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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  13 January, 2014

Report of the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services

 

Coleridge Avenue, Dyserth Road and Cornerswell Road, Penarth - Proposed Prohibition of Waiting at Any Time Traffic Regulation Order - Objections Report

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of two objections and one supporting email received relating to the proposed introduction of a Prohibition of Waiting at Any Time Traffic Regulation Order at the above cross-roads junction and to propose appropriate action.

Recommendations

1.         That Members reject the objections for the reasons contained in this report and that the prohibition of waiting at any time be introduced.

2.         That the objectors and the individual supporting the proposals be advised of this decision.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To allow the Traffic Regulation Order to be made and implemented. 

2.         To confirm the Council's position.

Background

2.         Having received a letter of complaint regarding road safety at the eastern end of Coleridge Avenue from a member of the public, officers carried out an examination of the collision record for that road.  While there had been no collisions at the location highlighted by the complainant, the examination revealed that two personal injury collisions had been recorded at the Coleridge Avenue, Dyserth Road and Cornerswell Road junction since November 2010.  Both of the collisions were attributed by the police officers attending to have been at least partly caused by the presence of parked vehicles on Cornerswell Road which obscured the view of vehicles emerging from the side streets. Given the injury collision record and the obstruction to visibility witnessed, caused by vehicles parked on the corners, it was apparent that there was a need to introduce  a prohibition of waiting at any time at the junction to keep the corners clear of parked vehicles.  When the original complainant was informed of the proposed restrictions he wrote again stating “My own experience has shown that on a number of occasions I have just missed a collision due to not being able to see vehicles coming along Cornerswell Road … (when) coming out  of Coleridge Avenue or Dyserth Roadâ€

3.         Under delegated power the Director of Visible Services and Housing, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services, gave approval to undertake statutory consultations and to give public notice of the Council's intention to introduce the prohibition.  This approval was given on 15th July 2013.

4.         The details of the proposed restrictions are shown on Drawing Number T/13/42/MT attached to this report as Appendix B.

5.         Two letters of objection were received to the proposal from residents of Cornerswell Road, Penarth and one letter of support from a resident of Coleridge Avenue.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Cornerswell Road is a long, predominately-terraced, street situated within a highly populated residential area of Penarth.  Residential car ownership in the area is high, resulting in a high demand for parking spaces.  The presence of Victoria Primary School, which is 200 metres away from the junction, further adds to the pressure on parking spaces, as does the presence of the busy shopping area located a little further on, just past the school.

7.         Visits to the junction where the restrictions are proposed have been undertaken at various times of the day and have confirmed that vehicles park on Cornerswell Road right up to the junction and obstruct the visibility of traffic entering from the side streets, to the detriment of road safety.

8.         The correspondence relating to the objections and in support are attached at Appendix A for consideration, however the main points raised by the objecting and supportive residents are detailed as follows.

Objector 1 (living on Cornerswell Road approx. 26 metres from the junction)

Note: After their objection was received the objector was subsequently sent a letter explaining the reasons why the restrictions were being proposed, with a request that they consider withdrawing their objection in the light of those reasons.  They subsequently declined to withdraw them, making several additional points in their response which are also summarised and responded to below.  A copy of their initial objection and further response is included at Appendix A.

·           The proposed restrictions will remove parking spaces at the frontage of four houses, impacting on the availability of spaces in four directions in an area where multiple vehicle ownership already causes a serious problem.

Response - Parking within 10 metres of the junction will indeed become an offence under the proposals.  However, the Highway Code states that drivers must not “stop or park opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction…†  Clearly therefore vehicles should not be parking that close to the junction at present.  Given the two injury accidents, partly attributed by the police to vehicles parked too close to the junction, there was a case for extending the restrictions on Cornerswell Road even further.  However officers sought to limit the loss of parking spaces by limiting the length of the double yellow lines to the absolute minimum stipulated in the Highway Code.

·           If the Council plans to extend the introduction of double yellow lines to other near-by junctions, where will all the cars park? Similar issues arise at other junctions in Penarth.  Will restrictions be introduced at every junction?

Response - the current proposals are confined to this particular junction and there are no plans to introduce any further restrictions in this area at the present time.  However, if obstructive parking is seen to be causing significant road safety concerns anywhere in the Vale then the need to introduce remedial measures such as waiting restrictions will be fully considered.

·           Has witnessed 2 accidents in 20 years at the junction when cars from Coleridge Avenue failed to stop at the give way lines.  Accepts that if residents park right up to the corner they obstruct the clear view but feels current warning of priority is insufficient.  Wishes Cabinet to consider introducing a stop line instead.

Response - There are give way lines, triangular give way road markings and give way signs on both the Coleridge Avenue and Dyserth Road approaches to Cornerswell Road, providing a clear indication to motorists of the need to give way at the junction. There are strict criteria governing the use of stop signs/road markings and this junction does not meet the criteria.

·           Questions practicality of bus route as buses (and dust carts) have to make a sharp left turn into Dyserth Road from Cornerswell Road and cannot get up the slope there in severe weather because road isn’t gritted.

Response - The route taken by local buses is a matter for the bus operator and the Council has no powers to influence the route that they choose to take. Although the Council does not routinely salt bus routes the concerns raised have been drawn to the attention of the officer responsible for determining which roads are salted.

·           A compromise to help residents who struggle to find parking spaces would be to only introduce restrictions on the side of the junction where buses turn left and to retain the opposite side for parking on a resident permit basis.

Response - Removing parking within 10 metres of all parts of the junction is essential to ensure road safety and to ensure that motorists will comply to the Highway Code.  With regard to resident parking, all of the existing schemes were introduced by the former South Glamorgan Authority and, although there may be the opportunity to introduce new permit schemes in the Vale in the future, there are no plans to introduce any new schemes at the present time.

