To consider a progress report on road safety measures along Cumwell Lane and Kingsforth Lane.
The Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment introduced the report and outlined that it provided an update on the recommendations made by the Board when it first considered the petition on 11 May 2022. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport welcomed the progress made and noted that the Council had responded to the issues raised with urgency, with road safety on this stretch being subject to ongoing monitoring. He repeated his condolences to the families of the bereaved.
The Chair reiterated that Members of the Board should not refer to details of the inquests currently before the Coroner.
The report detailed road safety improvements which had been undertaken on Cumwell Lane and Kingsforth Lane over previous years. These measures included vehicle activated signs; improved signage; carriageway resurfacing; replacement of road studs and improvement to visibility.
At its meeting in May 2022, the Board endorsed the measures outlined to improve road safety. Since June 2022, the Council had introduced additional intervention measures which included a 50mph speed limit; replacement signage; drainage improvements; new road marking and reflective verge markers; and clearance of vegetation and detritus. It was noted that the use of an average speed camera was not being proposed at this time. The speed limit had been reduced and this would be monitored.
Clarification was sought if the actions detailed in the report would improve road safety. In response, it was outlined that it was that in officer’s professional opinion, the measures would be of benefit, although there was a caveat that factors such as driver’s behaviour were difficult to mitigate. Officers committed to engage with petitioners to seek their views on the improvements.
The progress made was welcomed. It was noted that at the time of the speed surveys, the speed was reduced to 40mph because of extensive road works. Clarification was sought that additional surveys would be undertaken at points during the year to capture an accurate representation of road use and speeds. It was confirmed that a speed survey would be conducted following completion of the road works.
Clarification was sought if the work would be ongoing on road maintenance and vegetation clearance. It was confirmed that highways inspectors monitor the route daily and defects would be addressed as soon as possible. Feedback from the public was also welcomed. Signage was monitored frequently and landowners were contacted to ensure that visibility was maintained.
It was noted that parts of the road were often affected by mud. It was outlined that problems should be identified in daily inspections. There was a clear line of communication with the landfill site. Ward members were invited to report concerns should they arise.
In response to the question if the speed reduction to 50mph was sufficient, it was outlined that the road would be monitored over the next year. It was noted that the Council was required to follow Government guidance on speed limits. On the basis of available data, there had been a reduction in overall average speeds as a result of the measures taken.
In response to a query about how the Council could be more responsive regarding road safety issues before it progresses to a petition, it was outlined that there were regular reviews of road safety incidents, the outcomes of which are considered alongside national guidance. It was also noted that there was a neighbourhood programme to provide local feedback on road priorities.
It was stated that the success of these interventions were dependent of changing the culture of how people drive. An enquiry was made to establish if the Council participated in road safety education programmes. It was outlined that the authority was a full, participatory member of the South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership and that there was a comprehensive education programme targeted across all ages and demographics.
A commitment was made to analyse the speed data near to the landfill site to establish if it met the criteria for an average speed camera. It was thought that it was unlikely that the criteria would be met. Further clarification was sought if the Council was capturing data from speed activation cameras. It was noted that there was technology that could read number plates and issue warnings if infractions took place, however, it was thought that there would be a cost attached to this activity.
A request was made to have a ward member update, including details of enforcement activity if available.
1. That the current approach associated with the investigation and analysis of reported Personal Injury Road Traffic Collisions, together with the prioritisation of intervention measures aimed at reducing the number and severity of collisions taking place on the highway network be noted.
2. That further update of progress be submitted to Improving Places Select Committee in 12 months.
3. That a ‘lessons learnt’ report be circulated to members of IPSC and OSMB following the conclusion of the Coroner’s hearing and/or related legal proceedings.
4. That the findings of interim speed surveys be shared with IPSC members in 6 months.