Agenda item - Public Involvement
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- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 14th March, 2017 4.00pm (Item 72.)
To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:
(a) Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public;
(i) Hove Station Footbridge
(ii) Hanover & Elm Grove controlled parking zone proposals
(b) Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 7 March 2017;
(c) Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 7 March 2017.
(i) Road Safety on Francis Street
(ii) Old Shoreham Road Toilets
(i) Hove Station Footbridge
72.1 The Committee considered a petition signed by 550 people requesting structural refurbishment or replacement and as well as cleanliness improvements be made to Hove Station Footbridge.
72.2 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your petition. Members of this committee are aware of the longstanding issues regarding the state of the footbridge and the impacts on residents and the neighbourhood.
I can inform you that the council have regular and on-going discussions with the bridge owner Network rail. The contractual arrangements for the maintenance of the footbridge are currently being reviewed and analysed.
In response to your specific questions and requests in your petition I can inform you that:
City Clean is responsible for cleaning litter from the bridge and I will ask them to look into the standard of cleanliness of the bridge and if this can be improved or monitored more efficiently. But we do rely on the officers of Network Rail, who are in charge of the live rail, that could have implications for some of this work and we are reliant on their good will to enable this to happen.
Any short term measures to improve the appearance of the footbridge will be discussed with Network Rail. The council will only agree repairs that comply with the historic legal agreements regarding the maintenance of the footbridge, and that can be accommodated within existing budgets.
I can assure you that the bridge is safe and inspected regularly in terms of its structural integrity.
Refurbishing major parts or reconstructing the bridge will need to be discussed and agreed with Network Rail and full reconstruction of the bridge will be the responsibility of Network Rail. The bridge is more than 120 years old and is fast approaching its design life and the council will work with Network Rail to ensure a positive outcome and we will be back in touch with you regarding a link officer as you have requested.
The council will look at various funding opportunities both public and private to draw the necessary funds to maintain and improve the footbridge.
I will also pass this petition to Network Rail, the bridge owner, for their comments”.
72.3 RESOLVED- That the committee note the petition.
(ii) Hanover & Elm Grove controlled parking zone proposals
72.4 The Committee considered a petition signed by 110 people requesting residents in the ‘top triangle’ area of Hanover & Elm Grove be given permission for some pavement parking in their area in relation to proposals for the introduction of controlled parking.
72.5 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your petition and I do appreciate the concerns of residents in your group of roads.
The council cannot condone pavement parking when designing resident parking schemes. Parking on the footway is against the Highway Code, driving on footways is a road traffic offence and the council has duty to ensure its design proposals are safe and people are able to park legally.
Footway parking also constitutes a highway obstruction and is potentially hazardous for disabled and elderly people, those who are visually impaired and people with pushchairs and buggies. Or for people who simply want to walk side by side with their children. We receive numerous complaints about pavement parking from residents.
In 2013 the severity of pavement parking and highway obstruction in Elm Grove was so severe that this committee authorised joint enforcement action alongside Sussex Police.
As you will be aware, the committee will be discussing proposals for a residents’ parking scheme in the Hanover and Elm Grove later on in the agenda.
I do not want to pre-judge the outcome of that discussion but can assure you that should this be agreed, officers will continue to do all they can to maximise available parking for residents through the detailed design stage prior to the Traffic Regulation Orders being advertised. Those orders are advertised for public comment and so people will have a further chance to comment on those and then the representations from those will come back to this committee in June.
Furthermore, all residents’ parking schemes are kept under review following implementation and may be adjusted using an amendment order should any unforeseen, individual road safety problems arise”.
72.6 RESOLVED- That the petition be noted.
(b) Written Questions
72.7 Jonathan Bromberg presented the following question:
“1.9.16. I stated “It’s clearly much more
sensible that the proposed "hub" is sited further north along
Whitecross Street so it’s away from residents premises,
commercial premises / deliveries, and also closer to a large group
of potential users of the "hub", being students at City
College”. 2.9.16.ward councillor
supported this. Officers never responded about this
10.11.16. FOIA response states "This allocated area needs to be continuous (not interrupted by street furniture) and alternative sites identified unfortunately don’t provide such a footprint."
