I have received a response from the council in relation to the new traffic restrictions in Parsons Mead. I know many will be extremely disappointed as am I. Given this Administrations dire financial position I am not surprised.
The response follows:
I am sorry to hear that the camera enforced road closure on Parsons Mead within the Broad Green healthy neighbourhood has caused some of your constituents to have received penalty charge notices.
The Broad Green Healthy Neighbourhood has been introduced on a temporary experimental basis and is being monitored most carefully to determine whether it can be made permanent, amended, or will need to be removed. The purpose of this scheme is to remove through traffic from the residential area and to make the streets safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. To provide some additional background, the Government has made it clear that it expects local authorities to make significant changes to the highway, to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. Such changes will help embed the altered behaviours that have come about through the Covid19 lockdown and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel. This is detailed in the Government’s guidance ‘Reallocating road space in response to COVID-19: statutory guidance for local authorities’, which for your information can be found online https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reallocating-road-space-in-response-to-covid-19-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities/traffic-management-act-2004-network-management-in-response-to-covid-19
It should also be said that there has for many years been a background of concern from local people in the Broad Green area to the volume of traffic travelling through these local residential roads, the pollution this causes, and road safety implications, which then further discourage walking and cycling. It is therefore hoped that this scheme will bring about an improvement in road safety along with a quieter and cleaner environment which will hopefully encourage people to make short journeys either by foot or by bicycle.
I appreciate that there are disadvantages to the introduction of this closure and every resident and road user will have a different view depending on their own circumstances. Unfortunately it is very rare that traffic management changes can be made that will not have some adverse effects and these will not suit everyone. But overall, the benefits from having less motor traffic and an improved environment, should outweigh the inconvenience to motorists in having to travel slightly further when travelling to properties within the area, or when having to travel around the area, rather than through it.
As for the signage, I can assure you that all the regulatory signage has been provided in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD), which means that our signing of this restrictions will be the same as that applied by any other highway authority in England. The signs are being regularly checked and clearly highlight the camera enforced closure point on Parsons Mead. The below photo shows the signage at the restriction, which include yellow backing boards to further aid conspicuity, and I would disagree with the suggestion that they are easy to miss.