ePetition - Keep the permanent street closure on Queens Park Rise

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ePetition details

Keep the permanent street closure on Queens Park Rise

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to keep the current permanent street closure on Queens Park Rise at its junction with Queens Park Terrace, as part of the School Streets Scheme.

Ref: TRO-19-2020 St Luke's/Queens Park Rise Closure

We object to the representation of the consultation carried out by the Council, with regards to this scheme, in the recent decision by the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee Addendum report. Having not consulted on the scheme in the first place, the Council then opened a period of consultation (closed 22nd August, 2021) to the public after street closure was implemented. Aside from the fact that this consultation was not widely advertised, and it is commonly known that those against an initiative are more likely to submit their objections, the Committee report mentions that there were a total of 45 objections and 35 comments in support in relation to TRO-19-2020, however it then fails to outline any reasons given by those in support, but dedicates a page and half to the reasons given by those who objected.

We feel strongly that the voice of those local residents who support the scheme has not been heard or duly reflected upon in the Council’s decision. We would like to take this opportunity to give our reasons why we think the current permanent street closure is a good scheme for the community.

We believe that that the current permanent street closure on Queens Park Rise should remain for the following reasons:

1. Increased health, safety and sense of enjoyment of the community: Many of the residents on Queens Park Rise (including on the lower section of the road), and immediately surrounding streets, have noticed a significant drop in traffic on the road since the permanent street closure was implemented in February. Despite vehicles having to do u-turns on the street, the street closure has effectively cut out all through-traffic on the street. This significant drop in traffic has led to the following benefits:
a.The street is much quieter, particularly at night, weekends and during school holidays.
b. There are no more cars using the road as a racing track in the middle of the night (this was a periodically common occurrence before the street was closed, with cars revving their engines and driving very fast from the bottom of Queens Park Rise).
c.The air is much cleaner as a result of the decrease in through-traffic (even taking into consideration the necessity for u-turns for some vehicles).
d. Children, under the supervision of their parents, can play on the pavement and ride their bicycles on the road more safely.
e. There is more of a sense of community along the street.

2. Good for the planet: It is our belief that with the current climate change crisis we are experiencing, and the very urgent necessity to create cleaner cities for a zero-carbon future, that these types of traffic schemes are a good measure to this end.

3. Good for the school: Having a permanent street closure at the bottom of the street makes it much more feasible for St Luke’s Primary School to manage the full street closure during drop-off and pick up times. Currently, the school only has to find volunteers to manage the top gate. If the permanent street closure at the bottom is replaced with a temporary gate, the school will need to find double the amount of volunteers to manage this. While, many parents have and continue to give up their time to volunteer for the school, it continues to be a challenge to find the necessary number of volunteers on all 5 days of the week.

We understand that there are some residents, particularly on the lower end of Queens Park Rise, who object to the scheme, and particularly to the lack of consultation in its initial implementation. However, there are also many local residents on Queens Park Rise and adjoining streets, who support the scheme. it is our belief that the positive impacts of this scheme outweigh the negative impacts, and that the real negative impacts could be properly addressed in genuine consultation with all residents who have been impacted by the scheme.

Finally we would like to urge the Council to not destroy what we see as a progressive scheme that has only been in place for 6 months, and that we believe has many positive impacts on the community in Queens Park Rise and surrounding streets.

This ePetition ran from 04/10/2021 to 06/04/2022 and has now finished.

240 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Thank you for your petition relating to the School Street closure at St Luke’s Primary School.

School Streets offers a solution to many of the issues that schools and residents have experienced over many years including idling, double parking and dangerous driving at drop off and pick up times. The reduced traffic and reallocation of road space made available by School Streets closures also encourages people to make the school journey using sustainable modes such as cycling, walking and scooting.

The permanent closure at the bottom of Queen’s Park Rise was implemented in the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the Emergency School Streets programme. It was done so on an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order on a trial basis and as a way to alleviate some of the pressure on volunteers and school staff who had been operating the closure at both ends of the road, using temporary barriers.

Following the trial period, officers recommended that the School Street closure be reverted to a timed closure which is operational during school drop off and pick up times. This was based on concerns about road safety due to the lack of adequate turning space for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and other vehicles turning on Queen’s Park Rise.

As the recommendation to revert the measures was approved by the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 21 September 2021, the Traffic Regulation Order to revert the permanent measures and reinstate temporary, timed restrictions was sealed.

This has enabled the primary benefits of School Streets to be realised, as traffic is reduced at peak times while allowing the road to be open to through traffic the remainder of the time. The permanent filter has since been replaced with retractable bollards at one end and a gate at the other, providing physical barriers during drop off and pick up times to restricted vehicles while ensuring access at all times to those that are exempt.

We are committed to delivering School Streets closures to all eligible schools in the city and as the first School Street in the city, St Luke’s has been an excellent example of the difference School Streets can make to the school journey.

Officers will continue to monitor the closure and we are grateful for the continued support of volunteers, school staff and the local community.


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