BISHOPSTON, COTHAM AND REDLAND NEIGHBOURHOOD PARTNERSHIP
FEEDBACK FROM PUBLIC CONSULTATION OF 11th May – 7th June 2013
There were 23 responses to the consultation carried out in respect of the street improvement works prioritised by the Neighbourhood Partnership and funded through LSTF & Transport Services.
14 of the responses were against the scheme, although 9 of these were signatories to a common pre-prepared form calling for the retention of the street trees and querying the proposed length of the bus boarder.
There was one letter of support from Sustainable Bishopston.
The remaining responses raised specific issues or suggested amendments to the scheme design without indicating a particular view for or against.
The responses received are summarised as follows:
1. The notice board at the new bus stop will block passengers’ view of approaching buses. Move it to a wall or the other end of the shelter.
Engineer’s response: Noted. The position of the Real Time Information (RTI) display and notice board on the plan is indicative at this stage, but would be sited in such a way as to ensure that visibility of oncoming buses, and likewise waiting passengers to bus drivers, was not obscured. We have already successfully installed a 12 line RTI display in a similar position at the bus stop outside @Bristol on Anchor Road. It might be that we need to move the RTI display slightly further South than shown on the plan, but will decide on the exact position when we meet our contractors on site
2. Objection to cutting down the trees/replacing them with smaller specimens.
The money spent on replacing some or all of the trees could be used on other things.
Arboriculture Officer’s response:
It is not felt that it is appropriate to retain the existing trees as they have not developed into good specimens and it is unlikely they ever will.
Irrespective of the current proposals, they have been monitored closely for a number of years with a view to complete removal and replacement when funds allow.
At least one of the mature specimens is in very poor health due to fungal infection, despite outward appearances, and would need to be replaced shortly anyway. Many of the smaller specimens would also have to be replaced in due course due to damage and infection.
The proposal offers the opportunity to establish an equally aged avenue that would ultimately be expected to produce a more attractive street scene. The proposed repositioning of the tree pits back from the kerb edge will reduce the need for, and extent of pruning, thereby allowing them to grow into a more natural shape. In the longer term it will also reduce the need for pollarding, reduce damage to highway kerbs as well as reducing the likelihood of vehicle strikes.
The replacement trees would be of a similar short leafed Lime variety, but one that doesn’t produce epicormic growth as the current variety does – which can be a problem both for the maintenance of the tree and its surface setting. The new trees will be a minimum of 2m-2.5m in height and it’s anticipated that they should produce an early-mature avenue within 5 – 10 years.
The retention of some of the existing trees would detract both from the quality and consistency of height/growth, line and setting of the new specimens, producing (over time) a negative impact on the overall visual amenity of the street scene, although it has been possible to retain one of the younger trees in its current location.
It is therefore recommended that the existing trees be replaced.
3. The scheme does not help to tackle the numerous trade bins on the Promenade.
Engineer’s Response: Noted. It has not been practical to resolve the issue of trade bins through engineering means alone. Whilst the introduction of screens was considered, it is felt that the issues of collective bin usage, storage, collection and enforcement are better achieved through other means. A series of initiatives are being undertaken to try to resolve this issue as a separate project including a move to the use of bag collection rather than large bins.
4. The bus shelter is unnecessary/too big/does not leave room for community based activities
Engineer’s Response: Gloucester Road is a principle arterial bus corridor with a large number of services serving it, which equates to around 25 buses stopping at the Promenade every hour.
It is anticipated that bus use will only increase in future years and this scheme provides us with the opportunity to improve facilities for existing users and the expected, increased patronage in future years. In recent years the Council has been working to reduce the number of bus shelters on The Promenade with the number of shelters being reduced down from 3 to 1 with this latest scheme. Whilst this has provided more kerb space for other uses, the existing operational bus shelter does not now accommodate the number of passengers regularly waiting at this stop. A larger, modern shelter will provide more seating, a nicer, more comfortable waiting environment, improved boarding facilities and a 12-line Real Time Information (RTI) Display.
5. There is no need for a 30m raised bus platform
Engineer’s Response: A raised platform of 30m is required to allow up to 3 buses to use the stop simultaneously whilst still allowing passengers, particularly disabled passengers and those with buggies to board in safety. Currently buses experience great difficulty in aligning successfully with the existing, inadequate 3m raised platform. The longer raised platform, as installed at many other bus stops across the city, will allow all passengers to board and alight buses safely.
The relocation of the operational bus stop to a new position further down The Promenade will also allow for a reduction in the kerb space occupied by the bus stop, allowing more kerb space to be made available for other uses such as parking or loading bays.
6. Restrict the use of ‘A’ boards outside shops as they are a hazard and reduce available footway
Engineer’s Response: The use of ‘A’ boards is solely an educational and enforcement matter and therefore outside the remit of these proposals.
7. The number of cycle racks has been reduced although the stated intention is to provide more.
Engineer’s Response: Noted. The position of cycle racks shown on the design drawing is largely indicative. The intention is to provide more racks on the Promenade although their exact positions can be determined at a later date to coordinate with trade bin management, the new tree positions and the specific requirements of both users and traders.
8. Move proposed disabled parking bay outside the Bread Store to outside Boots
Engineer’s Response: Agreed.
9. Gloucester Road Traders Committee was not consulted on this matter. Have Planning notices been displayed on the street and distributed to local businesses?
Engineer’s Response: The consultation recently carried out was an informal process seeking views about the current proposals. There has therefore been no requirement to post notices as there would be for a statutory consultation regarding the proposed introduction of a Traffic Regulation Order for instance.
Over 200 properties and businesses located on and near the Promenade received the consultation leaflet, design proposal and visualisation of the proposed bus stop as part of the consultation process in May. In addition, the consultation was widely publicised locally through Neighbourhood Forum contacts and views sought through the Bristol City Council website’s Consultation Finder.
The new bus shelter itself does not require Planning Permission although the illuminated advertising unit does. The advertising units on the two existing bus shelters already have Planning Consent and it is therefore unlikely that new Planning Permission will be required for the new shelter which will be situated in place of one of these existing shelters. So, this will result in an overall reduction in the number of advertising units on The Promenade.
10. Concern about eroding pavement to provide parking spaces
Engineer’s Response: The alignment of the footway kerbing will remain unchanged. There is no proposal to provide parking spaces within the existing pavement area.
11. Limited waiting parking will put additional pressure on surrounding streets.
Engineer’s Response: The proposal increases the amount of day time on-street parking by reducing the net bus stop length, consolidating loading bays and reducing the lengths of existing single yellow lines. This should reduce pressure on surrounding streets.
The proposal also provides limited waiting around Sainsbury’s.
12. Missing an opportunity to create a unique, attractive and innovative street space by introducing seats, planters and other features to encourage use of the wide footway. Options include a pocket park, play space, areas for art/performance etc.
Engineer’s Response: Whilst the overall available pavement is adequate for the introduction of additional street furniture, the majority of the space is controlled by the shops as private frontages and are therefore not under the control of Bristol City Council. In addition, if features of this nature were to be proposed as an alternative, the opportunity would be missed to improve the street scene as currently proposed.
There would be no objection in principle to the introduction of such features subject to the approval of road safety considerations, maintenance agreements, appropriate licensing and so on. Further, the current scheme would not preclude the introduction of features to provide an innovative street space should funding become available in the future and the considerations mentioned above are met.
13. Clear the proposed loading bay and limited waiting area at evening rush hour (outbound) to provide an unobstructed cycle route.
Engineer’s Response: Agreed. The proposed loading and waiting restrictions already make provision for this.