The Committee is asked to consider the representations made during the Traffic Regulation Consultation process regarding the proposal of no waiting at any time restrictions, opposite the junction to Eastview Close, Stow, in respect of On Street Parking Order 2017 (Union Street) (Stow on the Wold) (Cotswold District) (Variation) Order 2018.
To make recommendations to the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure on the way forward.
6.1 Alexis Newport, Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) Manager, gave a presentation to the Committee, aided by a power-point presentation which included photographs of Union Street, including the junction of Eastview Close.
6.2 The TRO Manager informed the Committee that the environment of Union Street was residential and Cotswold – like in nature, which meant that the road, whilst allowing two-way traffic, was particularly narrow in areas. Vehicles parked in the area were leading to larger vehicles having to drive onto the pavement at certain pinch points when traveling down Union Street.
6.3 The TRO Manager explained that following safety concerns from local residents, the proposal was to extend the existing no waiting at anytime restrictions opposite the fire and rescue station on Union Street, Stow on the Wold, to a point opposite the south eastern kerb line of Eastview Close (as detailed on the plan at Appendix O of the report). She informed members that the proposed Traffic Regulation Order would improve safety for all road users, including pedestrians, and would assist in maintaining the traffic flow in the area.
6.4 The TRO Manager informed the Committee that prior to the consultation period, Gloucestershire County Council had received a letter in support of the proposed Traffic Regulation Order from a representative of the Fire and Rescue Service based in Union Street, Stow. A local resident had also been in contact with Cotswold District Council to highlight the access issues faced by the refuse collection team.
6.5 The Committee noted that an informal consultation process took place over the period 23 January to 20 February 2018 (14 properties were consulted). In total, 19 pieces of correspondence were received, 15 were objecting to the full scheme or parts of the scheme and 4 were fully in support of the proposal. Formal statutory consultation was undertaken alongside the informal consultation; one response was received from Stow on the Wold Town Council to outline that the Council did not object to the proposals but the restrictions needed to be kept to a minimum to minimise loss of parking.
6.6 The TRO Manager explained that after considering the comments received as part of the informal and formal statutory consultation process, a decision was taken to proceed to formal consultation as a slightly shortened length. This would achieve a positive balance between road safety and available parking in the area.
6.7 The Committee was informed that formal consultation took place over the period 26 April to 18 May 2018. A total of 19 independent responses were received, and two petitions. One petition was handwritten and had received 33 signatures, the other petition was electronic and had received 43 signatures; both petitions were in objection to the Traffic Order. The Committee noted that the petitions did include duplicate names. Amongst the 19 individual responses received, 7 objected to the whole scheme or parts of the scheme and 13 supported the scheme. The TRO Manager made the point that all 13 people that supported the scheme had asked for the lines to be extended further.
6.8 The TRO Manager drew members’ attention to Section 8 of the report which outlined officers’ considerations of the representations made at both informal and formal consultation.
6.9 In response to a question from a member, the Committee was informed that a white ‘H’ marking had been painted for the same length of the proposed yellow lines to aid traffic flow in the area whilst the consultation was being carried out. The aim of the H marking was to keep the area safe for motorists and pedestrians. The H marking was only advisory and not enforceable.
6.10 The following people addressed the Committee:
6.10.1 Supporting - William Montgomery, Local Resident
Mr Montgomery informed the Committee that he was in support of the proposed Traffic Regulation Order. He emphasised the point that drivers were unable to exit Eastview Close without mounting the pavement due to the parked cars. Safety to life was his main concern about the current traffic arrangements in the area, as he had come close to being killed by an oncoming car driving along Union Street which had been forced to mount the pavement. Due to the current situation, the problem he faced when exiting Eastview Close was either having to mount the kerb, or alternatively park his car in Union Street, thus further exacerbating the problem.
6.10.2 Supporting - Stephanie Thompson, Local Resident
Mrs Thompson informed the Committee that from her property she was able to see and hear a lot of what was going on at the junction in question:
“Since I moved into the house last December, I am constantly aware of how many cars and large vehicles mount the pavement driving at a normal road speed to get up/down Union Street due to vehicles parked opposite in bellmouth of Eastview Close, sometimes several in an hour.
Additionally delivery and waste collection vehicles cannot get in/out of Eastview Close without using the pavement due to vehicles parked opposite.
Parking opposite the Eastview Close junction is against the requirements of the Highway Code and driving on pavements is illegal and a threat to pavement users who sometimes have had to take evasive action to avoid being hit, with three incidents having been reported to the Police. Can the Committee approve the Traffic Regulation Order in its current form”.
