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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Response from Highways to our letter March 2020

Reply now received and permission granted for redacted version from Highways England to the letter we sent March 14th 2020.
There is the original response letter followed by a the next blog post, which are copies of my initial email reply and their final reply.

23rd March 2020 
Dear Mr & Mrs Goode, 
Letter Regarding Development in Brough I write this letter is in response to your undated letter with four points for East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Highways England to consider regarding development in Brough. Although your letter was sent by way of a Freedom of Information request, given that there is no information for Highways England to provide, I believe it is more appropriate to write this letter. I shall deal with each of your four points in turn below.
Point 1: “We are deeply disappointed that our positive petition to halt development until road safety concerns received no formal acknowledgement by ERYC.” 
Although you do not mention Highways England here, I should point out that Highways England were unable to access the petition, though not through lack of trying. I understand that you originally sent the petition to XXXX. Encryption issues meant that the petition expired. My colleague XXXX managed to source another copy through the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), though he was unable to access the content due to it being password protected. XXXX emailed Mr Goode to ask for the password on 8th August 2019 but received no response. 
“The thorough data analysis that was carried out independently by Dr Kevin Goode was not taken seriously. 
The report…demonstrated major failings in the data analysis.” I appreciate that you have undertaken your own independent critical analysis of the situation. Please be assured that each time Highways England are consulted on planning application, we employ specialist transport consultants to undertake thorough technical checks on the analysis we are provided with. It is unfortunate that the decisions that have been made are not those which you would have liked to have seen. 
However, please be advised that we work within the formal planning system and all conclusions drawn are in accordance with the following: 
• National Planning Policy Framework 
• DfT Circular 02/2013: The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development
 “The stakeholder meeting in July 2019 was unproductive. We do hold the minutes from this meeting”.
 I strongly dispute that this document is an accurate reflection of the meeting due to a number of inaccuracies. They were not accepted as minutes by the Council or Highways England and should not be referred to as such. 
“We hear from Cllr. Terry Gill that the more recent traffic survey data conducted in 2019 has not been released for independent data analysis/review. We would therefore like to make a freedom of information request for details on the matters”.
 I am not aware of such data collection and I would advise this may be a question for the Council. 
Point 2: With regards to a road scheme that would connect Moor Road to Melton, this is a local road scheme and thus I would advise that you discuss this with the Council. 
Point 3: “We also would like to ask for plans to address the A63 road safety concerns especially when the new roundabout works begin in December 2020. These issues have been comprehensively described in our letter dated 27.4.19” 
From the perspective of Highways England, the local road scheme is expected to have a positive impact on the Strategic Road Network. However, I do appreciate that the construction period has potential to temporarily disrupt traffic flows. As plans for works on the new roundabout progress we will work with the Council to understand the traffic management and the implications for the A63 so that the impacts of the works can be managed in order to maintain the safe operation of the network.
 “We have made several suggestions that could be trialled and are disappointed to hear from Highways England that a fatality would have to occur before anything can ‘’be done’’.This is unacceptable. What solutions can be sought to improve the safety at the A63 junction? Have ERYC lobbied Highways England about this?” 
I do not agree with the assertion that you were told that a fatality would have to occur before action is taken. Highways England are currently developing a safety improvement scheme for the Welton junction to address a number of issues. The scheme will provide better advanced direction signing on the A63 approaches to the junction, improve the directional road marking and clear areas of vegetation around the junction all to reduce driver confusion and improve the junction sight lines. We are also looking at the provision of some queue warning message signing to be included if this is required. This scheme is currently in the feasibility stages of its development and we will look to move it into the detailed design stage during the financial year 2021/22 once funding has been confirmed. From discussions with the Council late last year we understand that the queuing on the westbound slip road had been reduced with a change to the timing on the signals at the top of the slip road. We are not aware that there have been any further issues with queuing back on to the A63 at this location since then. 
Point 4: With regards to your concern about the safety of pedestrians crossing Moor Rd to Ruskin way during the peak times associated with Hunsley Primary School, this is a local road issue and should therefore be discussed with the Council. I trust this letter answers all of your points. 
Yours sincerely Redacted name HE

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