RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION LETTERS RE TYNEMOUTH CYCLE PATH PROPOSED FOR BROADWAY 31.10.14
Thank you for contacting me regarding the cycling and walking improvements scheme at Broadway, Tynemouth, and can I apologise from the outset for the delay in replying. However, since I have been threatened with legal action during the course of this development I have had to delay my response in order that extensive enquiries and checks could be made.
I should also say that this response is being sent to those who have written to me supporting the cycleway as well as those who expressed their opposition to it.
I have liaised with the relevant officers regarding your queries and I would respond, in a composite fashion as follows:
To provide some background: the scheme is being delivered with external funding from the government’s Cycle Safety Fund and represents an opportunity to provide high-quality cycle paths on a section of Broadway which currently has no cycling provision, while also making it easier for people to cross the road on foot at junctions. It was developed working in partnership with Sustrans with a view to supporting accessibility on foot and by cycle and improving the cycling network in the borough.
The scheme contributes to a number of North Tyneside Council’s strategic objectives, including key aims of our Cycling Strategy and Road Safety Strategy, which were approved by Cabinet on 11 January 2010.
With my agreement, the scheme was subject to consultation in line with the Council’s established procedure. As part of the consultation process the three ward members were contacted; letters were sent to all households directly affected by the scheme; and details of the scheme were published on the Council’s website, which, in line with best practice, gives other stakeholders such as voluntary organisations the opportunity to comment.
While more than half of the 98 individual responses received were supportive of the scheme, others expressed concerns and some of these cited specific aspects of the scheme design. Officers were asked to investigate each of these matters and details are summarised below.
1. Speed of traffic on The Broadway
A speed survey was undertaken between 22nd – 29th September 2014 in order to determine the speed of vehicles on The Broadway. The results of the survey indicated that the 85th percentile speed was 35 mph (which means that 85% of traffic travels at or below this speed) over a 24 hour period. Officers have contacted the local police to inform them of residents’ concerns and forwarded a copy of the speed survey for their information and action should they deem any appropriate.
2. Lamp column relocations queries
Officers have contacted Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), the street lighting contractors, who have confirmed that the relocation of the lamp columns will not adversely impact on lighting levels on The Broadway.
3. Loss of grass verge
The scheme seeks to create a high quality cycling link making use of existing highway verge. The installation of a green pigmented path to match the colour of the grass verge will mean that the streetscape should remain aesthetically appealing.
4. Junction visibility
Visibility at junctions has been considered as part of the final scheme plans. In each case it is intended to install the give way markings as close to the existing marking as possible. The give way marking will serve to highlight that vehicles should give way to the cycle path as well as to the carriageway.
5. Narrowing of the junctions with side streets
It is intended that the proposed narrowing of the junctions will help to slow traffic to an appropriate speed for entering the side streets. It is expected that vehicles travelling along The Broadway would indicate and start to slow down in advance prior to any turn off The Broadway.
6. Parking and potential for displaced parking
Where vehicles are parked on the approaches to driveways, it would be expected that residents and their visitors would use their discretion so as not to block the cycle path. If parking a vehicle in such a location creates an obstruction, it would be expected that it would be parked instead within the curtilage of the property or in an alternative location.
7. Height of path across driveways
The path would be installed at 100mm (approximately 4 inches) above the carriageway level. This height is a standard height for footways above the carriageway. Driveway accesses will be provided in the form of a dropped crossing. This is a standard technique used across the country to provide vehicular access to a property across a footway and as such it should not pose any issues for vehicle drivers when driving across it at an appropriate speed.
All responses received to the consultation were carefully considered, including those supportive of the proposals and those expressing opposition to the proposed scheme. Following the consultation I met with officers to review matters raised and the amendments proposed to the detail of some elements of the scheme design. In view of the timescales imposed by the external funding provider, a formal decision to proceed with the scheme was then taken on 29 September 2014, in accordance with the Council’s Urgent Decision Procedure. This ensured that the external funding could be secured which has allowed the scheme to proceed.
The Council, as highway authority for the borough, has the necessary legal powers to carry out the works on the adopted highway involved in constructing the scheme.
I hope this has helped to address any concerns you may have with regard to the scheme. Please be assured that the views of all residents are important to me and are taken into account as we seek to deliver improvements which will have benefits for residents throughout North Tyneside.
Cllr F Lott
Cabinet Member for Economic Development N. Tyneside