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Agenda item

Called In Item: Water End/Clifton Green Review - Reinstatement of Left-Turn Traffic Lane and Chicane Trial

To consider the decisions made by the Executive Member for City Strategy at his Decision Session on 7 December 2010 in relation to the above item, which have been called in by Councillors Watt, Gillies and Hudson and Councillors Scott, Douglas and King in accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution.  A cover report is attached setting out the reasons for the call-in and the remit and powers of the Scrutiny Management Committee (Calling In) in relation to the call-in procedure, together with the original report to and decisions of the Decision Session – Executive Member for City Strategy .

Minutes:

Members received a report which asked them to consider the decisions made by the Executive Member for City Strategy at his Decision Session held on 7 December 2010 in relation to the possible reinstatement of a left turn lane on the Water End approach to the Clifton Green traffic signals, whilst retaining a dedicated cycle lane. The report also set out details of the responses received to the proposal to take forward a chicane trial along Westminster Road and the Avenue.

 

Details of the decisions made by the Executive Member for City Strategy at his Decision Session were attached at Annex A to the report. The original report to the Decision Session – Executive Member for City Strategy was attached as Annex B. The decisions had been called in twice, firstly by Cllrs Watt, Gillies and Hudson, on the grounds that:

 

i)          It ignores the increased traffic levels and congestion caused by not having a left turn lane.

ii)     The impact of extra traffic on Westminster Road.

 

 

And secondly by Cllrs Scott, Douglas and King, on the grounds that:

 

1. The Executive Member misdirected himself in that:-

a - He failed to follow the recommendations of the Councillor Call for Action;

b - He failed to consider whether the consultation was defective;

c - He failed to heed or otherwise take into account the representation made to him at yesterday's Decision Session meeting by Councillor King;

d - He failed to consider re-instating the left hand lane at Water End without a cycle lane, a solution that would have alleviated fears that had been raised in relation to safety at the junction;

e - He failed to honour the commitment he gave at the City Strategy EMAP in October 2008 to reinstate the left-hand filter lane;

f - He failed to consider the point closure of Westminster Road by use of a fixed, rising bollard as an alternative to chicanes;

g - He took into account erroneous information in relation to the A1237/A19 Rawcliffe roundabout and the alleged effects of traffic flow at the Water End/Clifton Green junction from improvements at the roundabout;

h - He failed to heed resident’s views and representations.

2. The Executive Member made a decision on the information before him that no reasonable Executive Member would have made.

Calling in Councillors seek a referral back to the Executive with a recommendation that the left hand lane be re-instated with or without a cycle lane and that officers prepare a feasibility report on the introduction of a rising bollard so as to stop through traffic between The Avenue and Westminster Road.

 

Cllr Watt addressed the Committee on behalf of the first group of Calling-In Members, he pointed out that the removal of the filter lane had not been the correct decision. He requested the reinstatement of this facility to allow the free flow of traffic, prevent gridlock and air quality issues in the area. He pointed out that he wished to promote cycling in the city but not at the expense of the free flow of other means of transport. He went onto suggest that an examination should be made of the cycle route passing across Clifton Green.

 

Cllr King addressed the Committee on behalf of the second group of Calling-In Members. He pointed out that representations for the reinstatement had been resident led following the increase in traffic on Westminster Road/The Avenue. Due to the poor response by residents to consultation by officers, Ward Members had undertaken their own survey which could be independently audited This had resulted in a clear majority of residents in favour of the reinstatement of the left hand lane. He went on to point out that, as the majority of residents were against the introduction of chicanes, the only solution to slow traffic was by the installation of a rising bollard.

 

The Chair referred to the additional comments in relation to this matter received from Cllrs Douglas and Scott, which had been circulated at the meeting.

 

Members were then asked to decide whether to confirm the decisions of the Executive Member (Option A) or to refer them back to the Executive Member for reconsideration (Option B).

 

In response to questions from Members, Officers confirmed that the report to the Executive Member had provided a full and fair report of the situation together with suggested options. The Director of City Strategy pointed out that the consultation undertaken had been both by letters to residents in the area, Ward newsletter and with the option to provide this information on the Councils website.

 

Following a full debate the majority of Members were minded to refer this matter back to the Executive Member for reconsideration, excluding the installation of a rising bollard.

 

RESOLVED:             That Option B be approved and resolutions 4 i) and ii) be referred back to the Executive with a recommendation that they request the Executive Member to:

 

Reinstate the left hand lane with or without a cycle lane on the basis of:

 

i)increased traffic levels and congestion caused by not having a left turn lane, and

ii) the impact of extra traffic on Westminster Road.

 

REASON:                  In accordance with the requirements of the Council’s calling-in procedure and the reasons given for the calling-in.

Supporting documents:

 

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