North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee
11 June 2013
Old Torrington Road/Shorelands Road Junction, Barnstaple
Report of the Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste
Recommendation: It is recommended that:
(a) no action be taken to improve the roundabout at the present time but that the situation be kept under review
(b) developer contribution through S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 be sought towards the improvement of the junction when the opportunity arises.
This report advises of the reasons for the introduction of the roundabout, results of a survey undertaken by the previous local county councillor and seeks approval for seeking developer funding to improve the current highway layout.
A mini roundabout was introduced at the junction of Old Torrington Road and Shorelands Road, Barnstaple as a condition of planning consent for the development of residential properties in Broadclose Road.
Since its introduction there has been some expression of concern by local residents at the safety of the current arrangements and consequently the previous local Member undertook a survey of local residents' views.
This report presents the history of the site, the design of the roundabout, results of safety audit, results of survey, safety record of the junction and proposed method of addressing the concerns raised.
A planning application was made for the development of residential housing on Broadclose Road in July 2005 which included the proposal for a mini roundabout at the Shorelands Road Junction which would act as traffic calming and address the substandard visibility for a normal prioritrty junction from Broadclose Road.
The application was refused by the local planning authority (North Devon Council) on 18 January 2007 for the following reason "In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority as the visibility splay at the junction from Broadclose Road into Old Torrington Road (is) inadequate, the proposed roundabout required to address the problem would cause vehicular difficulties to properties adjoining it and, therefore, the scheme would be unacceptable".
The applicant appealed on the basis that the application had not been determined by the local planning authority within the prescribed period of a decision on an application for planning permission.
The Planning Inspector allowed the appeal on 2 March 2007 and consequently the mini roundabout was required to comply with the planning consent. A copy of the decision is attached as Appendix I to this report.
The design criteria for the Broadclose Road junction and roundabout were in accordance with Places Streets and Movement- a companion guide to Design Bulletin 32: Residential roads and footpaths which has been superseded. The roundabout was designed and visibility at the junction was compliant with this standard. The proposals were checked by County highway design engineers and the design agreed prior to construction.
A post construction safety audit was undertaken January 2010 by Devon County Council highway safety auditors.
3 Issues were identified as being of concern:
(a) alignment of kerbs which combined with a view through the roundabout causes drivers to go straight through and not circulate;
(b) need for directional signing to the crematorium;
(c) relocation of the give way line in Shorelands Road to improve visibility.
The points were considered but due to the fact that the developer had complied with the agreed design no further action was required of the developer. No proposal to enhance the junction with county funds was taken forward.
The safety of the junction has been monitored since its installation and a review of collision data has been undertaken. There had been no recorded collisions at the roundabout until the end of 2011 which the latest year of officially verified data. The preliminary report for the 2012 calendar year also shows that there have been no reported collisions.
Old Torrington Road is in an area that is subject to future residential and commercial development. There are a number of potential development sites from which S106 monies could be sought to facilitate improvement of the Shorelands Road/Old Torrington Road junction due to the additional traffic movements that will be generated.
In March 2013 a questionnaire was distributed to residents of the Shorelands Road /Old Torrington Road area. 164 responses to the questionnaire were returned to Devon County Council.
161 responders believed the roundabout to be dangerous. The concerns expressed as comments were concerned with a lack of visibility when exiting Shorelands Road (50), that users of Old Torrington Road ignore the roundabout and vehicles that are on it (25) and a number of responders sought to have the roundabout removed (24). There were 13 comments on the speed of vehicles.
The result show the level of concern at the current arrangements
5. Financial Considerations
The cost of the improvement of the roundabout is currently considered to be in the order of 25,000 subject to detail design. There is currently no budgetary provision for these works in the County's highways programmes. Given the development that is to occur in the area in the near future there is potential for the improvement to be funded by developer contribution.
6. Sustainability Considerations
Improvement of the junction would enhance the safety of the community and improve the junction to accommodate future increases in traffic.
7. Carbon Impact Considerations
This scheme will have a neutral impact.
8. Equality Considerations
There are no specific equality considerations
9. Legal Considerations
There are no specific legal considerations
10. Risk Management Considerations
The risk to the County is low. Whilst there are concerns at the layout of the roundabout its design complies with design standards and it is appropriately signed
Three options have been considered for the junction. Maintain the status quo, revert to the original priority junction which was in place pre development or improve the existing junction arrangement.
Reverting to the original priority junction has been discounted due to it being introduced as a condition of planning consent. Such action would reintroduce the issue of visibility from the end of Broadclose Road
Maintaining the status quo would not address the concerns raised at safety audit nor would it be supported by the local community in the long term.
Improving the existing junction arrangement to address the concerns identified by the safety audit would improve the visibility onto and from the junction which would enable the junction to accommodate growth in traffic due to development.
12. Reason for Recommendation/Conclusion
The mini roundabout in its current arrangement has issues that were identified in safety audit and is unpopular with the local community. It therefore considered appropriate that these issues are addressed.
Changes to the layout of the roundabout are expected to cost in the order of 25,000. Funding has not been identified from County highway budgets. However in light of the collision data for the roundabout it may be considered acceptable to maintain the status quo in the short term in the anticipation that funds will become available from developers in the near future to facilitate the improvements to the junction.
Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste
Electoral Division: Barnstaple South
Local Government Act 1972: List of Background Papers
Contact for enquiries: Rhys Davies
Room No. Civic Centre, Room 511, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1ED
Tel No: (01392) 388526
sc/cr/Old Torrington Road
04 hq 030613