The Executive Member for Regeneration and the Director of Regeneration and Culture submitted a report for the Executive’s consideration. The purpose of the report was to seek approval for the proposals to re-allocate road space along the Linthorpe Road corridor (between and Ayresome Street and Devonshire/Cumberland Road) to create protected cycle lanes in both directions.
The proposals planned to extend the provision created as part of phase 1 (Borough Road to Ayresome Street); connecting Linthorpe Village with the town centre. The proposals would see reduced on-street car parking; potentially impacting upon businesses and adjacent residential areas. There were also proposed side road closures, which could be perceived to reduce direct accessibility to parking, loading and bus stop consolidation proposals. The proposed plans were contained in Appendix 3 and were summarised at paragraph 8 of the report.
Consultation had been undertaken on the proposals with all stakeholders, including affected councillors, residents, businesses, bus operators and emergency services. The results of the consultation were largely supportive (see paragraph 12 of the submitted report). A full consultation questionnaire summary was contained at Appendix 6 of the submitted report.
The other potential decisions that had not been recommended included:
<![if !supportLists]>1. <![endif]>Doing nothing - that was not recommended, as it would not have allowed the Council to realise the benefits outlined within the report. That would have had an impact upon the Council’s Town Centre Strategy, Green Strategy and other strategic objectives such as the recently approved Cycling in Middlesbrough; Investment and Future Infrastructure Opportunities report.
<![if !supportLists]>2. <![endif]>Re-assessing the corridor proposals - that was not recommended, as the proposals had been designed using internal and external expertise, identifying the most economic and safe utilisation of space. Any changes to the provision would have had significant implications for delivery, as each element was symbiotically balanced against one another. Any alterations would have deviated away from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) cycle standards and would not have achieved the goals.
That the ambitious, re-allocation of road space to deliver cycle infrastructure improvements along the Linthorpe Road corridor, as per plans contained in the appendix, be approved.
The proposals planned to extend the approved provision as part of phase 1 (between Borough Road and Ayresome Street). That would create an increased seamless cycleway link between Linthorpe Village and the town centre.
The proposals were being recommended as they aligned with a number of Council objectives, namely:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>improving safety along the corridor for all road users, and reducing accidents;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>making the corridor more pedestrian friendly, particularly for those with mobility issues;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>supporting the local economy; improving accessibility to local retail, leisure and services by improving facilities for short journeys to be made;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>reducing congestion along a busy corridor to improve air quality, reduce noise and help to improve the local environment;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>better use of the available space to improve the public realm; giving the space back to people as opposed to vehicles to help the area to look and feel amazing;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>improving public health by reducing pollution, and creating an environment where people could travel actively, and be more likely to want to spend time in the area;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>ensuring the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians) on Middlesbrough Council’s Highway Network; and
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>acting as a statement of intent to echo Government’s ambitions to significantly increase cycle levels and adopt LTN 1/20 cycle infrastructure guidance.
The Council had identified a problem with localised congestion. Building roads and making improvements for cars planned to simply induce further demand for vehicles, and further compound the issue. By developing a suite of alternate mode infrastructure, the Council would be assisting in reducing the issue.
The extension to phase 1 planned to maintain the momentum of what was achievable, providing a platform for further improvements and connectivity across the town. That was in line with the Council’s ambitious proposals to mitigate the impact of economic and housing regeneration and growth, and supported the Middlesbrough Town Centre Strategy and recently adopted Green Strategy.