Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transport, Councillor Lynne Stagg provides her latest update on all things parking zones, roads and cycle routes.
Traffic is up, but still about 3/4 of pre lockdown levels. The central routes through the city (Copnor & London Roads) are seeing a return of heavy traffic up to 110% of pre-lockdown, interestingly the M275 is only seeing about 59% of pre-lockdown traffic, indicating that while some traffic has returned, not all (thankfully) of the out-of-city commuter traffic has.
Temporary Road Closures & Cycle Lanes
Although we weren't able to proceed with the proposed temporary cycle lane expansion on Eastern Road as safety issues with the design and the sudden easing of lockdown meant the scheme was no longer practical we have been moving forward with other schemes:
- 'Filtered Permeability' This means closing a road by means of bollards or planters to stop through traffic.
- Castle Road - creating a route from Elm Grove/Kings Road to Southsea Common.
- Canal Walk - creating a safe route through to the city centre.
- Ordnance Row - creating a through route from Winston Churchill Ave via Isambard Brunel Road (which is open only to buses, hackney cabs & cyclists) through to The Hard.
- A 'low traffic neighbourhood' is where removing through traffic in a collection of nearby roads & reduces car traffic on those roads as they are no longer used as a cut-through. This is being planned for Milton in Reginald, Languard & Tredegar roads.
- Temporary cycle lane along Elm Groce and Kings Road
- Temporary traffic lights in Eastern Parade to allow for safe crossing for the increased number of visitors using the seafront.
The locations of these schemes are based on feedback from ward Councillors, cross-referenced with the Local Cycling, Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). Making it easier and safer for people to choose active travel will help reduce traffic volumes, improve health and reduce pollution. Some of these schemes (and the partial closure to traffic of the seafront) are funded using the Emergency Active Travel Fund from the Department for Transport (DFT) and the funding is dependant on some of these temporary schemes continuing for the time being. These present a real opportunity for us to invest in safer, greener travel in this city, something we can all benefit from.
Cycling is slightly down recently from the lockdown peak, but this may be due to weather.
The enforcement of Residents' Parking Zones recommenced on June 1st, with the council residents notifying in advance and issuing warning notices rather than parking tickets (PCNs) in the first two weeks.
Proposed new zones will be going out for formal consultation (zones MG, MI & MH) shortly. This is where residents get to formally vote in favour or against an RPZ for the proposed area. An informal survey was offered to residents in March, just before lockdown - this is where residents tell the council if there is enough support for a parking zone to warrant the council completing the formal survey.
We've had several questions from residents about e-scooters, some in favour of allowing them to be used as an environmentally friendly and convenient transport alternative, some concerned at the use of them at speed on pavements.
The city has applied to be a trial area for these scooters ahead of a government review expected later in the year.
The trial would involve us appointing a contractor to hire out scooters in the city. Only these hired scooters would be permitted on the designated routes. Use of e-scooters that were not hired or ridden elsewhere in the city would remain illegal.
The hire scooters are designed with a speed limit of 12.5mph and can only be hired by someone with a valid driving licence.