The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 19 October, 2015
Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services
Y Rhodfa, Barry Waterfront – Proposed Prohibition of Access (Gating Order) - Objection Report
Purpose of the Report
1. To advise Members of an objection received to the proposed Traffic Regulation Order and the associated installation of a barrier, to restrict vehicle access to the most western end of Y Rhodfa (overnight) between the hours of 7pm to 7am.
1. That Members reject the objection for the reasons contained in this report and that the Traffic Order is progressed as proposed.
2. That the objector be advised of this decision.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To enable the Order to be made.
2. To confirm the Council's position.
2. On the 8th September 2014 the then Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible gave approval to give notice of proposal to introduce a Gating Order, to restrict vehicle access to the most western end of Y Rhodfa (overnight) between the hours of 7pm to 7am. A copy of this report is reproduced in full in Appendix A.
3. In conjunction with the proposed Order a barrier system will be installed, which will physically prevent vehicles from entering into this section of road after 7pm. Any vehicle already parked in the area will still be able to exit. The barrier will be manually operated and opened/closed at the start and end of each day in accordance with the time restrictions.
4. Accordingly, public notice of the proposal was given on 25th June 2015 with objections being invited in writing by the 17th July 2015.
Relevant Issues and Options
5. Local residents of the Waterfront area, particularly those residing in Jackson Quay, continually voice concern to their local Member and have reported a number of incidents direct to the Police relating to antisocial behaviour and inappropriate use of the street.
6. It is claimed that in the evening and during the hours of darkness vehicles often congregate in the area and cause a general nuisance/disturbance to nearby residents, with reports of speeding, excessive revving of engines, playing loud music, littering and antisocial behaviour.
7. The Police have confirmed that the above antisocial behaviour is taking place. However, they have acknowledged that they have had limited success with regard to enforcing or resolving the problem, primarily due to a lack of resources and evidence.
8. As a result the Police have requested that the Council assist, by providing a physical barrier, preventing access. Subsequently the Gating Order and barrier scheme has been proposed.
9. One letter of objection was received from a Barry resident, extracts of which are outlined below, together with Traffic Management’s response.
I have monitored the area over the past month and have not seen any anti-social behaviour.
The Local Ward Member for the area has confirmed that residents continually witness and raise concern regarding antisocial behaviour. Further, the South Wales Police have also confirmed the problem and that they regularly deploy officers to deal with reports of antisocial and illegal behaviour in the area.
In the past the council have closed Cemetery Lane and Pencoedtre Lane, which have never been re-opened.
As correctly identified, Cemetery Road and Pencoedtre Lane were once through routes. However, they are narrow lanes that were primarily designed for local traffic and low use. Both routes formed a natural connection and desire line between more strategic roads. Over time, as Barry has developed, it became clear that they were being used excessively and inappropriately by commuter traffic. Due to road safety, congestion and environmental reasons the decision was made to close the lanes, to ensure that commuter traffic had to use alternative and more appropriate A and B class roads.
The section of Y Rhodfa being proposed for barrier control is already a ‘dead end’ and does not form a connecting, or through route. It effectively operates a small uncontrolled parking area. Other than problem vehicles congregating in the area, legitimate demand for parking at this location (overnight) is very low and there is no reason to suggest that by closing it off there will be any significant inconvenience, or transfer of parking to other local streets. It should be noted that the problem vehicles could conceivably meet and congregate in the other parking spaces along Y Rhodfa that will remain free of barrier control. However, this is less likely as resident and general demand for parking in these areas is much greater. Therefore the opportunity for vehicles to park next to each other, in one long line, will be significantly reduced. The overall problem may not be completely resolved, as there is a possibility that the problem shifts to other areas of Barry.
The law is in place to deal with anti-social behaviour and vehicles used in an appropriate manner. The Police should be called to deal with these matters, therefore I object vehemently to Council resources being used in this manner.
Whilst these comments are accepted in general, in this instance the Police have made significant effort to deal with this particular problem without success. As their resources are stretched they have requested assistance from the Council to deal with the matter, which it is felt should not be unreasonably withheld.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
10. The cost of implementing the scheme and the associated statutory legal procedures will be approximately £10,000 and will be funded from the Council’s Visible Services Asset Renewal Allocation for 2015/2016.
11. The Council’s own administrative resources will be used to progress this scheme, should approval be given. The proposed works will implemented by the Council's Highways Construction Unit.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
12. There are no sustainability and climate change implications.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. There are no human rights implications.
Crime and Disorder Implications
16. The scheme and legal order is being proposed for the purpose of reducing crime and anti-social behaviour
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
17. There are no equal opportunities implications.
18. All associated traffic signs and road markings forming part of the scheme will be in accordance with the Councils Welsh language policy.
19. To manage and maintain a safe highway network.
Policy Framework and Budget
20. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
21. The ward Member has been consulted and is in favour of the proposal.
22. Stakeholder consultations took place in accordance with the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Highways Act 1980.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
23. Economy and Environment.
Traffic Management IF782
David Hunt - Traffic Management
Tel. No. 02920 673 231
Operational Manager Legal Services
Accountant, Building and Visible Services
Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing Services