Civic Society Response on proposed town centre highway changes


1) As per our email of 20th November 2017, our members/contributors when looking at the changes for individual roads could not identify any overall logic as to what the proposals are seeking to achieve.
We assumed a review of traffic issues must have taken place from which you chose the individual roads and the proposed traffic calming etc. measures.
We asked that If a document existed that might explain the background information to help residents understand the wider picture that a copy or link to any document be provided.
We did not receive any response to our request so we can only assume that no such evidence exists and our comments below are made in the light of this.
2) Arising from the absence of the background information requested in item 1), the general feeling from those who reviewed the proposals was that an amount of money has been made available to T&W highways and they have simply come up with proposals in order to spend the money i.e. use it or lose it.
An alternative that was considered to be a far better use of the funds was to address the lack of additional car parking spaces available in the town centre. With only approximately 30% of the houses constructed which have received planning permission over the past 5 years or so, additional cars from the new housing is causing problems for residents wishing to park near the town centre. As the remaining 70% of approved housing is built over the next few years, the pressure will only get worse.
A proposal which has gained support is for the funds proposed for the highway works to be diverted to extend the existing car park facility in Victoria Park. As T&W own the land the only cost would be the work to extend the car park. In addition, part of the funds which T&W receive from the government from the Homes Completion Bonus on the houses built plus forecast Bonus on the houses being built and to be built in Newport should be utilised.
We understand that the funds were made available from the Marches LEP bid for the Innovation Park south of the A518 but as we cannot identify any consultation by the LEP with local residents before the bid was submitted by the LEP, we would urge that the LEP approaches the relevant government department in order to seek approval to the alternative use of the funding.
3) On the wider issues, members have also requested details of traffic surveys and traffic volume measurements etc. which we assume the T&W highways department would have undertaken in relation to the proposals.
4) An example of where traffic volumes and consequences for safety of school children etc. are called in to question relates to the review of the bollard operation on Audley Avenue. At the Planning Inquiry held in 2012, regarding the proposed Morrisons store to be built on the site off Audley Avenue which in recent weeks has received approval for a Lidl store, those appearing for T&W submitted evidence and spoke against any changes to the bus gate on Audley Avenue. The brief details on your consultation plan proposes dropping the bus gates at ‘busier times’.
Where can we find the evidence that supports this change of view regarding child safety not only for Burton Burton pupils but also for the infants school on Granville Avenue please.
5) If part of the reason for the proposed highway works is to improve access from the Innovation Park to the town centre then in the absence of the information requested in items 1) and 3) above, members/contributors could not see how the majority of the proposal would achieve this stated aim. It simply moves part of the traffic congestion from the A518/A41 to other parts of the town.
6) Finally, what information has T&W compiled as regards the forecast consequential effects of the proposed changes as regards air quality from traffic fumes where traffic will be diverted to other roads in the town please.


Where we have requested additional information below, we appreciate that a public consultation event was held at the Cosy Hall on 25th October 2017, but either not everyone was able to attend on the date and/or the event raised further questions as set out above and below :-

Audley Avenue Consultation Plan
In addition to the matters raised in item 4) above, at the time when evidence was provided to the Inquiry, the existing Audley Avenue business park was not fully let. St. Modwen as the owner of the business park had indicated that they intended to close and demolish the business park by 2019 when the longer leases on the business park expired. Since then, T&W have purchased the business park from St. Modwen and have announced plans to enhance and develop the business park which we understand is now near or at full capacity with consequent increase in both traffic volumes and the size of trucks/trailers accessing Audley Avenue.
With the planning approval of both the Innovation Park and the Lidl store plus 3 retail units and a BP PFS (together with the existing Aldi store), 215 houses to be built on land behind the cemetery plus an application for circa 85 homes submitted with the traffic from both developments entering Audley Avenue, the increase in the volume of traffic along Audley Avenue past Burton Borough should the bus gates be lowered at peak times will be considerable.

Overall Proposals Plan – Newport Town Centre Schemes
In the absence of the information requested in items 1), 3), 4), 5) and 6) above, members felt unable to provide informed comment on the graphic which simply provides a coloured plan of the proposed changes.

Forton Road Consultation Plan
In the absence of any background explanation as to the proposed the weight limit restriction, the net effect would likely be to simply divert vehicles above the weight limit along Chetwynd Road/Chester Road.

Boughey Road Consultation Plan
Why are speed cushions or build outs proposed for Boughey Road as opposed to the proposed changes on other roads.

Water Lane Consultation Plan
In the absence of any background information members/contributors were unable to see any logic in this proposal and were strongly critical.
Comments included that the proposal would divert more traffic to the High St. with the current parking outside Lloyd’s Bank already causing a bottle neck; at present traffic flows well along Water Lane with the only recent inhibition being cars parked on Water Lane who can no longer find car parking spaces on the existing car parks (the solution to this is set out in item 2) above); the current exit from Water Lane opposite the Shell garage is already difficult at peak times with heavy traffic not only both ways on the road but also traffic exiting the garage; visibility of traffic coming over the canal bridge is restricted due to a dip in the road; traffic turning right on the mini-roundabout appears quickly; when Lower Bar/ the High St. is closed for events then the traffic is diverted along Water Lane.

Wellington Road Consultation Plan
An explanation of the reasons for the proposed change is requested please.

High Street Consultation Plan
An explanation of the reasons for the proposed change is requested please.

Beaumaris Road Consultation Plan
The visibility to the right from the exit of Beaumaris Road onto Salters Lane is often restricted by delivery vans or cars parked outside the Sandhar’s shop. This together with cars parked on the road in the opposite direction makes exiting difficult at peak times.

Avenue Road Consultation Plan
An explanation of the reasons for the proposed change is requested please.

Station Road Consultation Plan
An explanation as to the positioning of the crossing is requested please.

Pave Lane Consultation Plan
In addition to a weight limit restriction, a reduced speed limit restriction is also requested.

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