Agenda item - Public Involvement

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Agenda item

Public Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:

 

(a)           Petitions: To receive any petitions presented by members of the public to the full Council or at the meeting itself.

 

(i)             Tichborne Street change of parking zone from Z to Y

(ii)            Speed Bumps

(iii)          Weed management on pavement and walkways

(iv)          Foot and cycle path for Roedean Road and traffic calming

(v)           Traffic calming on Arundel Terrace

(vi)          Disabled parking access in City Centre

 

(b)           Written Questions: To receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 23 September 2020;

 

(i)             Diesel Vehicles

(ii)            Water run-off

(iii)          Clifftop fencing

(iv)          AQMA2

(v)           Underground waste bin service

(vi)          Motorcycle noise

 

(c)           Deputations: To receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 23 September 2020.

Minutes:

(A)          PETITIONS

 

(i)             Tichborne Street change of parking zone from Z to Y

 

19.1      The Committee considered a petition signed by 66 people requesting Tichborne Street be moved from parking zone Z to Y.

 

19.2      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“The Council receives a large number of requests for traffic calming across the City and there is no specific funding set aside for this outdated policy. We therefore prioritise requests from roads regarding speeding or perception of high traffic volumes where there is an existing casualty history within the last three years. We have checked the collision database and there has been one casualty on Coleman Avenue in the last 3 years. Whilst no injury is ever acceptable on the highway, we must prioritise the best we can with the funding available. I also want to tell you that my colleagues on this committee have specifically contacted Sussex Police with regards to increases in speeding in the city and asked for some additional support  – however again we are informed that there is a need to prioritise areas with more fatalities. We understand this is frustrating.

Council is part of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and works with other bodies and Authorities to help improve road safety in the Sussex region. The Police are important partners and work with the Council and the community to help address concerns about speeding via its SpeedWatch initiative. You can find out more about Community Speed Watch on the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website.

I want to assure you that we take road safety concerns very seriously. We have purchased a series of mobile vehicle activated signs that measure the speed of vehicles and flash up warnings when drivers are exceeding the limit. The signs are moved around the City to help modify driver behaviour and to help us gather data on sites where speeding has been raised as a concern. In light of the concerns you have raised we will add Coleman Avenue to the list of sites to be considered as part of this programme”.

 

19.3      RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(ii)           Speed Bumps

 

19.4      The Committee considered a petition signed by 43 people requesting speed bumps on Coleman Avenue to reduce vehicle speeds.

 

19.5      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for raising your concerns about Coleman Avenue.

The Council receives a large number of requests for traffic calming across the City and there is no specific funding set aside for this outdated policy. We therefore prioritise requests from roads regarding speeding or perception of high traffic volumes where there is an existing casualty history within the last three years. We have checked the collision database and there has been one casualty on Coleman Avenue in the last 3 years. Whilst no injury is ever acceptable on the highway, we must prioritise the best we can with the funding available. I also want to tell you that my colleagues on this committee have specifically contacted Sussex Police with regards to increases in speeding in the city and asked for some additional support  – however again we are informed that there is a need to prioritise areas with more fatalities. We understand this is frustrating.

The Council is part of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and works with other bodies and Authorities to help improve road safety in the Sussex region. The Police are important partners and work with the Council and the community to help address concerns about speeding via its SpeedWatch initiative. You can find out more about Community Speed Watch on the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website.

I want to assure you that we take road safety concerns very seriously. We have purchased a series of mobile vehicle activated signs that measure the speed of vehicles and flash up warnings when drivers are exceeding the limit. The signs are moved around the City to help modify driver behaviour and to help us gather data on sites where speeding has been raised as a concern. In light of the concerns you have raised we will add Coleman Avenue to the list of sites to be considered as part of this programme”.

 

19.6      RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(iii)         Weed management on pavement and walkways

 

19.7      The Committee considered a petition signed by 207 people that requested the Council increase weed management across the city.

 

19.8      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“With regard to the management of weeds, there are some important considerations: Our City Environmental Managemental services has committed to become pesticide free by 2022. A plan was developed to end the use of pesticide in the city’s parks, open spaces, pavements and highways in November 2019. The service will not engage contractors to use pesticide on any land managed by these departments. This means that, since the decision was taken, the removal of weeds in parks and on hard surfaces has been undertaken in-house and using manual techniques.

As part of this approach, we know that Cityclean workers have been open that they would not be able to remove weeds to same extent as before.

But, Cityclean has cleared most of the worst affected areas in the city; but I do have to inform you that the weeding and deep cleaning schedule has been badly impacted upon by the Covid-19 pandemic and effects of restrictions and lockdown; as I’m sure you will understand cleansing operatives were also diverted to cover staff who had to self-isolate.

