OBJECTION SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF THE GATEACRE SOCIETY
6. FAILURE TO CONSULT RELEVANT BODIES
We do not know exactly who was consulted (apart from the Cyclists Touring Club, SOR p2) but we know that the Gateacre Society was not asked for its views, in spite of a longstanding interest in the subject which was well-known to City Council officers (see section 7 below).
We understand that it is a legal requirement (SI1996No2489, section 6) for the local authority to consult the operator of a local bus service affected by a proposed traffic calming scheme. We know that Huyton Travel Ltd (the operator of bus route 174) is opposed to the use of speed cushions. However, it would seem that HTL has not been formally consulted; and Merseytravel, although mentioned as a consultee (SOR p2), have told us that they never in fact received LCC's consultation letter.
7. FAILURE TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE GATEACRE SOCIETY'S VIEWS
In 2011 we sent in our comments to the City Council on Planning Application 11F/0574. Our opposition to the installation of speed cushions in Gateacre Park Drive was explicitly recorded in the Planning Committee Minutes (28th June 2011). Our email had stated:
"Of particular concern to us is the (apparently) new proposal to install a series of speed cushions along Gateacre Park Drive and Woolton Road, as Condition 9 of the recommended planning permission. We fail to understand the logic of this proposal, and would have thought that it will in any case have to be the subject of a separate public consultation exercise. What is the benefit of speed cushions to pedestrians? Why not install - as we suggested in our original email (20 April) but which was not mentioned in the summary of our comments in the Agenda Report - a series of pedestrian 'refuges' along Gateacre Park Drive, which would serve a similar function to speed cushions - e.g. slowing vehicles down and discouraging overtaking - but would also benefit pedestrians by allowing them to cross the road in two stages. (These refuges could be similar in design to those installed, very successfully, in Rose Brow a few years ago)."
In 2013 we commented on Aldi's Planning Application 13F/1272, and - once again - on the Case Officer's Report which was submitted to the Planning Committee (27th August 2013). Our email regarding the Agenda Report read as follows:
"As far as we are aware, there was no mention of speed bumps in the submitted application documents. The Case Officer's report makes no mention of our opposition to speed bumps (which, we feel, will simply encourage motorists to use less suitable roads such as Grange Lane, Gateacre Brow and Belle Vale Road in preference to Gateacre Park Drive). Yet the proposed Condition 9 makes the installation of such 'calming' measures compulsory".
In spite of this documented and acknowledged interest in the matter, the Gateacre Society was not notified of the subsequent public consultation exercise by LCC's Highways Department. When we eventually heard that the consultation had taken place, we had a lengthy correspondence with Stephen Walker. Having failed to get satisfactory answers to some of our questions (see document ESW), we were referred to Matthew Hopkins, of Amey, for more information. However, in spite of a direct request to Amey from LCC's Legal Department (17th February 2014), asking them to reply, several unanswered questions remain (see document EMH).
(Environment Secretary, The Gateacre Society)
12th March 2014