INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING AND ENVIRONRMENT
PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS, MIDVALE ROAD, ST HELIER
Purpose of the Report
To request the Minister to approve the widening of the existing footways along Midvale Road by:
- Widening the footways to 2m on both sides of the carriageway
- Remove northbound traffic creating a one way road in the southbound direction
- Install 3 number traffic calming measures in the form of raised tables, one each to be installed at the junctions of Brighton Road and Clairvale Road and one centrally
- The raised table at the junction of Clairvale Road to incorporate a Jersey zebra crossing (no Belisha beacons)
- Adjust the drainage as required including new drainage at the raised tables
- Adjust the signal timings at the Val Plaisant junction to have separate phases for Midvale Road and David Place
Proposition P/104/2010 was brought before the States as the 2010 Sustainable Transport Policy (STP). This was passed by the States with a number of amendments including the following for Midvale Road:
To implement a scheme to enhance pedestrian safety in Midvale Road by the end of 2012 subject to appropriate consultation.
At that time, there was not the funding available to carry out the necessary works.
The revised STP (P.128/2019) was adopted by the States Assembly in March 2020 and is divided into two parts, ‘A Framework for a Sustainable Transport System 2020-2030’ and ‘Sustainable Transport Strong Start Delivery Plan 2020’.
The Strong Start Delivery Plan identifies that we will have worked with the Parish of St Helier to draw up detailed designs for public realm improvements on Midvale Road, widening the pavement and improving cycle access to prioritise the safe movement of people.
Midvale Road is a two way carriageway with an average width of 4.66m, well below the standard width of 7.3m for two way traffic (Manual for Streets Volume 2). The footway widths range between 1m and 1.28m, which is also below the recommended 1.8m for urban footways (Access Standards onto the Highways – Standards and Guidance).
There is an accident cluster on Midvale Road whereby pedestrians are being injured whilst they are on the footway by vehicles. All the incidents involved vehicles clipping the pedestrian by either mounting the footway or travelling very tight to the kerb. It is assumed that this occurred whilst the vehicle was trying to avoid oncoming traffic.
Three options were considered following the initial feasibility stage:
- One way southbound with balanced footways (equal widths on both sides)
- One way cycling southbound with contraflow northbound cycling, no footway improvements (due to constrained widths)
- One way southbound with mixed use footway / cycle route on west side, no improvement to east footway (due to constrained widths)
The second and third options do not provide benefits for pedestrians and were therefore deemed not to satisfy the amendment to the 2010 STP.
There is no physical room to create a contraflow cycle lane for northbound cyclists. An alternative route for northbound cyclists would need to be accommodated through the nearby Parish road system. This would enable cyclists to cycle with the flow of traffic in either direction (northbound through the parish roads and southbound on Midvale Road). The Parish Roads Committee have been consulted throughout the process.
A Project Board was established, chaired by St Helier’s CEO. Presentations were given to the Roads Committee and elected representatives to inform them of the proposals and to gather their views. Normal consultation with key stakeholders and members of the public was unable to take place due to COVID restrictions; instead the consultation was online. Letters and leaflets were distributed to all businesses and organisations in the area in early November 2020 and to all residential properties when the consultation became live. The consultation ran from 16th November to 13th December 2020.
There were 221 responses to the online consultation and seven directly to the Department. 39% of responses were made by either cyclists or pedestrians. The main outcomes were:
- 52% said the scheme would encourage them to walk or cycle in Midvale Road
- 63% would feel safer doing so
- 59% felt that the scheme would go some way towards helping the well-being of Islanders
- 63% felt that it was a step in the right direction to encourage more active travel
- 60% support the scheme become whilst 31% do not.
The Parish Roads Committee, at a Roads Committee meeting on 22nd April, have agreed to allow northbound cyclists to be sign-posted through their roads with the following comments which will be addressed at detailed design stage:
- Better signage should be in place
- Cyclists must give way to pedestrians (to ensure pedestrians have priority and are legally protected in the case of an accident)
- Better warning signage on Rouge Bouillon to warn pedestrians of cyclists arriving via Brighton Lane
- Cyclists must dismount sign before they arrive at Rouge Bouillon
- The cyclists’ behaviour should be monitored when this is put in place and adjustments made if necessary
- Could a ‘box junction’ be installed on Rouge Bouillon?
The scheme aligns with the States Assembly’s Common Strategic Policy through:
- ‘Putting children first’ - by providing safer walking and cycling routes to school and encouraging more children to walk and cycle to school,
- ‘Improving Islanders’ wellbeing and mental and physical health’ - by encouraging islanders to travel actively and meet the recommended levels of physical activity; and
- ‘Protecting and valuing our environment’ - by providing more accessible and safer routes, this makes walking and cycling more appealing and will encourage a modal shift from cars and contribute lower greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.
The scheme aligns with the decision-making principles for a sustainable transport system outlined in the STP through the following:
- Conforms with the Jersey mobility hierarchy by reallocating road space away from motor vehicles to vulnerable road users
- Making walking and cycling more attractive, especially for travelling to school and commuting, by providing safer routes.
The scheme will provide pedestrian improvements which comply with current standards making Midvale Road a safer walking route in line with the amendment to the 2010 STP and with the Strong Start of the 2020 STP. Cycling will be catered for with the flow of traffic in each direction.
It is recommended that the Minister approves the adjustments to Midvale Road to become a one way road southbound and to create wider footways for pedestrians.
Reason(s) for Decision
To deliver the objectives of proposition P/104/2010, the STP and in particular the Strong Start.
The anticipated cost of the trial implementation is £730,000 which is to be funded as part of the Sustainable Transport Policy’s Strong Start Delivery Plan 2020.
Detailed design and tender documentation work to be completed by the Highways Team prior to going out to tender.
Assistant Engineer - Transport
Head of Transport, Highways and Infrastructure