Therefore council officers have NOT considered all alternatives identified.
Why has this alternative not been considered?”
72.8 The Chair provided the following reply:
“I understand that the North Laine Community Association and you have raised a number of concerns in respect of the proposed Whitecross Street Bike Share location.
As documented in the committee report, officers have sought to address any issues raised regarding all of the proposed sites and in some cases amendments have been made to the proposals.
In this case, alternative locations were suggested at Station Street, on the footway adjacent to the Trafalgar Street car park and at the northern end of Whitecross Street. Station Street and Trafalgar Street car park were not considered possible for technical reasons owing to the available footway and carriageway space. Underground services are also present at Station Street in the carriageway opposite the existing cycle parking. In addition, it is considered that the positioning of a hub on the footway in those locations would have obstructed thoroughfares and resulted in a greater risk of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians in particular. Therefore, these locations were not considered to be feasible.
With regards to an alternative on-carriageway location, officers have considered sites based on the extent to which concerns could be addressed. When identifying locations, specific considerations have also included the accessibility of a site as well as the impact on car parking and pedestrians. Officers have selected hub locations which would be visible, convenient for users and therefore most likely to be well used.
Consideration also needs to be given to where Bike Share sites are located in relation to one another. Space constraints in the North Laine generally are such that the Whitecross Street proposal is the only site within the North Laine with the exception of Church Street that is acceptable. Relocating north would mean that the North Laine is under served.
Officers therefore deem an alternative siting at the northern end of Whitecross Street to not meet the location criteria.
Furthermore, the majority of the comments put forward in relation to Whitecross Street are not site-specific and indicate an opposition to the Bike Share scheme generally. These include a loss of parking, use of the street by large vehicles, impact on traffic flow and addition of visual clutter.
Whilst officers have respectively acknowledged and sought to respond to these objections, it was not considered they could be addressed without removing the North Laine location. This would not be desirable from the point of view of the attractiveness of the Bike Share scheme for future users.
Given the number of objections received is small at two responses; officers have therefore recommended to the committee that the proposal is approved. It is also noted that two representations in support of the location have been received, both of which request that all locations be implemented”.
72.9 Jonathan Bromberg asked the following supplementary question:
“Does the visibility of the hub override all other criteria and considerations for the locations of a hub and if the site is not visible, then it has not been considered at all? If so, please tell me the criteria for determining what a visible site is and whether this criteria were set and hence potential site choices were made before the TRO consultation began”
72.10 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Visibility is just one of the criteria that we used when conducting a site search for the potential location of the hubs. I’m very happy to provide you with the further information you have requested”.
(ii) Brighton & Hove Bike Share
72.11 The questioner was unable to attend the meeting in person. The following reply was read by the Chair at the meeting and sent in writing:
“The operator will have a dedicated team of mechanics and drivers with two electric support vehicles to service and redistribute the bikes according to customer needs. All bikes are equipped with GPS devices which will allow the operations team to monitor availability and parking loads in real time and respond appropriately. If a hub is full, customers may leave the bike at any nearby available cycle parking stand. This will avoid over parking at a busy hub.
The operator will develop an access plan for each location in conjunction with the local highway authority. This will detail where the support vehicle may wait to load and unload.
The support vehicles will only need to be at a location for a short time to restock, take bikes away or to carry out a quick check on the bikes. Those requiring service will be taken to the workshop”.
(iii) Electrical Vehicle Charging Points
72.12 Paul Norman asked the following question:
“Would the council consider placing EV charging points adjacent to all Car Club bays in the proposed Hanover & Elm Grove CPZ area, and include this in the forthcoming Traffic Regulation Order?”
