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Prioritisation of Traffic Management and Calming Schemes

Prioritisation of Traffic Management and Calming Schemes

Introduction

The Local Transport Strategy Report and Road Traffic Reduction Plan detail Clackmannanshire Council’s strategy for local transport and promotes measures to improve transport within the local area. By prioritising proposed traffic management and traffic calming schemes the Council will address the following key themes;

The Road Safety Plan for Clackmannanshire highlights the main trends in road accidents in the area and in its action plan promotes the implementation of traffic safety engineering schemes including traffic management and traffic calming.

The Traffic Management Prioritisation Process is a points based system to determine the need for traffic management measures to address problems caused by traffic.

Improving Safety

Overall, Clackmannanshire’s roads are amongst the safest in Scotland although there has been a significantly high proportion of pedestrian and cycle casualties, particularly child casualties, in Clackmannanshire. This is addressed in the criteria to be used to prioritise traffic management and calming proposals with particular weighting given to sites with recorded pedestrian, cyclist and child casualties or with high levels of pedestrian movements.

Particular attention will be given to streets adjacent to schools and to main pedestrian routes to and from schools. These schemes should complement ‘safer routes to school’ initiatives led by the school and consultations should involve pupils, parents and staff from an early stage

Ensuring Fairness and Opportunity for All

The cost of proposed schemes will vary widely and some proposals will be beyond the means of a single year’s budget constraints. It may be that a number of small schemes will provide greater benefit than one or two larger schemes. To ensure a fair distribution of resources any scheme that is likely to cost more than 60% of the annual traffic management and traffic calming budget must be justified beyond merely using the site prioritisation process.

Enhance the Environment and Quality of Life

A well considered scheme should integrate the road into the neighbourhood and avoid it being a barrier to the overall well being of the community.

Encourage Healthy Travel

Schemes should consider all road users with particular attention paid to encouraging walking and cycling by creating a feeling of security within the road environment. Undue difficulties for emergency service vehicles will be minimised, with accessibility for all appropriate modes of transport, including buses, remaining a key issue in any proposed scheme.

Traffic Management and Calming

Traffic calming is presently high on the agenda for many of our local communities. Traffic calming covers a range of engineering elements that seek to provide a solution to a variety of traffic issues. It is a generic term which is used in this country to describe change to horizontal and/or vertical alignments of existing roads in order to reduce speeds, traffic movement and to promote pedestrian, public and bicycle transport.

Traffic management encompasses a wide scope of elements including, for example, parking management; pedestrian facilities; speed limits and route hierarchy, traffic signs and road markings and also incorporates the principles of traffic calming.

Prioritisation

Limited financial and other resources mean there will be competition for schemes within Clackmannanshire. There is the danger that particularly strong pressure groups will be successful in promoting an area to the front of the queue on the basis of ‘he who shouts loudest’. Prioritisation of schemes based upon objective criteria, will relieve these pressures and result in resources being deployed most efficiently and with maximum benefit to the community.

This prioritisation process can look either at a single site or street or an area comprising of a number of streets. For the prioritisation of traffic calming schemes in Clackmannanshire the single site or street approach will normally be taken, although a clear understanding of the likely area affected by traffic diverting from the proposed scheme will be assessed. Where the effects on surrounding streets are likely to prove significant, the area-based approach may be more appropriate.

The ranking system provides a common basis for assessment, and the prioritisation process uses criteria such as recorded accidents, vehicle speeds, traffic flow and proximity of schools, among others.

The traffic calming prioritisation for Clackmannanshire is based on the following factors:-

  • Accidents
    Accidents will be averaged over the preceding five years and given a rate based on the number of relevant personal injury accidents per kilometre of road. In addition extra weight will be given to accidents involving injury to pedestrians or cyclists and particularly to accidents involving child casualties. If the site or street is high on the priority list mainly due to recorded accidents then Accident Investigation and Prevention (AIP) measures may be indicated rather than traffic management and calming.
  • Traffic Speeds
    Vehicle speeds are measured using automatic traffic counters for a 7-day duration and for the hours 7am to midnight. Points are awarded for the proportion exceeding the given speed limit. Vehicle speeds often vary along the length of a street and it is important to allow for this in the survey.
  • Traffic Flow
    Traffic flow is measured using an automatic traffic counter for a 7-day duration and for the hours 7am – 7pm, unless there are particularly high flows recorded outside these hours. From this, peak hour traffic flows are calculated.
  • Road Geometry
    As the road geometry influences the driver’s perception of a route and consequently vehicle speed, the road width is factored against the gradient of the road to assign a rating.
  • Frontage Residents
    The number of people residing in properties, which front onto the street(s) relevant to the study, will be averaged over the length of the street(s). If between residents live on both sides of the street, then the factor is doubled as there is an assumption that more pedestrians will cross.
  • Pedestrians Generators
    There may be a number of properties and facilities that generate pedestrian activity which influence the ranking of the scheme. A school entrance onto the street will be given the highest priority. Other possible pedestrian generators include: - bus routes; hospitals; nursing homes; nursery schools; playgrounds; community or sports centre; local shops; doctors surgeries etc.
Action Plan

If a scheme ranks highly in the Prioritisation List the following Action Plan should be instigated.

The prioritisation process should highlight the main problems at the location and allow clear scheme objectives to be formulated. This should form the basis of the public consultation where the scheme objectives can be discussed and agreed with those affected. It may be that certain traffic calming elements cannot be considered e.g. road humps on bus routes; road narrowing where HGV’s must turn; chicanes where there is a high demand for on-street parking.

Following the consultation the final design is prepared and the local community are advised of any disruption and other likely effects of the construction works.

Consultation

Consultation prior to implementation of a traffic-calming scheme is critical to the success of the scheme. Consultation is normally carried out through the distribution of leaflets to residents and businesses effected by the scheme or for larger projects through a public exhibition. Current schemes for consultation can be accessed on our consultation pages. The location of the traffic calming measures and what they will look like will be clearly explained.

Experience has shown that there is a stronger acceptance of schemes where high quality public consultation has taken place.

It is also important to monitor the scheme with regard to traffic speeds and relocation of traffic to other streets. This should be carried out before and after implementation of the scheme. Public feedback is important and should be encouraged. As well as speeding and traffic flow, information on accident rates, increased pedestrian and cycling activity in the area should be reported back to the local community.

Consultation should not be limited to residents groups and should be extended where appropriate to schools; public transport operators and users; pensioners; disabled groups; local traders; local councillors; school crossing attendants and traffic wardens and any other relevant groups of people.

For Further Information Contact

Roads, Traffic & Transportation
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000
Email: