88.1. Michael Newsham, Integrated Transport Officer, stated that the Council had been working on a programme across the Borough for the installation of raised bus stop kerbs to remove the gap between the height of the kerb and the floor of the bus so that people with mobility issues could more easily and safely board busses.
88.2. As part of the above, the Council would usually also propose to install a bus stop clearway restriction which made it an offence to stop or park at the bus stop during its time of operation so that busses could pull up flush to the kerb. A number of locations within the South West of Ipswich had been proposed and following this, some objections had been received. Although there were numerous reasons why someone could object, the most common was due to the loss of on street parking. However, the Officer confirmed that there was no ‘right’ for the public to be able to park on the highway and any proposals made had been done to ensure that people with mobility issues could have the same access to public services as anybody else.
88.3. The Officer provided a brief overview of each of the three sites which had been proposed within the report. With regards to the proposal to extend the length of the existing clearway outside the Triangle Community Centre on Dickens Road, a discussion had been held with the Objector who had been advised that in the event of snow covering the clearway markings, the Council would not enforce restrictions in these circumstances.
88.4. Ms Valerie Woodhouse, Resident of Dickens Road, raised the following points of her objection to the Committee:
· Ms Woodhouse confirmed that although she had access to off-street parking, due to her own disabilities, there were occasions where she needed to leave her vehicle on the roadside, such as when there had been bad weather.
· As a single person who relied on the good will of friends and family, there were times when large vehicles would need to park outside her property so that work could be undertaken. Should the proposal be enforced, there could be reluctance from people to help.
· The fences outside her property helped to prevent Antisocial Behaviour and it was in her best interest that these be retained.
88.5. Ms Woodhouse confirmed that she normally parked on her driveway however, she was concerned about visitors and friends/family who would no longer be able to park there. Mr Newsham confirmed that there was an exemption within the regulations with respect to vehicles which stopped on the bus stop clearway restrictions for the purpose of carrying out building related works which could help to alleviate Ms Woodhouse’s concerns. He advised that in such circumstances it would be best to contact the Council’s Parking Services section first. However, in terms of general visitor parking, there was no such exemption and they would have to use other unrestricted spaces available.
88.6. In response to a question, Mr Newsham confirmed that the current standards used by the Council for bus stop clearway restrictions resulted in them being positioned so that 19 and a ½ metres of the clearway was on the approach to the bus stop and 3 and a ½ metres was on the exit side. Unfortunately, in this case the clearway could not be placed closer to the junction with Kelly Road as this would cause visibility issues at the junction and would therefore be unlikely to be approved on safety grounds. There were also raised kerbs installed at the current bus stop which would need to be moved.
It was RESOLVED that:-
1. the bus stop clearway restriction at the bus stop on Dickens Road outside the Triangle Community Centre be extended to 23 metres in length.
Reason: to provide sufficient space for buses to manoeuvre flush against the existing raised kerbs at the bus stop in order to ensure that bus passengers could easily and safely board and alight from buses.
2. the bus stop adjacent to the side of 87 Fountains Road be relocated as proposed and that the bus stop clearway restriction be extended to 23 metres in length with the times of its operation being extended so as to be from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.
Reason: to provide sufficient space for busses to manoeuvre flush against the proposed raised kerbs at this bus stop at all times at which it is currently served by buses in order to ensure that bus passengers could easily and safely board and alight from buses.
3. the bus stop outside 13 Heatherhayes be relocated to a new position adjacent to land at the front of the flats at 157 – 167 Belstead Road and that a bus stop clearway restriction with a length of 23 metres be installed with the times of its operation being from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday.
Reason: in order to reduce the impact caused to local residents by the loss of on street parking spaces as a result of the installation of the bus stop clearway restriction and to provide sufficient space for buses to manoeuvre flush against the proposed raised kerbs at this bus stop at all times at which it is currently served by buses in order to ensure that bus passengers could easily and safely board and slight from buses.