Venue: WIlmer Way, N14 7HY. View directions
Contact: Natalie Cole 20 8379 4088 Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Appointment of Chairman and apologies
AGREED Councillor Constantinides act as chairman for the Panel.
NOTED that apologies for lateness were received from David Burrowes, Member of Parliament, and apologies for absence were received from Stephen Tapper, Assistant Director for Planning and Transportation.
Andy Higham, Planning Officer will summarise the planning issues related to the application.
RECEIVED the Planning Officer’s summary of the proposed scheme for application TP/06/2360 – Pinkham Way, N11, to, Connaught Gardens, N13, A406/North Circular Road.
NOTED that Mr Higham, Planning Officer, explained that the scheme was for the implementation of a safety and environmental improvement scheme.
The Council’s assessment of the application will focus on the scheme’s effect on: the environment, traffic on and around North Circular Road, pedestrian safety and local residents’ amenities.
Declarations of Interest
Members of the Council are invited to identify any personal or prejudicial interests relevant to items on the agenda.
There were no Declarations of Interest in relation to the agenda.
1. Julian Jackson, Head of Development Control, will introduce the purpose of the meeting.
2. Introduction of Applicants and their representatives and Officers of the Council.
4.1 The Chairman invited members and officers to introduce themselves.
4.2 Mr Jackson, Head of Development Control, explained that the purpose of the meeting was to provide local residents and other interested parties with the opportunity to ask the applicants and agents representatives questions about the proposals.
4.3 Attendees were encouraged to complete the meeting evaluation forms provided.
Presentation by Transport for London
Mr Jones, Project Manager for Transport for London (TfL), introduced attendees from TfL and Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd.
RECEIVED a visual presentation presented by Mr Jones, copies of which can be obtained from the Committee Secretary (020 8379 4088).
5.1 Main objectives of the scheme
a. Promote safety and security for all road users including new pedestrian crossings.
b. Encourage sustainable transport through improved cycling and walking facilities and bus services.
c. Protect and improve the local environment.
d. Maintain overall traffic capacity.
5.2 Reasons for the scheme
a. Major junctions were overloaded at peak traffic times due to large volumes of commuters and local traffic joining main carriageways.
b. There was a high incidence of accidents due to speeding traffic, conflicting traffic at junctions and vehicles turning into and out of side roads.
c. Bus passengers were being delayed because buses were held up in traffic queues.
d. There were inadequate crossing facilities.
e. Conditions were difficult for other road users such as cyclists.
5.3 Improvements and benefits
a. New junction designs to accommodate traffic flow and safety for pedestrians.
b. Traffic calming measures on side streets.
c. Low noise surfacing on the main road.
d. Reduction in noise and air pollution levels.
e. Properties along the road would be returned to sustainable use.
f. Trees, shrubs and new grass areas alongside the road would be planted.
g. Pedestrian crossings installed at major junctions and footbridges replaced by street-level crossings
h. Tactile paving for people with visual impairments.
i. New bus lanes provided to improve bus journey time reliability.
j. There would be selective road closures and banned turns on and off side roads and dedicated lanes for right-turning traffic.
k. There would be improved signalling, road signs, markings, lighting and anti-skid surfacing in critical areas.
l. Dedicated cycle routes would be placed along the northern side of the road and links with existing cycle networks at each end of the scheme would be provided.
5.4 Next Stages
a. TfL were committed to meeting the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy’s main objectives including regeneration, not increasing the net traffic capacity, providing a benefit to London’s environment, improve safety and conditions for all users and to integrate with local land use planning policies.
b. Complete the design subject to any planning conditions.
c. TfL have allocated £4 million to the London Boroughs of Enfield, Haringey and Barnet for the development of complementary traffic management measures on side streets in the area.
d. Subject to statutory consents TfL aimed to start construction in the Summer of 2009, with a view to complete in 2011 and this part of the A406 North Circular Road would remain open to traffic in both directions throughout the construction period.
Questions from the Panel
NOTED the following questions and observations from members of the Panel:
6.1 Councillor Fallart asked for further information on the timings of construction.
Mr Jones explained that works could start in 2008 if the application was not subject to a public enquiry. Assuming a public enquiry was held in 2008 the works would start in the Summer 2009. Details of timings of construction will be publicised once confirmed.
6.2 Councillor Pipe felt that the scheme did not address concerns to separate local traffic from through traffic with the use of flyovers or underpasses.
Mr Jones stated that the Mayor’s transport strategy was opposed to increasing the traffic capacity of the corridor. However, there would be extra capacity at junctions to cater for displaced running traffic and the pedestrian crossings but no overall new increase of the corridor.
6.3 Councillor Fallart asked how side roads would benefit from the scheme if there would be no extra traffic capacity.
Mr Jones stated that the London Plan was opposed to the creation of extra traffic capacity and extra capacity would attract traffic that would need to arrive by side roads, creating further problems. There would be extra capacity at junctions but no overall net increase.
The scheme was aimed to cut rat running and to keep traffic on the main road.
6.4 Councillor Pipe asked how the new scheme will deal with traffic generated by the 2012 Olympics if it was not going to increase traffic capacity.
Mr Jones emphasised that the Olympics was a one-off event and special measures will be in place at the time.
Mr Hilling (TfL – Transport Department) explained that the side roads strategy included in the scheme would reduce accidents and prevent right-turn movements and would bring traffic back onto the A406 North Circular Road.
