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TITLE OF REPORT

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 8

									            INDIVIDUAL EXECUTIVE MEMBER DECISION

     ROAD SAFETY PROPOSALS FOR GUISBOROUGH ROAD

     COUNCILLOR RON LOWES: EXECUTIVE MEMBER FOR
                     TRANSPORT

                                30 AUGUST 2007


PURPOSE OF THE REPORT
1.    The purpose of this report is to present the results of the consultation exercise on
      the Council’s Road Safety proposals for Guisborough Road and seek approval of
      the recommendations detailed.

BACKGROUND AND EXTERNAL CONSULTATION
2.    Ward Councillors, Community Council, Parish Council and individual residents have
      expressed concerns for Road Safety for many years in the Nunthorpe area. These
      concerns have tended to be in respect to excessive traffic speeds, road accident
      levels and the high volumes of traffic, particularly associated with through traffic.
      Due to the large area covered and the relatively good accident record for the
      majority of this area, it has not previously been a high priority for safety
      improvements.

3.    Safety proposals were put forward approximately 3 years ago for work to
      Guisborough Road, but no agreement could be reached regarding a preferred
      scheme and therefore all proposals were deferred. Discussions with a group set up
      by the Mayor to look at transport issues, led to Guisborough Road being again
      selected as a route to be considered for safety improvements, as this was where
      almost all accidents within the Nunthorpe area are concentrated. In consultation
      with the Group, a detailed Safety Scheme was designed and used as a basis for
      consultation.


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4.   The route under consideration was that length of Guisborough Road within
     Middlesbrough from the Nunthorpe Rail Station (its boundary with Redcar and
     Cleveland) to its Junction with the A172 Dixons Bank (See Location Plan
     Appendix I). This road is a 1.1km long single carriageway, with narrow footways. It
     is subject to a 30 mph speed limit and serves as a main distributor road for the
     Nunthorpe area. It also serves as a main pedestrian route to/from Nunthorpe School
     that is utilised by significant numbers of school children. Traffic from outside the
     Nunthorpe area is also known to use this route to avoid the Nunthorpe By Pass.

5.   Over the last 5 years (2001 To 2005) there have been 10 recorded injury accidents
     on this section of Guisborough Road, that resulted in 14 casualties. Half of these
     accidents were the result of “single vehicle loss of control”, which are usually
     associated with excessive speeds. Accidents also tended to be in the vicinity of
     junctions.

6.   In response to speeding complaints the Police frequently undertake speed camera
     enforcement along this route. Speed surveys have shown that the free flow 85 th
     percentile speeds are 36 mph, with speeds of up to 48 mph being recorded. Bearing
     in mind the restricted road width, narrow footways and multifunctional use of this
     route these speeds are considered to be inappropriate.

7.   Up to 11,570 vehicles (Average weekday 2-way flow) utilise Guisborough Road on
     a daily basis with peak hour flows of 1,077 and 1,113 for the AM and PM periods.
     The most significant rise in traffic levels over recent years occurred in December
     1999 when Redcar and Cleveland Council introduced a point road closure on Gypsy
     Lane level crossing. From origin and destination surveys previously undertaken it
     has been identified that up to 38% of traffic in the peak periods consists of “through”
     traffic. The effects of the Gypsy Lane closure also resulted in dramatic changes to
     traffic patterns the most notable being the rise in traffic flows on The Avenue where
     traffic increased by 86% (from 2,753 to 5,117 vehicles)

PROPOSALS FOR CONSULTATION

8.   The consultation proposals are detailed on the attached consultation leaflet and
     involve the introduction of traffic calming features along the 1.1 km length of
     Guisborough Road within Middlesbrough. The main features utilised are speed
     cushions, priority build outs, a mini roundabout and a road closure at the end of
     Marton Moor Road, at its junction with Guisborough Road (which incorporates a bus
     lay-by). The road closure and mini roundabout were proposals specifically
     requested by the Transport Consultative Group.

