Petitions (if any)
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
5.1 Pedestrian Safety at the Junction Between Sidmouth Road, Milverton Road and Alverstone Road
Cabinet NOTED the comments made by Dr Deborah Eppel, in presenting a petition which contained 232 signatures, speaking on behalf of local residents living in the area surrounding Sidmouth Road, highlighting concerns relating to the safety of pedestrians at the junction between Sidmouth Road, Milverton Road and Alverstone Road, due to fast travelling vehicles from multiple directions, poor visibility and lack of suitable pedestrian crossings.
In addressing Cabinet, Dr Deborah Eppel highlighted the following key issues:
· Whilst aware there had only been one reported minor collision in the past 3 years, in which a cyclist had been injured, Dr Eppel questioned the number of unreported incidents and near-misses.
· Concerns had been reported to the Council’s Traffic Engineers who whilst recognising the issues raised had advised that funding was not currently available to install a pedestrian island given the TfL priority criteria for schemes based on collision and injury data. Dr Eppel was concerned this meant the safety of pedestrians would remain in jeopardy with local residents keen to ensure action was taken prior to any more serious injury or accident occurring at the junction.
· Whilst the Council’s Transportation Team had advised, in response to the petition, that it would be possible to consider the installation of a pedestrian island at the junction this was unlikely to be until 2025/26 based on TfL funding becoming available and the necessary priority being met. Any earlier consideration would only be based on additional funding becoming available.
To improve pedestrian safety, Dr Eppel therefore advised Cabinet that the petition was requesting that consideration be given to the provision of the necessary additional funding and review of priorities for 2023/24 to provide for the installation of a pedestrian island on Sidmouth Road, near the junction with Milverton Road and Alverstone Road given the safety concerns identified and proximity of the junction to local schools, nurseries, and other community buildings.
In responding, Councillor Krupa Sheth, as Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Action, acknowledged the concerns of residents. In highlighting the Council’s commitment to improving road safety, as set out within the Long Term Strategy Review, she outlined the approach taken which had needed to be focussed on the priority of locations with the most significant accident problems along with the availability of funding to design and install speed reduction and pedestrian safety measures. Whilst keen to address the concerns identified, Councillor Krupa Sheth felt it important to recognise that the level of TfL funding available to deal with these type of requests was unfortunately insufficient to meet current levels of demand, hence the need to prioritise potential locations for funding. Whilst an assessment of the latest available personal injury data for the location had recorded only one slight accident she had, however, asked officers (in response to the petition) to undertake a further review of the site based on an assessment of other factors including existing road condition, vehicle speeds, severance, access to local schools and community centres in the area and also to determine whether there was a need to maintain or enhance existing speed reduction measures in the locality. In concluding her response, Councillor Krupa Sheth advised that should the results of this assessment determine the need for a pedestrian facility this would, subject to prioritisation and funding availability, be included in a future programme for officers to progress and consult upon and on which the petitioners would be provided with a further update once the assessment had been completed.
5.2 The Condition of The Avenue, NW6
Cabinet NOTED the comments made by Mr Ben Cook, in presenting a petition which contained 217 signatures, speaking on behalf on local residents living on or near The Avenue, who were requesting pavement and highway improvements due to what was considered to be the poor and dangerous state of repair of the footway and highway along The Avenue.
In addressing Cabinet, Ben Cook highlighted the following key issues:
· Pavement improvements had been requested for the past 5 and a half years. Members were advised that the state of the pavement was particularly bad between Brondesbury Park and Tiverton Road, which disproportionately impacted the elderly, disabled and children.
· Due to the poor condition of the highway, cyclists were being adversely affected and cars damaged.
· The deteriorated and poorly placed speed bumps were now largely ineffective as speed reduction and traffic calming measures.
Given the volume of traffic using The Avenue each day the petitioners were requesting immediate action to repair and resurface the footway and highway along The Avenue, with the repair and maintenance of Hanover Road given as an example of the type of action required.
The comments and concerns raised in both petitions were also supported by Councillor Gbajumo who also spoke in support to the action being sought by the petitioners and Councillor Hack (as local ward councillors).
In responding, Councillor Krupa Sheth, as Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Action, again recognised the concerns raised but highlighted the level of demand identified across the borough in terms of roads and pavements which it was felt would benefit from maintenance to improve their condition and visual appearance. Given the level of demand, the ongoing imbalance between repair need and resource availability had once again meant that repairs had to be prioritised with an outline provided of the process followed in relation to both the planned and reactive highways maintenance programmes.
With regard to The Avenue, Councillor Krupa Sheth advised that prior to new surveys being carried out and the asset management criteria scores being updated as part of the development of the 2023/24 maintenance programmes, 60% of the pavement along The Avenue had been assessed to fall within the “poor” banding whilst over 80% of the road had been rated in the “excellent” banding. Whilst aware that this did not mean the road was defect free it had meant the road, based on the asset management criteria, had not been considered a high enough priority for planned maintenance during 2022/23 given the current level of demand and level of funding available.
In response to the petition, however, Councillor Krupa Sheth advised that a site visit had been arranged on 19 January 2023, in order to review what other action it may be possible to take with the concerns regarding the speed humps also referred to the Healthy Streets and Parking Team for review. Subject to the necessary survey data being updated and any mitigating actions identified it would then be possible to consider again as part of the 2023/24 programme.
Publication date: 17/01/2023
Date of decision: 16/01/2023
Decided at meeting: 16/01/2023 - Cabinet