6.5 Councillor T. Smith asked what TfL felt were significant benefits of the scheme. Mr Jones said that improvements to safety and the environment were the largest benefits. The scheme would also remove the issue of blighted properties and would regenerate the area. There were a limited number of properties proposed for demolition compared to previous proposals. TfL would submit a planning application to the local authority to deal with other properties in the future.
6.6 Councillor McGregor felt that the removal of the footbridges would increase the risk of accidents involving children going to and home from school.
Mr Jones stated that the current footbridges and subways along the A406 North Circular Road were of poor quality. The proposal was to reduce traffic and a 30-mile per hour (mph) zone would be implemented as well as the installation of a significant number of pedestrian crossings.
6.7 In response to Councillor McGregor, Mr Frost confirmed that all trees on the western side of Telford Road would be retained.
6.8 Councillor Brett highlighted that the proposals involved restricting access onto the A406 North Circular Road at a number of locations. The consequence of this will be to increase traffic along Warwick Road and ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Questions from Ward Councillors
NOTED the following questions and concerns from Ward Councillors.
7.1 Councillor Rodin highlighted that currently traffic on the A406 North Circular Road was so bad that cars were ground to a halt at many parts of the day. He expressed concerns that the movement of traffic would be affected during construction of the scheme.
Mr Jones said that the proposed crossings at junctions would all be linked for a better flow of traffic but emphasised that TfL were not progressing with the scheme for traffic reasons and that there would inevitably be disruption during the construction phase but this would be kept to a minimum.
7.2 Councillor Rodin expressed the importance of agreeing a scheme that was right for all concerned (a comment echoed by attendees throughout the meeting) and that he felt that the pelican crossings proposed would interrupt the flow of traffic.
Mr Hilling explained that the pedestrian crossings would link to the four main junctions involved in the scheme whereas the current pedestrian crossings worked in isolation.
7.3 Councillor Georgiou commented on the scheme’s three main objectives stating that the environmental improvements (such as environmental impacts and Warwick Road becoming a potential bypass for Brownlow Road) mentioned by TfL had not been defined.
In response Mr Jones explained that TfL’s environmental statement set out the benefits and disadvantages of the scheme (available for public viewing – please contact Enfield’s Environment Direct Department (020 8379 4008).
Mr Hilling stated that traffic through Warwick Road would only increase by a very small percentage compared to current traffic in other side roads.
Mr Wise summarised that the environmental impact of the scheme included: a reduction in noise from the road, improved air quality, enhanced ecology with the development of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), trees with preservation orders will not be removed and views from the road will be improved.
7.4 Councillor Georgiou highlighted that one of the current footbridges, whilst not particularly aesthetic, had been erected further to a fatal accident involving a child. He expressed concerns that drivers might not take notice of pelican crossings and that Warwick Road would become a bypass for Brownlow Road.
Mr Jones stated that a feasibility study had shown that a footbridge at Wilmer Way was possible although it would involve the demolition of further properties and would not be visually attractive.
Questions/Views from the Floor
An open session followed including the following comments and questions from local residents and other interested parties:
8.1 Suitability of Scheme
a. The written response from the Bowes Telford Community Action Group (BTCAG) including:
(1)Their support for the widening of Telford Road.
(2)New footbridges in better locations should be provided.
(3) Highworth Road and Warwick Road would have to carry more traffic. The Group felt that no roads should be blocked and all side roads should become left-in and left-out.
b. The area was a mess and the proposals should follow other schemes along the A406 North Circular Road such as the Brent Cross flyover and Edmonton where the main road was screened off.
In response to this comment Mr Jones recognised that uncertainty over the scheme for the A406 North Circular Road had created blight but if the Council agreed the current scheme TfL could later set about redeveloping/regenerating properties in the area.
c. Ms McCartney, London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey, stated that residents perceived that there was a lot of “buck-passing” and emphasised that TfL and LBE needed to work closely together in the forthcoming weeks. She asked what the possibility of amending the scheme to meet residents’ requests was.
Mr Jones stated that LBE and TfL had established a development team who met regularly. In terms of meeting residents’ requests for the scheme to include footbridges, Mr Jones explained that it was possible but there were associated costs and disadvantages.
d. Mr Higham informed members of the public that the consultation period for the A406 North Circular Road proposals would be extended by two weeks. Mr Higham would then raise observations with TfL and if there was a need to alter the proposals there would be further consultation.
e. A resident expressed that he felt that the views of residents had been ignored over the years and that the scheme proposed might improve traffic issues but it was not advantageous to local residents.
Mr Jones stated that the scheme had been proposed based on previous consultations and emphasised that the difference between this and previous proposals was that there was much less land take and fewer demolitions in the current proposal, as previously requested by local residents.
f. A resident expressed that he was pleased about the plan to widen Telford Road but did not feel any other part of the scheme would improve the current situation along the A406 North Circular Road.
Mr Jones explained that in the past sections of the road that had been upgraded to increase capacity had again become congested – increasing capacity was not necessarily the way forward.
g. Mr Burrowes, Member of Parliament (MP) for Enfield Southgate, made the following points:
(1) TfL’s proposals had united many people in opposition. (2) Only a few people had welcomed the scheme, often
expressing that “something was better than nothing.”
(3)Residents were not solely concerned about the road but also about children getting to school safely and ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Close of meeting
NOTED the closing statement of Mr Jackson, including:
9.1 Mr Jackson thanked members of the public and other interested parties and TfL for their attendance at the meeting.
9.2 There was no definite date for the proposal to be considered by the Planning Committee yet as the scheme required consideration in great detail and full consultation.
9.3 The consultation period for the scheme will be extended for a further two weeks.