North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee
25 March 2014
Traffic Consultation in Braunton
Report of the Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste
Recommendation: It is recommended that the contents of the report be noted.
The report seeks to provide information and results from a public consultation event undertaken in the Parish of Braunton on 2 October 2013. The purpose of the event was to receive views from the local community and identify short, medium and long term aspirations to address traffic management and congestion in the village.
On 11 July 2011 North Devon Council declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). A copy of the AQMA Order and a plan of the designated area located within Caen St have been included in Appendix I.
The Environment Act 1995 places an obligation on local authorities like North Devon Council, to regularly review and assess air quality within their locality. In areas where regular monitoring identifies that air quality levels have been exceeded; the local authority must declare an AQMA and prepare an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP). An AQAP sets out the measures it intends to put in place to improve air quality.
On 4 July 2013, Braunton Parish Council held a public meeting to consider and respond to the recommendations of the draft AQAP for Braunton. Responses to the draft AQAP are currently being considered by North Devon Council before finalising the AQAP. But the comments raised with the Parish Council at this meeting and also the traffic management issues and suggestions identified through the local member for Braunton, were considered together for further public consultation at the event held by Devon County Council in October 2013.
The Devon County Council event on 2 October was held at the Vivien Moon Centre in Braunton between 10am and 8pm. Results and proposals from the event were discussed and agreed with the local member and reported to Braunton Parish Council on 13 January 2013. Results and key actions from the event are detailed in Section 3 of this report.
3. Traffic Consultation Results
The purpose of the consultation event was to receive views direct from the local community and identify community aspirations for future traffic management improvements.
The format of the event was open for any highway issues to be considered and discussed with officers. Responses on the day were recorded using plans, so that comments could be posted and considered by others. And responses were also requested by feedback form so that detailed responses could be made in a confidential manner.
Issues were categorised and presented as short, medium and long term proposals depending on factors like their deliverability, funding opportunities and their impact on the local community. A total 155 responses feedback forms received and the key actions and proposals are outlined below.
3.1 Short term proposals
Short term improvements concentrated on parking management changes within the village. Subject to the legal process required to implement a traffic order, these actions were considered to be a realistic option for delivery in 2014 and funding has been identified to support the outcome of this process.
The parking management changes that are being proposed as a result of this consultation are listed below. Plans for the proposals are included in Appendix II. These proposals have been reported to the parish council for comment on 13 February 2014 and subject to approval by delegated authority will be advertised to consider any formal comments and objections. Other parking management changes considered at the consultation, for on street Pay & Display in the limited waiting bays on Exeter Road and for a dedicated loading bay for Caen Street outside Cawthornes' are not being proposed for advertisement due to the low level of support.
1). Chaloners Road - extension of no waiting at any time.
2). Church Street outside St Brannock' Rooms - no waiting at any time.
3). Lower Park Road - extension of no waiting at any time.
4). Barton Lane junction with Exeter Road - no waiting at any time.
5). Barton Lane junction with South View - no waiting at any time.
6). Barton Lane junction with South Street - no waiting at any time.
7). Gubbins Lane junction with Palmer Close - no waiting at any time.
8). Exeter Road disabled parking bay and changes to limited waiting times.
9). Second Field Lane junction with Burrows Park - no waiting at any time.
10). Caen St Car Park entrance taxi bay.
3.2 Medium term proposals
Medium term improvements concentrated on traffic flow and pedestrian movements in the village centre and through The Square. Any changes to the pedestrian crossing facilities and the current signalised junction will be more expensive to deliver and key issues like the safety of pedestrians and vehicle conflicts at junctions need to be carefully considered as part of any design. Options for improving the capacity of the signalised junction at peak times by using Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Activation (MOVA) to vary the timings of the junction to meet changing traffic demands were proposed in the draft Air Quality Action Plan. From the October consultation there was strong support for a review of the pedestrian crossing on Exeter Road and to consider changing this facility from a light controlled pelican crossing to a zebra crossing and relocating it as far as practicable away from the junctions of South Street and the The Square. Video based surveys have been arranged for March to provide information such as pedestrian demand and desire lines as well as vehicle movements and conflict analysis. This information will be used to help consider options such as the above changes to the Exeter Road crossing and help inform changes to the junction layout and control. The supported changes will need to be considered for potential Local Transport Plan funding and developer contributions (towards reducing their traffic impacts on the A361 corridor).
3.3 Long Term proposals
There is strong feeling in the local community that a bypass between Exeter Road and Saunton Road is the only practical solution to reducing traffic congestion in the village centre. In terms of this consultation exercise the desire for a bypass is recognised. The option for a bypass scheme is seen as a long term aspiration by the community.
A bypass scheme along this route was previously identified. But this scheme was abandoned in 1992 following a planning enquiry. There are considerable environmental constraints to a bypass given the protected status of the historic Great Field and a planning application would be very unlikely to succeed due to English Heritage objections. The route is not shown in the emerging North Devon and Torridge Local Plan.
Funding for this type of scheme in future would need to be secured through the Heart of South West Local Transport Board and have support from the Local Enterprise Partnership. Any scheme would be have to be deliverable in planning terms and directly contribute significantly towards economic growth, for example new housing and employment. There is no scope to consider programming this before 2020/21 at which point its deliverability and value for money will need to be reviewed. Under current priorities and value for money tests it will be challenging to develop a viable deliverable scheme in the future.
4. Financial Considerations
Funding for short term improvements to parking management will be provided through the on-street parking account and developer contributions. Funding for the design of medium term improvements will need to be identified through the Local Transport Plan and consider developer contributions.
5. Carbon Impact Considerations
All measures proposed to improve congestion and tackle air quality will have a positive impact in reducing carbon emissions.
6. Legal Considerations
The lawful implications of the proposals have been considered and taken into account in the preparation of this report.
Traffic Regulation Order changes identified under short term actions will be subject to legal process and consideration of any comments and objections by HATOC.
Medium term proposals will be subject to future programme delivery and individual scheme approval reports will detail any legal issues specifically affecting them.
7. Risk Management Considerations
No risks have been identified.
Options and alternatives raised through consultation with the community, Parish Council were considered as part of this exercise.
9. Reason for Recommendation
The recommendation has been made so that the committee can consider the traffic issues affecting the Braunton community and support future measures and proposals to effectively manage traffic.
Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste
Electoral Division: Braunton Rural
Local Government Act 1972: List of Background Papers
Contact for enquiries: James Anstee
Room No. AB2 Lucombe House
Tel No: (01392) 382690
sc/cr/ traffic consultation Braunton