I am writing on behalf of Pedals to respond to the above reconsultation. You will note that this response is largely the same as our previous response, as our concerns were not addressed for this reconsultation, nor did we receive any communication outlining the City Council’s thoughts about our response.
We support creating a pedestrianised area in Station Street and also the aim of reducing motor traffic volumes. Having said that, we think the scheme could go further in a number of ways and have some changes to suggest. We emailed Justine Ramowski seeking some clarifications on April 13th, but received no reply. This response is therefore based on our best-effort understanding of the proposals.
Changes in the reconsultation relative to the original scheme
Our original response began with the following:
We support the principle of the scheme: removing the large queues of taxis from the area.
The reconsultation reveals that there are now to be taxi spaces on Trent Street and Station Street. We understand that you have come under pressure from various sides, but nevertheless we think that this represents a step backwards relative to the original plans. Retaining spaces for taxis to pick up passengers is going to add to circulating traffic and idling (polluting) vehicles in the area, which will significantly detract from its amenity as the volume of taxis do currently. The increase in vehicle movements will also detract from the attractiveness of the area as a cycle route, and will therefore continue to keep demand suppressed. Additionally, the taxis will now be circulating through the area where large volumes of pedestrians enter and exit the station after using the bridge. This should be a low traffic area, but now there will be conflict. Removing this problem was one positive aspect of the original plans, and we would like to see it return.
The level of parking
Our major question is: Why there is to be so much parking retained along Station Street? This is where the current cycle storage is. It is the major destination for those cycling to the station, as well as having the potential, if other opportunities are exploited, to form a part of a decent east-west cross-city link. We think that there should be as little motor traffic here as possible, and would ask that most of the new parking is removed. Visitors can park in the multi-storey on Queen’s Road and cross the Footpath 28 bridge over the station to access buildings on Station Street. A limited amount of special-case parking–blue badge, loading, drop off and go and car club–could be retained on Trent Street.
“No loading/No waiting” still permits dropping off. As this is at the train station, dropping off is likely to be a serious problem if permitted. Please make the area “No stopping”. Train station users should be expected to use the newly constructed facility on Queen’s Road for dropping off. For Loxley House, one drop off and go bay could be provided on Trent Street. To the best of our knowledge, Trent House and the other buildings have private car parks that can be used for this purpose. Allowing dropping off will lead to significantly increased volumes of circulating traffic and traffic pulling into and out of the cycle lane, with the attendant risks that this brings.
Dangerous cycle lanes
If the parking is to be retained against our recommendation, then do not install the cycle lanes in the door zone. This is a serious safety risk to those on bikes and we must not construct any more cycle lanes in this fashion. You will find that such lanes are routinely ignored by experienced cyclists and the rest will not be willing to ride in such a lane, being at risk of dooring and having motor vehicles pass close on the other side. We would prefer an arrangement where the cycle lane is on the inside of the parking, and protected by a kerbed buffer zone. This will protect people on bikes from both vehicles pulling in and out, and from occupants opening doors. Loading can take place across the cycle lane as it does across the pavement currently. Priority should be retained (via a level surface) over side road access. To be entirely clear, although we are in no way asking for this (since we want to enable cycling as an option for the greatest number of people and having no facilities would not help with that, especially given the proposed levels of vehicle activity), we would consider no cycle lane an improvement over a dangerous one such as is proposed.
Arrangements at the east end of Station Street
Consider providing a measure, for example a cycle activated signal, for cycles to cross Station Street at the east end. As the plans stand cycles are directed towards the kerb alongside a loading bay, just where they need to be thinking about turning right. The layout does not appear to be self explanatory here. Any arrangement at this end of Station Street needs to tie in with future plans for cycle development along this part of London Road. For example, if there is to be a path up the west side towards BBC island then there will have to be a crossing of Station Street at that point, which should be incorporated into this scheme. Likewise if there is to be a route up Great Northern Close through to Sneinton Hermitage. We will be proposing a site meeting to discuss this particular aspect of the plans.
Delivery access hours
It’s not clear why vehicles are able to travel for “access to off-street premises” westwards along Station Street (west of Trent Street). This is not time restricted as is the access eastwards, and therefore deliveries will be able to occur at any hour, seriously compromising the pedestrianised area. Please revise this aspect of the plans and make this direction “No motor vehicles” or “No entry except cycles”. We suggest providing a loading bay on Trent Street from which the businesses on this section of Station Street can receive goods at any time, with larger deliveries taking place in the permitted hours.