ePetition details

Install Pedestrian Crossing at Curo Park, Frogmore

We the undersigned petition the County Council to Install A Pedestrian Crossing At Curo Park Frogmore

Install A Pedestrian Crossing At Curo Park Frogmore
We petition for the installation of a pedestrian crossing to improve the safety of children & parents going to school or work.
Prior to Curo Park & Minster Court being built, the unmanned pedestrian crossing the other side of the river Ver was sufficient. However, the need has changed. Section 106 monies that should have been used for the crossing was returned to the developer.
With the advent of Covid-19 St Albans District Council & HCC have found funds to encourage people to walk. Our children & parents would like to walk safely.
Children & parents cycle, scooter & walk to either the local schools, or to a bus stop. All this entails crossing a very busy road (A5183), with a constant stream of cars & trucks, many travelling too fast
Safety of our children is paramount and should come before any cost constraints.
Please act promptly, before some children or other residents of St Stephen Parish of are killed or injured

Started by: jon breen

This ePetition ran from 13/10/2020 to 08/12/2020 and has now finished.

63 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Thank you for your petition received on 13th October 2020 regarding the installation of a pedestrian crossing at Curo Park in Park Street.

All highways and transport schemes delivered through the Council's core funded programmes are prioritised on the basis of how they meet and contribute to the County Council's priorities as stated in its Corporate Plan and Local Transport Plan. Every year the County Council identifies schemes, and receives significant numbers of requests for schemes; as you can imagine with the growth of Hertfordshire, there are limited resources available and we have to prioritise which initiatives will go forward.

As part of Hertfordshire County Council’s Local Transport Policy, we actively support the creation of built environments that encourage greater and safer use of sustainable transport modes, and support the following:
• Opportunities to reduce travel demand and the need to travel
• Vulnerable road user needs (such as pedestrians and cyclists)
• Passenger transport user needs

The LTP4 policy applies to three areas of transport service delivery.
• Firstly, it applies to the development of transport strategies to reduce travel demand and the needs of more sustainable forms of transport, where there is a good opportunity to reduce the demand for travel, or to better serve the needs of walkers or cyclists.
• Secondly, in the design of transport schemes, where the opportunities to reduce travel demand are limited, the design would be primarily driven by the needs of motor vehicles. The policy does not mean every road scheme will include a cycle path, or that pedestrians and cyclists will have priority at every location, only where there is considered to be a valid and practical need for it.
• Thirdly the hierarchy should apply to the planning and design of new developments.

Context
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) is aware that in the 2015/16 financial year we received a request from the division member (Aislinn Lee) to consider improvements to the pedestrian crossing that is located to the front of the new Curo Park Development. This request was based on residents’ comments from parents walking their children to the nearby Primary School that is located at the southern end of Branch Road.

The subsequent speed & volume survey & pedestrian survey (PV2) that were carried out showed that this location did not meet the criteria for pedestrian crossing improvement works, as there was not sufficient pedestrian demand to warrant investment at this location.

In the autumn of 2018/2019, the new division member (Sue Featherstone, St Albans St Stephens) was again asked by residents if works could be considered for pedestrian crossing improvements, as residents felt that the speed & volume of traffic on the highways network at the location was too fast. HCC has since gathered information and costs as part of our discussion with the division member, but as you are aware from conversations with the Highways Manger, it is not financially viable to carry out the required works from within the Highways Locality Budget (HLB) as the required amount will likely exceed the yearly HLB.

With regard to existing pedestrian crossing infrastructure within the area of Curo Park, we have noted the following formalised pedestrian crossing points:
• Existing Belisha Beacon Crossing near junction with Park Place
o From the existing pedestrian crossing at Curo Park, there is an existing Belisha beacon (AKA zebra crossing) that is 270m north of this location. That would mean parents walking on the eastern kerb line would walk 270m, then cross the road and walk 105m south to safely get to the junction of Branch Road on the western kerb line (less than 3 minutes walk from proposed location).

