Agenda item

Spalding Traffic Restriction Order

Discussions relating to the Traffic Restriction Order in Spalding Town Centre. PC Craig Lockton from the Police will be in attendance to offer his thoughts and to answer Members questions.

Minutes:

Following a discussion at the last Forum meeting regarding the Traffic Restriction Order in place in Spalding Town Centre, PC Craig Lockton was in attendance to talk through the TRO, where he raised the following points:

 

·         The order prohibited vehicles from entering the town centre between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday but there were exceptions for emergency vehicles and delivery vehicles.

·          It was evident when Police had looked into the issue that many people were not following the order and when drivers had been stopped, the Police had been met with hostility and many excuses.

·         The sign was clearly displayed in Herring Lane and there was no excuse for drivers ignoring it.

·         Key findings from the Police’s investigation were that trope data was hard to come by and it was difficult to enforce the order due to other commitments.

 

The following points were raised by members of the Forum:

 

·         There was strong debate surrounding the enforcement of the order – some wanted stronger enforcement while others wanted to remove the order entirely. Had a survey been done to understand the public’s opinion on how the issue should be approached?

o   The Chairman responded that the idea was something to propose to County Councillors to progress. It would be difficult to make the order only enforceable for 3 days a week

 

·         The TRO should be enforced and needed to be sorted out. It may be useful to publish information about how many tickets had been given out to deter others - did the Police have that information available to give out?

o   PC Craig Lockton confirmed that the Fixed Penalty Notice was £90, and he would find out the number of tickets given out and give this information to Forum members outside of the meeting.

 

·         Members had previously expressed concern to the Police and they confirmed that they would put a concerted effort into enforcing the TRO. The TRO needed to be enforced to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and people who were hard of hearing. There should be a sign earlier on the junction to encourage people to not drive through the town centre. It was noted that the parking charges at Broad Street car park were very reasonable and therefore there was no reason that drivers should be parking in the Town Centre.

o   PC Craig Lockton advised that there was an option available to install an automatic self-raising bollard linked to the CCTV facility in Boston and a similar one had been installed in Peterborough.

 

·         It was a matter of safety and there were two sides to the argument. Was there any way of conducting a public consultation on the issue?

o   The Chairman advised that to override a TRO the County Council would have to carry out a public consultation. If an objection were to be received during the consultation, the County Council would have to go through a formal, costly process to override the order.

 

·         Could Hall Place be turned into a car park with a high charge to prevent the public from parking in the area and encourage them to park elsewhere?

o   The Chairman advised that the idea would open up a whole range of issues and the Council would have to consult on any charges being implemented along with working out how the charges would be enforced.

 

  • Could a spare freighter be put on the junction between 10am and 4pm to prevent access?
    • The Chairman advised that the method had been tried in the past but SHDC were asked by LCC to stop.

 

  • Joe Cades – Beat Manager was also in attendance and informed the Forum that there were not any known repeat offenders for driving through the town centre and the self-rising bollards mentioned earlier in the meeting were worth looking into. They could be remotely controlled and there could be an intercom installed to allow access through if needed. The bollards were approved by the Department of Transport but would cost around £20-£25k to install two.

 

  • Amendments to the TRO would have to be considered if a bollard was installed.

 

  • The suggestion of rising bollards had been raised around 10 years ago, but had not been a popular solution. What were other smaller market towns doing to help solve this issue?

 

  • Could the road be narrowed with planters so that only 1 bollard would be required?

 

  • Was it not possible for the CCTV camera located in Herring Lane to be converted to a number plate recognition camera?
    • The Chairman responded that this had been asked before, but no definite answer given. The County Council needed to advise what could be done to solve the issue without spending a lot of money. He asked for County Councillors to look into this and report back at the next Forum meeting.

 

  • Could the current parking enforcement arrangement with LCC be extended to the town centre area as well?
    • The Chairman advised that he would liaise with officers to establish whether this was possible under the current contract.