ePetition - Closure of Temple Street to Non-Resident Traffic

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ePetition details

Closure of Temple Street to Non-Resident Traffic

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to permanently close Temple Street (BN1 3BH) at the junction of Western Road and make it two way from the top, allowing access for residents only (and delivery to houses on the street) from Montpelier Place. The road has already been closed on a temporary basis to try and stop the high levels of traffic travelling up it, with this working very effectively and greatly appreciated by people living on the street. The quality of lives of Temple Street residents has long been detrimentally affected by the use of Temple Street as a rat run. We are therefore asking for the temporary closure to be made permanent.

Temple Street has been used as a rat run for many years, with drivers cutting up it to avoid sitting at the traffic lights at the Western Road/Montpelier Road junction. It is a narrow, one-way street, with many young families and older residents living on it. It is purely residential and there is little reason for vehicles other than those owned by people wanting to access their homes (and visitors) needing to drive up it, yet it is used by taxis, HGVs, vans, motorbikes, cars and daytrippers as a cut-through. The very many non-residents that race up it every day are doing so to save time, often driving above the speed limit to find a quick route north towards Seven Dials or the station. There are no front gardens on Temple Street and the pavement is narrow, meaning that it is therefore dangerous getting in and out of parked cars, with the number of vehicles travelling up the road at speed.

The road has been temporarily closed off since 17 June as too many vehicles, including HGVs, taxis and motorbikes, were using it due to the SGN roadworks being in place for 38 weeks on Montpelier Road. This new scheme is working very effectively and we are therefore petitioning Brighton & Hove Council to make this a permanent closure, like the closure on similar roads in the area (Spring Street and Castle Street) in order to make the street safer, quieter and less polluted. We’d like to see this happen now while the road is already closed, rather than wait for an accident to occur and prompt the council to take action.

The proposed permanent closure would be cheap to implement as it would just require a sign at the top saying Access Only and a barrier at the bottom (for emergency vehicles to gain access if needed). The suspension of a couple of pay parking bays at the bottom (to allow larger delivery vehicles to turn) would also be needed. Residents and delivery vans have been accessing the street without issue since 17 June, so the residents would like to see this continue in order to improve quality of life and make the street a safer place to live.

There would be no knock-on effect if the road is permanently closed as Borough Street and Norfolk Road do not see traffic travelling up them. There are many other wider, 2-way roads in the area that are better suited to cope with the volume of northbound traffic that Temple Street endures, such as York Road, Lansdowne Place, Brunswick Place, Holland Road and Montpelier Road. With Temple Street positioned as the last northbound road before the lights next to Montpelier Road, it is inevitable that it will continue to be used as a rat run by significant volumes of traffic unless the council intervenes and allows a temporary scheme that is already in place to be made permanent.

This ePetition ran from 24/06/2019 to 24/07/2019 and has now finished.

159 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Response provided at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee on 8 October 2019:

"Thank you for your petition and all the detailed information sent to myself and the other committee members in the run up to this meeting. Thank you too for meeting with me yesterday, it was very useful to hear of your concerns.

Temple Street is located within the city centre that has to accommodate various demands placed on its road network and in particular, residential roads.
I do understand the real concerns that the residents have in relation to the use of side roads as routes where drivers can avoid busy junctions.
The challenge with these concerns is that while it seems a sensible approach to close certain roads, any major change such as a road closure would have to be considered very, very carefully, particularly in relation to the impact of displaced traffic to nearby streets and there would need to be full consultation across the wider area.
This is why any request such as this would require feedback and consultation from a much larger area study. However, with the limited resources available it is necessary to prioritise those resources toward areas where the highest number of crashes are occurring and so this is where scarce funds are targeted.
Regrettably for this reason a scheme for Temple Street would be a low priority at this time. However, after listening to the residents’ concerns and taking advice from officers it may be possible to reverse the flow of the road so that cars can no longer use it as a rat run up from Western Road. This would require the advertisement of a Traffic Regulation Order and I can confirm that this will be taken forward as soon as possible to tackle residents’ concerns. I have also asked officers to contact the Police asking that enforcement be undertaken”


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