• Existing Signalised Crossing at junction with Park Street Lane &
Burydell Lane
o From the existing pedestrian crossing at Curo Park, there is an existing signalised crossing that is 420m north of this location. That would mean parents walking on the eastern kerb line would walk 420m, then cross the road and walk 200m south to safely get to the junction of Branch Road on the western kerb line (less than 4- 5 minute walk from proposed location).

• Existing lit island Crossing at Curo Park
o The existing lit island crossing at Curo Park is seen by residents as being the optimised desire line for pedestrian journeys that will be as efficient as possible and shorten their journey from home to school. There are other lit pedestrian crossing points further south of the proposed location, but these are not seen by residents as being on the desire line.

Accident History
There is one reported slight collision in June of 2015 that is 267m north of the proposed crossing location, therefore this location does not meet the minimum investigation level for either of the primary considerations relating to Personal Injury Collisions and traffic speed as set out below.

On an annual basis we review records of personal injury collisions that have been reported to the police. In 2018 there were over 2,000 personal injury collisions on Hertfordshire’s 3,100 mile road network. Our analysis of this information helps us identify locations across the county where there have been the most collisions, known to us as hazardous sites. We use the results of our analysis to identify and prioritise the sites we will investigate.

The hazardous sites list was reviewed in October 2020, taking into account personal injury collisions that occurred up to the end of December 2019. This location was not identified within this list and thus is not included within our investigation programme. Data from any recent incidents will be updated and taken into consideration when the hazardous sites list is next reviewed in 2021. Whilst local safety concerns are understandable, you will appreciate that we must direct our core resources to sites where work has the greatest potential to reduce the frequency and severity of personal injury collisions.

Pedestrian Crossing surveys

2015/16 pedestrian survey results (PV2 Calculation justification for controlled pedestrian crossing)
Average PV2 for four highest hours = 0.031 (site does not meet HCC criteria)
Child Pedestrian crossing for highest hour = 1 (site does not meet HCC criteria)
Pedestrian crossing for highest hour = 1 (site does not meet HCC criteria)

2019/20 pedestrian survey results (PV2 Calculation justification for controlled pedestrian crossing)
Average PV2 for four highest hours = 0.318 (site does not meet HCC criteria)
Child Pedestrian crossing for highest hour = 24 (site barely meets HCC criteria)
Pedestrian crossing for highest hour = 20.33 (site barely meets HCC criteria).

Traffic Speeds
With reference to Hertfordshire County Council’s Speed Management Strategy, we note that the speed limit in front of the Curo Park Development is currently 30mph, with this in mind please see the 2015 & 2019 speed & volume results.

The 2015 surveys were as follows:

The Average volume in the Northwestbound lane was 5331, the average volume in the Southeastbound Lane was 5576.

The 2019 surveys are as follows:

The Average volume in the Northwestbound lane was 5128, the average volume in the Southeastbound Lane was 5363

As you can see from the above, average speeds & volumes appear to have dropped marginally between 2015 – 2019 but there are likely more residents in the area over the four year period due to growth & the new residential development.

For reference purposes, Hertfordshire’s Speed Management Strategy defines the 85th percentile speed as “the speeds at or below which 85% of all vehicles are observed to travel under free-flowing conditions” (this is a nationally recognised method of assessing traffic speeds).

Based on the above speeds, with reference to Hertfordshire County Council’s Speed Management Strategy, both the average speed and 85th percentile speed are appropriate for a 30mph limit and no physical speed calming measures are required.

Hertfordshire County Council has considered the above factors for this location in relation to Hertfordshire County Council’s Speed Management Strategy and has concluded that, the speeds indicate that a simple zebra or beacon crossing would not be appropriate at this location and due to the existing island configuration, this location must be a signalised crossing.

Summary
As you can imagine, the approximate costs for this project would be £80k - £140k and when considered in relation to the two other crossings near this location, accident data, speed & volume surveys, pedestrian crossing surveys, as well as the County Council’s core funded schemes that have already been identified as a priority to go forward, this scheme has not met the criteria for consideration as a safety priority.

Whilst I appreciate this was not the answer you were seeking, I trust you will understand that we need to concentrate our efforts and funding on sites that meet our evidence led intervention levels and the criteria set out within our speed management strategy.