Agenda item

CALL IN OF DECISION: APPROVAL OF CYCLE ENFIELD PROPOSALS FOR THE A1010 NORTH

To receive and consider a report from the Director of Law and Governance

outlining details of a call-in received on the Portfolio Decision taken on

Approval of Cycle Enfield Proposals for the A1010 North (Report No.85).

 

The decision that has been called in was a Portfolio Decision taken on 8 August 2019 and included on the Publication of Decision List No: 22/19-20

(List Ref: 2/22/19-20) issued on 9 August 2019.

 

It is proposed that consideration of the call-in be structured as follows:

· Brief outline of the reasons for the call-in by representative (s) of the

members who have called in the decision

· Response to the reasons provided for the Call-in by the Cabinet Member

responsible for taking the decision

· Debate by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and agreement of action to be taken.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the portfolio decision taken by the Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability on-

‘Approval of Cycle Enfield Proposals for the A1010 North.

 

Councillor Georgiou invited Councillor Rawlings to give an outline of the reasons for call-in.

 

Councillor Rawlings stated that there were originally five reasons for call-in but of these only two had been allowed.  Although she had asked the Director of Law and Governance for information relating to this, she had not received a reply and felt she had been denied an opportunity for an additional reason to be accepted.   Councillor Georgiou stated that the Committee is only able to focus on the two reasons that had been allowed.    

 

NOTED

 

Councillor Rawlings set out the reasons for calling in the decision:

  1. The first reason relates to the safety of bus boarders.  A review was being carried out by Transport for London and a recent Parliamentary Inquiry had concluded that shared space had become a major issue for a number of disabled people.  Local Authorities who were designing new schemes involving shared space had been asked to pause such schemes to consider how they could be adapted to enhance accessibility.   Councillor Rawlings said when buses pull-in to a bus point they can lower exit to pavement level and therefore this constitutes a shared surface.
  2. Whilst a review is being carried out by Transport for London and their findings are expected to be given September/ October, any new cycle path works should be deferred.
  3. There is no information given in the report about ‘near misses’ in Enfield that have occurred relating to bus boarders at cycle lanes.
  4. Whilst local authorities must ensure that the public can walk safely on pavements, they also need to safeguard their access to public transport.  For visually impaired people who use guide dogs, problems can occur as training for dogs would involve them stopping at kerb sides - they are not trained to look out for cyclists at shared spaces.
  5. Cyclists are not always aware that they must give way to pedestrians alighting from buses and therefore this is a potential danger.
  6. The second reason for call-in concerns the contractor Ringway Jacobs who have been appointed to carry out the construction works.  Delays and cost overruns had occurred on the A105 cycle lane works under the same contractor.  She felt that a further tendering exercise should have taken place. Delays for previous work had meant that the work took twice the time it was expected to take and barriers in front of premises were in place longer than the two weeks expected.
  7. Councillor Rawlings understands that Ringway Jacobs have acquired a business that carry out modelling work for the cycling schemes as well as the construction works – this would seem to be a conflict of interest.

 

The proposed alternative action requested by the Councillors calling-in the decision was to refer the report back to the Cabinet member to enable further information and justification of the proposals to be provided.

 

Councillor Dogan, Cabinet Member for Environment & Sustainability and officers- Doug Wilkinson (Director of Environment & Operational Services), and Richard Eason (Healthy Streets Programme Director) provided information in support of the decision as follows:

 

  1. The Department for Transport (DfT) had previously requested local authorities pause the introduction of new shared space schemes that feature a level surface, and which are at design stage. Item 6 of the table introduced at para 5.7 provides reference to recent DfT guidance on shared space and explains how features such as bus boarders are not included in the request to pause design. Since the original guidance DfT have also issued a clarification note on this issue.
  2. The main works will be delivered by Ringway Jacobs via the London Highways Alliance Contract (LoHAC). The LoHAC is a cost- effective way for London boroughs to procure a contractor with TfL. Ringway Jacobs is the appointed contractor for our region and it would not be possible for Enfield to change this. If desired Enfield Council could conduct its own tendering process for these works, however, this would be an expensive and time-consuming process that was not considered necessary. This would be the third major Cycle Enfield project delivered via this contract, enabling the ongoing development of good practice and continuity of experience to meet the specific construction requirements of the project. Officers stated that good work was demonstrated by the contractor when the A1010 south, scheme was completed.
  3. The design and build approach, is a recognised way to complete schemes of this type in an efficient way and does not represent a conflict of interest issue.