72.13 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As you will be aware, the parking proposals for the Hanover and Elm Grove area are part of the agenda for this meeting and therefore I am sure that you will understand that I cannot pre-empt the outcome of the committee’s discussion and decision on that item in relation to your question.
The current proposals do include one bay for electric vehicle charging in the Cobden Road Area.
However, if a parking scheme is agreed today and goes on to the Traffic Regulation Order stage, I can confirm that officers will consider the technical feasibility and value for money of your request as part of that detailed design stage. Those designs would be advertised formally for further comment by residents and others before coming back to this committee.
Officers have received interest in charging points in the area independently of the parking consultation, and further locations could be proposed and considered in the same way during the Traffic Regulation Order stage, or they could be considered at a later date
We do aim to expand the city’s vehicle charging network to respond to growing demand and this is also included on further item on the agenda, the Local Transport Plan that I urge you to read”.
72.14 Paul Norman asked the following supplementary question:
“Will Brighton & Hove City Council consider entering a bid for a central government grant for the installation of EV Charging points which is available for another year to enable not only the installation of EV charging points not only in Hanover & Elm Grove but potentially citywide?”
72.15 The Chair provided the following reply:
“Officers are always looking for external funding for EV charging points and they are aware of that particular fund and I am very hopeful that we will be able to submit a bid”.
(iv) Hanover & Elm Grove controlled parking zone consultation
72.16 John Woodington asked the following question:
“The street plan was drawn up with no definitive determination of the number of parking spaces required other than a dubious, limited survey by HEGLAT. Could residents be assured that an accurate survey will be made ensuring that the proposed plan will provide residents with sufficient parking spaces for vehicles already DVLA registered (+10% contingency?) and nobody will be required to sell vehicles or face daily fines of £70. This could be achieved by those requiring spaces applying for permits prior to final draft completion. The object of the exercise is to improve lives not cause stress or confrontation.”
72.17 The Chair provided the following reply:
“As you are aware from the agenda the results of the consultation from the Hanover & Elm Grove and Craven Vale areas are being presented later in this meeting for Members of this Committee to discuss the way forward.
As the report shows, around 7,600 residents of as part of the Hanover & Elm Grove area were consulted using the detailed information from the Local Land and Property Gazetteer.
The DVLA provide only limited information to local authorities and vehicle registrations within specific areas are not included within this. Therefore, it is very difficult to provide accurate survey figures on current car ownership.
However, residents have responded to the two rounds consultation and made choices based on the detailed design information made available to them and they will have a further opportunity to comment during the next more detailed Traffic Order stage if any proposal is agreed. The outcome of that further stage will come back to this committee (in June)”.
72.18 John Woodington asked the following supplementary question:
“The Hanover & Elm Grove parking proposals are designed not to be for profit and the purpose is to improve the environment for all residents. All residents have had the opportunity to vote and it has been acknowledged that problems have arisen due to over spilling from adjacent CPZ’s and the failure to prevent non-residents parking in Hanover rather than the fault of residents parking near their homes. Why are those owning vehicles expected to pay for the improvement rather than the cost shared by all householders who will benefit? Should resident parking not be included in council tax and therefore spread citywide?”
72.19 The Chair provided the following reply:
“That’s a very interesting idea. This is a residents parking scheme, they are what they say, and they are intended to give residents priority to park. Usually this means residents with a vehicle. I take your point that schemes do improve areas for everybody but the legislation does mean that they are governed in relation to car ownership thus the supply of car permits is dependent on that”.
(i) Road Safety on Francis Street
72.20 The Committee considered a Deputation requesting wide-ranging public realm, parking and traffic improvements on Francis Street.
72.21 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for your deputation Mr Harper. I am very sorry that you and your neighbours find yourself in this situation.
