To consider the Report of the Executive Director Environment.
The Committee heard that correspondence received on the subject suggesting that a diverse range of views existed, and that a wide and comprehensive public consultation was an optimum way forward.
A Member made the following points:
- option 1 and option 2 are not necessarily in opposition to each other as option 1 could be progressed in parallel with initial work on the area wide approach in the Healthy Streets Plan (option2)
- there is merit in presenting a wider range of options and consulting a wider audience of affected people
- a clearer understanding of phase 2 would be helpful
- modelling might need to be reviewed
- London Wall congestion is more than “sporadic” (paragraph 71), and pollution levels there are likely to get worse
- clarity of signage continues to be an issue
- compliance is problematic at 10%, with a lot of PCNs being handed out.
The meeting heard that the consultation option was a preferred way forward, though issues may emerge from the Healthy Streets Plan in relation to Beech St. The modelling was based on a range of pieces of work completed by TfL and CERC, among others, that would guide further work around traffic reassignment. The meeting heard that compliance is relatively low compared to Bank partly because the scheme has not been in place for as long as the Bank scheme.
A Member commented that the scheme had not necessarily been presented accurately, and that progress had been good.
A Member suggested that there was merit in the Committee having oversight of the outcome of any delegated authority decision.
A Member expressed concern that the evidence presented did not necessarily support the suggestion that there had been “meaningful” air quality improvements (paragraph 116).
The Sub Committee heard that the reduction was significant given background levels and previous levels, and that particulate and NO2 levels had reduced.
The Committee was supportive of another consultation as the best way forward.
RESOLVED, That Members agree that a public consultation be undertaken for a permanent scheme on Beech Street based on the traffic management restrictions of the experiment, bearing in mind that that does not preclude a longer-term approach to managing traffic and addressing air quality on Beech St and across the Barbican and Golden Lane areas through the Healthy Streets Plan that is currently being progressed.
RESOLVED, That Members of the Sub Committee delegate authority to the Executive Director Environment in consultation with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman to approve the (non-statutory) public consultation content and then proceed with the public consultation, and (together with the Projects Sub-Committee):
1. Approve the drawing down of costed risk (£189k) for the risks that have turned into issues
2. Approve an increase in the project budget of £50k available from the 2021/22 capital bid to fund the investigation of occasional culture events on Beech Street
3. Note the experiment findings (as set out from paragraph 33) and conclusions
4. Note the intent to comprehensively engage with the public, user groups and stakeholders on the next phase of the project (Appendix 9).
5. Note that the Barbican Healthy Streets Plan has been initiated which (in the medium term) will work towards delivering an area-based plan to delivering Healthy Streets, managing traffic, and improving air quality in the Barbican and Golden Lane area.