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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 27 April, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services

Leckwith Road (Part), Llandough, Proposed Traffic Calming - Objection Report

Purpose of the Report

1. To advise Members of objections received to the proposed installation of a traffic calming feature on Leckwith Road (part), Llandough.

Recommendations

1. That Members reject the objections for the reasons contained in this report and that the traffic calming feature is installed.

 

2. That the objectors are advised of this decision.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To enable the works to be completed as intended.

 

2. To confirm the Council's position.

Background

2. On the 15th December 2014 the then Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services and the Director of Visible Services and Housing gave approval to give public notice of a proposal to implement traffic calming, in the form of a raised plateau on Leckwith Road (part), Llandough. A copy of this report is reproduced in full in Appendix A.

 

3. The proposed traffic calming was a requirement of planning consent for a new residential development consisting of 25 homes, to be built by Charles Church on the former quarry site in Llandough.

 

4. Accordingly, public notice of the proposals was given on 8th January 2015 with objections being invited in writing by the 30th January 2015.

Relevant Issues and Options

5. The junction proposal indicates that visibility splays of approximately 43 metres can be achieved in both directions. Due to land constraints and third party ownership there is no viable alternative location for site access, or opportunity to improve visibility.

 

6. In line with national guidance, a visibility splay of 43 metres is suitable where traffic speeds are recorded at or below 30mph. In this instance, 85th percentile speeds were in excess of the figure and as a consequence, the visibility splay would need to be increased or the speed of traffic reduced.

 

7. To ensure the junction operates safely and that the visibility splays conform to guidance, the access proposals have been amended to incorporate a junction plateau, augmented with warning signs and bilingual “slow” road markings, which is expected to reduce average speeds below 30mph. The proposed visibility splays will conform to national guidance and be acceptable.

 

8. Letters were received from local residents, containing a mixture of concerns, objections and requests for further dialogue and information. Redacted copies of the four letters are contained within Appendix B.

 

Extracts of the comments are outlined below, together with traffic officer responses.

• Objector A

9. Concern 1:

“The Council has still not come forward with the promised scheme for a holistic traffic management scheme for Llandough. The current proposal is therefore being considered in isolation to the context of the scheme for the whole village. There is no clear indication how this proposal will fit within the Council’s scheme or that the design is appropriate for the existing location and speed”.

 

10. Officer response 1:

The wider calming scheme for Llandough will be considered separately. The current proposal is being considered in isolation to facilitate safe egress from the new housing development. The visibility splay at the new junction will be appropriate for traffic travelling below 30mph. Land and topographical constraints are such that a greater visibility splay could not be achieved, as a consequence a traffic calming feature in the form of a junction plateau will be designed to reduce traffic speeds to below 30mph.

 

11.  Concern 2:

“It is feared that introducing the vertical displacement, entry and exit ramps at the tangent point of the bend will cause traffic, particularly buses and ambulances, to slow rapidly resulting in traffic bunching and risk of collision”.

 

12. Officer response 2:

In line with the Department for Transport guidance (LTN 01/07), the height of the ramp will be 75 millimetres and a shallower on/off ramp gradient of 1:15 will be used. This has been shown to be the best compromise between speed reduction and discomfort for bus passengers.

 

Warning signs will be provided on both approaches to the calming feature, to ensure drivers adjust their speed accordingly thus reducing the instances of late braking.

 

13. Concern 3:

“Works have already been carried out on behalf of Welsh Water to provide drainage runs for surface water and foul water services to the site. This has resulted in clusters of low friction (cast iron) manhole covers in the carriageway extending from the tie-in at Penlan Road continuing around the bend passing the junctions with Llandough Hill and Church View Close. The reinstatement has left a very irregular road surface”.

 

14. Officer response 3:

High friction service covers will be provided as part of the scheme. Poor reinstatement of the carriageway will be dealt with by the Council's Highway Maintenance section.

 

15. Concern 4:

“Consideration does not appear to have been given to the safety of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists. A motorcycle is most stable at a constant speed in a straight line on a dry, uniform and level surface; any departure from this condition reduces stability. The combination of a variable surface and vertical displacement in the vicinity of a bend and a junction creates a serious hazard for cycles and motorcycles which could result in loss of control resulting in serious injury or death”.

 

16. Officer response 4:

The on/off ramp gradient of 1:15 will be sufficient for motorcyclists to traverse the plateau safely, albeit at low speed. It is acknowledged that the calming feature is located on the tangent point and offers motorcyclists less opportunity to approach perpendicular to the ramp from the south.

The stopping sight distance (from the south) is lower than the desirable minimum set out in the Design Manual for Roads & Bridges.  However, it meets the desirable minimum set out in Manual for Streets.  Motorists do not have to stop to traverse the calming feature and for this reason warning signs augmented with “slow” road markings have been provided to increase the conspicuity of the hazard, although, it would be desirable for motorists to be able to see the calming feature with more visibility to react accordingly.