I am aware that you have been in correspondence with council officers about the situation in Francis Street, including the changes to the street as a result of the new developments there, including the Open Market. Officers are aware of the various concerns that you have raised, as are your local councillors such as Councillor Greenbaum who is here today as a member of this committee, and I would like to reassure you that she is making representations to us and that we are working actively on all of these matters and are trying to resolve them with the other parties and companies who are involved.
Your concerns and the findings of the independent Road Safety Audit have been the subject of a very recent, positive and constructive meeting which officers arranged with Hyde Housing and others. A number of potential solutions that residents have suggested were discussed and all parties remain eager to review and agree a combination of measures and actions that are considered safe, technically feasible and deliverable within the legal processes available. Once these discussions are complete and a way forward agreed, officers will be informing the local ward councillors and yourself as the presenter of the deputation and Chair of The Barrows Residents Association.
In the meantime, I can also advise you that our Parking Enforcement Team have been advised of the illegal parking that has been occurring and reported in the street and our contractor will do its best to respond swiftly to these reports, alongside the many others that it receives.
That also gives me the opportunity to promote, and remind people here, that the council does want to keep our streets clear and safe and therefore we welcome reports of illegal parking and they can be made in person directly to our contractor,
NSL, by phone; or online using the information on the Parking page of the council’s website”.
72.22 Councillor Greenbaum moved a motion to request a report to the next meeting as there were long-standing issues in Francis Street and more could be done to resolve these.
72.23 Councillor Janio formally seconded the motion.
72.24 The Chair stated that she was happy to agree to the request once a set of proposals had been drawn up and those proposals had been consulted upon with local residents.
72.25 RESOLVED- That the Committee receive a report on the matter to a future meeting.
(ii) Old Shoreham Road Toilets
72.26 The Committee considered a Deputation requesting the refurbishment and re-opening of the toilets on the north side of Old Shoreham Road to benefit attendees of the local Cemetery.
72.27 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for bringing your deputation today. The toilets were closed as part of a council agreed budget saving in April 2012. Having been closed for four years, they are therefore not included in the council's current tender exercise for cleaning and maintenance and no capital funding is readily available to refurbish and adapt them to accommodate disabled access and provide an acceptable standard of accessibility that we like all of our public toilets to have. I appreciate that this response will be disappointing, however, we are very willing to discuss with you any opportunities for the external funding and running of the toilets”.
72.28 Councillor Janio asked if funding could be found for the refurbishment of the toilets as part of the tender currently advertised.
72.29 The Chair clarified that the tender advertised related only to toilets currently open but discussions could be held on the viability of external funding opportunities.
72.30 Councillor Theobald stated that he believed the matter to have equality implications and asked why the facilities could not be added to the contract currently out to tender.
72.31 The Chair advised that the committee could not make financial commitments without the budget implications also presented to them to ensure their decision-making was sound. It was not possible to add this facility to the tender as that had already been advertised with identification of the toilets to be part of that contract and the known cost of refurbishment of those facilities.
72.32 Councillor Janio asked if the surplus income from any contract could be diverted to refurbishment of the facilities on the north side of Old Shoreham Road.
72.33 The Chair stated that the projected income had been built into the business plan but should there be surplus income above and beyond that projection, the issue could be revisited.
72.34 Councillor Theobald stated that it would be beneficial for the committee to know the costs of refurbishment of the toilet.
72.35 The Chair stated that she would request officers to examine the cost of refurbishment and the revenue and capital cost required.
72.36 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.
(iii) Traffic on Surrey Street
72.37 The Committee considered a Deputation regarding parking, congestion, air quality and anti-social behavioural problems on Surrey Street connected to taxis and buses.
72.38 The Chair provided the following response:
“I utterly and completely agree with you as does your ward councillor, Councillor Deane.
For the last 18 months to two years, we have been meeting regularly with Network Rail, with taxi representatives, with bus company representatives, with the police and with our own transport officers to look at this situation.
What you are talking about is totally and utterly unacceptable but it is not a taxi rank and it is not a ranking issue because those taxis are simply queuing to get to a 17 space parking area at the front of the station on private land.
