Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection
The Sub-Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection concerning the proposed pilot scheme to introduce an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) access only restriction at the southern section of Moor Lane in April 2019.
The Director of Markets and Consumer Protection introduced the report. It was proposed to postpone the pilot scheme for up to 6 months to avoid confusion with the Mayor of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone. The pilot scheme had been out to consultation with responses received.
A Member said that they were troubled by some of the responses to the consultation, and queried whether the questions posed by Noble & Associates, set out on page 81 of the agenda, could be answered, and whether the scheme represented value for money.
A Member added that the responses to the consultation had been interesting. The proposed postponement was understandable but possible confusion would need to be dealt with eventually regardless, particularly with regards to signage and definitions of ULEV. The Member was not opposed to the pilot scheme but felt there were questions to answer. As the scheme was being postponed anyway, it was suggested that more thought should be put into the scheme and a report brought back to Committee with clearer proposals.
A Member said that the pilot schemes originated through funding from the Mayor of London and one of the key purposes was to remove traffic from Beech Street. If this could not be delivered, then the funding should be returned or rerouted to the Beech Street project.
A Member drew the Sub-Committee’s attention to the response from the LTDA, who raised a valid point about rapid charging points. Not enough of them had been delivered and the Corporation could not insist on electric taxis without sufficient provision. A Member suggested that if the pilot scheme could not be delivered then the funding could be used to deliver the charging points, as residents would need them as well.
A Member added that opposition to the scheme was significant and it needed to be taken further, with perhaps a further consultation if necessary. A Member suggested that another report be brought back to Committee, as better alignment would result in better engagement.
The Director of Markets and Consumer Protection responded to the points raised by Members. The issue had been brought to Committee because of the consultation responses. Officers were pleased with the level of engagement and discussion. A pilot was under consideration for thirty rapid charging points and there was other work being done around this issue. The original intention had been to trial a zero-emissions street but as this could not be delivered a ULEV scheme was considered as an alternative. The Transport Strategy worked towards zero-emission zones and this would be useful for informing that.
There were a number of things that would impact upon the scheme and discussions with taxi groups had taken place. Officers would also work closely with businesses and other local stakeholders. The focus was on promoting the idea and this was all part of the process. Responses to the questions put by Noble & Associates could be provided outside the meeting.
The Chairman then moved that Members consider the recommendations. A Member suggested that there was more work to be done and Members would not necessarily approve the pilot scheme in its current form following the postponement, and suggested the matter be brought back to Committee before making a decision. A Member added that the charging infrastructure was a critical point with wider implications, and it would be premature to make the experimental traffic order at this point. Members needed to establish if the scheme was understood as a priority, as the targets were achievable. A Member added that the next report should include detailed costs.
The Chairman said that it was clear that Members were satisfied with postponing the scheme, but wanted a further report with greater detail on the pilot scheme before agreeing to make the traffic order.
RESOLVED – That the Streets & Walkways Sub-Committee:
a) Agree that introduction of the scheme is postponed for up to 6 months to
avoid confusion with the Mayor of London Ultra-Low Emission Zone and provide additional time for drivers to upgrade vehicles; and
b) Instruct officers to bring a further report on the pilot scheme to Committee, taking account of Members’ comments and responses to the consultation.