CONSULTATION PROCESS

9.   Following consultations with the Emergency Services and Ward Councillors a Public
     Consultation exercise has been undertaken. This commenced with officer
     presentations to both the Nunthorpe Community Council and Nunthorpe Parish
     Council. It was then followed by a week long public exhibition in Marton Library, the
     nearest publicly owned venue. Additional copies of the display plan were also
     supplied to Ward Councillors who arranged for them to be displayed at the following
     local venues:


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      Nunthorpe and Marton Playing Field Club House
      Rookwood News
      The Methodist Church Marton Moor Road
      Rookwood Gospel Hall
      Nunthorpe Community and Parish Council

10.   Prior to the weeklong exhibition, consultation leaflets were distributed to
      approximately 1850 properties within the Middlesbrough area of Nunthorpe over the
      weekend of 30th September 2006 requesting that responses be returned by 9 th
      October 2006.

11.   Redcar and Cleveland Council have been kept fully informed of these proposals
      through officer contacts and correspondence.

RESPONSES

12.   There have been many responses to the consultation exercise both in favour and in
      opposition, to some or all of the proposals. These are summarised below:

13.   Public Consultation Leaflet: Some 552 replies were received in response to the
      1850 consultation leaflets circulated. This represents a return of approximately 30%
      and is higher than that normally encountered. These types of consultation tend to
      be responded to by those with the strongest views both for and against proposals
      with a large proportion of non-respondents. The leaflet asked two specific questions
      in relation to the proposals namely:

      i)    Do you support the principle of Traffic Calming Guisborough Road? and
      ii)   Do you support the proposals, as outlined on the plan?

      There was also scope for any additional comments to be made.

14.   Of the 552 responses, 391 (71%) supported the principle of traffic calming with 168
      (30%) of these also supporting the detailed proposals. The remaining 151 (27%) did
      not support either the proposals or the principle of traffic calming Guisborough
      Road. (Note it was unclear in 2% of the returns).

15.   A variety of additional comments were made on the return leaflets and they have
      been summarised in (Appendix II) with responses where appropriate.

16.   Petitions. Two petitions have been submitted in response to the consultation
      process. The first is from the owner of Rookwood News Newsagent, which is near
      to the proposed road closure. It contains 153 signatures (104 from within the
      consultation area) and supports the traffic calming proposals, with the exception of
      the closure of Marton Moor Road, which is strongly opposed. Full details of the
      grounds of opposition are given in (Appendix III). Several of these issues were also
      raised in the Public Consultation exercise.




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17.   The second petition consisted of a standard response letter circulated by one
      resident to selected properties in and around The Avenue. This letter was circulated
      shortly after the officer presentations at the Parish and Community Council
      meetings, before the widespread Public Consultation exercise had commenced.
      This did lead to some confusion at the time as many residents were under the
      mistaken belief that the Council had circulated the letter. In all 62 signed copies of
      this letter have been submitted. The letter (Appendix IV) was in support of the
      proposals including the closure element of Marton Moor Road.

18.   Emergency Services. A presentation was given to the Officers Traffic Group
      (which includes the Emergency Services and Bus Operators) on Wednesday 16th
      August 2006. No objections were made against the proposals although one of the
      bus operators expressed concern over the possible congestion that may be
      experienced due to the proposed “priority build out” situated east of the junction with
      Clevegate.

19.   Local Authority. Discussions were held with officers of Redcar & Cleveland
      Borough Council during the design stage and a copy of the Public Consultation
      Leaflet and a detailed plan forwarded before the start of the Public Consultation
      exercise, with a request for their views on the proposals. A copy of their response is
      enclosed with this report (Appendix V) and are summarised below.

20.   Redcar and Cleveland Council have commented that the proposals will potentially,
      effect the route estate traffic will take when exiting the Nunthorpe area. Their
      concern is that traffic from Beverly Road (in Redcar and Cleveland) may take a
      longer route along the by-pass avoiding the traffic calmed route and increase the
      traffic flows past the schools in the area. If, as anticipated, the level of though traffic
      across the whole of the Nunthorpe area is reduced this should outweigh any re-
      routing. The only proposal for restricting traffic movements is the Marton Moor Road
      closure which should have minimal impact on legitimate estate generated traffic.

