Bell Road/Highsted Road Traffic
This report provided an update on investigations into traffic and parking issues in Highsted Road, Sittingbourne and the surrounding area.
A Member welcomed the report but questioned whether there were 18 parking spaces available in Bell Road, Sittingbourne as stated on page 14 of the report, as buses parked on both sides of the road. He drew attention to the final paragraph at the bottom of page 21 and advised that many parents also parked in the area at certain times of the day.
A Member said that if vehicles parked on both sides of some of the roads highlighted in the report, the roads would be impassable, and this was not reflected in the survey. He suggested trialling different parking measures for short periods to monitor their effectiveness and impact on other roads within the area. He advised that he had been liaising with the Swale Clinical Commissioning Group as 10 additional parking spaces had been identified within the grounds of the Memorial Hospital. He said that Fulston Manor School were in helpful communication, but Highsted Grammar School did not wish to consider increasing car parking for teachers or sixth form pupils within the grounds of the school. Lastly, he drew attention to the Local Plan Transport scheme consultation which was programmed for September 2018, and gave choices of one-way options for Highsted Road, Sittingbourne and alterations to the junction of Highsted Road/Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne.
In the discussion that followed, the following points were raised:
· Inconsistency in the numbers and percentages in several graphs on the parking survey;
· figures were confusing;
· supported trial measures and the liaison of officers, Ward and Kent County Council (KCC) Members and main stakeholders;
· the area up to the Northwood Drive shops should be included;
· stressed the importance of infrastructure before new development; and
· highlighted the impact the transformation of Accident and Emergency Services might have on traffic in the future.
A Member thanked the National Health Service for their cooperation in monitoring traffic flows in and out of the Memorial Hospital.
The Head of Commissioning and Customer Contact agreed to follow up and provide more clarification on the issues raised and said that there would be liaison with KCC on actions going forward. He added that the consultation with bus providers was already under way but so far only one response had been received.
The District Manager advised Members that the proposal to install a footpath at the south end of Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, which had been discussed previously, and had been subject to land ownership issues, was now being considered again and any feedback should be sent to Paul Brand, Schemes Project Manager at KCC before September 2018 when the consultation was planned.
The Chairman reminded Members that the report was for information and for noting only and the Head of Commissioning and Customer Contact agreed to investigate the legalities and responsibilities for progressing any proposals in the future.
(1) That the contents of the report be noted.
(2) That a further report to include a proposal to implement trial parking measures by the relevant authority be brought back to a future meeting if feasible.