The Vale of Glamorgan Council has deferred a decision on installing an experimental one-way traffic system along part of Plassey Street and High Street in Penarth which will entail the removal of the roundabout at the junction of the two roads.
The scheme was discussed by the council’s cabinet today but a final decision on the recommended scheme – due to be taken today – has been deferred .
The plan had been recommended by a Project Board which was set up to manage the installation – subject to there being no objections from “statutory consultees”.
The Project Board decided that “the key objective of the project is to improve pedestrian and cyclist movements at Windsor Road/Plassey Street junction, and to create an attractive ‘Gateway’ entrance into the town.”
The project board has looked at 4 possible options for the scheme (all outlined in previously published council report and presented in a pubnlic consultation ) and has settled on “Option 2” as its recommendation.
This option proposes to:-
- Remove the roundabout [ at the junction of Plassey St and Windsor Road]
- Introduce a simple uncontrolled junction arrangement permitting one-way traffic flows eastbound along Plassey Street to its junction with High Street.
- A short section of one-way traffic is also proposed on High Street between Ludlow Street and Windsor Road to simplify turning movements at the High Street and Windsor Road ‘T’ junction.
- Traffic will be able to use Plassey Street or Windsor Road to access Penarth Town Centre, or Windsor Road to exit Penarth via Barons Court traffic signal junction.
- A Toucan Crossing is proposed on Windsor Road immediately east of the simplified junction with Plassey Street to enhance safety and convenience for pedestrians and cyclists.
- The traffic order would also include the creation of a one-way street along High Street
between Ludlow Street and Windsor Road with travel being permitted North to South
- The selection option will – the council report says – “enable enhanced cycle facilities to be provided along Plassey Street over the length of the proposed one-way system”.
There has already been a public consultation on the various proposals for the area which took place from Monday 14th May 2018 to Monday 9th July 2018.
A council report says “Plassey Street is a typical residential terraced street with heavy on street parking, both sides of the road. It has a reasonably steep gradient between the roundabout junction with Windsor Road at its southern end northwards to its junction with High Street. The carriageway is some 9 metres wide and accommodates advisory cycle lanes to both side of the road between the existing on-street parking bays provided
and the running carriageway for vehicular traffic.”
COSTS The partial one-way scheme will cost £65,000 and is being paid for using part of the £1,470,000 Section 106 payment received from the Crest Nicholson, the developers of Penarth Heights – a fund which has also been used on a number of other traffic improvement measures in the town .The estimated cost of implementing the permanent scheme is £1,200,000 should the Experimental One-Way prove to be successful.
SCHEME MANAGEMENT A “Project Board” has been set up to manage the installation project which has decided that “the key objective of the project is to improve pedestrian and cyclist movements at Windsor Road/Plassey Street junction, and to create an attractive ‘Gateway’ entrance into the town.”
ROAD SAFETY In the 3 years from June 2015 to June 2018 there have been 6 road traffic collisions involving personal injury – 2 of which were serious. In 4 of these incidence “driver error “ was a “contributory factor in which the driver “failed to look properly before manoeuvring”. [ The serious collision was associated with an emergency vehicle on call and negligent action to open the vehicle door. None of the accidents over the last 3 years involved pedestrians or cyclists.]
NO 20 MPH LIMIT: In selection a trial of “Option 2” (as outlined above) the Project Board has excluded the 20mph speed limit – an issue which the report says “was raised as a significant concern within the consultation.” This exclusion – the report says – is to allow the concept of a partial one-way system to be tested, “as concerns raised in response to any form of one way system within the consultation are speculative.” There will be further detailed consideration and assessment of the scheme prior to a final decision being.
THE POLICE : The police say that : “Plassey Street is a wide carriageway with parking bays on both sides of the road and cycle facilities. This has the effect of visually reducing the width and contributing to natural traffic calming and mostly compliant vehicle speeds. It is known from previous experience of One-Way schemes that vehicle speeds can increase due to driver’s confidence that no vehicles will be travelling towards them in opposing directions. It is accepted that the proposal will run uphill towards High Street. However, our concern would be that drivers who would be compliant with the speed limit are overtaken by drivers who are not. This could put vulnerable users, in particular cyclists, at risk of being in collision with errant drivers. Modern cars are more than capable of quickly achieving high speeds on uphill gradients.“
The police-also say that “ this proposal could result in higher vehicle speeds in residential areas and therefore the Police would be unlikely to support this scheme”. “There are a number of junctions merging onto both Plassey Street and Windsor Road and vehicle movements onto these roads will be affected. Past experience has shown that unless local residents are supporting this type of scheme there is likelihood that some residents adversely affected by the changes to traffic movements will fail to comply and possibly compromise road safety.”
AIR QUALITY: The council report says “ Whilst it is anticipated that Option 2 will not result in any detriment to the air quality in the area and may even prove beneficial to air quality in the longer term, it has been agreed that as part of the Experimental One-Way system air quality monitoring will be undertaken to fully understand the situation prior to any decision being made to withdraw the Order or make it permanent.”
The decision on the experimental trial traffic order was deferred today by the Vale of Glamorgan Cabinet until later in the month.