Draft sactaf presentation pp v3(1)

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  • Thanks for opportunity to
    present the residents' view of the problem
    explore the issues and options
    present the case for action
  • Large, high capacity vehicles
    Unregulated increase in bus traffic over the years as the School has expanded
    High volume, now over 60 bus movements a day
  • Bus routes converge on Cathedral conservation area
    Densest flows in the narrowest streets
    Ironic that Verulam Road was opened in 1826 to reduce the danger and congestion caused by coaches in the Cathedral quarter
    Another constraint on already limited resident parking
  • Pedestrians include children on the way to Abbey Primary
    Damage to parked cars and congestion leads to altercations with bus drivers
    Intransigent and arrogant stance of the School has led to a stand-off with the local community
  • A majority of residents opposed the scheme citing clear evidence of dangers
    APRA formed, 120 members in 6 months
    The Safety Audit supported these views
    96% of residents responding to the SACTAF Survey reiterated the concern
  • But there we can make some interesting inferences from some of the detailed conclusions
    Note that Romeland is 4.5m wide but Romeland Hill is even narrower at 3.5m
    Solution still urgently needed
    It did not look at the safety of Romeland Hill as a School bus stand, so let's do that briefly ...
  • Pictures taken last week in Spring sunshine
    Tight squeeze with no pavement
    Single file access only
    Imagine the difficulty with 2 to 4 buses to pass
    With any sort of obstruction students will walk between buses and into the road ...
  • Buses are too big for bay even when parked up against wall - even with a tight squeeze for students half the bus extends into road way
    The bay is 2.4m wide, the buses at least 2.5m.
    With space for passenger access half the bus extends into the roadway reducing the available road width from 3.3m to to 2.1m
    This is not enough for commercial vehicles, buses or emergency services which require 3.3 m. The Safety Audit stated that 5.6m is the minimum for two-way traffic with buses
    Romeland Hill is not fit for purpose as a bus stand – it is not a solution, it's an accident waiting to happen
  • Features:
    Dilutes and distribute bus flows outside the Cathedral quarter, and preferably the City Centre
    Provide a better bus stand for the School because Romeland Hill is not fit for purpose
    Are within a safe and reasonable walking distance of the School, ie sustainable
    … preferably with modest costs attached
    5 locations identified
    Holywell Hill was a 6th but disregarded as HCC policy is not to allow main roads to be used – although the School use it – one of many oddities
  • Romeland Hill used a baseline for comparison
    Unsurprisingly, buses designed for mass transit and motorways have difficulty negotiating mediaeval streets
    Romeland Hill is not suitable as a bus stand, either for the buses or passengers – it is too dangerous
    The dual-use bays are 2.4 m wide, the buses 2.5m and with space for passengers to enter /exit they restrict the narrow roadway even more
    Clear and present dangers exist – as reported by residents and as the Safety Audit confirmed
  • The two most likely options keep buses out of Cathedral quarter with direct access from main road PSV routes
    Remove over 60 bus movements/day - a bonus, especially given the Council's concerns with pollution in the City Centre
    There is space for buses and passengers, but may need more
    Easy walking routes, which may need some improvement
    The School have started raising funds for new science facilities which may offer Section 106 opportunities to fund improvements to the bus service
  • The walk to School might take 10 – 15 min but with the time saved on the bus journey by avoiding the City Centre and Cathedral quarter traffic this could be easily reduced by 5 or 10 min
    It could be reduced still further with a new bridge and Park entrance to the School
    Or, with a new entrance and access through Council owned land at the bottom of Abbey Mill Lane opposite the Fighting Cocks
    Both would provide safe and sustainable travel to School and keep buses out of the Cathedral quarter and students away from roads
  • … the School's threat to axe the bus service if required to move from Romeland is irresponsible and should be treated as such
  • Clear statement from the School that role numbers are at a maximum and will not be increased unless sustainable travel options are introduced
    While getting started on a solution that dilutes and distributes bus traffic we'd like to see progress Romeland Hill and the Abbey Gateway
    Although the prospect of a dialogue with the School is a welcome change of tune, “actions speak louder than words” so residents expect action or token gestures as part of a PR exercise
  • Despite the HCC view, the Dept for Transport Road Signs Manual has a ready solution to the problem
    It looks like it was drafted with us in mind
    It allows for limited ad hoc exceptions too
  • Actions speak louder than words
    We look forward to working with the School and Council to provide the solutions so urgently needed