 

17. Concern 5:

“Whilst the engineering design for the access to the new development may meet the minimum requirements for a simple junction at a low risk location it is not appropriate for this complex location where there are three existing junctions and a bend with poor forward visibility in close proximity”.

 

18. Officer response 5:

The proposed junction and road hump conforms to recommended design standards.  The layout has been subject to an independent Road Safety Audit, which did not raise any fundamental or serious safety concerns that could be resolved.

 

19. Concern 6:

“The current proposals are not supported by sufficient information to enable comprehensive and detailed comments to be made”

 

20. Officer response 6:

The request is being dealt with by the Planning and Highway Development departments who will provide the information in full.  However, it should be noted that the hump has been designed in accordance with recommended guidance and standards acceptable to the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

21. Concerns 7:

“It is considered that the proposed traffic calming measures in conjunction with the new development access will be detrimental to road safety. The risk of highway accidents will be increased when compared with the pre-existing risks due to the proximity of the three existing junctions in the vicinity of a sharp bend with poor forward visibility”.

 

22. Officer response 7:

The visibility splay is the minimum required for traffic travelling at or below 30mph and should not be detrimental to road safety. The likelihood of motorcycle loss of control may be more pronounced than the existing situation.  However, the risk of collisions will be due to driver or rider error rather than highway safety issues.  The layout has been subject to an independent Road Safety Audit, which did not raise any fundamental or serious safety concerns.

 

23. Concern 8:

“Ideally this proposal should be delayed and reviewed in the context of the Council’s traffic calming proposal for the whole village”

 

24. Officer response 8:

This scheme is being considered in isolation as a direct result of the proposed residential development.  However, the proposed table top hump will not negatively affect any wider proposals.  The proposed hump is a vertical calming feature that is expected to reduce speed (on approach and on exit) to below 30mph and thus will contribute to lowering speeds through the whole village.

 

25. Concern 9:

“The Council should make available, in full, the information listed in items 1. to 4. above.”.

 

26. Officer response 9:

The request is being dealt with by the Planning and Highway Development departments who will provide the information in full.  However, it should be noted that the hump has been designed in accordance with recommended guidance and standards acceptable to the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

 

27. Concern 10:

“The period of consultation should be extended so that the full information can be considered by Llandough Council, residents and other interested parties before this matter is concluded”.

 

28. Officer response 10:

Standard procedure was followed by the Council with regards to the required consultation for establishing a traffic calming feature.  The time period was the minimum the Council was legally obliged to provide.  The Community Council was consulted direct and offered no objection. Three objections were received in total, all from local residents within the area.  No objections were received from other statutory parties, all of whom were consulted direct.

• Objector B

29. Concern 1:

“As you are aware directors and cabinet members attending the community meeting in Llandough Memorial Hall in 2013 promised further consultation on a holistic approach to traffic calming throughout the village; we are still waiting. The Vale of Glamorgan Cabinet requested a report on the proposed 20mph speed limit in the village of Llandough which has still not been submitted. Requests by members of the community for information about the extent of its campaign against an imposed 20mph limit have been refused. However we note that the imminent 20mph scheme described by the Operational Manager Development Control in his email of 26 June 2014 has not yet been implemented, perhaps as a result”?

 

30. Officer response 1:

The traffic calming scheme proposed as part of the Charles Church residential development is a separate scheme to the “holistic” traffic calming measures discussed for the wider village. Any future proposals will dovetail into any existing speed reduction measures at that time.

The proposal for an experimental 20mph limit is being progressed.  Following its implementation traffic speeds and scheme effectiveness will be monitored and comments from the wider community will be sought.

 

31. Concern 2:

“The traffic calming proposal appears purely to facilitate the Persimmon development at Leckwith Road as without traffic calming measures the development cannot proceed  - as you know there is a Grampian condition on the approval. The design for the access to the development is at the minimum required for a simple location and not at all suitable for the actual location of three existing junctions and a bend with very poor visibility all in close proximity, as you will also be aware. This proposal is surely no more than a quick and cheap solution to facilitate early development. It doesn’t take into account whether it will work at the location and we believe it will not without other connected measures throughout the village – and we deserve to be considered in your plans as well as Persimmon. The drawing doesn’t account for the two other junctions in close proximity – Greenway Close and Llandough Hill – or the blind bend. The proposal will not give drivers from Penlan Road any visual warning of the table until they are right upon it – despite signage a table needs to be seen. What is the gradient of it – is it designed purely to slow traffic enough for Persimmon’s inadequate access to become barely adequate an in doing so endanger drivers? It should address the safety issues of drivers and road users first”.

