With less than two weeks to go until the end of a public consultation on the city’s first Liveable Neighbourhood Project, we’re urging everyone to have their say.
More than 700 people have already responded to the consultation online, with more attending the many public drop-in sessions that have been held in recent weeks, but we want as many people as possible to help shape this project.
The consultation ends on 11 September.
To encourage people to participate in shaping their neighbourhood, we’re providing some additional information which may help.
The current consultation is only the beginning and the next stage of an ongoing engagement process. It’s an opportunity for everyone to have a say on how this project will look and guide the work going forward. There will be many more opportunities to influence the final design of the scheme.
What is it?
A Liveable Neighbourhood (also known as a Low Traffic Neighbourhood) is designed to create more people-friendly streets by minimising the amount of ‘through’ traffic within it.
Using filters (like bollards, planters and a bus gate) can help prevent rat-running.
But a Liveable Neighbourhood can also free up space for community use, support people’s ability to travel actively through it, increase footfall for local businesses, reduce carbon emissions, congestion and noise, improve air quality and strengthen communities.
We want this project to improve the safety and wellbeing for people in the area.
The ‘creation of healthier low traffic/pedestrianised communities’ was one of the top recommendations from the city’s Climate Assembly in 2020. The council also declared a climate emergency in 2018 and is aiming for the city to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Our Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee initially agreed to pilot a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) in Hanover following a deputation presented by Hanover Action (Group) in June 2020. The area was subsequently extended to include Tarner.
This can help to address issues of rat-running, speeding and traffic on roads with narrow pavements
The introduction of LTN schemes will complement our aim to provide a liveable city for all our residents.
Opportunities to shape the scheme
We carried out a mapping exercise with residents last year to better understand the local issues and opportunities to help shape the design. This was followed by further engagement on two concept options.
We are now at the consultation stage which means that everyone gets to have a say on how this project is designed before installation. This includes all residents, businesses and stakeholders, such as public transport, emergency services and other groups.
The design being consulted on is not final and, taking into account all views and comments, can and will be changed.
We want to provide a scheme that works for as many people as possible, by understanding and trying to address any concerns.
We will analyse the consultation responses and use them to change and adjust the design of the project in a way which meets the needs of as many local residents as possible and the project’s aims and objectives.
We’ll be using what’s known as an ‘Experimental Traffic Regulation Order’, this means that even after construction, we will be able to adjust or make changes within the first six months to ensure it’s working in the best way possible.
Anyone will be able to provide feedback on the during this time.
What about access to homes and businesses?
Everyone will still be able to access their homes and local businesses by any method of transport they choose.
It could mean that those people choosing to travel by car may have to take a different route, which may be longer, but access will remain for all.
Monitoring and assessing the pilot project
Once a final design has been proposed, agreed by a committee and installed, we will be monitoring traffic and air quality in the area, including the boundary edges, such as Elm Grove. We have already begun to install air quality monitors in key areas.
By collecting this data, we can compare it to that gathered before installation to see what impact the Liveable Neighbourhood has had in the area.
This information, along with the views of residents, businesses and stakeholders will all be considered when assessing the success of the pilot.
Will this increase traffic on the boundary roads?
We understand the concerns of some people that the Liveable Neighbourhood will simply shift some vehicle traffic to the boundary roads, such as Elm Grove and Queen’s Park Road.
It is possible that, initially, traffic on these roads will increase. However, research from Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes elsewhere in the country has shown that over time, traffic reduced on boundary roads in most of the schemes (35 out of 50 boundary roads).
Project monitoring will include the impact on the boundary roads. We will also be taking steps to create a safer environment on these roads, including traffic calming measures and tackling pavement parking.
Research shows that Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes do not have an impact on emergency service response times.
Bus gate enforcement
We are aware of questions being raised about the link between traffic enforcement in the city and consultants we have used on the project.
A bus gate is a short stretch of road which only buses and authorised vehicles can go through. Bus gates can be an effective way of improving the reliability of buses as well as easing congestion.
Bus lane CCTV camera installation and enforcement in Brighton & Hove is managed by the council and not by any external company.
All Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notices [PCNs] are issued through CCTV and are reviewed first by council officers within the Traffic Control Centre. Any appeals are also dealt with in-house by our PCN Appeals team and any unsuccessful appeals can then be dealt with independently through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
All income from Bus Lane PCN’s and Parking Income goes to the council, not to any external organisation such as a consultant or a contractor.