The weeding season ends in October when the focus will change to leaves. We will then look at what has gone well, the positive and negative impact on the environment including pavements and where we can make improvements. We will take this time to trial new brushes for the mechanical sweepers and review funding, equipment and resources for the following year. A report will be brought to committee in the New Year.

On your point about aesthetics, while I agree we have to keep streets easy to navigate, many residents have asked us not to remove weeds when they have seen the insects flourish due to other concerns for biodiversity, so I am also listening to when these comments are raised.

Our Streets Cleansing operatives continue to work hard to remove weeds and leaves from the most affected areas of the city, and I want to let you know that Residents who would like excessive weeds removed from public land can contact report this online and street cleaners will attend the area. I’d be pleased to let you know in writing how to do this and also to reflect your comments in the report coming in the new year on resources available for weeding in the city”.

 

19.9      RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(iv)         Foot and Cycle Path for Roedean Road and Traffic Calming

 

19.10   The Committee considered a petition signed by 239 people that requested a foot and cycle path and traffic calming measures on Roedean Road.

 

19.11   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“There are a number of other locations in the city where this has also been

raised, some of which are on today’s agenda, but I want to thank you for raising the need for pedestrians and cycles to improve community safety in your area; particularly as there are no pavements where you mention.

The council is currently developing its Local Cycling and Walking

Infrastructure Plan, and I can confirm that your comments and request about pedestrian and cycling issues in this location have been noted by officers and will be considered as part of this ongoing work.

When we investigate providing new footways, we do have to consider the overall costs which can include the need to re-construct road surfaces and drainage and divert or lower underground services if there is space to do so.

These works can be major and would need to be considered as part of our overall prioritisation of similar locations, in order to determine their suitability for being progressed within the budget available at the time.

But I thank you for raising this and for emphasising the importance of being able to walk safely, so as I mentioned we will pass this onto officers working on the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan”.

 

19.12   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(v)           Traffic Calming on Arundel Terrace

 

19.13   The Committee considered a petition signed by 34 people requesting traffic calming measures be introduced on Arundel Terrace to deter speeding drivers using the road as a rat-run.

 

19.14   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for raising your concerns about Arundel Terrace.

As I have mentioned previously the Council receives a large number of requests for traffic calming across the City and the current demand exceeds the available resources. This means that requests have to be prioritised where there is an existing casualty history within the last three years. We have checked the collision database and there has been one casualty on Arundel Terrace in the last 3 years. Whilst no injury is ever acceptable on the highway, we must prioritise the best we can with the funding available.

Road safety concerns very seriously and the Council works with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and other bodies and Authorities to help improve road safety across the whole Sussex region. The Police are important partners and work with the Council and the community to help address concerns about speeding via its SpeedWatch initiative. Information about that is available online.

We have also purchased a series of mobile vehicle activated signs that measure the speed of vehicles and flash up warnings when drivers are exceeding the limit.  The signs are moved around the City to help modify driver behaviour and to help us gather data on speed and volumes of vehicles on sites where rat running has been raised as a concern. In light of the concerns you have raised we will add Arundel Terrace to the list of sites to be considered as part of this programme speed of vehicles and flash up warnings when drivers are exceeding the limit”.

 

19.15   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(vi)         Disabled Parking Access in City Centre

 

19.16   The Committee considered a petition signed by 43 people requesting that various matters relating to disabled parking access be reviewed.

 

19.17   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for raising this important issue that I’m sure you’ll appreciate is also being addressed in other parts of the agenda today, so I hope you will be able to listen to the debates upcoming.

With the need to respond quickly to coming out of lockdown many changes to the city have been implemented.  In some cases, this has meant that disabled parking has been altered or moved although every effort has been made to either increase or at least maintain current provision.  However, I do acknowledge that it hasn’t always created the conditions of inclusion that we would want all disabled people in our city to feel.

Many of the changes are temporary and continue to be monitored and an update will be presented within a report on our agenda today.  Having only taken control of the running of the council some weeks ago, I do want to  stress that this is a major concern for us, and I do want to let you know that we are focused on now working actively working with a number of disability groups to try to ensure that access for the mobility impaired is maintained, and please be assured that listening to the disabled community is a high priority for us”.

 

19.18   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the petition.

 

(B)          WRITTEN QUESTIONS

 

(i)             Diesel Vehicles

 

19.19   Adrian Hill put the following question:

 

“Last year 30 brand new 100% diesel buses were purchased with investment from the council. They produce similar amounts of CO2 to older buses. The buses recharge by running their diesel engines at maximum at bus stops and crossings therefore emitting pollution in the most sensitive and polluted areas of Brighton. Can the council implement a very clear roadmap, with strict and enforceable targets, dates, penalties and incentives, to help the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and create investment guidelines so no more council money is invested in diesel vehicles and council licensed vehicles

become fossil fuel free?”

