Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1

Received 26 February 2020
From Avon & Somerset Constabulary


Thank you for the details for the propose Portishead Branch Line (MetroWest Phase 1) Order. Below is the response from the Traffic Management Unit of the Avon & Somerset Constabulary. Unfortunately, having been out of the office for a number of months, I only received the documents at the tail end of last week, so my response is slightly ‘off the top of my head’ in order to meet tonight’s deadline for responding. Reference is made in 6.19ES Chapter 16 Transport, Access and non-Motorised Users (Issues, p19) of earlier consultation with the emergency services about access to emergency vehicles during the development and that ‘they had not raised any concerns’. I am not able to recall any previous consultation and was wondering whether you could advise when this was made and, if possible, with whom? In all developments/TROs (whether temporary or permanent), we would always look for access for emergency vehicles where possible or, at a minimum, a suitable diversion with the ability to reach all areas. I note that an area adjacent to Clanage Rd is to be used as one of the storage compounds for equipment, vehicles etc. Although it is unclear exactly size/weight this will entail, I just wanted to confirm your awareness of a 4 tonne weight restriction on Clanage Rd/Rownham Hill? This is for both structural and environmental reasons. Should you require a copy of the TRO, I have one available. Throughout many of the documents, the issue over parking runs as a common thread. I raise the following observations, based on this topic: • I note that there are 2 proposed car park; one of 67 spaces and one of 209 spaces. As a number are being restricted to parking for the disabled, employees of the railway, staff at the Health Centre (potentially) and an undisclosed number for car share users, this effectively brings down the numbers of spaces for general use. Although there may be enough for the 171 projected users in 2021, it will not meet the projected requirement of 235 by 2031 (6.19ES Chapter 16 Transport, Access and non- Motorised Users pt 16.6.5). This will result is an increase in parking on the carriageways around the station, so is not ‘futureproof’. • I acknowledge the local resident consultation which has taken place in relation to the possibility of parking restrictions to tackle to predicted use of the free carriageway parking as opposed to the cost of parking in the designated car parks. I would suggest that this number could be significant but, as highlighted by a number of the residents themselves, the introduction of Double Yellow Lines or similar restricted parking would impact on the spaces available for them too. In practice, our preference would be for a Residents Parking Zone scheme, which would minimise the impact on the local residents. I accept that there is a potential cost to the residents, but is there any possibility of this being subsidised – at least in the earlier stages, to ease the process in? I have grave concerns about the over spill/avoidance of the car parks and the impact on the already restricted roads around the Portishead station area. Any further vehicles would simply displace local residents – or lead to parking in inappropriate locations. With enforcement of parking infringements now decriminalised, the Police are no longer able to deal with such offences, which now fall to the Local Authority. As with any offence, if it is not enforced, it becomes the norm and is routinely ignored, so it may be the Council will need to dedicate resources to this area. • Many of the documents mention the off street parking available to the residents but, for the vast majority of houses in the Portishead area, this is restricted to one space; the fact that all available on road space is taken indicates that the majority of premises have more than one vehicle associated with them. • While the vehicles parked on the road do, indeed, act as a traffic calming measure, the congestion has an impact on larger vehicles accessing the area. I am aware that the Recycling vans and Refuse lorries are occasionally unable to complete their rounds, as they are unable to navigate around some of the corners. The holds true for the local busses too, with the bus operator First West of England recently announcing the reduction in service to Portishead Marina because of the ongoing issues with routes being blocked by parked cars (Bristol Live 24th February 2020). • The potential for an increase in parked vehicles in the surrounding area could also have an impact on abnormal loads. This is identified in point 6.25 of 6.19ES Chapter 16 Transport, Access and non-Motorised users, which mentions the increased problem of HGV manoeuvrability. However, this seems to relate to construction traffic involved in the project. However, increased congestion could have an impact on the regular Abloads attending the area, notably those requiring access to the Marina along Newfoundland Way when moving larger boats, and Harbour Rd, giving access to the Blue Fuchs yard. I note that, despite some potential short term closures, there will be little/no impact of the cycle and pedestrian routes in the construction areas, and that the proposed footbridge in Portishead linking to Trinity School will be suitable for disabled access. I may have missed it amongst the documentation (my apologies) but is there a proposed diversion during the construction of the new roundabout at Phoenix Way/Quays Ave/Harbour Rd? I suppose the ‘obvious’ way is into the Town Centre along Wyndham Way, then Harbour Rd and Newfoundland Way? Could I please have a copy of the Construction Traffic Management Plan, once prepared? And I assume that all Traffic Regulation Orders relevant to the project will be forwarded from the Council to the Police for consultation in the usual manner?