To consider the report of the Executive Director Environment.
The Sub Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Environment.
The Chairman commented that this phase of the scheme finally delivered significant increases in space dedicated to pedestrians who were the biggest users of the junction, and would increase safety for the most vulnerable users which was the primary objective of the projective.
A Member welcomed the proposed changes to the area and expressed disappointment that taxis (even electric ones) were not allowed in the area—even through the sections that were allowable to buses—and queried whether the area’s role as a ceremonial space had been properly taken into account.
The Sub Committee heard that the ceremonial element of the space had been taken into account in respect, particularly, of the Lord Mayor’s Show, and that some of the proposed street furniture was removable. The Sub Committee heard that other ceremonial events were expected to be taken into account for future planning, including Remembrance Sunday.
A Member commented that the proposals were a flagship scheme for the Corporation and suggested that the focus on pedestrians and more greenery was welcome. The Member queried whether a 20% cost uplift was proportionate, referring to it as built-in pessimism.
The Sub Committee heard that the 20% uplift was based on observed inflation in highways projects currently, not inflation generally.
Members suggested that cycle movements and behaviour should be examined in greater detail, and sought clarification on when the 12-month period following completion was to begin.
Members heard that completion referred to construction completion which was expected to be during summer 2023 (so a review would need to have been completed by summer 2024), though peripheral works could continue beyond summer 2023.
Members heard that a clear physical demarcation to facilitate cycle-pedestrian segregation has been planned.
A Member suggested that chicanes might be a useful tool to slow cyclists, together with the other behavioural change mechanisms developed to manage cyclist behaviour.
RESOLVED, That the Sub Committee
1. Agree that any outstanding traffic order objections be considered by the Executive Director Environment in consultation with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman in January.
2. Agree that, depending on issues raised in any objections, the Executive Director Environment take a decision as to whether it would be recommended to hold a public inquiry. (This would be seen as the last resort of resolution)
3. Agree that if, following consideration, it is agreed to proceed that the Traffic Management Orders can continue to be made.
4. Approve the revised project budget of £6,677,930.
5. Note that the total estimated cost of the project (for the base scheme and some enhancement) is now £6.7 million, of which currently £1,090,000 is in the costed risk provision; and agree that as risk decreases and the risk provision is released, the money will be diverted towards the further delivery of the enhancements of the scheme.
6. Agree that the following additional funding is approved to be used to reach the next gateway:
o £394,473 of S106 funding (outlined in appendix 3 – table 3)
o The remaining existing approved Capital funding of £3,415,724 is released (outlined in appendix 3 table 3); and
o The sum of up to £700,000 of Capital funding is also approved to be used (subject to the outcome of the Capital Bid approvals); and
o That all remaining funding from pre-evaluation and up to gateway 5 will be carried forward to reach the next gateway as set out in table 2 of Appendix 3
7. Agree the risk register in appendix 2, with the requested costed risk provision of £1,090,000 to be drawn down via delegation to Executive Director Environment.
8. Take forward Option 1, described in section 4 (subject to the outcome of the statutory consultation of the Traffic Management Orders) to construction.
9. Agree that if the funding Bid for 2022/23 is not successful that the Project budget and costed risk provision be amended accordingly (to £5,977,930 and £390,000 respectively) and that the descoped scheme option, Option 2, be taken forward to construction (subject to the outcome of the Statutory Consultation of the Traffic orders).