What can be done to improve traffic flow, congestion and pedestrian safety in Hardy Street/Maws Lane, Cliff Boulevard & Swingate areas of Kimberley? Initial report.
Neighbourhood consultation – Swingate & Hardy Street/Cliff Boulevard Action Plan – January 2016
– Wednesday 27 January 2016 – between 3pm and 7pm
– Saturday 30 January 2016 – between 10am and 12 noon
Members of the public can meet with myself informally over tea and coffee to discuss the report that has been compiled following a questionnaire being issued last year. Two Kimberley residents – John Sykes of Swingate and Sue Page of Tewkesbury Drive will also be present as they have helped compile the report.
“What can be done to improve traffic flow and congestion, and pedestrian safety in two specific areas of Kimberley: Hardy Street/Cliff Boulevard and Swingate/High Street areas?”
Feedback from neighbourhood consultation – initial report
My name is Richard Robinson and I have been a Borough councillor in Kimberley continually from 1997 to date. In that time many issues have been brought to my attention by local residents ranging from housing and planning issues through to anti-social behaviour, HGV vehicles weight limits and restrictions, parking, transport and regeneration matters. Some issues remain relevant for a while for example anti-social behaviour. Others however have a much longer life span and tend not to simply fade into the background, or even if they do they soon come back to life at relatively short notice.
The following report is in response to long standing and ongoing local traffic related concerns which have been highlighted by numerous individuals over the years, and which continue to blight our community.
At this point I would like acknowledge the work of members of the local community. Lots of people have taken the time to get in touch and for all of the comments I am extremely grateful. I would especially like to thank Ros Broker, Mary McGuckin and
Rev Barbara Holbrook for their support. Additionally, and in particular two Kimberley residents Sue Page of Tewkesbury Drive and John Sykes of Swingate, have given up their time and helped to interrogate the survey data and compile the responses.
In compiling this report we have sought the support of many members of the public. Through our traffic survey we have identified what the main issues are and some thoughts on how they may be resolved.
As a community we need a forward thinking and collaborative plan to tackle these problems which have been plaguing our historic town for years. I know we can create a very positive momentum behind this initiative that involves all stakeholders, and allows us to continue to work together to ensure Kimberley becomes a better place to live and work in, as well as a place that people will want to visit.
Following on from the publication of this initial report I have arranged a number of meetings which the public are welcome to attend. The meetings will be held on
Wednesday 27 January 2016 at Rumbletums, Victoria Street, Kimberley between 3pm and 7pm, and on Saturday 30 January 2016 same venue between 10 am and 12 noon.
The purpose of the meetings is to discuss the initial survey findings, identify next steps/ ways in which we can work to enhance our community’s quality of life by defining and facilitating longer term effective traffic management measures.
This report advocates a different kind of approach to problem solving, a more collaborate and inclusive arrangement which is community-led and which puts the views of local people at the forefront of any changes.
Our aim in publishing this report is to provide a high degree of awareness of the problems and how they affect people, to invite local residents to join the discussions, encourage everyone who is affected to contribute to the development and implementation of a long term plan, and to provide regular updates and promote consultation events.
I hope you can take the time to read the information in this report and feel free to contribute in any way you can.
In moving this initiative forward, we will of course work closely with the statutory agencies and principal councils, as well as our own town council.
Labour Borough Councillor Kimberley
Background and Context to report
Between February and May 2015 last year in particular, some very specific problems of traffic congestion, pedestrian safety and traffic flow were specifically raised with me again by residents in two areas of Kimberley who were frustrated with the lack of any noticeable improvements to long standing problems. Those areas are Swingate and High Street, and Hardy Street and Cliff Boulevard, Kimberley.
For people living in the Swingate area the main problems related to a hold up on Greens Lane near Sainsbury’s which can lead to periods of frustration and delay for residents trying both to enter and exit this area. Swingate is said to be one of the longest and largest cul-de sacs throughout the whole of Broxtowe.
For people living in the Hardy Street/Cliff Boulevard area the main issues highlighted were traffic congestion and other driving related problems, ie drivers frequently mounting pavements, parked vehicles restricting visibility for turning at the top of Hardy Street, frequent congestion in and around Cliff Boulevard.