 

19.20   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for this question on an incredibly important topic. Firstly, I should explain that the 30 new hybrid electric buses that you refer to were funded privately by the Brighton & Hove Bus Company at a cost of over £9 million pounds, and without any subsidy from the council.  Those buses have a Euro 6 standard engine which is the highest level for a diesel engine.  This means that they are amongst the cleanest in operation in the country and they are able to run at zero-emissions through the city centre’s Low Emission Zone.  Outside of that zone, the buses do use their diesel-powered generator, but only when needed. The Low Emission Zone requires all buses running through the city centre to be Euro 6 compliant by 2024- an important goal

In terms of what you ask about a roadmap for the transition from fossil fuels, there are a number of updates so bear with me. In 2019, the Big Lemon bus company received funding from the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme to purchase five electric buses, helping its fleet to become fully electric. Brighton & Hove Buses has also been trialling hydrogen-fuelled buses and has stated an ambition to operate a completely zero-emissions fleet by 2030.  As technology has developed, we encourage the city’s bus operators’ investment in improving their fleets as part of our successful Quality Bus Partnership, and we really appreciate their commitment to helping make the city a cleaner and better place for everyone.

A continuation of this investment will help make a significant impact in reducing the effects of emissions from all vehicles on people’s health and our environment, especially diesel-powered ones.  Electrification will play a big role in that process and will continue to be part of our wider strategy.  Our significant investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure for cars will really help with increasing the uptake of those vehicles by residents or visitors.  We are also providing rapid charging points for taxis. 

We all have a part to play in reducing emissions and the council must do all that it can to achieve that, and lead by example wherever possible.  For example, in CityClean, our waste and recycling operation, we are currently developing a ten-year programme to replace current diesel and petrol vehicles with carbon-neutral alternatives.  This will initially focus on electric vehicles, but we are also exploring hydrogen-fuelled power cells once the technology has been developed more.  By using hydrogen, we can also work in collaboration with Brighton and Hove Buses, demonstrating that we will work together with our partners across the city to tackle these problems. 

The way ahead will also be based around a number of plans and actions:-

 

• The Greater Brighton Energy Plan, which the council has played a significant role in, is another good example of how partners are developing and delivering projects that will reduce energy demand, cut carbon emissions, and bring community benefits, and also contribute to a resilient energy system for the future.

• The development of the council’s Carbon Neutral Programme for the city will be helped by the new Climate Assembly, which started last week and is focusing on reducing carbon emissions from transport and travel. 

• And the delivery of a new Air Quality Action Plan will show how we will tackle particular problems in the new Air Quality Management Areas that are the subject of a report later on today’s agenda.

 

You also raise the important point about council investments. We do have a sustainable procurement policy, that builds, for example, a requirement for C02 reduction into specifications and requires suppliers to demonstrate they are minimising environmental impacts – and while not in the remit of this committee, I agree this has potential to be further developed in line with our 2030 carbon neutral commitments. 

I hope that the detail goes some way to explain all that we plan to do in the coming months and years to ensure that the city and its residents are not adversely affected by the type of polluting vehicles that you have raised in your question. But of course, there is always more to do, and I welcome the points you have raised”.

 

19.21   Adrian Hill asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Do you agree that the time is right to introduce an ULEZ or Clean Air Zone on London Road? The pollution is doing too much damage to our health”

 

19.22   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Yes, I certainly do agree and when I was in Opposition, I put forward the idea of introducing a ULEZ”.

 

(ii)           Water run-off

 

19.23   Sarah Broadley-Karlsson put the following question:

 

“Water run-off is a major issue for in the Westfield Avenue area of Saltdean.

When there is a storm, road water run-off runs down the driveways and floods to just below our doorsteps- occasionally rising above and flooding the front of our property.

Pathway drains were installed but more are required. This will be crucial if the Coombe Farm planning goes ahead on current land that acts a flood plain.

Will the council confirm they will install desperately needed additional water run-off drainage and frequent cleaning of the current drainage system to prevent properties flooding?”

 

19.24   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear of the flooding you mention here. It’s important that these are raised with the council; as if an area is flooded reporting it to the council means we can prioritise strategic interventions. As it stands there are no records of flooding occurring at properties on this street and our highways maintenance team are not aware of it as a location where they receive complaints. However, I appreciate that you are raising it here.

Our highway maintenance team undertake scheduled cleaning to maintain the drainage system together with emergency inspection and maintenance if there is a reported problem. They can be contacted via our website if there is a highway drainage problem such as a blocked drain or gully.

