Meeting Notes July 2011

Hanover Local Action Team Transport Group

Minutes of meeting Monday July 11th 2011-07-19

Present: Matt Follett (Chair), Steve Chapman, Ann Howard, Andrea Winecoombe, Cllr Liz Wakefield, Pearl Ahrens, Dani Ahrens, Simon Bannister, Cllr Ian Davey, Abby Hone (BHCC Walking & Cycling), Angela, Claudia, Mark Strong.

1. Last meeting: The notes from last meeting were accepted
2. Councillor Davey: Cllr Davey had been invited to the meeting in his new role as Cabinet Member for Transport and the Public Realm, to give an overview of the priorities for the new administration, and comments on the issues raised by this group.

Priorities for the new administration:
• Offer ‘true choice’ for users of all modes of transport and not just motorists
• Want to encourage ‘modal shift’ away from private car dependence and in favour of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users:
o Pavements safe to walk along
o Streets safe to cycle through
o Public transport which is affordable and goes where people want it too.
• To be an exemplar of sustainable transport in policy and in practice.

The following additional issues were noted:

Congestion & Air Quality: Cllr Davey saw congestion & air quality as some of the biggest local issues and welcomed the £4 Million Sustainable Transport Fund award for the Lewes Road area, which will include a range of ‘soft’ measures to support sustainable transport choices as well as other measures to reduce the impact of congestion.

Cycle facilities: Cllr Davey would like to create a high quality cycle network with high quality cycle routes; this includes segregated cycle lanes (e.g. The Drive/Grand Ave in Hove), as well as safe, permeable 20mph streets, de–cluttered and with action to reduce antisocial parking.

Public Transport: Cllr Davey noted and welcomed that the B& H Bus Co. are starting to use ‘Oyster’ smart card ticketing and that the first hybrid bus (No 7) will be deployed, and that Network Rail will be reinstating some cycle parking facilities at the front entrance to Brighton Station.

Antisocial and illegal parking: Cllr Davey is working to refocus the parking enforcement to enable enforcement of vehicles parked on the pavement and causing obstruction where double yellow lines are in force, which may be particularly helpful in parts of Elm Grove where pavement parked cars are a problem. He is also seeking to permit instant enforcement of double yellow lines (rather than giving five minutes observation time) during peak times on the Lewes Road, where problems are caused to cyclists and buses particularly by obstructive parking on double yellow lines.

Public realm projects: The new administration wishes to create high quality public spaces, and is working particularly on the Station Gateway improvements, pedestrian improvements at Seven Dials, and the Valley Gardens project looking at enhancing the green spaces between the Level and the Palace Pier

Questions and comments

Q – Is the Drive cycleway being removed
A – No: this was a policy of the previous administration.

Q – Re Lewes Rd improvements: how much has been decided, and is there room for communities to get involved?
A – Yes; many of the measures proposed are around modal shift: transport planning, travel plans, increasing use of sustainable transport/public transport and all of this needs community participation and support to be properly effective A management group will be set up and will include community reps, although because of the size of the area (3 wards) spaces on this group will be very limited.

Q – Will the emphasis on ‘soft’ measures be instead of ‘proper’ cycle lanes?
A – The funds available are split 60% revenue and 40% capital and it is unlikely that this capital money would be sufficient for significant highway projects, although measures to improve Lewes Road for cyclists will certainly be part of the package. This is an excellent opportunity however to start transforming Lewes Rd into an exemplar sustainable transport corridor, and the council are looking for further funds to continue this work

3. Priorities for action (potential areas of interest which the group may wish to see further developed)

a) Cycle parking and provision for cyclists:
Cycle parking: There is demand in Hanover for further on street parking and some work was done before the Residents Parking consultation on this. The ward councillors agreed to reopen this issue with the council (Tracey Davidson) and report back. It was also agreed that potential locations for new cycle parking would be made public for comment.
Hanover Community Association has some money which could contribute toward on street cycle parking. Matt Follett will liaise with Steve Chapman to explore this.
Motorcycle Parking: Motor cycle parking with protective barriers has been requested. This could work well alongside cycle parking
Dangerous cycling: One resident reported being involved in several collisions as a pedestrian caused by cyclists on the crossing at the bottom of Southover and on Elm Grove, and called for more education for cyclists. This was echoed by other attendees who wanted responsible cycling to be encouraged.

b) Street obstruction by parked vehicles: Obstructions are caused by parked vehicles around the corners of roads which make it hard for pedestrians and those with buggies or wheelchairs, as well as causing problems for emergency vehicles and general vehicle access and compromising visibility for cyclists. It was suggested that the lengths of double yellow lines at corners were looked at, as they vary from road to road. Because on street cycle parking is more ‘see-thru’ that parked vehicles, it may be good to place more cycle parking at junctions which would also reduce obstructive parking.
It was suggested that restricting pavement parking at Elm Grove may impact on parking congestion in Hanover; however, experience elsewhere indicates that this may be quite minimal.
Suggestions were made to remodel the Lewes Rd/Elm Grove junction. It was a noted that this is a complex junction which is partly configured as it is to allow ambulances to jump the queue. It was suggested that – because there is not enough room for a proper cycle lane- it may be better to have no cycle lane at this point, but to change the road into a mixed priority route i.e. a route which caters for both vehicle movement and as a place to visit.

c) Pavement obstructions and street clutter: Still on Lewes Road, the drains are very poor outside the new doctor’s surgery causing significant pudding. Matt Follett agreed to pass this on to highways, and Mark Strong said he would take a photo when next it rains and pass this on. Members were recommended http://www.fixmystreet.com to report obstructions, abandoned vehicles etc…

d) Public Transport: Requests were made for better bus stops and more buses. There was a feeling that bus providers don’t bother with Hanover that much. A request was made for improvements to the bus stops on Southover Street, which look very poor and are often obstructed by parked vehicles. Could we have ‘real time’ bus displays placed remotely? At HCA for example?
It was noted that the No 79 now has space for cycles. Would it be possible to have cycle provision up the hill? It was reported that this had been tried before in Brighton but had not been success; however this was not a reason for not trying again.
Could we have a cross town route, rather than needing to go into Churchill Square on route to everywhere? This has been requested before, however the bus Co will not provide this without a subsidy.
It was agreed that a representative from the bus company be asked to attend the next meeting and talk about local services.

Car Clubs: City Car Club started in Hanover and we are well served. Is there any way this group can work with them to increase uptake? Discount schemes etc… Cllr Davey reported that he had met with Streetcar, who operate a car on Richmond Terrace, but he has not yet met with City Car Club who provide all of the cars in Hanover. He hopes to be able to promote car clubs in city news.

e) Street quality/play streets: This issue was thought to be one which was more the business of the full LAT rather than the Transport Group, and it will be raised there.

4. Any other business

Personalised Travel Planning: can we have this in Hanover? When? – It is currently being delivered in Whitehawk, and will probably feature in Hanover as a part of the Lewes Road project.

Hanover Travel Plan: this was put together by HCA some years back and includes a sustainable travel map of Hanover. We may want to revisit and update it. Mark Strong will circulate a copy.

When will the council take action on the network of cycle paths?
Some measures can be taken quite quickly – for example, ‘no entry except cycles’ signage to enable cycle contra flow in some streets.

5. Next meeting

The next meeting of this group will be on September 26th

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