Highways and Transport

Highways & Transport
Policy RefSourceRejection points/consider for commentsPlain English
CP6 – Managing travel demand (f) enhance road safety  Transport Assessment part 5 (stage one road safety audit)             SK Comments       4200322 SK008 I4 Barkham Road Junction and RTL           Transport Assessment 1     SK Comments         4200322 SK008 I4 Barkham Road Junction and RTLBarkham Road Junction Design is Unsafe Location: Proposed site access on Barkham Road. Summary: Risk of vehicle/vehicle collisions. The visibility splays indicated on the drawings are likely to pass across land which is not within the control of the highway authority, and hence it cannot be guaranteed that they will be unobstructed in perpetuity. Obstructed visibility may lead to vehicles exiting the site into the path of an approaching vehicle on Barkham Road, with a possible risk of collisions and personal injury occurring. Recommendation: It is recommended that measures are taken to ensure that visibility splays remain unobstructed in perpetuity or for as long as the access is operational. This is a recommendation I don’t see how they can achieve and could lead to an ‘in principle’ objection (i.e. doesn’t matter what they do, they can’t overcome it).  This is a real safety issue if sight lines cannot be maintained in perpetuity, and this cannot be achieved if the land is not in council control.  The visibility splays shown for this junction are different for eastbound and westbound.  The visibility is based on 85th percentile speeds from a speed survey.  The speed survey data is: Site 1 – Barkham Road (West) – Northbound/Eastbound 36.5 and Southbound/Westbound 37.2. Site 2 – Barkham Road (East) – Northbound/Eastbound 33.8 and Southbound/Westbound 39.1. As such, visibility splays for 40 mph eastbound (as per DMRB) are shown and splays for 37 mph westbound (as per MfS).  6.21 “The speed survey results provided within Table 2 indicate that a 40mph visibility splay (120m) is required to the east and a 37mph splay (59m) to the west. Consequently, appropriate horizontal visibility splays are shown within Figure 6 in accordance with the observed 85%ile speed” Whilst these visibility splays are correct in the relevant guidance, I cannot see any information as to where the survey sites for the speed data were situated.  They would need to submit these site locations to enable an assessment by highways to be undertaken.  So at present, the safety of this junction through sightline visibility cannot be corroborated.    This map shows an enormous number of trees needing to be removed to get the access road through the estate and to get visibility lines.  This is a TPO’d area. The proposed new access road to the development from Barkham Road is unsafe due to the design’s inadequate visibility.  Excessive speed on Barkham Road means longer visibility lines are required to ensure a safe stopping distance.  The necessary visibility for this road speed cannot be guaranteed as it crosses over land not owned by the council.  Should a private landowner construct something or plant something that obstructs visibility at any point, safe visibility is lost, and collision is likely.  The access road would require TPO’d trees to be removed.       
CP1 – Sustainable development and CP6 – Managing travel demand  Manual for Streets and Living Streets – A Highways Guide for Developers in Wokingham (2019) – Council Website Transport Assessment 1           SK Comments   Transport Assessment 1       LTN 1/20 (Local Transport Note)     SK Comments     Transport Assessment part 3     LTN 1/20               SK Comments       LTN 1/20         Transport Assessment 1     SK Comments   Transport Assessment 1   SK Comments   Transport Assessment 1         LTN 1/20         SK Comments       Transport Assessment 1     LTN 1/20       SK CommentsCycle infrastructure design is not LTN 1/20 compliant (Table 3.2 in MfS). “All development proposals should follow the user access hierarchy whatever the size of the development. This hierarchy is as follows:  Pedestrians Cyclists Public Transport Specialist service vehicles Other motor traffic” “The following documents have been referred to establish relevant guidance in terms of the evolution of the masterplan: • Design Manual for Roads and Bridges – Department of Transport; • Manual for Streets – Department of Transport (2007); • Manual for Streets 2 – Department of Transport (2010); • LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design (2020); and • Living Streets – A Highways Guide for Developers in Wokingham (2019).”  5.13 “ The cycle routes have been designed in accordance with LTN1/20” Factually untrue BH have not followed the hierarchy or LTN 1/20 (except for priority side-road crossings) as stated above and the following evidence will prove that.    6.8 “It is currently proposed that where there are pedestrian and cycle crossings within site, these crossings will be formed of a priority crossing for pedestrians and cyclists and located on a raised table. These would be designed in accordance with Figure 10.6 of LTN 1/20, and a drawing showing an example crossing is shown in Figure 4.”  “Cycle priority crossings 10.4.11 A cycle route crossing a lightly trafficked street may be given priority over traffic on the carriageway by using give-way markings to TSRGD diagram 1003. The cycle track crossing should be placed on a hump, as illustrated in Figure 10.6, but this is not a requirement. A parallel crossing may now be used as an alternative (see Figure 10.7), which also provides a crossing for pedestrians.”  As stated above, LTN 1/20 is about cycle infrastructure that is separate from pedestrian infrastructure, yet BH is referencing LTN 1/20 like it’s a shared space.  By making it a shared space, it’s not LTN 1/20 compliant.    Page 4 shows ‘improvements’ to Barkham Road by putting in cycleways and a crossing on Barkham Road.  The cycle routes they claim comply with table 5-2 of LTN 1/20.  However, they are proposing footway/cycleways (i.e. mixed provision), and the table quoted is for cyclists only.  Paragraph 5.5.3 “Where a route is also used by pedestrians, separate facilities should be provided for pedestrian and cycle movements”. However, away from the highway and alongside busy interurban roads with few pedestrians or building frontages, shared use might be adequate (see Chapters 6 and 8). Such facilities should be designed to meet the needs of cycle traffic, however – including its width, alignment and treatment at side roads and other junctions. Conversion of existing footways to shared use should only be considered when options that reuse carriageway or other (e.g. verge) space have been rejected as unworkable.”  This is not interurban, and we are aiming for a 5-fold increase in cycling by 2030.  No other possibilities have been worked up, so this is therefore not LTN 1/20 compliant.  It also ends suddenly.  It does not get cyclists to a destination.   1.5.1 “There are five core design principles which represent the essential requirements to achieve more people travelling by cycle or on foot, based on best practice both internationally and across the UK.”  and 1.5.2 “Networks and routes should be Coherent; Direct; Safe; Comfortable and Attractive.”   4.61 “The Blagrove Lane Quiet Link provides a connection to Magnolia Way on the northern side of Barkham Road. This provides a Quiet Link to Wokingham railway station via Woosehill Lane, Meadow Road, Murray Road and Oxford Road.”  This is massively circuitous and as such unacceptable, as it won’t be utilised.  Active travel routes must be direct if they are to be attractive to users.    4.62 “Similarly, Oaklands Drive is also a Quiet Link which provides a route to the existing 3m wide footway/cycleway on Molly Millars Lane.”  They have not measured this because it is most definitely not 3m wide and below 2m in some places.  6.32 “To the south of the junction, the east/west on-site footway/cycleway will cross Blagrove Lane around 55m south of the junction (see Figure 8). Due to the narrow carriageway, it will be difficult for vehicles on Blagrove Lane to pass an oncoming vehicle if both drivers give way to pedestrians and cyclists. Consequently, it is proposed for drivers to retain priority at this crossing point over pedestrians and cyclists.” 10.4.11 “A cycle route crossing a lightly trafficked street may be given priority over traffic on the carriageway by using give-way markings to TSRGD diagram 1003. The cycle track crossing should be placed on a hump, as illustrated in Figure 10.6, but this is not a requirement. A parallel crossing may now be used as an alternative (see Figure 10.7), which also provides a crossing for pedestrians.” Not giving cyclists priority at the southern part of Blagrove Lane is unacceptable.  If both have to give way, they don’t have to pass.  Make the road suitable to enable cycle priority as per LTN 1/20.  If we are to get cyclists to choose this as a mode of utility travel, making them stop and having to restart pedalling is not conducive.  We should not be prioritising car drivers.    E10 point 2 “The site is well located to the existing cycling routes promoted through the ‘MyJourney Wokingham’ initiative. It is proposed to complement these with additional measures, including advisory cycle lanes on Blagrove Lane.”   6.4.9 “Advisory lanes should only be used when limitations on the overall space available mean that motor vehicles will sometimes need to enter the cycle lane. Advisory lanes are not recommended where they are likely to be blocked by parked vehicles.”     An advisory cycle lane on Blagrove Lane would be a disaster.  It gives the illusion of making provision whilst making something more dangerous.  And people can park in them.  How does that encourage people to cycle?  The cycling infrastructure proposed is not compliant with the latest statutory guidance (LTN 1/20) except for priority side-road crossings.  Cycling routes should be coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive.  Most of what is suggested are none of these and is particularly not direct; the advisory cycle lane is not safe, and most of what is proposed is shared with pedestrians, which is unsafe and unattractive.  The proposed cycling provision is not attractive and will not encourage people to leave their cars and cycle instead.  The cycling provision proposed does not improve the sustainability of the proposed development and does not meet the council’s climate emergency requirements and the government’s commitment to be carbon neutral. 
         Transport Assessment 1                               SK CommentsGreenway proposal does not contribute to sustainability 5.3 “The ability to deliver a significant off-road part of the Wokingham Greenways Project – Route D, avoiding Doles Lane and Blagrove Lane,. This will go some way to establishing a flourishing green infrastructure framework with a high quality, generally traffic-free multi-user route between Arborfield and Wokingham Town Centre.” E10 “The development will be able to deliver a significant part of WBC’s Greenways Project Route D whilst relocating the route from Doles Lane to an off-road route through the proposed SANG and development to Viking Field. This will remove conflicts with vehicles at this location and provides the key missing link in the Greenway proposal.”  Greenways are designed for leisure travel, not utility travel, and therefore are not part of the sustainable travel network.  It is acknowledged that some will use them for utility journeys, but these journeys will be minimal.  It is also not a direct route, adding that it’s leisure and not utility travel.  Any utility travel will be along short sections of it because of the lack of directness, and the section, in particular, is referred to, doesn’t go anywhere, so is insignificant.  This is a red herring.   The proposed change to the greenway route D does not add benefit to sustainable travel because the greenway is a leisure route and does not provide a direct link between origin and destination. The proposed change to greenway route D is insignificant.   
CP1 – Sustainable development and CP6 – Managing travel demand        Transport Assessment 4         SK Comments         Transport Assessment 1   SK Comments             Transport Assessment 1                     SK Comments                 Transport Assessment 5   Transport Assessment 1     SK Comments           Transport Assessment 1         SK Comments     Transport Assessment 1             SK Comments                     Transport Assessment 1               SK Comments                 Transport Assessment 1   SK CommentsThe design does not improve sustainability through increased active travel. This includes walking route audits.  Routes are assessed on many grounds and given a score:  Attractiveness, Comfort, Directness, Safety and Coherence.  They must score 70% to pass.  Blagrove Lane (Roberts Grove to Doles Lane) scores 38%.  All the rest passed, even if they had very low safety scores! Safety of walking routes is not taken seriously where dangerous routes are still considered suitable.    4.60 “The traffic surveys on Blagrove Lane, shown in Table 2 confirms that Blagrove Lane is relatively lightly trafficked outside of the peak hours.”  This survey demonstrates the safety of this route for pedestrians and cyclists.  However, it doesn’t answer the question, what if you want to travel during peak hours?   6.9 “For pedestrians and cyclists travelling to Barkham Road, there is the proposed Access Road footway; however, as there is no active surveillance and the route will not be lit, it is not anticipated to be the main route for pedestrians and cyclists at night. This route will not be promoted as the main route as there are excellent alternatives lit to the east and west of the development. Therefore, it is proposed that to access the northwest, pedestrians and cyclists would utilise the route through the SANG to Doles Lane, where there are existing houses overlooking the route, and it has street lighting”  Doles Lane is a narrow rat run.  They cannot seriously consider it to be ‘excellent’.  Ultimately they are building the main access road with pavement (and no cycle lane) which is not lit at night.  Suggesting people use the SANG, which is away from natural surveillance from houses and passing cars, is not safe.  This also contradicts what they state about rerouting the greenway to the SANG from Doles Lane!   This includes the Wokingham Cycle Map Extract with Proposed Access Points.  “The site is well located to the existing cycling routes promoted through the ‘MyJourney Wokingham’ initiative.” A recommended cycle route on this map has no bearing on the quality of the route.  These are poor-quality routes, and we have very low levels of cycling in the borough.    4.84 “There are good pedestrian links between the site, Wokingham town centre and other key destinations such as the Mulberry Business Park and the local Lidl store. Similarly, there are quiet cycle links and a 3m footway/cycleway to Wokingham Railway Station and Wokingham town centre.”    The reference to cycle links is untrue.   6.5 “The development will consist of a comprehensive network of pedestrian and cycling routes linking all development parts to Blagrove Lane, Barkham Road, Doles Lane and the new SANG. These routes will be accessible via off-road routes, providing links in all directions of the site and connecting to the existing PRoW network”    Yes, they are off-road. Still, they are shared with pedestrians against LTN 1/20 and then when you get out of the development, you are left on awful roads which most feel unsafe to cycle on.     Table 8 shows cycling distances to places with suggested routes.  It doesn’t take into account the suitability of those routes at all.  Finchampstead Road, for example, is suggested several times as a notoriously dangerous road to cycle along.  EVENDONS LANE / FINCHAMPSTEAD ROAD JUNCTION 3.73 “Over the five years assessed, there were three slight accidents at this junction. These accidents involved the following: • A car turning left collided with the rear of a pedal cyclist cycling along Finchampstead Road. • A car turning right collided with a pedal cyclist cycling along Finchampstead Road. • There are no details as to what happened for this third accident; however, as it occurred at the junction, it likely involved a vehicle turning in front of another vehicle or cyclist.”    This is clear evidence of the inadequacy of this junction and poor cycling provision, which throws all their other claims out of the water.    There is not a single state secondary school within the walking radiuses shown on their maps.  Only private schools.    4.69 “There are no Sustrans National Cycle Network routes in the vicinity of the site.” This should tell you everything you need to know!  Safety of walking routes is not taken seriously, with dangerous routes being presented as safe and usable.  The main access road is being built without street lighting, which is unsafe for pedestrians.  The existence of recommended walking and cycle routes has no bearing on the quality of the routes.  We have poor quality routes, which is why we have low levels of walking and cycling.  Most of the provision for walking and cycling is shared space which is not safe because it creates conflicts between users.  There is no state secondary school within walking distance of the proposed development. 