 

32. Officer response 2:

The calming measure is intended as a speed reducing feature to ensure the visibility splay at the new junction is within the minimum acceptable parameters contained in Manual for Streets 2 (MfS2).

The limitations of site accessibility have unfortunately led to the access being proposed in the present position. Under existing circumstances, the approach speed of traffic is too high for a visibility splay within MfS2. As a consequence a calming feature was required to reduce vehicle speeds to 30mph or below.

In line with the Department for Transport guidance (LTN 01/07), the height of the ramp will be 75 millimetres and a shallower on/off ramp gradient of 1:15 will be used. This has been shown to be the best compromise between speed reduction and discomfort for bus passengers.

As long as motorists travel at or below 30mph and are cognisant of the warning signs, the calming measure should not be detrimental to road safety.  There is the potential for loss of control for motorcyclists who may not be perpendicular to the ramp when traversing.  However, the risk of collisions will be due to driver or rider error rather than highway safety issues.  The layout has been subject to an independent Road Safety Audit, which did not raise any fundamental or serious safety concerns.

 

33. Concern 3:

“Condition 3 of the planning approval for the site stated that “No development work, including works for site clearance and landfill, shall commence on site until a scheme for traffic calming measures along Leckwith Road has been implemented”. Despite this clearance of the site commenced n conjunction with road drainage works and has now been fully completed. The enforcement officer told us there was nothing he could do about this! Persimmon appears to have its own agenda – it has advised those who have reserved plots that building WILL start in January and properties WILL be ready by September. Hence their planning application to clear and infill before the Grampian condition is in place; clearance started on 14 November, the day after the planning application should have been decided by a delegated decision had our local councillor not requested a committee decision, which has still to be made”.

 

34. Officer response 3:

The highway authority is aware that enabling works have commenced and this is an enforcement matter for the Council as Local Planning Authority and that is outside the remit of this consultation exercise.

 

35. Concern 4:

“We believe that the design will cause accidents and chaos – we live in the village and see the reality of what happens here on a daily basis. Without properly considered measurements on Penlan Road and Leckwith Road this proposal is a disaster waiting to happen, hence our community’s request, which you accepted, for consideration of an holistic solution in the first place. We have told your department repeatedly of our concerns that accidents will happen here resulting in serious injury or death and we despair at the apparent complete lack of concern.

 

36. Officer response 4:

An accident is a rare, random, multifactor event always preceded by a situation in which one or more road users have failed to cope with the road environment. The location of the calming feature may increase the potential for motorcyclists losing control at the on ramp.

The main purpose of the scheme is to reduce traffic speeds to levels appropriate for MfS2 visibility splays and is unlikely to cause chaos.  At reduced speeds the severity of injury suffered as a result of a collision is likely to be reduced and the risk will be due to driver or rider error rather than highway safety issues.  The layout has been subject to an independent Road Safety Audit, which did not raise any fundamental or serious safety concerns.

 

37. Concern 5:

“We urge that you extend the period of consultation and provide more details of the proposal so that villagers can have a proper understanding of what it in reality achieve and so that the Vale Council can let us have the promised consultation on the village as a whole. The Vale of Glamorgan charter is to the people in this community and ours as well as persimmon’s interests must therefore be taken into account. This proposal doesn’t do that. We need to know what steps will be taken to ensure the table scheme works BEFORE Persimmon is given authority to proceed further”.

 

38. Officer response 5:

Standard procedure was followed by the Council with regards to the required consultation for establishing a traffic calming feature.  The time period was the minimum the Council was legally obliged to provide.  The Community Council were consulted direct and offered no objection. Three objections were received in total, all from local residents within the area.  No objections were received from other statutory parties, all of whom were consulted direct.

• Objector C

39. Concern 1:

“Further to my letter of 20 January we have now been made aware of the planning application 2014/01401/OUT which will no doubt be approved as it, unlikely the Quarry development for which the traffic calming is required, is on land designated under the LDP.

This proposed development is only 200 yards further along Leckwith Road and in close proximity to the chicane. Road changes will have to be made to accommodate the two entrances, involving possibly the chicane and the current 40mph speed limit so that it would be even more appropriate to look at the village as a whole – as originally promised by you.

We would also expect details of the road safety audit to be made available before any decision is taken; if that has already happened please let us know how the public can access it”.

 

40. Officer response 1:

Any mitigation measures required on the adopted highway to facilitate access and egress will have consideration for the wider community and all road users. Copies of design drawings and road safety audits will be made public upon request.

• Objector D

41. Concern 1:

“We strongly object to this proposal. It is designed in isolation purely to let Persimmon development go ahead and without consideration of concern for the area, its conditions and its road users”.

 

42. Officer response 1:

The calming measure is intended as a speed reducing feature to ensure the visibility splay at the new junction is within the minimum acceptable parameters contained in Manual for Streets 2 (MfS2) and to allow for safe provision of the proposed access.