Transcript

  • 1. The School Bus Problem Issues and Options Tuesday 18 March APRA and FSRA
  • 2. 2 The Cause … bus sizes and numbers have grown with the School's success … bus sizes and numbers have grown with the School's success
  • 3. 3 School Bus Network … the bus service underpins the School's success by extending its catchment area … the bus service underpins the School's success by extending its catchment area
  • 4. 4 Bus Flow Density … heaviest bus traffic in narrowest streets of Cathedral quarter … heaviest bus traffic in narrowest streets of Cathedral quarter
  • 5. 5 The School Bus Effect  Danger to pedestrians, including children  Damage to parked cars and buildings  Frequent traffic conflicts and congestion  Resident parking restrictions  Increased pollution  Negative impact on Cathedral area character … local residents and businesses are the victims of the School's success
  • 6. 6 The Current Situation  Danger and nuisance from buses is unacceptable  Agreed by Council and School last March  Romeland Traffic Scheme solution proposed  Many residents objected to obvious dangers  HCC Safety Audit agreed, too risky, essentially because ... ... the buses are too large for the narrow streets of the Cathedral quarter
  • 7. 7 Safety Audit Findings  Buses turning out of George St increase risk of collisions between vehicles and or pedestrians … but what about buses turning into George St?  Insufficient road width (<5.6m) in Romeland to allow two-way traffic increases the risk of conflict … but what about George St, Romeland Hill and Fishpool St? ... the risks are the same, the dangers remain
  • 8. 8 Dual-use bay the Solution? For students: no pavement, tight squeeze, single file access, easily obstructed ... For students: no pavement, tight squeeze, single file access, easily obstructed ...
  • 9. 9 Dual-use bay the Solution? For buses: too large for the bays, road obstruction ... For buses: too large for the bays, road obstruction ... For all: it's an accident waiting to happen, unfit for purpose For all: it's an accident waiting to happen, unfit for purpose
  • 10. 10 Alternative Solutions School … bus stand space outside the Cathedral area with an easy walk to School ... … bus stand space outside the Cathedral area with an easy walk to School ...
  • 11. 11 Romeland Hill  Advantage – proximity to School front gate  Bus access – very poor, narrowest streets  Suitability for:  Buses - very poor  Drop-off and pick-up - very poor  Issues:  Dangers remain  Dual-use bay will not help  Conclusion – unfit for purpose … with reasonably foreseeable dangers
  • 12. 12 Westminster Lodge and Museum  Advantages – not Romeland Hill, sustainable  Bus access – very good, avoids Cathedral area  Suitability for:  Buses – excellent  Drop-off and pick-up – excellent  Issues – other users and lighting  Conclusion – much more suitable, at a cost … potential for Section 106 funds?
  • 13. 13 Recap – Cause and Effects Danger to pedestrians Damage to cars and buildings Frequent traffic congestion Increased pollution Adverse impact on Cathedral area Danger to pedestrians Damage to cars and buildings Frequent traffic congestion Increased pollution Adverse impact on Cathedral area
  • 14. 14 More Sustainable Solutions … adds about 5 mins to the journey or nothing with a new Park entrance to the School … adds about 5 mins to the journey or nothing with a new Park entrance to the School
  • 15. 15 Summary  The present arrangements for School buses are unsafe and unfit for purpose  There is a duty of care to the local community and a bus ban is possible  Options are available to dilute and distribute their impact outside the Cathedral quarter  Residents expect the Council to take the lead to provide the much needed solution … in short, a compelling case for action
  • 16. 16 The Way Forward Council to work with the School and others to:  plan, fund and implement a sustainable solution over the next 12 months, starting asap  confirm Section 106 powers will be used in respect of any future School developments  initiate bus stand safety audit in advance of changes to Romeland Hill dual-use bay parking restrictions  introduce “school keep clear markings” at the Abbey Gateway  produce good practice guide for school bus schemes
  • 17. 17 School Bus Prohibition  An order prohibiting buses is likely to be made where country lanes are narrow and inappropriate for buses or where buses are likely to cause a nuisance to residents  Limited exceptions are possible, for example “Except for access to off- street premises”… specifically designed to solve our problem … specifically designed to solve our problem
  • 18. 18 Non Nobis Nati or ‘Born not for ourselves’ The School motto which, as its website states: “embodies the School’s ideal of social responsibility and service to the community and a recognition that privilege must be balanced by obligation”.