Due to the volume of concerns that were raised I wrote to residents in both areas in June 2015 asking for their feedback not only on what the problems were, but also what they would like to see done to address the issues. The main body of this report covers the responses I received.
This report is a true reflection of the views and opinions of those people living in these areas, and directly affected by the problems. It is set out in such a way as to allow those reading the report to have a greater understanding of the direct effect of these issues on people’s lives. There is recognition that many of these problems exist in many other parts of the country and the way forward to resolve or minimise the problem is to work closely with multiple agencies, including county, borough and town councils, highways agency, local schools, the police, health facilities, bus companies and public and private sector organisations.
Pages 5 to 8 set out the findings of the traffic surveys in and around Swingate area Kimberley
Traffic Survey – Swingate area
Responses to a letter from Cllr Richard Robinson to Swingate households delivered in June 2015.
Description of problem/contributory factors according to respondents:
- Swingate is effectively a cul-de-sac with two ways in (Greens Lane and High street) but only one exit (Greens Lane). Residents experience delays as traffic builds up on Greens Lane preventing their exit from, and also entry to, Swingate.
- Regret expressed that building of A610 meant that Knowle Hill became a no through road, thus reducing entry and exit to and from Swingate.
- Increase in traffic over last 30 years, new schools/nurseries, bigger Sainsbury’s store.
- Drivers use Kimberley as an alternative route (“rat-run”) whenever there is congestion on M1/A610 and this contributes to overall problem.
- Impatient driver behaviour coming out of Sainsbury’s store and petrol station, and the precinct opposite. Drivers get impatient and just drive out, ignoring people coming down from Swingate, or indeed up to Swingate. Suggested yellow cross boxes would help with this, but would have to be strictly enforced.
- Drivers straddle both exit lanes when leaving Sainsbury’s car park, thus right turners block people who wish to turn left up Swingate. A badly located bollard and poor road markings are the main reason for this.
- Drivers waiting to turn into either the precinct or Sainsbury’s cause traffic to build up. Poor entry/exit design causes this.
- Driver behaviour exiting two nurseries at Swingate/Greens Lane. Cherubs Day Nursery access/exit is abysmal, so many people just park on the road.
- Blind corner caused by high wall at Cherubs Day Nursery – cause of accidents. Also, the corner is almost too tight even for cars, let alone larger vehicles.
- Kimberley school parking problems – parking on blind bend, double yellows, school zig-zags (driver behaviour).
Opinions suggested from respondents regarding improvements
- Leave alone/talk to people to resolve situation/walk more. Not enough – there are serious problems that need tackling.
- Improve pedestrian experience, encourage walking, wider pavements, reduce dog fouling.
- Work with Sainsbury’s to find solution. Alter entrance/exit road markings and remove bollard. Provide space for a bus layby on Greens Lane.
- Work with schools to reduce school run traffic, discuss drivers’ behaviour,
- Scheme to encourage walking to school. Will require safer routes.
Specific suggestions regarding Parking
- Suggest bigger car park at schools. For drop off and pick up, or any car park where non currently exists (ie Swingate Primary School).
- Suggest parking restrictions at schools, double yellow lines to prevent dangerous parking on blind corner. Be wary of this option – double yellow lines outside the school would serious penalise residents.
- Parking restrictions outside both day nurseries. At least restrict to one side only, above the junction.
- Traffic wardens to pay attention to illegal/dangerous on-street parking rather than overstay in car parks.
- Strict enforcement of no parking on double yellows and school zig-zags.
Specific suggestions regarding High Street
- Change High Street to two-way traffic with priority flow given to traffic exiting Swingate. May need a lights system with traffic sensors. If Greens Lane is congested, all traffic from Swingate must use High Street, ie temporary No Entry down Greens Lane will keep junction clear. Also, no right turn into High Street when congestion exists.
- Change High Street to one-way traffic in the opposite direction to what it is now, that is from Swingate towards Church Hill and Eastwood Road. Previous arrangement may be better.
- Do not allow parking on High street and widen High street. Maybe, used to be that way. Most properties do have off-street parking or could park in streets opposite.
