To consider a report by the Executive Director of Place.
The Committee considered a report on the advertisement of a proposal for the implementation of a zebra pedestrian crossing on Dorchester Road, Upton on road safety grounds, in facilitating the crossing of the road by a readily accessible means that would otherwise not be the case. The main B3067, Dorchester Road, divided Upton and it had been considered that this community severance needed to be addressed satisfactorily.
As background, officers explained that the crossing scheme had been originally requested by Upton and Lytchett Minster Town Council to improve safety and accessibility going to the Infant and Junior Schools, and to encourage more walking to these, as well as providing a benefit for the wider community. The proposal had been considered by the County Council’s Regulatory Committee at their meeting on 12 July 2018. Whilst acknowledging the benefits of the crossing, a decision on whether the proposal should be implemented was deferred by them pending officers considering further the parking situation with regard to the use of zig zag lines adjacent to Upton Methodist Church, which housed a pre-school and nursery facility; car parking provision for any hearse using the church; amelioration measures for light pollution and; whether there should be either a pelican or zebra crossing - all issues which had been raised in representations received.
The proposal had been supported by the then local County Councillor, with this support still being maintained now by the three Dorset Councillors for Lychett and Upton.
Assessments made of pedestrian accessibility need had clearly demonstrated that the criteria for a zebra crossing had been met and its installation justified, with this being supported by all primary consultees. In line with the Regulatory Committee’s decision, another assessment and appraisal of the practicalities of what crossing was necessary and how this should be done had been made. In doing so, it had been determined that the original principles still held true, albeit with some minor modifications being seen to be necessary to accommodate and address, where practicable, some of those issues raised, without compromising the integrity of the scheme. On that basis, and having met with some of those involved on site, the proposal was now seen to be more acceptable whilst still being able to serve the purpose for which it was designed. However, as a consequence of the objections received to the advertised order, the Committee was now being asked to consider whether the proposals should be recommended to Cabinet for implementation.
With the aid of a visual presentation, officers showed where the crossing was advertised to be sited, the characteristics and configuration of Dorchester Road; how the crossing would benefit access to local schools and amenities; its relationship with other roads in the surrounding road network; what parking arrangements there were; the setting of the crossing within the townscape and what amenities and facilities would be served by the crossing.
Members acknowledged that the design had been modified to take account of issues raised previously, including the installation of cowled hoods on the Belisha beacons to reduce light pollution to adjacent properties, and a reduction in the length of the zig zag markings on the church side to allow any hearses to park safely.
The Committee heard from June Richards, Mayor of Upton and Lytchett Minster Town Council who was wholly supportive of the crossing and the benefits it would bring on road safety grounds and encouraging safer routes to schools for children walking or cycling. Two of the three local Ward members, Councillors Alex Brenton and Bill Pipe, also indicted their support for what was being proposed.
During consideration of the application, the Committee had the opportunity to ask questions of the officer’s presentation, with clarification being provided in respect of the points raised. The Committee asked that consideration be given to the provision of a barrier - immediately to the west of the crossing, at the point at which the southern end of the footpath met Dorchester Road – so as to dissuade pedestrians from crossing straight across the road and in encouraging them to use the adjacent crossing. Officers were of an initial view that such a measure could be successfully accommodated. Members were pleased with how the concerns originally expressed had been successfully addressed by officers.
Having had the opportunity to discuss the merits of the proposal, having
understood what was being proposed and the reasoning for this; having taken
into account the officer’s report and what they had heard at the meeting,
the Committee were satisfied in their understanding of what the proposal was
designed to address and, on that basis – and on being put to the vote – the
Committee considered that cabinet be asked to approve their recommendation for implementation of the crossing.
That having considered the community support, objections received and officer’s scheme appraisal following the Dorset County Council Regulatory Committee’s recommendation, Cabinet be asked to approve the provision of a Zebra crossing on Dorchester Road, Upton, as shown in the scheme plan at Appendix 4 of the officer’s report.
Reasons for Recommendation
1)The proposals would allow for the provision of a Zebra crossing facility on Dorchester Road, Upton to provide a safe crossing point for local school pupils, parents and the wider community across a busy ‘B’ class road.
2)The proposed zebra crossing would not adversely affect the amenity of adjacent properties or the church.