·           Vale enforcement officers should enforce the Highway Code stipulation and deter parking by giving out tickets.

Response - In the absence of waiting restrictions, obstructive parking of this nature can only be dealt with by a police officer or PCSO.  Once the double yellow lines are introduced then Vale enforcement staff will be able to issue tickets to any driver parked illegally on the restrictions.

·           If only one resident has complained then you need to balance that with the number of objections received to counter the objections.

Response - The proposal to introduce waiting restrictions was not requested by any resident but was promoted by officers in response to the above-mentioned injury collisions that were at least-partly attributed to parked vehicles obstructing visibility.

 

Objectors 2 (living on Cornerswell Road immediately adjacent to the junction)

 

Note: After their objection was received the objectors were subsequently sent a letter explaining the reasons why the restrictions were being proposed, with a request that they consider withdrawing their objection in the light of those reasons.  They subsequently declined to withdraw them, making several additional points in their response which are also summarised and responded to below.  A copy of their initial objection and further response is included at Appendix A.

·           Live in a corner house with 2 small children and a dog.  Proposal would make it impossible to park outside house and will cause further congestion on Cornerswell Road as residents compete for parking further up.  Feel it is unjust that this junction is being restricted when further up the road, closer to the primary school, there are huge congestion problems which impact on safety but which will remain untouched.  Although understand reason for some parking restrictions in this area and are not opposed completely, request a shorter restricted length to enable them to still park outside own house but far enough from corner to maintain safety. If that could be done would not object to proposals.

Response - Proposal will indeed prevent parking directly outside objector’s house but officers have already sought to limit the loss of parking spaces in that vicinity by limiting the length of the double yellow lines to the absolute minimum stipulated in the Highway Code.  This junction has been targeted for action because of the two injury accidents, partly attributed by the police to vehicles parked too close to the junction.  Consequently, to shorten the proposed restriction any further would be to the detriment of road safety. If obstructive parking is seen to be causing significant road safety concerns anywhere in the Vale then the need to introduce measures such as waiting restrictions will be fully considered.

·           Would be appeased if residents were issued with permits giving them priority when parking in this street.

Response - As indicated above, although there may be the opportunity to introduce new permit schemes in the future, there are no plans to introduce any new schemes at the present time.

·           Proposals will only cause further congestion which will ultimately affect safety of pedestrians and motorists as well as causing great inconvenience to residents.  Fear will also have negative impact on value of home and increase risk of car crime as would not be able to see car from property

Response - The proposals will only remove a small length of kerbside parking which, in any event, should not be used as, to do so, is contrary to the stipulation in the Highway Code.  Any of the on-street spaces in this vicinity are still likely to be visible to other residents, thereby reducing the likelihood of car crime occurring.  The issue of potential detriment to property value is difficult to judge but, in any event, the safety considerations are of paramount importance.

·           Although appreciates the health and safety concerns, suggests that alternative ways of addressing them should be developed that do not have such a detrimental effect on residents - for example making road markings at the junction clear and introducing a stop sign to reduce speeds when entering Cornerswell Road.

Response - There are give way lines, triangular give way road markings and give way signs on both the Coleridge Avenue and Dyserth Road approaches to Cornerswell Road, providing a clear indication to motorists of the need to give way at the junction. There are strict criteria governing the use of stop signs/road markings and this junction does not meet the criteria.  Any alternative measures which still allowed parking within 10 metres of the junction would not achieve the road safety benefits of the current proposals and could not be ‘policed’ by Vale enforcement staff.

·           There are other junctions in Penarth where the restrictions are not as long as 10 metres.

Response - the two injury accidents, partly attributed by the police to vehicles parked too close to the junction, make it imperative that the stipulation in the Highway Code is adhered to and to shorten the restrictions any further would be to the detriment of road safety.

·           Are aware that other local residents have objected and are certainly not the only residents with concerns about the proposals.

Response – Only one other objection has been received, together with one email supporting the proposals.

 

Supporter  (living on Coleridge Avenue approx. 40 metres from the junction)

 

·           Pleased to see yellow lines being introduced at the junction with Cornerswell Road and Coleridge Avenue to improve visibility as it is very difficult to negotiate the junction safely, especially if large vehicles are parked on or very near the junction.

Response - support is welcomed and the comments reinforce the views of the officers who have witnessed such obstructive parking on several occasions.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.         The cost of making the Traffic Regulation Order and implementing the scheme is estimated at £3,538, which would be met from the Traffic Management's operational budget 2013/14, and would utilise the Council's own resources.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.      There are no Sustainability and Climate Change Implications with regard to this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 allows highway authorities to make and vary Traffic Regulation Orders to regulate the movement of vehicular traffic, restrict or prohibit certain classes of vehicle and to improve the amenities of an area.

12.      There are no Human Rights Implications with regard to this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      This proposal will help prevent potential disorder by regularising the locations where drivers can legally park.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      The proposal will benefit all sections of the community.

15.      No bilingual signage will be erected as the restriction can be implemented solely by painting double yellow lines on the carriageway.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      To maintain and develop a safe and effective highway.

 

Policy Framework and Budget

17.      This is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      As the proposal affects roads in two Wards, the Ward Members for Cornerswell and Stanwell were consulted on the proposals. Councillors Peter King and Rhiannon Birch are supportive of the proposed changes and Councillors Janice Birch and Mark Wilson have raised no objections.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Mike Toozer - Agency Engineer, Traffic Management - Tel. No. 02920 673073

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal Services

Accountant, Building and Visible Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter Director of Visible Services and Housing