s Safer, Better Streets prioritisation framework.  These would be considered alongside other requests from across the city.  These requests should be raised with ward councillors and further advice about how to do this is available on the road safety pages of the council’s website. 


7.            Financial implications


7.1         A summary of the budgetary decisions that have been made for the Liveable Neighbourhood project is included in section 3 of this report, and explained more fully in Appendix 2.


7.2         Expenditure to date specifically on this initiative has been limited to use of the original £300,000 budget that was allocated from within the council’s approved Local Transport Plan (LTP) capital programme.


7.3         If this committee decides not to progress the Liveable Neighbourhood project, further consideration will need to be given to the previous decision of the former P&R committee regarding the in principle allocation of the £1.0 million to the project.  This sum is currently ringfenced to support Carbon Neutral Fund schemes.  It is understood that the cost of the two pedestrian crossing locations and the upgrade to the Elm Grove/Queen’s Park Road junction could be approximately £400,000.  It is proposed that this sum is therefore transferred to the LTP capital programme.  This change in funding would need to be agreed by the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration [SFCR] Committee either through TBM (Targeted Budget Management) Reports or directly as an independent report.  


Name of finance officer consulted: Rob Allen     Date consulted: 06/09/23


8.            Legal implications


8.1         There are no direct legal implications associated with this report,

but the requirement to revert to the Strategy, Finance and City Regeneration Committee for any reallocation of monies is noted.


Name of lawyer consulted: Katie Kam           Date consulted: 05/09/23




9.            Equalities implications


9.1         An Accessibility Audit of the area was conducted by Possability People’s Get Involved Group to help inform the pilot project.  A draft Equalities Impact Assessment was also completed.


9.2         Designs for the two proposed crossing points and traffic signal junction upgrade will include appropriate levels of assessment to ensure that the infrastructure is designed in line with national guidance which addresses accessibility/mobility and provision for vulnerable road users.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      The pilot Liveable Neighbourhood project was consistent with the aims and objectives of the council’s Carbon Neutral Programme, and the priority identified by the Climate Assembly of creating low traffic/pedestrianised communities.  However, the results of the consultation with the local community indicated that the preferred option for the scheme was not supported. 


11.         Other Implications


Social Value and procurement implications


11.1      There are no direct social value or procurement implications associated with the recommendations of this report.


Crime & disorder implications:


11.2      There are no direct crime and disorder implications associated with the recommendations of this report. 


Public health implications:


11.3      There are no direct public health implications associated with the recommendations of this report. 


Supporting Documentation


1.         Appendices


1.            Results of public consultation (July – September 2022)

2.            Summary of funding decisions

3.            Elm Grove/Queen’s Park Road/Egremont Place boundary roads engagement feedback summary – February 2023


2.         Background documents


1.       Liveable Neighbourhood Pilot Project (Hanover & Tarner) report and minutes – ETS Committee:Agenda Item 13 (June 2022)

2.       Pedestrian Crossing Priority Programme report and minutes – ETS Committee:Agenda Item 51 (November 2022)

3.       Safer, Better Streets - Infrastructure Priority Framework report and minutes – ETS Committee Agenda Item 67 (January 2023)

4.         General Fund Revenue Budget, Capital & Treasury Management Strategy 2023/24 report and minutes - Budget Council:Agenda Item 91 (February 2023)

5.       Carbon Neutral 2030 Programme – Carbon Neutral Fund report and minutes – P&R Committee:Agenda Item 140 (March 2023)