Report of the Group Director of Services.
The Cabinet Member with the Local Services Portfolio introduced the report of the Group Director of Services (previously circulated) advising Members of the outcome of a Public Inquiry into objections received as a result of proposed changes to traffic restriction orders in Duke Street, and requesting that consideration be given to proceed with the proposal.
The submitted report stated that the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) had developed the Tees Valley Local Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP) which had identified priority corridors for investment in measures to encourage increased levels of cycling and walking; for Darlington the first priority was the West Park and Faverdale to Darlington Town Centre route; the first phase provided the route nearest to the town centre connecting the Woodland Road/Hollyhurst Road junction to the town centre via Woodland Road, Outram Street and Duke Street; the Woodland Road section was currently under construction; and that objections had been received to the Duke Street section.
It was reported that officers went through an extensive process of consultation and scheme revision to reach the design of the scheme; consultation was initiated by TVCA in December 2020, supplemented by additional local consultation with more than 800 properties and businesses; a total of 150 responses were received to the online questionnaire; overall the results were very positive; the original design was amended to address some of the issues raised in the consultation; and that the revised plans were subject to further consultation in April 2021. The legal orders required to amend the waiting, parking and moving restrictions parts of the scheme were consulted on in May 2021.
The amended Traffic Regulation Order was statutorily advertised; three formal objections were received which necessitated a Public Inquiry; the Public Inquiry took place on 30 March 2022 and was adjudicated by the Planning Inspectorate who considered the three formal objections to the order together with three further written objections that were triggered following the notification of the enquiry being published and one verbal objection at the inquiry; and that the recommendation of the Inspector, was that that the order could be made with some minor additions and amendments and that by inference the objections should be set aside.
Particular reference was made at the meeting to the current markings and signage on Duke Street, particularly around the Larchfield Street junction, which had caused some issues to motorists. The Cabinet Member with the Local Services Portfolio responded thereon.
RESOLVED – That the outcome of the Public Inquiry, as detailed in the submitted report, be noted, and the objections to the legal order be set aside and officers be authorised to proceed with the proposed changes to restrictions.
REASONS – (a) The scheme complied with Council policy as set out in the current Local Transport Plan.
(b) The Council is committed to providing a safer walking and cycling network to encourage the use of sustainable travel modes.?????