Planning applications for proposed developments since 2015 have been required to incorporate sustainable drainage principles into the design under National (and Local) Planning Policy. The council has published guidance on what is required and how to achieve it which forms requirements for obtaining Planning Consent to then be controlled through Planning Conditions to ensure the design is delivered and maintained. As a result, it is not expected that new development on greenfield land will exacerbate any downstream flood risk, indeed it would be reduced for large return period storms. The development at Coombe Farm could be expected to reduce overland flow from the existing farmland.

However, I want to assure you that I will ask officers to get in touch with you to assess the problem in Westfield Avenue and see what interventions can be made, to address the issues there”.

 

19.25   Sarah Broadley-Karlsson asked the following supplementary question:

 

“If you have no record of that, why has pathway drainage been installed further down the road?”

 

19.26   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“It seems like a site visit is a good idea so we can get in touch with you”.

 

(iii)         Clifftop fencing

 

19.27   Miranda Pellew put the following question:

 

Could the Council seriously consider replacing the fence along the clifftop from the Marina to Saltdean to deter attempted suicides? There have been several attempted and successful suicides in recent months and the current fencing is totally inadequate to prevent accidents. Suicide, and the intention of suicide, has profound effects on families, of course but also incidental passers-by. In addition, I am sure many police officers and paramedics suffer the effects of trauma. Furthermore, a fence must be cheaper than the consequences of suicide. If people can be saved by a simple fence, this should be implemented

 

19.28   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Firstly, can I thank you for raising this important issue here and also flag that this discussion will include repeated mention of suicide, which can be very distressing.

I want to share my concern about this area and also raise that the council does recognise this location as a priority area for action. Suicide is deeply traumatic, and we must all do more to focus on prevention and supporting those around us. It’s also a particularly important discussion to be having this September, suicide prevention month.

Identifying common locations where suicides take place and intervening to prevent these incidents is a key element of the Brighton & Hove Suicide Prevention Strategy.

There have been 20 deaths at this location between 2006-2020 (as at 10th August 2020). You will also be aware it is an issue associated with cliffs along the East Sussex coast.

To date we have addressed deterioration of the existing fence earlier this year when improvements and repairs to posts and wire were installed. Following a site review additional Samaritan signs have also been installed at the highest risk locations with measures of help and contacts. We have worked with the Marina Management to look at ways of minimising risks too.

A working group will be established by the end of 2020.  We will work with stakeholders to identify further options for improving the fencing and preventing suicides including restricting access in order to reduce suicides.

We are also in the process of commissioning a resource to support those who have witnessed incidents of suicide.  But in the short term if you have been affected by Suicide please consider contacting our local service SOS Rethink on 01273 709060 or sos.mendos@rethink.org – it is also important that individuals, friends and families have access to information and help they need to discuss suicide prevention”.

 

19.29   Miranda Pellew asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Can the timeline be implemented sooner than 2020? I feel that incidents are only going to increase as winter approaches”

 

19.30   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“I will ask about the timeline and get back to you”

 

(iv)         AQMA

 

19.31   Nigel Smith put the following question:

 

“Having voted £40k to identify, set up and monitor a traffic experiment to reduce NO2 in AQMA2, residents have been told the monitoring equipment for air quality and traffic flows is still not providing useful reports after nearly a year. If this is true will you investigate this further example of mismanagement of our congested roads...if it is not true, please provide evidence to refute this story”.

 

19.32   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The monitoring of air quality levels requires certain conditions and timescales to ensure that it is providing an accurate record, especially for any comparisons to be made.  A minimum of one calendar year’s data would be recommended to enable a clear indication of average air quality levels over that period, because various factors such as air temperatures, atmospheric conditions and traffic levels can all vary throughout the year. 

The Experimental Traffic Order that was put in place for the traffic management scheme in Rottingdean High Street started in October 2019, between Autumn and Winter when temperatures begin to fall.  This change can often result in higher nitrogen dioxide levels being recorded.  Since then, as we are all aware, most of 2020 has been far from an average year because of the pandemic. 

One major aspect of that has been traffic levels, which have fluctuated hugely in the last six months.  This will have significantly affected the amount of emissions from vehicles, and the traffic conditions in the High Street, when compared to a more ‘normal’ set of circumstances.  Any monitoring results will therefore not provide a realistic basis for comparing the effects of the scheme that has been introduced.    

Diffusion tubes are being used to monitor outdoor nitrogen dioxide in the High Street.  Some additional equipment has also been installed to provide real-time information, but this is being tested and is only being used as a comparison with diffusion tube readings.  These data are still awaited from the contractor who has experienced restrictions on staff movements during lockdown.   

I therefore believe that it is the lack of suitable data for the study because of the effects of the pandemic that may be the problem, rather than the equipment.  For these reasons, officers are reviewing the data that they do have and are considering the options available to them.  Once this has been completed, they will be able to update the Parish Council and ward councillors accordingly, as well as residents. I hope this clarifies the situation for you”.

