Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Tuesday, 18th January, 2022 4.00pm (Item 64.)
64.1 The Assistant Director, City Transport provided the following verbal update:
At November Environment Transport & Sustainability Committee officers were asked to carryout a physical review of the Valley Gardens Bus Gate signs situated on the ‘public transport corridor’ alongside the western side of the gardens.
Officers have now carried out a further review of these signs and associated road markings. While all regulation signs are correct some additional sites have been determined for new bus gate repeater signs along Marlborough Place, a directional sign at the bottom of North Road to highlight key routes only and also the removal of existing non-essential signs to avoid confusion. These additional signs have been ordered and will be in place early in this new year. Temporary ‘New Road Layout’ signs will also be re-installed for a maximum of six months to support media campaigns and to encourage users to use the correct routes. Lining and road markings will also be refreshed with additional red surface at each bus gate to further highlight this feature.
Independent adjudicators have also studied the signs in Valley Gardens and have advised that, the authority have gone above and beyond to make the bus gates clear. At the time of writing, we have not lost one case at the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal, which is the final appeal stage for Penalty Charges relating to the signs.
In addition to the sign review officers have alerted satellite navigation companies of the restrictions around Valley Gardens which are now showing on systems such as Google Maps.
We will continue to promote and educate drivers about bus gates and restrictions in place. To date we have the changed road layout and restrictions in a number of ways by;
· Updating the council website with information about the bus gate, including a map showing the new layout
· Producing a video showing drivers where they need to turn if travelling north on Marlborough Place. This is published on council social media channels
· Circulating letters to businesses in the area with information about the new layout
· Creating a new video, educating motorists of bus gates, this is being produced and will be published on the council website and social media channels.
We have seen that the numbers of Penalty Charge Notices are dropping naturally as people become used to the new road layout. This has understandably taken longer for people to adjust due the travel restrictions imposed on all of us during the pandemic. Our latest figures show that the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued between October and November dropped by 23%, followed by a slight increase of 8% during December due to the larger number of visitors in the area.
We consider these measures appropriate to address some of the key reasons users give for traveling though the bus gates and we will continue to monitor the numbers issued which are expected to continue to decline.