If that taxi rank was on public land, on the highway, the council as the licensing authority could regulate that rank and we could mitigate against over-ranking. As it is, you are in the worst possible of situations because for you it’s like living next door to a large supermarket that has 17 spaces and a load of people in cars that are trying to access it the whole time. That is the situation that we found ourselves in and we have also found that Govia Thameslink have issued hundreds of permits to taxis for those 17 spaces who obviously want to make back a return for their outlay for their permits. It is utterly, utterly untenable and I totally agree with you.
We have had meetings with all of those attendees and we are setting up another one. I have to say those meetings have been optimistic and we have been carefully looking at alternative siting’s for that taxi rank. Those ideas have not come totally to fruition yet but plans are being looked because at the moment the situation is not working or helping anybody: anybody trying to get through on a bus, pedestrians, even people trying to get taxis, it is not really helping at all and something has to give. Our officers are working very, very hard with the rail company who own the land and who do have prime responsibility here.
We are continuing to fight on your behalf with ward councillors and I do hope at some point soon, we can find a way through this. We’d much rather find an
acceptable solution in terms of relocation of that rank than for to have to us the more difficult highway measures at our disposal to continually bear down on those queues of taxis and the various confrontation that is going to incur which would almost certain entail having to use the police. I hope that is helpful to you and we will let you know of our progress through Councillor Deane”.
72.39 Councillor Deane appraised the work being done but this was not reported in the public domain and she believed it valuable that the committee receive a report on the matter.
72.40 The Chair stated that a report would be returned to the committee in any event the circumstances changed.
72.41 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.
(iv) Parking on Pankhurst Estate
72.42 The Committee considered a Deputation requesting the Pankhurst Estate be excluded from the proposed controlled parking zone for Hanover & Elm Grove and be provided an opportunity to reconsider their choice in one year.
72.43 The Chair provided the following response:
“Thank you for coming today with your deputation. As you are aware from this meeting’s agenda, the consultation results from the Hanover, Elm Grove and Craven Vale areas is being presented to members of this committee to discuss.
It is fully appreciated that for some distinct groups of roads within the overall consultation area, the narrow widths of the roads and footways mean that when designing a parking scheme a conventional parking design cannot be proposed for a minority of roads. It is the same situation that is faced in other areas of the city where there are clusters of narrow streets within a wider area.
So this is why the scheme is proposed to cover a large area and why the whole area has been consulted at the same time, and consulted twice on the type of scheme preferred. By consulting across a wide area, the availability of resident-only bays can be maximised and reduces the likelihood of displacement parking.
This work is still ongoing and in very recent discussions further opportunities to improve the scheme for residents have been proposed and additional resident only bays identified.
We are also very mindful indeed of the experience from a number of other parking schemes where areas have been left out due to resident preference at that time but then have come forward with serious concerns about displacement parking and their inability to park.
We must also take into account that 60% of respondents across the whole area were in favour of a residents’ parking scheme in some form.
It is rather unlikely that the council could come back to re-consult the Pankhurst Estate after just one year. We have several other areas that have been promised a consultation as part of the current parking scheme timetable that runs up till the end of 2018 or early 2019. In November this year proposals for the next timetable will be brought to this committee and there are already further areas asking to be consulted on that timetable.
If a scheme is approved today the decision will be to proceed to the next stage of the process which is the advertising of the Traffic Regulation Orders and I can give you an assurance that officers will make early contact with you, in the way that you suggest, to walk around with you, listen to your points, your local knowledge and to go through further options before the Traffic Regulation Orders are advertised for further comment. Then at the end of that process, those comments on the orders come back to this committee for a further decision”.
72.44 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.
(v) Parking in Hanover & Elm Grove
72.45 The Committee considered a Deputation urging the Committee to consider the impact on business and providing suggested amendments in relation to the proposed Hanover & Elm Grove controlled parking zone.