Specific suggestions regarding Speed limits
- 20 mph speed limit on High Street. From James Street to Greens Lane?
- 20 mph speed limit on Main Street from Broomhill Road to Nine Corners. Possible but in heavy traffic speed is already reduce and this maybe a problem when traffic is very light.
Specific suggestions regarding Bus stop/pedestrian crossing
- Reposition bus stop/change bus timing point outside Sainsbury’s as this contributes to congestion by blocking vision at Sainsbury’s exit. Maybe Sainsbury’s should give up a little space to enable a layby to be installed on Greens Lane. Also move the bus stop opposite the precinct, since both stops are currently directly opposite.
- Buses waiting at library bus stop causes congestion. This really should not be a timing point.
- Reposition pedestrian crossing at junction of Greens Lane/Main street (just by mini-roundabout) as this contributes to congestion. Crossing is too close to junction. This should be a pelican-type crossing with a repeater advisory control indicator at the bottom of Greens Lane.
- There are too many pedestrian crossings and they interrupt traffic flow. The new crossing on Greens Lane should be a pelican-type with traffic sensing. It does not supplant the bollard “crossing” close to the Main Street junction and simultaneous use of both crossings is a problem when traffic is already busy.
Specific suggestions regarding Road improvements
- A number of big road improvements suggested eg new slip road to A610, new road to Strelley. However, these ideas are then dismissed as causing more problems and too expensive.
Specific suggestions regarding Traffic lights
- Traffic light control of, or instead of, mini roundabout at bottom of Greens Lane. If installed, these would very much have to be traffic volume controlled and could also accommodate pedestrian crossing facilities. The downside could be causing traffic build-up on all approaches. Alternatively, a yellow box junction, possibly with roundabout rules, might be more efficient.
- Traffic light control needed on High Street if open to two-way traffic. Maybe, but proper controls should be implemented to ensure optimum traffic flow in both directions.
Suggested further research and Conclusions
How much of a problem does the fire and ambulance service actually have with Swingate? Probably not so much along Swingate, but certainly around the Greens Lane/High Street junction/corner, especially when cars are parked there.
What are their views?
What are the accident statistics for the area, particularly outside Sainsbury’s?
Is it known as a bad area for accidents? Important topic, but suspect very low and not the real issue.
What do the police think?
What are their views and suggestions?
Could Sainsbury’s mark the two exit lanes more clearly for left and right turners? They must do this, and remove the bollard.
Reposition Sainsbury’s entrance or the precinct entrance. Given the petrol station exit too, there is not much scope moving either the Sainsbury’s or the precinct entrances/exits onto Greens Lane.
Involve Trent Barton:
What are their views? Would they be prepared to move the bus timing point? This is critically important issue and should be strongly pursued with Trent Barton.
Involve the school and nurseries:
Can they work with parents regarding parking?
Could the school encourage parents to allow children to walk to school?
Strict enforcement of parking restrictions around school. But not to the ultimate detriment of local residents.
Many suggestions revolve around changing people’s behaviour including encouraging more walking, more considerate parking and drivers thinking about their behaviour.
A number of respondents suggested changes to High Street including two-way traffic or one-way traffic in opposite direction to currently. This is a key element for Swingate access/egress.
Introduce 20mph zones in Kimberley and Swingate. There is already a 20mph sign-controlled limit on Swingate during school start and finish times. Seems unnecessary at other times. Risk of backing up traffic in the centre of the town. When traffic is heavy, even 20mph is not usually achievable. When traffic is light, 20mph would be an unnecessary constraint.
Pages 9 to 11 set out the findings of the traffic surveys in and around the Cliff Boulevard, Hardy Street, Norman Street, Maws Lane area of Kimberley
Traffic Survey – Cliff Boulevard area
Responses to a letter to these households from Cllr Richard Robinson in June 2015
Problems and the possible solutions
Number one problem by far relates to parked vehicles: Respondents go to some lengths to describe what they see as unsafe, impatient behaviour from drivers. Vehicles mounting the pavement causes concern to several respondents. It is emphasised that parking at school times is a particular problem. Residents are concerned to find a solution as the new houses on the Brewery site will make matters worse.
