There is critical information missing from the application that make it impossible for residents to develop a properly informed opinion on which they can comment on the application.
- The missing Designer’s Response to the Road Safety Audit (RSA) is a crucial document that requires the LHA’s approval and sign-off.
- The RSA recommendations are damning; citing risk of collisions and potential of HGV strikes on pedestrians.
- The matters determined at appeal do not include the technical sign-off of the junction design by the LHA regarding Highway Safety. The design given planning permission is still subject to LHA technical sign-off and approval, which must take into consideration the risks related to the points raised in this document.
- The design of the original junction is;
- Flawed and has zero separation between large vehicles entering Meadow Lane and pedestrianised area.
- The pedestrian refuge is out of the pedestrian desire line, and therefore creates a Highway Safety issue.
- The capacity assessment of the junction using Junctions 9 software is seriously flawed;
The developer could rectify the dispute about the Highway Safety technical issues related to the junction once and for all by simply being honest and demonstrating that the junction improvements are indeed safe by;
- (A) providing the missing Designer’s Response to the RSA showing how the RSA recommendations are to be implemented
- (B) providing a confirmatory junction capacity assessment that follows engineering best practice as per TRLs guidance, and is validated to be accurate by AECOM
Finally, we would remind the LHA of their duty to ensure that;
- The reasoning behind the design and capacity modelling of the junction is “Reasoned, rational, and logical and is based on sound engineering, judgement”
- The design is sustainable on the evidence;
- The design avoids foreseeable risks to individuals;
- The design avoids trapping people into danger
The original junction design and the improved junction design fail on all of the points above and given that Local Authorities have statutory duties related to road safety, including a duty to;
- take steps to reduce and prevent accidents,
- promote road safety,
- and secure the safe movement of traffic (including pedestrians) on their roads;
It would be a deliberate act of negligence on behalf of the LHA and the Officers involved to knowingly grant technical approval for a design with the above Highway Safety issues.
Until such time as these documents (A and B above) are available, we recommend OBJECTION to the proposed improvements, but when the developer supplies them and they show that the junction will genuinely be safe in highway safety terms, we should be prepared to support this “improvement”.
UPDATE 21 July
To access the Council Planning Portal go to the website (www.planning.stoke.gov.uk/online-applications) to view the application and track its progress by searching for the reference: 65439.