Hampshire County Council

Winchester Movement and Access Plan
Joint Members' Panel

23 October 2002

Easton Lane Traffic Management/Cycle Scheme

Report of the County Surveyor and Director of
Development Services (Winchester City Council)

Item 10

Contact: Nick Richardson, ext 5429

1. Summary

1.1 This report outlines proposals for the Easton Lane traffic management/cycle scheme within the Winchester Movement and Access Plan (WMAP). It is proposed that public consultation be undertaken on the scheme outlined in the report, the outcome of which will be reported to the Panel in due course and implementation programmed.

2. Background

2.1 The Wales Street/Easton Lane corridor has a mixture of residential, retail and employment land uses providing access for local people and a direct link with the M3 motorway/A34(T) at junction 9. To reflect the residential nature around Wales Street, traffic calming measures are in place to reduce traffic speeds and discourage through traffic.

2.2 Pedestrian and cycle facilities are limited. However, part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 23 runs between Basingstoke and Winchester, which would use the Easton Lane route (see attached plan).

2.3 Traffic flow data indicates that around 9,500 vehicles per day use Easton Lane, around 850 in the morning peak hours (July 2002), including heavy commercial vehicles serving the Moorside Road and Easton Lane commercial areas. Accident statistics indicate that there were 12 personal injury accidents in the three year period 1 May 1999 to 30 April 2002, three of which involved cyclists.

3. Outline of Proposals

3.1 Feasibility work has been undertaken to indicate the scope for introducing measures to link established cycle routes with the city centre and improve pedestrian crossing arrangements. Traffic management measures have also been taken into account.

3.2 Dialogue has taken place with Hampshire Cycling and Sustrans regarding the form of cycling measures that would be required.

3.3 A route from Park Avenue to North Walls via the Winchester School of Art and the access road to the police station has been pursued but there are practical difficulties of ownership, security and access at off-peak times. An alternative route would connect with the existing cycle route which crosses North Walls, linking Middle Brook Street with Park Avenue. However, this would require widening of the footway in North Walls and acquisition of parts of the properties at Handy Villas.

3.4 Outside the police station North Walls widens and incorporates several parking bays. It is proposed that this parking be replaced by a two-way cycle route either on-carriageway with a barrier or on a widened footway. People currently using the parking bays could be diverted to Durngate car park or the police car park.

3.5 The North Walls/Durngate Place junction could be revised to slow traffic speeds on the approach from North Walls which currently has no deflection. This would assist pedestrians and cyclists in the Durngate area and discourage the use of the route as an access to junction 9.

3.6 The width of both footway and carriageway is constrained at this point where the River Itchen tributaries are crossed, precluding the creation of a cycle facility if traffic flows are not to be adversely affected. An additional bridge could be provided alongside but this would be costly and create additional problems. It is proposed therefore to direct cyclists onto the carriageway with protection being provided from a revised junction at North Walls/Durngate Place.

3.7 The existing footpath along the eastern bank of the River Itchen has been considered for conversion to a cycle route. However, there are significant constraints of space, foundations, surfacing, drainage and absence of lighting. Land ownership has yet to be determined but it is expected that acquisition would be required. Instead, it is proposed that cyclists remain on the carriageway in Wales Street with measures to increase driver awareness of cyclists. An on-carriageway arrangement would also facilitate cyclists using the Ebden Bridge cycle route to Winnall by turning from Ebden Road.

3.8 The feasibility of an off-carriageway facility was investigated taking into account the gradient of Easton Lane. However, the accesses would require cyclists to give way and the existing footway space is constrained. Again it is suggested for cyclists to stay on the carriageway with appropriate measures to slow vehicles. The gateway feature at the former railway bridge has the effect of creating a pinch point which disadvantages cyclists but the addition of road markings and surfacing would raise awareness at this point. This would preclude costly widening of carriageway and/or footway.

3.9 Beyond the student accommodation at Erasmus Park, Easton Lane is characterised by commercial activity with a greater number of commercial vehicle movements. The provision of an off-carriageway cycle facility is therefore more appropriate from this point.

3.10 A signal controlled `toucan' crossing is proposed to be located between the two junctions, subject to appropriate survey work. This would accommodate cycle movements across Easton Lane and help to slow traffic movements.

3.11 Moorside Road experiences considerable queueing at evening peak times, with traffic unable to access Easton Lane. Two options have been considered including a mini-roundabout and traffic signal control. A mini-roundabout would require land currently used for car parking and to have four arms to accommodate the vehicular access on the south side. Although mini-roundabouts do not cater for cyclists specifically, reduced traffic speeds and reduced entry widths to the junctions would assist cyclists. The alternative of traffic signals could incorporate crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, thus the toucan crossing between the two junctions would not be required. Traffic signals would break up traffic flows and alleviate the Moorside Road egress problem but would be less effective at off-peak times.

3.12 The existing cycle route under and across the M3 junction 9 ends adjacent to Tesco's car park. It is proposed to connect this with an informal crossing of the Tesco access road to the proposed cycle route on the south side of Easton Lane. This would also connect with the footpath between Easton Lane and the Winnall flats which has potential as a more formal cycle route.

3.13 The cycle route through junction 9 would require amendment in order to meet regulations covering shared use routes in terms of gradients, visibility, width and vertical alignment. Measures proposed include staggered barriers to slow cyclists, although the use of this route by pedestrians is limited. Connections would be made with the proposed NCN route to Easton.

4. Summary of Proposals

4.1 The feasibility study recommended the following measures:

4.2 Initial indications suggest that the cost of the above measures could total around £120,000. This accords with the capital programme allocation for the WMAP investment programme in 2003/04.

4.3 A number of issues will need to be resolved, including establishing land ownership in detail, negotiate the removal of the parking spaces in North Walls, dialogue with the Highways Agency over arrangements at the M3 junction 9 and undertaking further surveys.

5. Proposed Consultation Arrangements

5.1 It is proposed that a public exhibition be arranged to take place early in 2003 with a questionnaire and details included on the County Council's website to invite comments. The exhibition could involve the outline concepts and details of individual schemes as appropriate. The views expressed through the consultation will be reported to the Panel in due course.

6. Conclusion

6.1 Pedestrians and cyclists in the Easton Lane corridor experience difficulties resulting from the mixed land uses and through traffic. It is proposed that facilities be created for cyclists and measures implemented to restrain vehicle speeds. This would contribute to the creation of a comprehensive cycle network and reduce the impact of traffic on local communities.

6.2 Feasibility work has been undertaken and it is proposed that public consultation be arranged to take place in 2003 prior to detailed design and implementation in 2003/04.

Recommendation

That the Executive Member for Environment be advised that the outline design be progressed and public consultation on the Easton Lane traffic management/cycle scheme be undertaken.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1.

Published works.

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

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