- Parked vehicles create hazard on Hardy Street, Cliff Boulevard and Maws Lane by restricting visibility making it dangerous to turn right at junctions and by making it difficult for two-way traffic to pass.
Solution: Create more parking space on Cliff Boulevard by doing the following:
- Encourage people to use their own drives/garages. Sensible, but accesses must not then be blocked by others parking on the street.
- Properties on Cliff Boulevard have parking space to rear of properties which is not used – it this was used properly then it would reduce on street parking.
- Align parking slots on Cliff Boulevard at right angles to road to make better use of available space. There appears to be plenty of space for this and it would help reduce parking on the street.
- Create more parking slots on Cliff Boulevard by taking out some of the grassed area.
- Formalised parking bays on Cliff Boulevard, have build-outs with shrubs. However, these could be tantamount to chicanes.
- Widen Cliff Boulevard to allow two-way traffic and a parking lane.
- Solution: Restrictions on parking
- Restrict parking to residents only on Cliff Boulevard and Hardy Street – introduce parking permit system. Should include for legitimate visitors too.
- Restrict parking by extending double yellow lines along Cliff Boulevard to High Spannia, on Hardy Street at its junction with Cliff Boulevard top of Maws lane to Cornfield Road and on lower sections of Hardy Street.
- Enforce no parking on double yellows; police don’t seem bothered about it.
- Allow parking only on one side of Hardy Street (mimic Maws Lane)
- No parking allowed at all outside Hollywell school on either side of Hardy Street.
- Ask parents to use Ascot Avenue or Haydock Close to take pressure off Hardy Street.
- Ask parents to use Golden Guinea Car Park (not possible as it will be new Co-op)
- Encourage children to walk to school.
Other problems identified:
- Cliff Boulevard used as through route from IKEA island to B600
- Solution: Make Cliff Boulevard more like Maws Lane with parking lane and one direction having priority.
- Have 20mph zone on Cliff Boulevard, Hardy Street.
- Reduce speed by making speed bumps more severe.
- Cliff Boulevard used by heavy lorries and coaches
- Solution: Enforce weight restrictions, route coaches another way.
- Make Cliff Boulevard access only.
- Vehicles (4X4s in particular) mount the pavement; creates hazard to pedestrians.
- Solution: Bollards on pavement to prevent vehicles mounting pavement.
- Raise kerbs to make it difficult for vehicles to mount pavement.
Other suggestions made
- Make Hardy Street one-way (downhill) or access only.
- Make Maws Lane one-way (up-hill). Important to avoid Lawn Mills Road being used as alternative downhill option.
- Adopt Parkham Road (currently unmade road); this would allow access onto Hardy Street for Dorchester Road/Tiptree residents. This would take pressure off Cliff Boulevard.
- Link Tiptree Close with Coatsby Road (apparently in original plan for estate) to provide another exit without using Cliff Boulevard.
- Have traffic island at the bottom of Hardy Street at Nine Corners, this would slow down traffic coming into Kimberley and make it easier to exit Hardy Street. This is probably a very good idea in conjunction with a pelican crossing nearby.
- Have speed plateaus made of block paving sets as these have visual impact/change of level to reduce speed.
- Take out speed bumps and chicane on Maws lane and Cliff Boulevard. Congestion is the fault of hesitant drivers.
- Build a new road between B600 and IKEA island.
- Road surface on Cliff Boulevard is appalling, needs resurfacing.
Suggested further research and Conclusions
Get statistics for Maws lane, include exit from Maws Lane onto Eastwood Road, also
Cliff Boulevard, Hardy Street.
What do emergency services think, have they had problems with access?
What do police think about this problem?
Discuss with parents.
As with Swingate area work with the school to resolve parking issues around school drop-off and pick-up times.
Main issue relates to problems caused by parked vehicles, so give this priority,
Speak to residents to resolve parking issues.
Talking to people and changing people’s behaviour is worth a try before road improvements.
Next Steps / Way Forward
I am including in this report some further information which may be helpful in considering the next steps and a way forward for the development of longer term effective traffic management measures within the areas identified in this report.
