Agenda item - Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Member Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by Members:

 

(a)          Petitions: To receive any petitions referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee;

 

(b)          Written Questions: To consider any written questions;

 

(i)            Abandoned bicycles- Councillor Cox

 

(c)          Letters: To consider any letters;

 

(i)            Yellow lines- Councillor G Theobald

 

(d)          Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Full Council or submitted directly to the Committee.

 

 

Minutes:

(b)          Written Questions

 

(i)            Abandoned bicycles- Councillor Cox

 

8.1      Councillor Cox asked the following question:

 

‘I congratulate the progress the Administration has made in the last 3 years in the provision of more public cycle parking.

There does though remain a shortage of cycle parking spaces in the City. This is exacerbated by the large number of obviously abandoned bikes (and often just bits of bike) taking up valuable bike parking spaces. Currently the Council takes at least 28 days (and often much longer) to remove these bikes. Will the Council consider allowing more discretion in the operation of the procedure for abandoned bikes, and in particular authorise the immediate removal of bikes which it is reasonable to assume by their condition have been abandoned?’

 

8.2      The Chair provided the following reply:

 

“As someone who has recently returned to cycling, I very much appreciate the frustration you express about availability of cycle parking and impact of abandoned bikes can have upon that availability. Thanks to the success of our transport policies, we have a burgeoning demand for cycle parking and I am keen to explore new ways to help increase cycle parking, and we are also working on improving capacity to deal with abandoned bikes.

We have recently increased our collection runs for abandoned bikes to once a fortnight.  These are carried out by the enforcement officers using a small pickup.  In addition, the officers are now actively looking for potentially abandoned bikes and this has led to over 120 bikes being ticketed in the last few days.

Between April 2013 and March 2014 we investigated over 1000 bikes and removed nearly 400.  Currently the bikes are handed to the Sussex YMCA.

Abandoned bikes cannot simply be removed from the public highway and disposed of immediately.  The Council has to either give notice to the owners of their intentions (as we do now) or remove and then securely store the bikes for a period allowing any owners to claim them back. The council does not have any facility to store abandoned bikes.

We have contacted and met with representatives from bike recycling projects who are keen to work with us to help resolve some of these issues.  Our next step is to work up an agreeable service level agreement and carry out some initial collection trials.

We hope that with their assistance we can increase our collection times further allowing more time for the Highway Enforcement Officers to deal with abandoned bikes as well as concentrate on other essential duties.

I will ask Officers to report back in a year’s time to say how this is going”.

 

(c)      Members Letters

 

(i)        Yellow lines- Councillor G Theobald

 

8.3      Councillor Theobald presented a letter requesting an officer report to the next meeting of the Committee regarding the 2012/13 decision to only insert new yellow lines within CPZ’s.

 

8.4      The Chair provided the following response:

 

“As outlined as part of the 2012/13 budget implications, and as at Budget Council in February, it is not possible to carry out any more changes to parking restrictions outside of resident parking schemes under the Parking Infrastructure budget, with the exception of disabled bay requests.

As you can appreciate in order for any changes to be made, the proposals need to be put to the public, in the form of a draft Traffic Order, followed by the correct signing and lining on site (or removal of them) if the proposals are approved. This requires substantial time and cost; also we receive many such requests across the city.  Previously we have batched up these requests for advertising twice a year.

However, we are now prioritising resources on essential signing and lining maintenance and we also need to consider the ongoing cost of maintenance for signing & lining and need to keep new proposals to a minimum. This is because there is no budget within Parking Infrastructure for additional maintenance and we already have a substantial amount of lining and signing throughout Brighton & Hove that we must support with the existing budget.

This is an issue that would need to be picked up in the budget process this year where members will be making proposals for 15/16, the Local Transport Plan (LTP) isn’t relevant to this either as most minor signing and lining TRO based amendments for the type of waiting restrictions referred to are revenue funded rather than capital funded. The separate parking scheme work is Capital funded but this is through borrowing rather than the LTP.

Councillors have discussed the yellow line policy when other requests have come forward through public and member engagement, e.g. the Woodingdean chevron parking proposal, so I don’t think it is fair to say Members are not aware of this policy. We have also had the budget process for this year, where Councillors could have amended the policy and put forward proposals.  LTP4 is the bigger opportunity to review this in the wider context, and the committee will be engaged with that process, so I’m not sure a special report on this single matter is warranted”.

 

8.5      Councillor Theobald noted that there was a report on the Committee agenda proposing yellow linage in Hanover yet this area was currently outside a CPZ.

 

8.6      The Chair clarified that yellow lines could be introduced where it related to displacement from CPZ’s and the financing to do so was taken from that specific capital budget.

 

8.7      RESOLVED- That the letter be noted.

 

 

Supporting documents:

 


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