 

19.33   Nigel Smith asked the following supplementary question:

 

“I know from today’s agenda that the proposal to extend the bus lane on the A259 between Greenways and Roedean Road has now been withdrawn. Can you reassure residents that this proposal, in the absence of any research or planning was supported by a bizarre and unqualified statement that removing one lane of traffic on the A259 between Greenways and Roedean Road would not cause congestion or any delays, that this will not be reintroduced without a full impact assessment and comprehensive consultation with local councillors and stakeholders?”

 

19.34   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you, what you are referring to is not on the agenda and would need a new report to be reintroduced. If you like, I can speak to officers and get back to you about some of the detail”.

 

(v)           Underground waste bin service

 

19.35   Derek Wright read the following question:

 

“I want to ask the council officers to commission a report on the feasibility of introducing an underground waste bin collection service, as used in other Heritage centres and in many European resorts. The council could trial such a system here, by planning it into the public realm designs of Valley Gardens Phase 3, Madeira Drive and Black Rock. It would result in hiding underground the, unsightly communal and commercial waste bins that blight the seafront and our conservation areas. This didn't happen in Valley Gardens phase 1 &2 which has resulted in the Commercial and Council bins blighting the area”.

 

19.36   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question. I can see the benefit of underground bin systems which are used in many places in Europe. They are clearly much tidier and take up less space on the highway. Cityclean is already exploring the possibility of underground bin systems for the future.

There are challenges with these systems as they can be costly to introduce in some areas due to existing underground infrastructure and in some cases may be impossible to install. They tend to be installed in new developments on greenfield sites, but we are aware that in some older European cities they are extensively provided.

I will ask transport, major projects and Cityclean to explore the possibility of introducing underground waste bins for Valley Gardens 3, Madeira Drive and Black Rock.

Cityclean will also need to consider the fleet required to empty from these types of bins, so this is something we would need to consider as part of the Fleet Replacement Programme.

Due to the levels of investment that would be required, and capacity constraints this is something that would need to be considered as a long-term project.

In the shorter term, we are working to improve on-street communal bins. This includes regular cleaning and maintenance regimes, as well as the installation of bins bays to ensure bins do not migrate to places they should not be. Tomorrow we will be launching a consultation on how we can better manage commercial bins on the highway. Measures on limiting when a commercial bin can be placed on the public highway are commonplace in many towns and cities across the UK and we will be looking to implement some similar arrangements. The consultation is available on the council’s website”.

 

19.37   Derek Wright asked the following supplementary question:

 

“When are the new waste bins going to be installed next to the benches in Valley Gardens?”

 

19.38   The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:

 

“They are on order and I can let Mr Wright and the committee members know when that happens”.

 

(vi)         Motorcycle noise

 

19.39   Paul Tofts read the following question:

 

“Loud noises cause stress and attack well-being and mental health, particularly for children and disabled people. Noise from powerful motorcycles, ridden anti-socially, often by non-residents, can be extremely disturbing, at locations such as the approach to the City, Valley Gardens and the seafront. Excellent work by this Committee to encourage walkers and cyclists to reclaim these spaces is threatened with irrelevance by such environmental degradation.

In Paris the Police have cameras to monitor noisy motor cyclists and take action against offenders.

Is the Environmental Committee responsible for addressing the degradation of the Environment by throbbing motorcycle noise?”

 

19.40   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The noise from loud motorcycles can be very disturbing for the city’s residents and wildlife and while the council would like to reduce this impact, the responsibility for managing vehicle emissions and safety falls to the government agency “The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency”.  They are responsible for setting safety standards and also ensuring vehicles are working correctly through the MOT process. I will ask officers to write to the DVLA outlining your concerns and how local authorities can play a part in limiting noise from vehicles.

However, there is more that the council can do. Both Cllr Davis and Lloyd feel very strongly about this matter as well, and the increase in very loud motorbikes must be seen as completely unacceptable and we know it is distressing to residents and harmful to wildlife. We are aware that many motorbikes break the 82 decibel limit so we will be writing to local police to ask them to pull over and fine if necessary, motorbikes with excessively loud engines. We are also aware that ‘noise cameras’ are being trialled that will be able to capture the details and fine the owners of excessively loud motorbikes. This technology is still being trialled but we will watch the outcomes carefully and will be pushing for them to be introduced in Brighton and Hove as soon as it is possible to do so, and I will ask officers to write to the Secretary of State for Transport on this matter”.

 

19.41   Paul Tofts asked the following supplementary question:

 

“How else can motorcycle noise be monitored, mitigated, regulated and discouraged and punished?”

 

19.42   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“I think I’ve outlined all the things that I’m aware of and if monitor the impact of the noise cameras and we keep lobbying for them to be introduced here, that would be good. We will continue to speak to Sussex Police and DVLA”.