21.   Another concern expressed was the claim that there is the probability of an increase
      in traffic speeds due to there being no traffic calming on the Redcar and Cleveland
      side of Guisborough Road. There is no evidence that we are aware of to suggest
      that the lack of physical restraints on vehicle speeds will encourage greater speeds
      than currently occur. It is hoped that they would actually have a beneficial effect on
      driver behaviour, encouraging motorists to drive more appropriately. The existing
      level crossing already acts as a speed-reducing feature on the boundary between
      the two authorities.

22.   The deterring effect of the traffic calming along Guisborough Road would be
      significantly improved if similar measures were introduced along Redcar and
      Cleveland’s section of Guisborough Road (from Swans Corner to the Level
      Crossing). Several discussions have been undertaken with representative of Redcar
      & Cleveland Council but no agreement has been reached for a joint proposal.

23.   Community/ Parish Council. At the Community Council meeting on 5th September
      2006 following the officer presentation the Council voted unanimously in favour of
      the proposals, for consultation purposes. At the Parish Council meeting on 6 th
      September 2006 the Parish Council “fully supported” the proposals (Appendix VI)
      and following its next meeting on 4th October 2006 a letter of “general support”
      (Appendix VII) was forthcoming.

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24.   Other Correspondence. Some 54 additional letters have been received in
      response to the consultations undertaken, two of which are from outside the
      consultation area. Most of the issues raised have been included in the Public
      Consultation Leaflet responses. The main comments of those who did not respond
      to the leaflet were:

      Opposition to the closure of Matron Moor Road (12)
      Concern over congestion on adjacent route (12)
      Concerns over congestion with the priority build outs (5)
      Fully support the proposal (3)
      Support for the Marton Moor Road Closure (4)
      Request for 20mph zone (3)
      Request for additional traffic calming on adjacent routes (4)
      Did not support the installation of a mini roundabout (3)
      Two residents have raised concerns over the detailed location of the build out east
      of the Clevegate junction due to driveway accessibility issues (planned and existing)
      One resident fully supported the proposals on condition that they were fully
      implemented, they strongly opposed a scheme that did not include the closure of
      Marton Moor Road.

25.   One resident was particularly concerned that traffic would increase along his road
      (Connaught Road) if Marton Moor Road were not closed.

26.   Public Meeting 6th February 2007. Following analysis of the consultation exercise
      a further public meeting was held at The Avenue Primary School on 6 th February
      2007 at 7:00pm. This meeting was arranged at the request of the Ward Councillors
      and the Executive Member for Transport in response to requests from residents.
      The purpose of this public meeting was to allow residents the opportunity to express
      further views on the Council’s likely recommendations. These had been slightly
      amended from the proposals originally circulated to reflect the result of the
      consultation process. Details of the public meeting were circulated to all those 1850
      properties that had previously received the consultation leaflet along with an
      overview of the results of the consultation and how this was likely to affect the
      proposals.

27.   Summary of Public Meeting. Some 60 to 70 residents attended the public
      meeting, which was chaired by the Executive Member for Transport Councillor Ron
      Lowes. At the meeting widespread discussion took place with views both for and
      against the latest proposals. The vast majority of these comments have already
      been taken into consideration as part of the consultations previously undertaken as
      detailed earlier in this report. Due to the high levels of safety concerns from the
      majority of those attending, the Executive Member for Transport agreed to ask
      officers to consider introducing some speed activation signs, as an interim measure
      until such time as a decision was made on any final proposals. These signs were
      erected on 8th May 2007.




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OPTION APPRAISAL/RISK ASSESSMENT

28.   After taking all the comments received during the consultation process into
      consideration a decision now has to be made on how best to proceed. The main
      aims of the safety proposals were to:

      i)     Reduce vehicle speeds
      ii)    Deter through traffic
      iii)   Reduce the casualty rate
      iv)    Improve the environment

29.   The safety measures consulted upon are considered to be an appropriate and cost
      effective way of achieving this. Whilst there can be several variations on the type
      and locations of the measures introduced, they would still need to be a similar
      number of “features” along the route if the scheme objectives are to be achieved.

30.   The results of the Public Consultations clearly show 71% (391) of respondents are
      in favour of seeing of traffic calming introduced. Some 34% (186) of responses did
      not wish to see Marton Moor Road closed. The majority of these (116) did support
      the principle of traffic calming. Approximately 27% (151) were however against any
      proposed traffic calming.