N/B – this isn’t a planning objection but we need to make people aware of this point.     Transport Assessment 1       SK Comments  Residential roads to remain private 6.16“It is proposed that the main site access, between Barkham Road and the northern Blagrove Lane junction, and the southern link road, between the access road and the southern Blagrove Lane junction, will be adopted. The residential roads and cul-de-sacs will be kept private and managed via an Estate Management Company. The private roads have been designed to adoptable standards, and this will be continued through the future Reserved Matters application.”  This is unacceptable.  Why should residents of these properties (should they be built) have to pay a management company on top of their council tax?  They should be adopted if they’re being designed to adoptable standards.  Keeping roads like this private is just a scam and is not in communities’ best interests.  It’s just another way of making money out of people.  A shameful suggestionKeeping the residential roads as private roads and not handing them over to the Council means residents would be paying money to a management company on top of their council tax. 
CP6 – Managing Travel Demand.  (f) – enhance road safety.   Transport Assessment 1 – 6.50     4200322 SK070 I2 Emergency Access   Living Streets – A Highways Guide for Developers in Wokingham (2019) – Council Website – Also in Manual for Streets   SK Comments     420032 SK014 I7 Blagrove Lane Northern Site Access   4200322 SK015 I4 Blagrove Lane Southern Site Access     SK CommentsEmergency access is unsafe. “It is proposed to provide emergency access to the eastern parcel. This will utilise an existing access point/gateway off Blagrove Lane. The emergency access will be a minimum of 3.8m wide, and vehicular access will be controlled through removable bollards. It will be available for pedestrian and cyclist use.”   This map demonstrates a “3.5m PINCH POINT AT ENTRANCE TO MINIMISE IMPACT ON TREES.”   This document states (under the emergency service vehicle section): “If an independent access is required, this should be no less than 3.7 metres wide and connected to a part of the highway network that is remote from the primary access.”        This means that the 3.5m pinch point is non-compliant and unsafe.     This demonstrates that to access Blagrove Lane south of this junction, “BUILDOUTS WITH A REMOVABLE BOLLARD TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY AND MAINTENANCE ACCESS,”     This demonstrates that to access Blagrove Lane north of this junction “REMOVABLE BOLLARDS TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY AND MAINTENANCE ACCESS”   In other words, emergency vehicles would need to get a key to remove the bollards to access the emergency entrance to the development, should the primary access be blocked.  Not only does this slow emergency vehicles down, but these keys can also easily be purchased by people on the internet. The emergency access route is not wide enough near the junction with Blagrove Lane putting people at risk.  The emergency access route can only be accessed by removing bollards north and south of the access junction.  This slows down considerably the ability of emergency vehicles to get to the emergency, putting people’s lives at risk. 
CP1 – Sustainable development and CP6 – Managing travel demand  Transport Assessment 1 – 3.10 SK Comments   And 5.18 (same document)         SK CommentsPublic transport provision is unsustainable. This document states that “Barkham Road is served by bus routes 3, 93 and 145 which stop within on-carriageway bus cages.”  This is factually incorrect because the 93 no longer exists.   It also then states that “The site also has the opportunity to improve public transport accessibility for both the residents of the site and existing residents who live more than a 5-minute walk away from the current bus stops on Barkham Road. Consultation has therefore been undertaken with Reading Buses to identify the feasibility of diverting bus route 3 through the development. Two new bus stop locations have been identified within the development to ensure that all dwellings are within a 5-minute walk of a bus stop.”  There is no enhancement to the service by diverting because Bus routes should be direct and convenient, not wiggling through developments. This diversion increases journey times for existing passengers and reduces accessibility for residents to the north of Barkham Road   Diversion also doesn’t consider the infrequency of the services on offer.  The Leopard 3 is hourly and doesn’t operate on a Saturday.  The 145 operates one bus each way on a Tuesday only.  So there is no public bus service on Sunday, and only hourly on the other days.  30-minute bus service is what is considered useable.  The cost of providing buses is going up.   This development is not sustainable in terms of public transport because there is no bus service on Sunday and only an hourly service the rest of the week.  Bus service needs to be at least half-hourly to be useable.  Diverting the bus route through the development does not fix the frequency issue.  Diverting the bus route reduces accessibility for other service users (along Barkham Road) and increases journey time making it less attractive and, as such, less sustainable.