STATEMENT TO LCC's TRAFFIC & HIGHWAYS REPRESENTATION COMMITTEE, 2nd SEPTEMBER 2014 (continued)
We say that the Council has FAILED TO CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SCHEME. In our objection statement we highlighted the fact that speed cushions and speed tables cause discomfort to bus drivers and passengers. We pointed out that, according to government guidance, the proposed 1.9 metre humps are only suitable for full-size buses, not the midi-buses which are used on route 174. This was dealt with as Objection Point 3.7: "Humps cause pain/discomfort". The Officer Comment was "The traffic calming measures proposed are in accordance with guidance from the DfT and as such are considered appropriate". Clearly, though, this is not the case.
We also pointed out that the installation of speed humps will increase the distances travelled (and hence fuel consumption, air pollution, etc.) by motorists seeking to avoid them. This was, in theory, covered by Objection Point 3.4.2 "Humps cause increased pollution". However the Officer Comment concentrates on the merits of the proposed intervals between humps, and makes no reference to the point we had made about motorists choosing longer alternative routes.
We say that the Council has FAILED TO EVALUATE POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE MEASURES. In our objection statement we identified six options that had not, apparently, been considered by the Council. These were:
(a) a mini roundabout at the Grange Lane junction (which would slow down the approaching traffic, and improve safety by making the right turn easier for cars and buses); [3.42]
(b) a light-controlled crossing in place of the existing zebra (which would help pedestrians by removing the uncertainty inherent in a zebra); [3.41]
(c) pedestrian refuges in the centre of Gateacre Park Drive (which would make the crossing of the two lines of traffic - whether moving at 20mph or 30mph - very much easier); [3.51]
(d) roadside signage and painted road markings/rumble strips (which would encourage drivers to slow down); [3.53]
(e) vehicle speed indicators (which would encourage drivers to observe the speed limit); [3.43]
(f) removal of the existing traffic calming measures in Gateacre Park Drive/Barnham Drive (the impact of which has never been assessed by the City Council's Highways Department). [3.34]
While all of these have now been identified as Objection Points (as indicated in square brackets above) and are the subject of Officer Comments in the Agenda Report, they were clearly not actively being considered at the time the negotiations with Aldi were taking place and the current proposals were being drawn up. Some of the Officer Comments are not borne out by the information we were supplied with by Stephen Walker in 2013. For example, 3.41.2 says "The transport assessment ... demonstrated that the existing Zebra crossing was capable of meeting the increased pedestrian demand", 3.42.2 says "The transport assessment showed that the junction of Grange Lane and Gateacre Park Drive operates within acceptable levels", and 3.51.2 says "The transport assessment ... determined that improvements to the existing zebra crossing point ... are adequate in improving pedestrian crossing facilities". All of these statements are now being made by the Officers, in spite of the fact that a copy of the transport assessment does not, apparently, exist.