Report of the Director of the Built Environment.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of the Built Environment in relation to the plans to improve the public realm in Beech Street, the first stage of which requires the removal of traffic. The Director of the Built Environment advised that the Committee was receiving the transport and public realm aspect of the project, and discussions would be taking place between the Chairmen of the Policy and Resources Committee and the Planning and Transportation Committee, and the Deputy Mayor for Transport with the objective of seeking GLA support for the project and to seek assistance in identifying ways in which the project approvals for the traffic can be moved forward faster.
The Chairman noted the length of time for traffic modelling work and asked whether interim measures could be introduced to truncate the process. The Director of the Built Environment explained it was not possible to provide a date on when measures could be introduced as TfL have a fixed audit process which needs to be followed, but officers were looking at whether an abridged model could be considered. In addition, consideration was being given to the eastbound and westbound traffic, the closures of which, would have different implications.
A Member noted the other projects taking place at Old Street and London Wall to reduce traffic and asked whether the City of London Corporation had the opportunity to liaise with the relevant authorities on those schemes, it was added that the westbound traffic caused the most issues at Beech Street and due consideration should be given to this.
Responding, the Director of the Built Environment advised that officers were in communication with both the London Borough of Islington and TfL on the schemes and were providing input. Members were advised that further information would be provided on the Old Street project in due course. With regards to the traffic on Beech Street, the City Surveyor confirmed that introducing a closure for westbound traffic would be more effecting at reducing noxious emissions than an eastbound closure. However, this would in turn cause a greater impact as traffic would reassign over a wider area.
RESOLVED – That the Committee endorse the development of two options for reducing traffic in Beech Street.