 

Other issues raised by members and responded to by officers as follows:

 

  1. A member stated that bus boarders appeared to be a clear risk for people who are partially sighted or for those with hearing problems. He wanted to know how many bus boarders there were on the A1010. It was mentioned that a passenger had needed to step back quickly on to a bus when he alighted at the bus boarder and was nearly hit by a cyclist.

Richard Eason said there were approximately 16 bus boarders along the A1010 North proposed route.  The key issue is around the balance of risk. In some places where there is available space it is possible to have a cycle path around the back of a bus stop but it is not always possible to do this.  Cyclists should use common sense and have regard for bus passengers who take priority.  Road designs are used at bus boarders to emphasize this – cycle lanes are ramped upwards and there is a change in road materials used with block paving used to indicate that cyclists must slow down.  It was confirmed that works proposed are not contrary to the DfT shared space guidance and that designs must be approved by TfL.

  1. A member referred to the review being undertaken by DfT and asked for reassurance that any findings from this review would be incorporated into Enfield’s cycling scheme. It was confirmed that they were evolving designs and changes would be implemented for Enfield.  Funding for any changes would be met by TfL, we would not have to rely on council funding for this. 
  2. The nature of the contract with Ringway Jacobs was discussed – Councillor Smith said on a framework such as the LoHAC there are usually several contractors. He asked if there were constraints on us having to continue with Ringway Jacobs especially after complaints relating to their work for the A105 scheme.  Richard Eason explained that Ringway Jacobs is the appointed (by TfL) contractor for our region. A separate tendering process would be required to appoint a different contractor, however, we had to consider whether we would want to restart with someone new. This would mean using new processes and additional costs involved in the tendering process and would not have the economies of scale of the London wide contract. He referred to the benefits of improved understanding from lessons learnt that can be taken forward from one project to the next one.  Richard confirmed that they were happy with the works undertaken by Ringway Jacobs for the A1010 South and were happy to continue with them. The decision had therefore been taken to continue with Ringway Jacobs for the A1010 North project.

 

The summing up by Councillor Rawlings that

  • There is a shared space at bus boarders when buses lower entry to the road surface, cyclists would have to wait in the cycling lane whilst passengers alight, and this is a potential danger.
  • There have been incidents which have not been included in the Portfolio decision report – One cyclist fell over handlebars, and a bus passenger had to get back on to a bus when a cyclist was riding fast in the cycling lane to prevent a collision. Councillor Rawlings said these incidents are on the council website.  Whilst we do have to take into consideration the risks for cyclists, we also need to be mindful of vulnerable people who are reliant on public transport.
  • We should defer work on this scheme until findings are available from the DfT following their review.
  • The works carried out by Ringway Jacobs had not been satisfactory in the past and a different contractor should be considered for future work.

 

Councillor Georgiou said there was a learning curve for both passengers and cyclists when using bus boarders on cycle lanes.  

 

Overview & Scrutiny Committee considered the reasons provided for the call-in and responses provided. Having considered the information provided, the Committee agreed to confirm the original Portfolio decision:

 

‘1. To approve the final design of the proposals for the A1010 North shown on the plans in Appendix A and take all necessary steps to implement the scheme including:

·         Making the traffic management orders specified in Schedule 1 of Appendix C.

·         The design is amended to include an additional loading bay on the A1010, close to the junction with St Stephens Road and the zebra crossing by Freezy Water St George’s school be upgraded to a Pelican Crossing.

·         Implementing the raised entry treatments, flat top speed tables and raised junctions specified in Schedule 2 & 3 of Appendix C.

·         Implementing the Zebra crossings and associated zig-zag markings specified in Schedule 4 of Appendix C.

·         Implementing the ‘Parallel crossings’ and associated zig-zag markings specified in Schedule 5 of Appendix C.

·         Introducing designated disabled persons parking places and all waiting and loading restrictions using the experimental powers provided by S9 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

 

2. To note that Transport for London will be providing funding for the delivery of this project and approve the spend allocation.’

 

Councillors Bedekova, Bond, Boztas, Georgiou, Gunawardena and Lappage voted in favour of the above decision. Councillors David-Sanders and Smith voted against.    The original Portfolio decision was therefore agreed.

 

From this point of the proceedings Councillor Erbil took over from Councillor Georgiou to chair the meeting.  Councillors Bond, Rawlings and Laban left.

 

Councillor Erbil thanked Councillor Georgiou.

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