 

(vii)       Temporary cycle lanes

 

19.43   Elena Kerrigan read the following question:

 

“My 5 year old and I now cycle 2 miles from Portslade to school near Hove Park along the temporary cycle lane on the Old Shoreham Road.  The first regular exercise I've done in years.  We're avoiding buses because of Covid and don't want to have to buy a second car (my keyworker husband commutes by car).  Some councillors are calling for the lanes to be removed, and for other temporary lanes not to be implemented.   If this happens, how will the council provide safe, socially distanced, environmentally responsible travel for us, and thousands of other families across our city?”

 

19.44   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your welcome comments and I am delighted that you and your child are using the cycle lanes.  The council is committed to active travel and has asked for further funds from the government’s emergency active travel fund tranche 2 to extend facilities in the city. With Covid cases rising, this is more important than ever, but safe cycle routes also improve air quality, the health of our residents and will help us transition to net zero toxic carbon emissions by 2030. You also raise an important point that the cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road serves lots of schools in the area.

I hope that councillors from all parties will support the administration’s commitment to improving and expanding cycle infrastructure. Separately from the emergency active travel fund, which Old Shoreham Road is a part of, we are developing a local cycling and walking infrastructure plan, to establish a network of safe walking and cycling routes across the city. As you may be aware the current arrangements are covered in items on the agenda today and will be discussed later in this meeting, too”.

 

(viii)      London Road and Dyke Road cycle lane impact assessments

 

19.45   Katherine Sykes read the following question:

 

“What impact assessments, and mitigation, are in place for the London Road and Dyke road cycle lane proposals. Assessments and mitigation that take into account impact on local communities, in this case specifically the Westdene community, including impact on whole of The Deneway as an essential access road, the Westdene estates infrastructure, parking, congestion, air pollution, safety and equity of access?”

 

19.46   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The council has submitted a bid to the governments active travel fund tranche 2 for the London Road.  At this stage the detail of the scheme has not been developed so the impacts on communities is not known.  Clearly, if the bid is successful then the detailed proposals will be available for comment as they are worked up.  It is important to acknowledge the changes that the pandemic has had on the city and the importance that active travel plays in providing alternatives to the car”.

 

(ix)         Graffiti Reduction Strategy

 

19.47   Robert Rosenthal read the following question:

 

“In the event that the committee decide against requiring private homeowners or landlords to clean up graffiti on their own properties, how will the council facilitate its removal?”

 

19.48   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“The results of the public consultation demonstrate there is little appetite to enforce against homeowners for the removal of graffiti from their property. Therefore, this has not been included as a recommendation on today’s agenda.

Instead, other means will be adopted to encourage the removal of graffiti from this type of property. This will include:

 

• Writing to homeowners to ask them to remove the graffiti as it is causing a nuisance on the locality

• Offering paint through our Community Clean Up Scheme to help them remove it

• Offering the services of our chargeable graffiti removal service (if approved by committee) at an appropriate rate to encourage the removal

 

The recent Keep Brighton & Hove Tidy activities have demonstrated how proud residents and businesses are to live and trade in the city and their commitment to keeping it clean and tidy. We will be harnessing this enthusiasm and continuing to support them to do this and I hope, and expect, homeowners to do the same”.

 

19.49   Robert Rosenthal asked the following supplementary question:

 

“Could you tell us a little bit about this recommended contracting service that you might get to do the job on behalf of people?”

 

19.50   The following reply was provided on behalf of the Chair:

 

“It is referenced in the report and what we’re looking at is offering a low-cost graffiti removal service so that people who are excluded because they can’t afford to use a commercial service will be able to take advantage of that service”.

 

(x)           Cycle Infrastructure

 

19.51   Sue Birch read the following question:

 

“As a mobility impaired disabled person who uses a bike as a mobility aid to get around and who does not own a car I rely on safe and properly integrated cycling infrastructure to get to work, to University and to get around the city to socialise. If the current temporary cycle lanes are removed and new ones under Tranche 2 not implemented, can the council guarantee that disabled and mobility impaired cycle users ability to get around safely will not be restricted?”

 

19.52   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“Thank you for your question. I hope that councillors from all parties will support the administration’s commitment to improving and expanding cycle infrastructure.

I am pleased to say that work on the Local Cycling, Waking Infrastructure Plan has started.  The plan seeks to identify a coherent and comprehensive network of walking and cycling routes across the city that will provide the facilities you are seeking.  This plan will provide the vehicle for expanding these facilities and enable the council to obtain the necessary funding to implement them.  A public consultation on the plan will be starting later this year.

The council is committed to active travel and has asked for further funds from the government’s emergency active travel fund tranche 2 to extend facilities in the city. With Covid cases rising, this is more important than ever.