31.   Overall therefore whilst there does appear to be a majority of respondents in favour
      of some form traffic calming they are not in full agreement over how this should
      undertaken. Significant opposition has also been expressed to any form of traffic
      calming being introduced.

32.   The current situation where “speed activated” signs are in operation was not part of
      the original consultation exercise and views on their suitability have not been
      canvassed. The use of these signs elsewhere has been very well received. Their
      introduction has been limited and they have not been in place long enough for a
      detailed evaluation to be completed.

33.   The most effective method of discouraging through traffic along Guisborough Road
      would be achieved if measures could be introduced along the whole length between
      Swan’s Corner roundabout and Dixon’s Bank. This would require similar measures
      to those consulted upon to be installed along the section of Guisborough Road
      under Redcar & Cleveland’s control. This would also be likely to have the greatest
      environmental benefits.

Possible Scheme Amendments in light of Consultations

34.   The consultations did highlight an access issue in connection with the proposed
      build out east of Clevegate. An existing property has two driveways and may find
      difficulties negotiating the build out and the property opposite this has also
      expressed intentions of providing an additional driveway at the same location of the
      build out.

35.   In light of the above consultation results, it would appear that there is general
      support for the “principles” of traffic calming, but opposition to the closure of Marton
      Moor Road. There would also seem to be a case for replacing one of the build outs
      with a pair of cushions.
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36.   There is likely to be significant opposition to the Road Traffic Regulation Order that
      will be advertised if a closure is to be pursued, with this in mind any road safety
      measures on Guisborough Road should not include a closure of Marton Moor Road.
      Additional measures would be required to discourage through traffic from using
      Marton Moor Road, this could be in the form of a series of 3 or 4 road humps along
      its length.

37.   Even without the closure the measures proposed should still be able to reduce the
      speed of vehicles on Guisborough Road, reduce accidents and deter through traffic.

SUMMARY

38.   The most effective safety scheme for the Nunthorpe Area is likely to be one that is
      introduced along the whole length of Guisborough Road, which will deter through
      traffic and improve the environment. This will require closer liaison/ co-operation
      from Redcar & Cleveland Council if it is to be achieved.

39.   Although there is more support for the safety proposals than against, significant
      opposition has been voiced. Bearing in mind that the interim measure of speed
      activated signs has only been in place for a relatively short period and did not form
      part of the original proposals that were consulted upon, it may be prudent to further
      evaluate this measure. This will also give a greater opportunity for exploring
      possible options for joint scheme proposals with Redcar and Cleveland Council.

FINANCIAL, LEGAL AND WARD IMPLICATIONS

40.   These proposals are part of the ongoing Local Safety Scheme programme
      undertaken annually with funding from the Local Transport Plan. The estimated cost
      of the safety proposal scheme is £105,000 and would be funded from future LTP
      Capital Allocations. The costs associated with continuing the “speed activated”
      signs programme would be minimal and incorporated within existing resources.

41.   The road safety measures proposed for Guisborough Road are within the
      Nunthorpe Ward covered by Cllr Mrs B Thompson and Mr P Sanderson, who have
      both been closely involved in the consultation exercise.

RECOMMENDATIONS

42.   It is recommended that:

      I      the contents of this report be noted.

      II     the effects of the “speed activated” signs be carefully monitored over a 12
             month period and reported at a future date.

      III    further approaches are made to Redcar & Cleveland Council to investigate
             the possibility of a joint safety proposal being implemented for the whole
             length of Guisborough Road between Swans Corner and Dixons Bank.



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REASONS

43.   The main purpose of the road safety proposals are to introduce a scheme that
      reduces vehicle speeds, deters through traffic and lowers the rate of injury
      accidents along Guisbrough Road, for the overall benefit of all Nunthorpe’s
      residents.

44.   A combined scheme with Redcar & Cleveland Council is likely to have a greater
      impact than one limited to within the Middlesbrough Council boundary alone.

BACKGROUND PAPERS
45.   The following background papers were used in the preparation of this report.

      Cabinet Report Gypsy Lane 30th May 2000
      File Reference TT14/8

AUTHOR: Des Turley
TELE No 728179

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