6.10.3 Supporting - Andrew Lennie, Local Resident
Mr Lennie informed the Committee that he and his wife had lived in the area since March 2017. He proceeded to read out a statement on behalf of his wife:
“I was walking my dog at around 7.30am on a weekday morning in November. It was a dark and miserable morning, I had my head down in an effort to avoid the elements.
As I was leaving Eastview Close on the corner of Union Street, adjacent to number 1, I could hear a vehicle on Union Street. I continued with my dog, in the knowledge that the pavement is very wide, and I wouldn’t be in any danger. As I rounded the corner, I was met with a speeding transit van which was travelling at normal road speed. At least half of his vehicle was on the pavement, leaving about a foot between the van and the wall of number 1.
Fortunately, I had my wits about me and neither my dog nor I were harmed. The driver caught my eye and was clearly shocked, but not as shocked as I was. He had been forced to mount the pavement to avoid another large van, which was frequently parked on the opposite side of Union Street. However, the speed at which he was travelling led me to believe this was not a one-off incident, as he was clearly familiar with what would be required and made no attempt to slow down, or to consider that someone may be walking on the pavement. He did not stop the van to see if I was ok and unfortunately, I was not able to capture his number plate, which is what the police advised me to do if it ever happened again.
I was very shaken, but relieved that I had missed what could have been a very different set of circumstances.
I very much hope that the measures you put in place, will prevent this kind of situation arising again, as the next person might not be so lucky”.
6.10.4Supporting - Esther Bate, Local Resident
Mrs Bate informed the Committee that she was speaking in support of the On Street Parking Order as advertised.
“My concern is primarily for pedestrian safety: It is widely believed that pinch points act as a method of calming traffic. This is not the case at the junction of Eastview Close and Union Street, it is not a true pinch point constructed with bollards or railings to slow traffic, quite the contrary; consequently vehicles wanting to continue their journey without delay simply mount the pavement and drive at speeds that are often well above the legal limit. For all pedestrians, but particularly those less agile or those with pushchairs, this poses a very serious danger.
Pedestrians leaving Eastview Close are further endangered as they are not visible to drivers because of garden walls or hedges. Several incidents have already been recorded although, as yet, no one has been hurt. I, my daughter and my husband experienced a frightening situation as a car driving on the pavement approached us at rather more than the speed limit, he obviously did not expect to see pedestrians on the pavement and swerved sharply to avoid us. This incident was reported to the local police by email and to the Gloucestershire Constabulary by website submission, their response was that this was as a result of the parking issues.
The poor state of the tactile pavings at this junction is testament to the number of vehicles large and small that drive over it. These tiles were replaced only a few months ago and are already badly damaged creating a trip hazard for pedestrians.
The current white line runs over a private driveway thus the remainder only comprises space for two medium sized vehicles. Whilst I am very much aware of the lack of parking in Stow and I bear no animosity towards residents of Union Street I have to ask the question: Are we really setting the loss of two parking spaces against the safety of pedestrians and of local children who may play on the pavements nearby”?
6.10.5 Supporting - Christopher Fawdry, Local Resident
Christopher Fawdry informed the Committee that the height of the wall located by the junction of Eastview Close meant that he could not see over it to look out for an on-coming vehicles. He recounted an incident to the Committee; he had been walking along the pavement next to the high wall, so had been unaware that a vehicle had been forced to mount the pavement because of cars parked in Union Street. The vehicle was an electric car, as a result he was also unable to hear it approaching. He had to jump out of the way of the car, if he hadn’t done so he would have been knocked over.
Mr Fawdry informed the Committee that he supported the Traffic Regulation Order as advertised. He felt that the proposed Order would reduce the safety issue but would not remove it completely. He indicated that the parking arrangements in the roads in the wider surrounding area needed to be addressed to further improve road safety.
6.10.6 Supporting - Dianne Fawdry – Local Resident
Mrs Fawdry informed the Committee that she was in support of the proposed Traffic Regulation Order. She referred to the fact that the developer, as part of the design process for the new development, carried out safety audits, the results of which deemed that it was not necessary to propose any parking restrictions in the area. She felt that the safety audits should have come to a different conclusion, which would have avoided the current unsafe situation. Mrs Fawdry informed the Committee that in her view the two petitions objecting to the proposed Order were meaningless as many of the signatures were from people who did not live in Union Street or Stow.
6.11 Members of the Committee recognised that there was a significant road safety issue in Union Street, which had been particularly made clear through the accounts of the local residents. Some members expressed concern that the results of the safety audits and swept path survey which had failed to propose any parking restrictions in the area. It was also felt that the height of the wall at the junction of Eastview Close, which obstructed the view of pedestrians of any approaching traffic coming round the corner, should have been identified as a safety issue during the planning process.
6.12 Following consideration of the information before the Committee, it was proposed, seconded and the Committee
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND
That the Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure makes the Traffic Order as published.