40% of residents in Brighton and Hove do not own a car, so we need safe transport for everyone. We also want to ensure that cycle lanes are wide enough to be accessible for all types of bikes including disabled users”.

 

19.53   Sue Birch asked the following supplementary question:

 

“How much weight is put on the online survey as it has become fairly obvious that it is open to manipulation by various campaign groups and not targeting key stakeholder groups”

 

19.54   The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“I would like for the council to do a bit more consultation offline and I’ll take on board your comments about schools as I think reaching young people is important”

 

(C)          DEPUTATIONS

 

(i)             Top Triangle Parking Survey

 

19.55   The Committee considered a Deputation that set out the results of a recent parking survey conducted in the Top Triangle area of Hanover and related parking problems.

 

19.56   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for your petition and I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you are having with parking in this area.

 

As you are aware there has been extensive consultation with residents with the initial consultation and the subsequent review of the area. Officers responded to resident comments within the planned review by changing the roads where residents in those roads requested a change of scheme.

Officers are now working on other areas as outlined in the Parking Scheme Priority timetable to respond to a large number of residents across the city who have parking difficulties and who have patiently waited for a parking scheme consultation in their area.

This timetable was agreed by this committee last year and this request will need to be added to this timetable to consult on these roads a third time when the timetable is next reviewed in late 2021. All correspondence from areas across the Council will be analysed with officer recommendations on the way forward discussed fully by members of this committee”.

 

19.57   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.

 

(ii)           Cycle Lane Projects - Current Consequences and Exhaust Emission

 

19.58   The Committee considered a Deputation relating to perceived problems caused by the introduction of the cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road.

 

19.59    The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Access for Blue light services is of course important in the city and I must stress that they are consulted on every change that is made to the road network. If concerns were raised by emergency services, the council would not ignore them. All blue light services were informed of the plans before the schemes were implemented and no concerns were raised.

The measures currently implemented with the Urgent response Transport Action plan are under review and ongoing consultation, and an update will be presented later in the meeting.  The report is of course available on the website if you wish to view the latest information”.

 

19.60   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.

 

(iii)         Funding for temporary cycle lanes

 

19.61   The Committee considered a Deputation that expressed support for the funding of more sustainable methods of transport and the additional economic and health benefits.

 

19.62   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for the support and the sound reasoning that you have put forward as to why the Emergency Active Travel Funding tranche 2 funding is key to ensuring how the city promotes active travel and the strong link with the need to prepare for the challenges that the pandemic will pose in the future.  I also really appreciate your emphasis on an evidence-based approach to implementing active travel infrastructure, and highlighting the health, environmental and social advantages that cycling can bring.

I agree that we need to improve active travel infrastructure in order to help our city reach net zero by 2030, to improve road safety, to clean up our air and to protect our health. We need to do all we can to support the 40% of residents who don’t have a car. We are also aware of the importance of improved engagement with communities affected by changes.

The update on the Urgent response Transport Action will be presented later in the meeting and it is available on the council’s website, so I do hope you will stick around to hear the discussion”.

 

19.63   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.

 

(iv)         Stanmer Park/Brighton Dogwatch

 

19.64   The Committee considered a Deputation that noted the health benefits of dog walking and expressed concern for that in relation to the proposed parking charges for Stanmer Park.

 

19.65   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Physical activity is important, and the council does want to encourage it. However, when you drive to a site to get physical activity people have to pay in or around many of our parks. We also want to encourage people to use sustainable transport to get to Stanmer- there are regular busses and trains that take you right to the entrance, and it is also accessible by bike. The park has blue badge spaces for those that rely on cars to get around.

We are well aware of the high number of park users who use parks to exercise both their dogs and themselves and have kept most areas of the city’s parks open to dog walkers. I am aware that there has been some discussion about the price of the season tickets, and it is felt one that does not encourage university parking will not be affordable for most park users.

More detail on charging for Stanmer Park parking, feedback from the public and the review period for the proposed scheme can be found within the Stanmer Park Traffic Regulation Order report Item 25 on the agenda today. I must emphasise that the money raised from parking charges in Stanmer Park will be ringfenced to be spent on improving the park itself”.

 

19.66   Councillor Wares noted that it was a concerning trend that cohorts were missed from consultation exercises and noted that his Group had put forward an amendment to the related report that would seek to pause activity in this area.

 

19.67   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.

 

(v)           Aldrington Rec (Wish Park) Football Club Storage Space

 

19.68   The Committee considered a Deputation that requested storage space for Aldrington Recreation ground for Poets’ Corner Football Club.

 

19.69   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“It is fantastic to hear how well the club is doing. Unfortunately, the Council does not currently have spare building space at Aldrington Recreation Ground. Within the City there is already a shortage of space for City parks equipment storage and the council has to rent space at the moment – so if any space could be identified for it, we would need to use it to reduce costs. Officers have checked the locations you have suggested but they are not available to offer for alternative storage.