In 2011 the government introduced the Localism Act which provided new rights and powers, and allowed local communities to shape new developments in their communities (in particular housing). One of these powers allows the local town / parish councils to develop a local neighbourhood plan. The opportunity exists within these plans for the local council to ask the question “what other aspects of living in the town need to be considered?”. Clearly there is a need as part of any neighbourhood plan, to create a series of policies which would address specific current and future traffic management problems, including traffic congestion and pedestrian safety. There is therefore scope to include traffic management issues as part of the development of a broader neighbourhood plan.
I am aware that Kimberley Town Council are currently moving forward on the development of a local neighbourhood plan.
Following on from our meetings in January I would propose to invite the various agencies mentioned in the body of this report to make comment on the contribution they can make to minimise the current problems and how they may contribute to a longer term strategy.
I have no doubt after having studied the information in the report that whilst new policies and close working relationship with many agencies will contribute to reducing the extent of the problem, the real challenge will be in reshaping or changing people’s attitudes and making them more aware of the affects of their behaviour on their fellow citizens.
I hope that that the contents of this report might make people sit up and take notice and that we can introduce an awareness strategy of how small changes in the way people behave can greatly improve the quality of life for many others.
Additional information updated from contact with residents during January 2016
Corner of High Street Kimberley – a number of residents are seriously concerned about people who are parking around the corner from Greens Lane to go into Cherubs Day Nursery – they park on the left hand side near the entrance (dangerous parking) on top of that people are parking opposite on the road and some cars are parked for a whole day. This really must be dealt with as a priority. There is probably a case for double yellows around the Greens Lane/High Street corner on the Cherubs Day Nursery side, as far as the BT exchange entrance. On the other side of the road, any parked vehicle results in traffic being on the wrong side when passing, and also being even less visible to vehicles coming around the bend.
Regarding Nine Corners
A growing number of people are asking about the possibility of a zebra crossing in this area, and additionally I have also had contact from Rev Barbara Holbrook on several issues who writes as follows:
I wonder whether there can be a way of coming down from Swingate and turning
left onto High Street and then down Church Hill? You would still want to
disallow a right turn for people coming up from Sainsbury’s. There would
need to be some priority setting in the short ‘one-way’ stretch to enable
this to happen. This would allow traffic from Swingate to get out of
Kimberley without having to go through the bottleneck on Green Lane and the
Town Centre. As I told you, we once had a bride turn up 25 minutes late
because the traffic was that bad on a Saturday. This would also require a right turn restriction from Swingate into Greens Lane whenever the latter is badly congested. Otherwise, traffic would block the junction making High Street inaccessible.
Re: Nine Corners;
As you know, both Kettlebrook Lodge and our Church Hall have playgroups
every weekday. A large number of families with small children walk to
playgroup, and cross over the road at Nine Corners. The reverse is true for
families with children at Hollywell School – who walk up Hardy Street. When
the school come to perform their Nativity play at Christmas, they have the
police there to manage the traffic. It is also the crossing place for
people using the bus stops. It is a difficult place to cross because of poor
visibility and a poorly defined pavement area by the Brewery gates. I know
that when I cross there, I am never certain about traffic, as there is no
clear distinction about what is pedestrian and what vehicular. Walking on
that pavement with a Guide Dog would be a nightmare. Along with that, the
‘hidden’ nature of the bend (I have congregation members who have been
coming to meetings at my house for years and hadn’t realised that there was
a right angled bend) means that drivers rarely allow for the lack of
visibility and slow down accordingly. The number of minor bumps on that
stretch of the road highlights that (I know of at least four in the last 6
months). This will only get worse as the new houses are occupied on Hardy
Street, and the main access to the Brewery Site development is added
somewhere along that stretch of road, especially as the only plans I have
seen have it between two blind corners. As yet, there has been no major
incident there while I have lived here, but it is an accident waiting to
Ideally, a mini roundabout and zebra crossing would be good, as would
ensuring that the access to the Brewery Site was via the existing gate onto
such a roundabout, rather than further down the road”. Any crossing(s) should be a pelican type and must have traffic sensors so as not to cause undue congestion. Also, a pelican crossing should be located maybe halfway between a roundabout and the bus stop, but certainly not close to the roundabout.