Petition - Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Crossing Campaign - Lymington

Response from Hampshire County Council, October 2019

Thank you for your petition dated 30 September 2019. We have responded to each of the points raised in turn.

Quay Hill – Controlled Crossing

The crossing of Captains Row from the High Street to Quay Hill has been investigated in recent years. A controlled crossing is not a suitable option for this site for a number of reasons.

  • The intervisibility between pedestrians crossing from both sides of Captains Row is restricted by buildings. For a Zebra crossing option this will mean that drivers travelling towards a crossing will have no view of the pedestrians that will have priority over the road space. In this scenario there is an increased risk of pedestrians stepping into the path of an approaching vehicle that is unable to stop, and the potential for an increase in pedestrian/vehicle collisions
  • At peak times, such as summer market days, there is an exceptionally high pedestrian demand that is continuous. In the case of a Zebra crossing as pedestrians have priority over the road space, drivers would not have a gap to be able to move forward and traffic queues will form
  • The location at which pedestrians cross is too close to the High Street and in this circumstance vehicle detection could not operate effectively and reaction time will be compromised
  • Captains Row is too narrow for two vehicles to be able to pass safely at a stop line, and there is no scope to increase the road width for this purpose
  • Traffic signals will cause confusion for drivers that approach via Gosport Street

Gosport Street - Zebra Crossing

In respect of The County Council have an adopted policy on pedestrian crossings which gives guidance on the circumstances where a controlled crossing facility may be considered further. The criteria adopted takes account of the number of pedestrians crossing and the traffic flow which combined determines the level of crossing difficulty and the need for a facility to be considered. The underlying principle to the criteria is that controlled crossings will only operate satisfactorily if they are used on a regular basis throughout the day as where there are few pedestrians for most of the day drivers may not recognise the crossing in operation and pedestrian safety may be compromised. Conversely where traffic flows are lower then pedestrians can cross comfortably in the gaps in traffic flow. Furthermore, sites do need to be suitable for a controlled crossing and this means also making a technical assessment of available space as well as other factors including traffic speed, visibility, plus junctions and private entrances.

In respect of Gosport Street, there is limited scope to be able to provide a controlled crossing due to the position of vehicle entrances to premises leaving little space to accommodate such a facility. A controlled crossing requires some distance between accesses and junctions to physically accommodate the crossing. This is a requirement of the Department for Transport design guidance and is because traffic exiting close by driveways or junctions will not have enough reaction time and there is a risk that drivers will fail to observe or react to signal changes or pedestrian precedence which compromises pedestrian safety. Furthermore, the pedestrian demand levels at this location are unlikely to meet the numerical requirements for further investigation as a priority. There is currently an uncontrolled crossing point and whilst a Zebra crossing may be viable if the numerical requirements can be met at this location, it is a low priority for investigation at this time.

Railway Station: Bus/Rail Interchange

There is currently insufficient turning space for a bus within the rail station car park without removing car parking space for Network Rail customers. This is a matter for Network Rail who manage the station and car park.

Almansa Way – Footbridge

This is a matter for New Forest District Council who are involved with the delivery of the footbridge.

20mph Speed Limit

In June 2018 a Decision Day report was published highlighting the outcomes from a comprehensive review of fourteen 20 mph “signed only” speed limit pilot schemes across Hampshire, which comprised of a mix of urban, residential and rural village centre areas in the County.

The comparison of before-and-after vehicle speed data recorded for the pilot schemes demonstrated that reducing the speed limits in these areas had very little impact on driver behaviour. Speed reductions were found to be very marginal and in some instances speeds were shown to have increased slightly. The outcome of the report, as agreed by Councillor Humby, was twofold as follows:

  • No further schemes would be implemented, but the existing schemes would be retained
  • Consideration will be given to introducing 20mph speed limits in locations where injury accidents that are attributable to speed are identified, with such proposals assessed in accordance with the current casualty reduction led policy and DfT guidance on setting speed limits

A link to the report on the outcomes of the technical assessment of these pilot 20 mph speed limits(item 4) is provided below.

Captains Row – One-way with Weight Restriction

Captains Row is the most direct route for HGV traffic that is entering the riverside area, avoiding the town centre. In terms of alternative routes All Saints Road has constraints such as a sharp bend where Bath Road meets Kings Salterns Road. The Police use Captains Row for abnormal load routeing due to the constraints on the alternative routes and it is also the main access point for some local businesses. Whilst a weight restriction will not prevent reasonable access, combined with one-way operation there does need to be an alternative route that is suitable.

The viability of enforcing a weight restriction is an important consideration and must be undertaken by the Police as a moving traffic offence. It is a very resource intensive operation as an Officer must observe a HCV travel into and out of the restricted area without legitimate reason to establish whether an offence has been committed. This can present difficulties in some areas where there are many premises that require access as well as residents receiving deliveries. Furthermore, there are limitations on the level of enforcement that can be provided.

Although one-way operation can be helpful in managing traffic flow there are potential impacts that may not be popular in a residential area. One-way systems can often result in increased traffic speeds and reduced driver attention as drivers are more confident that they will not meet opposing traffic. There is the potential for on street parking to increase as there is no need to consider oncoming traffic that will need to pull over to give way. Additionally, residents will have reduced access choices and may need to travel further to access their homes. There will also be an impact on traffic levels on alternative routes and at junctions, and the road safety implications of these changes requires careful assessment. It can also be a deterrent to cyclists unless a contra-flow arrangement can be achieved.

In this case one-way operation will necessitate a reduction in on-street parking to control congestion and ensure that access can be achieved. There will be vehicles that will continue to need to use Captains Row in both directions due to the constraints on the alternative route. Such a restriction could have an adverse impact on local businesses, and resident access, as well as road safety implications due to increased traffic speeds and reduced driver attention. Whilst I appreciate that the arrangement will allow for localised widening of footways there are many factors to consider.

In response to your question regarding how many signed campaign letters we have received in the post, we can confirm that we have had 25.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Rob Humby
Deputy Leader
Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment