1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
Sue Swallow, the Chair, welcomed those present and our guest speakers from the Council, Richard Alderson, Geoff Hobbs and Chris Hammond. She explained that the purpose of the meeting was to share information and views about current OARA projects to improve our local environment, particularly relating to parking, traffic, pollution, and to agree next steps.
2. Why “Quality Streets”?
Hilary Jackson, Secretary, outlined the reasons behind the “Quality Streets” name for our projects this year. She explained that we had used the phrase QS at our AGM in January this year to capture our plans and aspirations for the year ahead. It is built on our Common Ground Initiative – introduced over three years ago. What can we do this year to improve the quality of our streets, our shared environment – and therefore the quality of our overlapping lives? As well as our routine activities, we would be focussing on;
- taking forward the work we have done so far on parking and traffic to look for solutions
- linking that to the unloved Lodge Rd – where all the issues seem to coalesce.
3. The Story so far….
Dorothy Haslehurst, who has been leading the traffic/parking project, presented a summary of the OARA traffic & parking survey and proposals. Click here to see the whole presentation Quality Streets 2.ppsx.
4. …and Lodge Rd
Fiona Barnes, committee member, then also outlined the work that had been done, with IARA, to collect residents’ and business views about Lodge Rd issues and how it could be improved. This included the results of NO2 pollution checks carried out along the length of the road (See Quality Streets presentation above for details)
5. Richard Alderson (Service Manager for Parking) & Geoff Hobbs (Senior Transport Planner)
The Council Officers made detailed presentations relating to parking and traffic issues in the city, schemes in other areas and what we would need to do if we wished to proceed with a consultation in our area.
6. Councillor Chris Hammond, the Cabinet member for Sustainability, then made a presentation about the environment in our city, particularly relating to pollution and including steps the Council are taking to tackle this.
7. Discussion and Questions
Points and questions raised included:
- Southampton is currently the 9th most polluted city in the UK – so collective action is needed
- A lot of pollution is caused by from ships and liners using the port. Pollution monitoring is now being carried out following liaison between SCC and ABP.
- Council is liaising with bus companies re reducing use of diesel – but not straightforward as the City does not run the bus companies (unlike e.g. Reading)
- Signs are due to go up in key locations advising drivers to cut engines and reduce fumes from idling.
- Improving cycle routes and facilities is appreciated but there can be issues e.g. mutual respect awareness between cyclists & pedestrians on cycle paths/junctions. Also need for more bike parking facilities. Council is working with Yo Bikes and Bike Hub on this.
- An additional point was raised about the impact on the environment of bins on the pavement. Noted that the council had issued letters explaining this is now an offence. Also noted that more enforcement is needed.
8. Summing Up. What next?
The meeting approved the following proposals:
i) To request the Council to carry out a formal survey in relation to extending the Zone 5 Parking Scheme
ii) To request formal consideration of a one-way traffic scheme in the Earls Rd/ Avenue Red area
iii) To establish a Lodge Rd Action Group
The committee will seek to meet with officers to discuss how to proceed with these proposals
Approved proposal to fund purchase of pull-down projector screen for the Community Room for future use.
Sue thanked all those present for coming and our speakers for their time and valuable input. The Committee would report back on progress at our next General Meeting on Monday May 14th.