The limitations of site accessibility have unfortunately led to the access being proposed in the present position. Under existing circumstances, the approach speed of traffic is too high for a visibility splay within MfS2. As a consequence a calming feature was required to reduce vehicle speeds to 30mph or below.

 

43. Concern 2:

“Where is the consultation promised by you to consider traffic calming throughout the village? This proposal should be linked to that consultation not just considered in isolation to enable a development to go ahead which otherwise would not. Although of course Persimmon has already started the development as you must be aware”.

 

44. Officer Response 2:

The traffic calming scheme proposed as part of the Charles Church residential development is a separate scheme to the “holistic” traffic calming measures discussed for the wider village. Any future proposals will dovetail into any existing speed reduction measures at that time.

The proposal for an experimental 20mph limit through the village is currently being progressed.

 

45. Concern 3:

“We have seen the drawing and it does not make clear that there are also two other junctions in very close proximity as well as a blind bend. There is no information as to the fact that the table will not be seen from Penlan Road, surely such a hazard need to have a required line of vision? As residents living on the corner of Leckwith Road and Greenway Close we see the reality daily and this ill-conceived idea will only make the situation worse and bring that serious accident we have repeatedly warned about an even closer reality – and at the same time increase the minor accidents that already occur by causing even more bunching and erratic speeding – unless you combine this with other measures throughout the village”.

 

46. Officer Response 3:

The stopping sight distance (from the south) is lower than the desirable minimum set out in the Design Manual for Roads & Bridges.  However, it meets the desirable minimum set out in Manual for Streets.  Motorists do not have to stop to traverse the calming feature and for this reason warning signs augmented with “slow” road markings in advance of the calming feature will be provided.  Although, it would be desirable for motorists to be able to see the calming feature with more visibility to react accordingly.

 

47. Concern 4:

“The press release indicates you will implement this after the consultation period but there is nothing about your plans to see whether it works. That suggests that you will just go ahead so that Persimmon can. To us the proposal seems to be merely a sop to overcome the original planning condition and one that the vale seems to condone”.

 

48. Officer response 4:

Standard traffic calming measures designed in accordance with the Highways (Road Hump) Regulations 1999 have proven to reduce traffic speeds, which will vary depending upon the severity of the deflection and frequency of the features. It would therefore be inappropriate to introduce such a scheme as an experiment or temporarily to measure its effectiveness.

The limitations of site accessibility have unfortunately led to the access being proposed in the present position. Under existing circumstances, the approach speed of traffic is too high for a visibility splay within MfS2. As a consequence a calming feature was required to reduce vehicle speeds to 30mph or below.

 

49. Concern 5:

“Both the Vale of Glamorgan and the public need to know that the table scheme works BEFORE Persimmon is given authority to proceed further. The Vale of Glamorgan should serve the community as a whole”.

 

50. Officer response 5:

Standard traffic calming measures designed in accordance with the Highways (Road Hump) Regulations 1999 have proven to reduce traffic speeds, which will vary depending upon the severity of the deflection and frequency of the features. It would therefore be inappropriate to introduce such a scheme as an experiment or temporarily to measure its effectiveness.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

51. The cost of implementing the traffic calming feature and the associated statutory legal procedures will be fully met by the developer as part of the S.278 agreement.

 

52. The Council’s own administrative resources will be used to progress this scheme, should approval be given. The proposed works will be constructed by the developer’s contractor with overarching supervision from the Council’s own resources.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

53. Driving more slowly and at a steady speed will generally save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

 

54. The reduction in vehicle speeds through the village could encourage more sustainable modes of travel, such as walking and cycling.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

55. The Council as Highway Authority has a responsibility to improve the safety of the highway user and may be found to be negligent if it does not meet its statutory obligations under the Highways Act 1980 and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

 

56. The Highways (Road Hump) Regulations 1999 and section 90A of the Highways Act 1980 permits a Local Authority to install road humps subject to statutory consultations and public notice being undertaken.

 

57. There are no human rights implications.

Crime and Disorder Implications

58. The implementation of traffic calming will reduce the instances of excessive speeds and will engender a greater sense of safety within the community.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

59. There are no equal opportunities implications.

 

60. All associated traffic signs and road markings forming part of the scheme will all be in accordance with the Council's Welsh Language Policy.

Corporate/Service Objectives

61. To manage and maintain a safe highway network.

Policy Framework and Budget

62. This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

63. The Ward Member has been consulted and is in favour of the proposal.

 

64. Stakeholder consultations took place in accordance with the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Highways Act 1980.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

65. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Traffic Management IF761

Contact Officer

Mark Simpson - Senior Traffic Engineer - Tel: 02920 673070.

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal - Committee Reports

Accountant - Visible Services and Building.

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing.