With the Chairman’s permission, the Committee considered the following two late, separately circulated, urgent items of business:
NORTH – SOUTH CYCLE SUPERHIGHWAY PHASE 2: THE CITY’S RESPONSE
The Committee received a report of the Director of the Built Environment concerning the City’s response to the North-South Cycle Superhighway Phase 2.
The Committee were informed that Officers in DBE had been working alongside colleagues at Smithfield, the SMTA and TfL to finalise proposals to extend their North-South Cycle Superhighway. Officers believed that the revised proposals offered significant road safety benefits and highlighted that 15 of the 17 road traffic injury collisions that had occurred at the Farringdon Street/West Smithfield junction in the past three years could have been prevented if the current proposals were implemented.
However, Members were informed that the SMTA and the Department of Markets and Consumer Protection had expressed concern at the proposed banned left turn into West Smithfield and were requesting that TfL permit this left turn during the main hours of market operation. They felt that a ban on this would unnecessarily increase congestion and traffic around the Market. Officers reported that vehicles turning left into West Smithfield equates to about 25 vehicles per hour during the main market operating hours and that this was considered to be very low.
The Streets and Walkways Sub Committee would be encouraged to support the revised proposals as set out in the report at their meeting next week but to also direct Officers to continue to work with TfL to establish if a timed suspension of the banned left turn was practicable during key market operating times.
The Chairman reported that this Committee would like to see the ban lifted from 9pm – 5am every weekday so as not to disrupt operations at the market. The Committee asked that a resolution underlining this be sent to the Streets and Walkways Sub Committee ahead of their next meeting.
A Member noted that, an average of 25 vehicles per hour (approximately one vehicle every two and a half minutes) using this left turn during the main market operating hours demonstrated that the impact of banning this would be significant.
crossrail urban realm projects: update report – gateway 4 (stage 1) update report
The Committee received a report of the Director of the Built Environment advising Members of the status of the Crossrail proposals for the areas immediately surrounding the three station accesses in the City.
Officers drew Members’ attention to the proposals regarding the eastern side of Lindsey Street, highlighting that there were no significant proposals regarding the west side. Members were informed that the area would experience significant additional pedestrian movement given the development of the Crossrail site, the over-site office development and a separate site development nearing completion in nearby Islington. Proposals therefore involve the widening of the eastern footway to account for this anticipated, additional pedestrian movement. Officers had agreed a compromise with Crossrail to accommodate a formal, 15 metre long, loading bay for market trader use towards the northern end of Lindsey Street. This compromise proposal would now be recommended to the Streets and Walkways Sub Committee for approval at their meeting next week. The SMTA, however, remained dissatisfied with this.
A Member commented on the proposed installation of cycle stands which he felt were unnecessary on the widened footway and could also lead to problems for any large, artic lorries navigating this corner. Officers reported that Crossrail had used computer modelling to demonstrate that a 16 metre refrigerated vehicle could successfully make this turn with the new cycle stands in place. Other Members argued that computer modelling did not take into account the driving capabilities of individuals and shared the concerns raised about the installation of the cycle stands in this location. Officers stated that Crossrail were conscious of the issues in this location and were of the belief that the installation of cycle stands here would deter vehicles from mounting the footway in order to successfully navigate the corner. Concerns about the additional restriction being placed on lorries turning right on the corner in this area were also shared by Officers at the market.
Members were unconvinced by this argument and maintained the view that the cycle stands were surplus to requirements.
Officers assured the Committee that these proposals had not yet been finalised and that more detailed designs were to be produced in the new year. Officers undertook to feed the Markets Committee’s comments in to the Streets and Walkways Sub Committee and any further discussions with Crossrail.