Following a petition of 1600 signatures, supported by a local councillor, residents and businesses in Mapperley, Nottinghamshire County Council have now completed the technical assessment on what can be done about the problems for pedestrians crossing Breck Hill Road.
Here is their report. The upshot appears to be that the flow of traffic is more important than the experience of pedestrians. The junction is unlikely to be changed in the near future and people using the shops and businesses on Mapperley Top will have to carry on as before.
The first paragraph is their reply to a specific request to consider prohibiting traffic from turning right out of the junction.
Nottinghamshire County Council would only consider prohibiting the right turn manoeuvre where the number of vehicles that are undertaking the manoeuvre is minimal.
As part of the feasibility study that was undertaken, a turning count was undertaken at the junction of Breckhill Road and Plains Road. This identified that during the 12 hour period that the count was undertaken (07:00-19:00):
2,224 vehicles turned right from Plains Road into Breckhill Road (this equates to approximately 185 vehicles an hour or 3 vehicles a minute) ; and 775 vehicles turned right out of Breckhill Road onto Plains Road.
To prohibit the right turn manoeuvre out of Breck Hill Road is likely to encourage more traffic to travel along Coronation Road and Somersby Road to emerge on to Plains Road and is likely to lead to objections from local residents. In addition, Breck Hill Road is on a bus route and buses do turn right out of Breck Hill Road; therefore bus operators are likely to raise objections if the right turn is prohibited.
Therefore, the prohibition of the right turn manoeuvre into or out of Breck Hill Road isn’t something that would currently be considered.
The current prohibition on Coronation Road: ‘prohibition of motor vehicles (except for access)’ is a moving traffic offence and enforcement of this would be required by the Police as Nottinghamshire County Council do not have the powers to enforce such offences.
Here is the main report.
The traffic and pedestrian surveys and a feasibility study have now been completed. The feasibility study looked at whether a stand-alone crossing across Breck Hill Road (in the form of a zebra crossing or toucan crossing) could be provided or whether the existing junction could be signalised.
The issues relating to the provision of a stand-alone crossing (in the form of a zebra crossing or toucan crossing) or signalised junction at this location:
- To serve the desire line, the zebra crossing would need to be located within approximately 6m of the give way line of Breck Hill Road. However, to site a zebra crossing in this location is likely to create conflict between left and right turning traffic into Breck Hill Road and pedestrians and ahead traffic on Plains Road. This could lead to instances of vehicles failing to stop and potentially lead to an accident problem/safety issue.
- To ensure that a zebra crossing is located in a safe location, it would need to be located 40m away from the desire line that serves the current pedestrian demand. Experience has shown that locating the crossing away from the desire line would likely provide a facility that is redundant/little used and result in significant criticism of the County Council.
- To serve the desire line, the puffin crossing would need to be located within approximately 6m of the give way line of Breck Hill Road. However, to site a puffin crossing in this location is likely to create conflict between left and right turning traffic into Breck Hill Road and pedestrians and ahead traffic on Plains Road. This could lead to instances of vehicles failing to stop, creating a conflict with pedestrians who have been invited to cross the road through the provision of the green man and potentially lead to an accident problem/safety issue.
- To ensure that a puffin crossing is located in a safe location, it would need to be located 40m away from the desire line that serves the current pedestrian demand. Experience has shown that locating the crossing away from the desire line would likely provide a facility that is redundant/little used and result in significant criticism of the County Council.
- This junction already suffers from congestion and journey time delay in to and out of Nottingham, particularly in the morning and evening peak periods – signalisation of this junction would significantly increase congestion and delay and have a detrimental impact on traffic on the surrounding network.
- The junction does not meet the visibility requirements between stop lines as required and set out in national guidance.
- The lack of junction visibility could potentially lead to an accident problem:
- The back of the queue on Breck Hill Road could be hidden from view from traffic eastbound on Breck Hill Road and this could lead to shunt type accidents
- The entrance/exit to Sainsburys car park means vehicles would be exiting the car park in to a queue and block the traffic turning into Breck Hill Road from Plains Road and potentially lead to an accident problem/safety issue and result in a decrease in capacity.
- Approximately 40m of the existing parking bay would need to be removed on the south-eastern side of Plains Road. The shop owners that front this location are likely to raise objections.
- Approximately 1.5m of footway for a distance of 25m would need to be converted to carriageway on the south-eastern side to allow the installation of an island to site the required traffic signals for the right turn lane whilst still maintaining the 2 ahead lanes.
- Signalisation of the junction is likely to encourage more traffic to travel along Breck Hill Road and Coronation Road to emerge on the Plains Road.
- Currently, the right turn manoeuvre from Breck Hill Road on to Plains Road is not an attractive manoeuvre as it is uncontrolled across 4 lanes of traffic.
- Coronation Road is currently subject to a prohibition order ‘prohibition of motor vehicles (except for access)’.
- The nearby pedestrian crossing on Plains Road, near Bennett Road would need to be removed due to the proximity with the proposed signalised junction. Local residents are likely to raise objections.
The County Council has a limited budget available to provide improved crossing facilities and/or to signalise junctions and receives many more requests than can be funded from the available budget. Give the issues highlighted above, the provision of a zebra or toucan crossing at this location would not serve the desire line and a fully signalised junction has a number of issues, would be prohibitively expensive and does not currently offer value for money. Whilst the scheme is not currently considered a priority for delivery, the request will be kept on file for consideration in a future years programme.
We are currently looking in to the feasibility of a number of alternative options to improve the situation for pedestrians crossing Breck Hill Road including:
- If pedestrian guardrails can be provided across both sides of Breck Hill Road to stop pedestrians from crossing the road at the mouth of the junction and cross slightly further back along Breck Hill Road. However, it is worth noting that pedestrian guardrail may mean pedestrians have less visibility to see vehicles who are turning right or left in to Breck Hill Road as they are unable to see through the gaps in the pedestrian guardrail.
- If a yellow box junction can be provided in the middle of the carriageway of Plains Road at its junction with Breck Hill Road.
- If pedestrian signage improvements that can be made.
- If ‘look left’ or ‘look right’ markings can be provided on the carriageway of Breck Hill Road to make pedestrians aware they should look both ways before crossing the road.