City Plan Strategic Transpirt Assessment - Information Base

rob shepherd made this Freedom of Information request to Brighton and Hove City Council

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Dear Brighton and Hove City Council,

--- Background.

The Strategic Transport Assessment (STA) for the May 2013 City Plan said Woodingdean & Rottingdean were expected to be overloaded on the planning horizon.

It did not set out how soon this was expected or what their existing load status is.

It also noted concerns about the unassessed impacts of some major upcoming council initiatives.

For example the Lewes Road Improvements were predicted to displace 50% of its traffic, the lion's share going to Falmer Road (Woodingdean & Rottingdean).

The STA for the June 2014 revised City Plan, no longer expressed these concerns.

The aim of this information request is to examine the information that was used to remove these concerns and to examine the underlying assumptions about existing congestion levels and impacts of extra loads.


--- Request for Information

[1] What information was used by B&HCC or by your consultants, to decide the earlier concern about the Lewes Road Improvements, ought to be dropped from the revised June 2014 STA? e.g.

Revised Traffic estimates?
Actual Traffic measurements?
Micro-simulation Modelling?
Wider area Modelling? (e.g. SATURN).

Please list the information used, including if Modelling was involved, the baseline assumptions and the latest measurement values, .

[2] The concerns about 20 mph zones were also dropped from the 2014 STA.

As per [1] above, on what information was that based?

[3] The City Plan STAs also predicted substantial extra peak time Traffic will flow into Falmer Road due to the A27 Falmer Road Interchange improvements.

This appears to be excluded from the Traffic growth for Woodingdean and Rottingdean.

Is that correct?

What assumptions were made about that extra Traffic?

[4] The City Plan STAs did not identify any exceptional growth in Traffic from ESCC (which seems remarkable given the developments in their pipeline and their new housing targets set by central government).

What information was obtained from ESCC to support this assumption?

[5] The City Plan will in due course be supported by detailed modelling of the Falmer Road-B2123 and A27 corridors East of Brighton.

Recently two sets of independent contractors (working for Lightwood and Linden) failed to measure existing local queues (as their surveyors were unable to see the queues). Please confirm this information is known to you and will be or has been advised to your consultants, to ensure they take proper measurements.

If you have information contradicting this ... what is it, what is its source and when did you receive it?


Yours faithfully,

rob shepherd

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

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rob shepherd left an annotation ()

The junctions at Woodingdean and Rottingdean are notorious local bottlenecks. Long delays and queues of hundreds of cars are reported daily on local Traffic reports.

The scale of problem can be independently verified using Google's Historic Traffic data (which averages data over several months) or from TomTom's more detailed database.

Nevertheless, the local authority has not seemed concerned when Transport Assessments report these queues as 10-22 cars long and assess the impact of new housing as improbably low, using inaccurate congestion figures. It has also not reacted to other serious errors in Assessments, raising concern about the quality of checking.

These junctions are close to the county boundary and the Strategic Road Network, so they are affected by changes outside as well as inside the local authority's boundary, but the picture presented in Transport Assessments and in the City Plan is weak in assessing this.

All this has caused concern to several local residents groups, concerns that have resulted in numerous planning objections based on ignoring local congestion and pollution including the impact on public transport, petitions to the council and meetings between resident groups and council officials.

After some 18 months of trying to get to the bottom of these problems and feeling there has been little progress, a number of FoI requests have been submitted to obtain information about the traffic data and planning procedures and skills that inform our local Planning/Highways Authorities.

The aim is to establish an agreed base of facts that will make future communication more productive.

This is one of those FoI requests.