72.46 The Chair provided the following response:
“At present, two business permits are the maximum allowed under current policy to ensure that the supply for permits meets but not exceeds parking demand within controlled parking areas.
A permit review alongside the new online permit system is being proposed later in the year which will further review current citywide policies such as this.
Officers will investigate the amount of business permits that could be issued based on the size of a business similar to that when issuing school permits but we do need to consider the impact on the citywide parking situation, particularly in predominantly residential areas. We do have to ensure we get the balance right as obviously residents will also be purchasing permits and expecting to park near their homes.
I can give you the assurance that this will be considered as part of that review.
There are currently no permits available to businesses to provide to their visitors. Allowing visitor permits to be offered to businesses will be investigated as part of that review; however, we need to think of the effect this will have on available parking particularly when businesses are located together.
The Council are also looking at opportunities to provide additional parking bays would allow visitors to businesses to park during restricted hours. Businesses will have the opportunity to comment further on this during the next more detailed Traffic Order stage if any proposal is agreed today. The outcome of that stage will then be coming back to this committee.
The reason that a 7 day operation for the light-touch area was proposed in the report is to try to protect the area from significant parking displacement and congestion at weekends when of course that particular part of the area would be totally unrestricted. However, we have listened to yourself and other residents who in that area would prefer a five day a week operation and I believe an amendment is being proposed to that effect this afternoon”.
72.47 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.
(vi) Statement from Hanover & Elm Grove Local Action Team Parking Sub-Group
72.48 The Committee considered a Deputation requesting amendments to the proposed Hanover & Elm Grove controlled parking zone proposals to improve parking capacity and aid traffic calming.
72.49 The Chair provided the following response:
“During the 2010 consultation within the Hanover & Elm Grove area, concerns were also raised from the fire service over the proposals to introduce parking on both sides of the carriageway in those pocket areas. They ultimately outlined that they require a 3.1 metre carriageway width due to the length of the roads in the area if parking is on both sides.
The comparison drawn up between the roads does not factor in the vast difference in the road lengths between those in the Lewes Road Triangle area and those in Hanover & Elm Grove. A number of roads in the Lewes Road Triangle area were also subject to a historical formal parking arrangement going back a number of years which was drafted into final detailed design. The emergency services were consulted on those proposals and they chose not to comment at that time which resulted in the design of that scheme.
If any form of resident parking scheme is approved today, it will simply be to move to the next stage of the process which is the advertising of the formal traffic regulation orders. That gives us a period of some weeks where we can indeed work with you, we can look at areas in more detail, officers can come forward with any further suggestions we can sound you out on. And you have my commitment today that we will certainly do that. And of course the advertising of the orders themselves will give people living in the area the opportunity to comment and then the outcome of that consultation will come back to this committee”.
72.50 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.
(vii) Hanover & Elm Grove Controlled Parking Proposals
72.51 The Committee considered a Deputation requesting changes to the proposed Hanover & Elm Grove controlled parking zone to allow for parking on both sides in some medium width streets.
72.52 The Chair provided the following response:
“During the 2010 consultation within the Hanover & Elm Grove area, concerns were raised by the fire service over the proposals to introduce parking on both sides of the carriageway and they did outline that they required a 3.1 metre carriageway to enable fire engines and emergency equipment to access and pass through the roads safely due to the length of the roads in the area.
Our officers have been in close contact with the fire service and they have made their requirements very clear.
If any form of resident parking scheme is approved this afternoon, it will be to pass on to the next traffic regulation order stage so there will be a further opportunity for residents to comment on the design and those will include detailed measurements that I’m sure you will want to respond to and then those responses will then come back to this committee in June”.
72.53 RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.
- Item 72a Petitions, item 72. PDF 196 KB
- Item 72c Deputations, item 72. PDF 335 KB
- Item WQ supplementary, item 72. PDF 93 KB
- Item 72c Deputations supplementary, item 72. PDF 147 KB