FOOPA deputation to T&T ref OPATS 4nov21

Good afternoon, Madame Chair, councillors and officers.

I am here representing the Friends Of Old Portsmouth Association to support this item.

My purpose is to welcome the issue of this report and to thank all those who have worked so hard to complete it despite the multiple challenges of shortage of staff, lack of resources and delays caused by Covid. FOOPA notes that successive Cabinet Members for Traffic & Transportation of different parties have commendably maintained the political impetus, and we appreciate the efforts behind the scenes of our ward councillors. In particular, I wish to highlight the sterling efforts of Mr Steven Flynn in pulling together this report.

There are several benefits:

  • It shows the merits of taking a holistic approach to traffic problems instead of applying short term piecemeal measures that create problems elsewhere.
  • It engages the local community in working with the Council to identify solutions.
  • It encourages outside scrutiny of the approaches, assumptions and assessment tools used by the Council.

When Councillor Ellcombe was the Cabinet Member, he suggested that if the Working Group was successful, it could be a suitable approach to use in other wards in the city. Councillor Fleming continued this policy. The delivery of the OPATS report shows that community engagement is key to success in other parts of the city where residents feel equally strongly that their communities are blighted by the dominance of congestion-creating and air polluting motor traffic.

It is worth recording the context of how this came about.

The first meeting of the working group was over 6 years ago in the Duke of Buckingham public house where attendees could hear and see speeding traffic roaring up and down the High Street and view for themselves the difficulties and dangers for pedestrians to cross the road.

Initial work included several traffic surveys of varying reliability, and these were the catalyst for consideration of the methods and tools used by PCC.

What became apparent were the inconsistencies between how the Council assessed the demand for extra capacity for motor traffic, and how it assessed the need for infrastructure to encourage active travel and protect Vulnerable Road Users. Two brief examples:

  • When PCC Planners consider major developments, they automatically assume growth in demand for driving and so state a case for building more roads. This induces demand – if you build more roads, you don’t reduce congestion, you simply encourage more people to drive!       But when the Council considered requests for pedestrian crossings, the assessment method omitted consideration of potential growth in walking and has merely counted the number of actual pedestrians – thus building the well-known principle of suppressed demand into the model.
  • Similarly for traffic speeds, the meaningful criterion used by the Dept for Transport and the Highways Agency is free-flow speed on the nation’s roads, where periods of traffic congestion are excluded from the calculations. However, the method used by PCC has included periods of congestion where traffic is crawling or even stationary, so lowering the average speed and undermining the case for traffic calming.

Both these models had built in bias against pedestrians. Noting that Local Transport Plan 4 aims to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport, it is evident that for decades PCC has been undermining its own policy of encouraging active travel!

I sense this is changing. I applaud the frankness of officers in recognising that the purely quantitative methods need to be improved and to look at best practice in other local authorities

Besides welcoming the report, it is important to note that much of the information was collected a long time ago. Things are not static.

  • A recent improvement is the welcome School Streets Initiative for St. Jude’s primary school
  • and we also look forward to the completion of the Shipwrights’ Way long distance path, something that should have been done in 2013.

However, besides the long-standing problems of

  • speeding,
  • shortage of safe pedestrian crossing points,
  • parking demand greater than on-street parking capacity,
  • infrequent bus services,
  • sub-standard cycle lanes,
  • Road Traffic Incident hotspots,
  • congestion and risk of gridlock caused by queuing traffic for the Isle of Wight ferry,
  • illegal parking (often on pavements) and
  • unnecessary and illegal engine idling,

new problems have arisen.

  • We fear increased rat-running by highly polluting vehicles whose drivers seek to avoid the Clean Air Zone charges
  • HGV deliveries to the Portsmouth Grammar School cause significant disturbance and hazards to Penny Street and Peacock Lane residents
  • Planning applications assume that the streets in Old Portsmouth have ample capacity to absorb extra parking demand. However, we have noted several flaws in the assessment method recommended by the Planning Department. We look forward to technical discussions with officers ….

To conclude, FOOPA recognises that the delivery is simply one stage and there is a lot more to come including design and public consultation. Please be assured that FOOPA will continue to work with PCC to achieving the LTP4 vision that by “reducing private car journeys where possible, and prioritising everyday walking, cycling and public transport usage, Portsmouth will become a more pleasant, fairer and prosperous place to live, work and visit.”

Thank you very much for your time.

From 26 October. See various closures to allow for crane access for building repairs

TTRO 100 2020 West Street – PN1

Lane closures and pedestrian diversions in St. George’s Road during work on the sub-station.

