The Board considered the outcomes/scrutiny report following on from the Liveable Neighbourhoods Inquiry Day held on 20 June 2022.
Cllr Don Alexander, Cabinet member for Transport, was in attendance for this item.
a. The Chair introduced the report and also referred to the public forum items received in relation to this item.
b. Cllr Wilcox welcomed the report and stressed the importance of controlled parking measures (demand management) being necessary in delivering a successful liveable neighbourhood. In his view, it was vitally important that this element was included in the pilots.
c. Cllr Bradshaw commented as follows:
- The inquiry day had been very helpful in assisting members in understanding what had been achieved elsewhere and in the practical interpretation of what could be achieved in Bristol.
- It was important to recognise the differences between neighbourhoods and that there was no single way to achieve a liveable neighbourhood.
- It would be important to focus on the shared capacity available to deliver liveable neighbourhood schemes because delivery was both intensive and expensive, bearing in mind also the increasing costs (due to inflation etc.) of engineering/construction.
- Demand management/parking control was also an important consideration, as highlighted by Cllr Wilcox. To achieve effective liveable neighbourhoods, it was necessary, in his view, to include some degree of demand management and this applied across the whole range of options available.
- It would be necessary to ensure joint and shared working with WECA (as the recipient of much of the government funding and bearing in mind in that certain related powers flowed through WECA); ensuring an effective working relationship with WECA would therefore be fundamental to delivering these schemes.
d. The Chair commented that the East Bristol pilot scheme was being taken forward currently and his understanding was that this was now moving to a further stage. He also understood that Bristol had an allocation of £10m through City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) funding plus £2m of match funding towards Liveable Neighbourhoods, but that this was time-limited in relation to spend.
In response, officers confirmed that £12m resourcing was available for the 2 initial pilot areas - this included the existing pilot area in East Bristol; the second pilot area was yet to be identified. The timeframe for delivering CRSTS spend was 2027.
e. Cllr Brown endorsed the previous member comments. He also raised the issue of mitigation measures for people living on the edge of a Liveable Neighbourhood zone against real or perceived effects of schemes, for example in relation to traffic displacement. His overarching impression was that these schemes would be expensive and needed to be substantial and comprehensive to be effective; there was therefore a concern about trials being taken forward with non-permanent solutions.
In response, officers confirmed that through the pilots, they would be looking at what the potential impacts might be around the edges of schemes although there would be a limit on the degree of mitigation measures that could be put in place around the edges of a zone in terms of major interventions.
f. Cllr Massey welcomed the discussion that had taken place through the inquiry day; she pointed out that small-scale improvements, such as planting trees and providing more benches could make a huge difference locally, citing the example of the recent improvements at Arnside Road shopping centre in Southmead.
g. Cllr Parsons pointed out that comments had been received during the inquiry day and through today’s public forum about various omissions from the proposed handbook, e.g. references to demand management; he queried whether these elements could be included in the next iteration of the handbook. He also asked whether any indication could be given now of the anticipated approach to demand management.
In response, Cllr Alexander commented that demand management (i.e. in relation to parking) across the city as a whole was an issue that needed to be discussed in the wider context of reducing carbon dioxide emissions; in terms of the handbook, his view was that if there was a widespread interest in parking restrictions in an area, then these could be looked at; in such cases, there would need to be a careful assessment of the potential impact of any suggested measures on surrounding areas.
The Chair concluded the discussion by thanking all concerned for their efforts in running the inquiry day.
Noting and taking into account the above points, OSMB then RESOLVED:
1. To note the contents of the report.
2. To approve the recommendations of the report.
3. To approve the report for submission to the Cabinet.