A long time ago the council agreed to steel shipping containers for clubs to store equipment in some locations such as Wish Park, but these have proved to be both unsightly and, in some cases, have caused problems for residents. They also require planning permission. We will therefore not be agreeing to the use of containers going forwards.

Officers advise that most sports organisations in our parks would like to have storage space and we are keen to work with sports organisations to improve facilities in parks without detracting from other park users enjoyment of the parks but we are generally not in a position to provide storage facilities for clubs. I am sorry that this was not the answer you were hoping for, but I would be happy to link you up to Cityparks staff”.

 

19.70   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.

 

(vi)         Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane usage

 

19.71   The Committee considered a Deputation that set out traffic count data recorded by residents for the usage of the temporary cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road that suggested it was under-utilised and not fit for purpose.

 

19.72   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“The measures introduced in direct response to coming out of lockdown were supported and funded by government to encourage and promote active travel.  This is mainly due to the clear health benefits and the impact that the pandemic has had on public travel and the need to socially distance. With a rise in Covid 19 levels across the country, these measures are once again crucial.

An update will be received later in the meeting with regard to these measures and they will of course continue to be monitored.  There has been no decision taken by the committee currently to make these facilities permanent and further consultation will be carried out before any decision is taken. Your point about only 4% of school children feeling safe using cycle lanes is shocking and to me only highlights the need to improve cycle infrastructure”.

 

19.73   RESOLVED- That the Committee note the Deputation.

 

(vii)        Blue Badge parking/Disability Access

 

19.74   The Committee considered a Deputation that highlighted the significant problems caused by the changes to parking relating to the Covid Transport Action Plan and requested that the Council make urgent reparation to all parking issues, access and curfews and commit to including future improvements to enhance disabled citizens’ outcomes within Tranche 1 & 2 schemes.

 

19.75   The Chair provided the following response:

 

“Thank you for your deputation. As you’ll be aware we have only taken over running the council recently, but I want to assure you that although these temporary transport changes have been introduced quickly, by instruction of central government due to the nature of the covid-19 pandemic, we remain committed to delivering inclusive and accessible transport for all. The changes helped people move safely around the city during the pandemic, avoided overcrowding on public transport, supported people back to work and businesses to reopen.

Our Public Sector Equality duty still applies as we make these changes, and you are right that the council must ensure the principles of fairness, dignity and equality underpin our ongoing response. As you mention, officers have now prepared an Equalities Impact Assessment on the measures within the Transport Action Plan which has been informed by direct engagement with partners, community groups and disability representatives, as well as the survey results. Your input via the informal advisory group has been very valuable for this too. It is important that this assessment informs our decisions on the Action Plan today.

Importantly, many of the changes have been implemented using the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order process which is supporting ongoing consultation whilst the measures are in place. The process means we can truly be responsive and adapt the changes flexibly, based on direct feedback from the public, and the consultation is ongoing. It’s already been used to move the closure point on Madeira Drive for increased disabled parking, and to amend the restrictions in North Laines to improve disabled access. We also have a proposal to consider today that would reopen a large section of Madeira Drive and considerably improve access to the seafront for disabled car users.

In addition to this, the Council have recently advertised an amendment to the City wide parking place order which, subject to statutory consultation, would allow blue badge holders the opportunity to park in permit holders bays in any of the City’s four ‘light touch’ parking schemes. This proposal was brought forward in response to concerns raised about access for visitors in these areas and could provide blue badge holders with access to an additional 7073 parking bays across the City. Responses to this proposal can be submitted via the Councils TRO Proposal page following the usual process.

I am aware that you have provided feedback on all the specific TROs mentioned in your deputation directly to officers as part of your involvement in the informal weekly advisory group and discussions are ongoing. All formal responses to the experimental traffic orders will also be presented to members of this committee before any final decision is made on whether schemes should be removed, remain or whether significant changes are required, such as in the case of Madeira Drive.

Again, I want to thank you for voicing the concerns of the disabled community, and as Chair I want to keep listening and engaging with the community and campaigners. I recognise that overall, this is picture mirrored across the country where the speed within which implementation was required has created concern. I fully understand that the fact remains that if you are disabled, moving around the city will be a major issue and serious inequalities remain across the board for disability inclusion, so I welcome the feedback on the changes.

Due to the importance of this topic, I am recommending that this committee call for a report”.

 

19.76   The Committee members collectively agreed that the urgency required for the Covid Transport Plan had led to mistakes being made a supported the call made by the Chair that the committee receive a report on the matter. Councillor Wares stated that changes needed to be made and noted that the Council had potentially broken the law.

 

19.77   RESOLVED- That the Committee request an officer report on the matter.

Supporting documents:

 


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