SSE-STGeorgesRoad-Contra DRAFT St Georges Road 041119 to 081119 Rf 2019-1118

St Georges Road 041119 to 081119 Rf 2019-1118

Park Road/Burnaby Road Signalised Junction Improvements NIGHT WORKS

PHASE 1 The works will start on the night of Monday 21st October under single lane closures allowing traffic to travel only Northbound on Park Road. There will be no vehicular access to Park Road from Anglesea Road, there will also be no access to Burnaby Road from Park Road. The lane closures will be in place until the 18th November when a full road closure will commence. Our working hours will be 8:00pm-6:00am.

PHASE 2 There will be a full road closure of Park Road at night between Anglesea Road and St George’s Road from the 18th November for 5 nights. There will be no access to Gunwharf Quays via Park Road. Burnaby Road will also be closed to allow the resurfacing works to be carried out. There will be clear, signed diversion routes in place. Our working hours for the closure are 9:00pm-6:00am, however Burnaby Road will be closed from 8:00pm-6:00am.

Park Road & Burnaby Road – No Survey

Great South Run

With the 2019 race almost upon us, check out plans for parking and road closures in the document below.

2019 Great South Run

Roundels in High Street

Some of you may have noticed a new set of 20mph Roundels on High Street, near John Pounds Church – a welcome contribution in all our efforts to reduce speeding in Old Portsmouth.

This is a particularly vulnerable section of High Street owing to the close vicinity of the church, schools, pub, elderly care accommodation and the games centre; and where the community has been calling for a road crossing for a number of years.

The new Roundels are a step in the right direction and much appreciated.

Traffic Report 2018, Mike Dobson

This report covers: • Community SpeedWatch (CSW) • Traffic levels • Road safety • Speeding • Parking • Sustainable travel • Air pollution • Area Study • Ferry services

Traffic levels
Unfortunately Pembroke Road and High Street have become a favourite rat-run for Southsea commuters seeking to avoid congestion at the St. Michael’s Gyratory junction (northern end of Hampshire Terrace). Every weekday morning in term time sees long queues in Pembroke Road, sometimes stretching back as far as the Holiday Inn, as drivers wait to turn right into High Street. The most recent reliable radar box survey counted 406 vehicles northbound on a Monday morning 0800-0900 – that is one every 9 seconds, many of which are speeding bringing extra air pollution and noise. At the weekends we are bedevilled by high levels of vehicle traffic whose occupants eschew sustainable travel as they come to enjoy Old Portsmouth’s charm.

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Burnaby Road closures
Burnaby Road closures

Map showing Burnaby Road closures

In the week of 12-19 February Network Rail will be replacing one of the railway bridges between Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour stations. The bridge over Burnaby Road at the junction with Park Road will be closed to all traffic. Diversions for vehicles and pedestrians are shown in the attached plans.  Cyclists will need to follow the vehicle diversions.

2443A Park Road Portsmouth Rev3 Plan 7 Pedestrians

2443A Park Road Portsmouth Rev3 Plan 1 Diversion Overview

Portsmouth City Centre Road Scheme planning application 17/02066/CS3

Objections from the Friends Of Old Portsmouth Association (FOOPA)

FOOPA takes a close interest in citywide traffic matters because transport problems elsewhere in
Portsmouth usually result in detrimental effects in Old Portsmouth. We support PCC’s aims to encourage sustainable travel, reduce congestion and improve air quality. The proposed City Centre Road (CCR) scheme has commendable objectives and may provide some improvements but is flawed on several crucial points that may generate dis-benefits of equal or greater magnitude.

FOOPA input to CCR planning application 12jan18

Portsmouth City Council (Burnaby Road) (Temporary Prohibition of Driving and Waiting) (No.124) Order 2017, Dated: 22nd November 2017

TTRO 124 2017 Burnaby Road – PN1

Result at T&T council meeting Deputation from FOOPA in support of item 4. Camera enforcement of school zig zags.

Despite the submission being after the deadline of midday on the day before the meeting, it was accepted and read out by Cllr Fleming: In this we have managed to demonstrate that FOOPA supports PCC strategy, praised the Parking Service for their efforts to control anti-social and dangerous parking and forcefully made the point that PCC has to do more to curb the relentless increase in motor traffic.

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Mike Dobson, Traffic

First Speedwatch operation in High St Friday 26 June 2015 – welcome road safety initiative by Hampshire Police.
The problems of speeding vehicles with drivers flouting the 20 mph limit are well known. On a busy Friday afternoon the police and community volunteers operated Speedwatch at a location outside the Duke of Buckingham pub.  (see photos) It is emphasised that it is not implied that the drivers of the vehicles in the photographs were breaking the law.

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