The Principal Projects Engineer gave a presentation relating to the report which gave a clearer view of the design of the two way traffic flow to be implemented.
Commenting that the one way traffic system around Grays town centre had caused delays and congestions, Councillor Pothecary stated the project had been signed off by Cabinet in September 2015. She went on to say phase 1 of the project had finished in March 2016 and the next phase had started in October 2018 so questioned why there had been an 18 month wait in between. The Principal Projects Engineer explained that the 2015 Cabinet report envisaged a period of monitoring of the phase 1 schemes before implementing the phase 2 schemes. Adding to this, the Corporate Director explained there had been a need to see if there were any impacts to phase 1 which had been reviewed via modelling of the phase.
Councillor Pothecary thought it was puzzling that the two way traffic system implementation at Crown Road had been delayed by the Grays Town Centre Traffic Flow scheme because there had been support for the Crown Road two way traffic flow and it had been signed off by Cabinet in September 2015. As there had been improvement works within the multi-storey car park, the Principal Projects Engineer said modelling works had required justification of the Crown Road two way traffic flow.
Continuing on, Councillor Pothecary noticed the Crown Road two way traffic flow had since ‘disappeared’ and questioned its progress. There had been detailed discussions on bus routes in the area but not on the project itself. Explaining that bus operators were not in favour of a two way traffic flow, the Principal Projects Engineer said the service was in discussions with bus operators to resolve this. Councillor Pothecary mentioned that the original proposal had been to create a bay for buses to stop at in Stanley Road. The Corporate Director answered the service would look back on the proposal and check what had changed which would be brought back to the Committee in a future meeting.
The Chair commented that some of the residents in Grays could give a history of the roads. He went on to ask what measures would be undertaken to ensure there would be minimal disruptions to local residents. The Principal Projects Engineer answered advanced notices of 3 months would be given on temporary road closures when islands were to be removed. The website would also be used as a form of communication. Agreeing that giving advanced notice would help people on school runs, the Chair questioned the measures that would be taken to minimise disruption to residents at home. The Principal Projects Engineer answered early warning would be given on engineering works and the service would ensure residents had access to their property.
Regarding speed limits, Councillor Hamilton questioned if the limit would remain at 30mph and whether there would be a no stopping zone. In answer, the Principal Projects Engineer confirmed the speed limit would stay at 30mph and certain areas would be kept clear to ensure access. There were no yellow box junctions in place but these could be implemented if necessary.
That the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the update on the project progress.