Evidence from Walton Street ETRO consultation documents

Dolce Far-Niente made this Freedom of Information request to Oxfordshire County Council

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Oxfordshire County Council,
Please provide evidence for the following questions regarding the Walton Street ETRO consultation documents:
1. For the 'preliminary' 2 week consultation on the introduction of a proposed 'Experimental Low Traffic Neighbourhood Area' (4-18 October 2019) (https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk...) , the council states that it "sees this trial as having the key benefits of: Improving air quality in the direct area; Reducing traffic congestion in the local area by removing the signalised junction of Walton Street/ Worcester Street; Helping to create a safer environment for Cyclists and pedestrians within the city; Reducing “rat running” "
- Please provide evidence that the air quality was bad; evidence that the traffic congestion was bad; evidence that the environment for cyclists and pedestrians was bad; and evidence of rat-running
- Please provide evidence of who lobbied the council to initiate this consultation or who complained (i.e. where did all this start from?)
- Please make fully transparent all full results of the first October consultation - how many respondees, what the comments were and what the figures/percentages were and so forth.
- Please explain how the results of the consultation warranted proceeding to the next stage of the experimental order

2. For the next stage, where the Council put in to force the "Walton Street (Oxford) Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (Prohibition of Motor Vehicles)" (https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk...), in the accompanying PDF document "Statement of Reasons ver2", it is stated that "As a result of concerns over safety and the adverse environmental impacts of motor traffic on Walton Street, Kingston Road and neighbouring residential roads...".
- Please provide evidence of the "concerns over safety" and "evidence of adverse environmental impacts" on "Walton Street, Kingston Road and neighbouring residential roads".

2.a It also states "to prohibit at all times any motor vehicle to turn from Walton Street into either Beaumont Street or Worcester Street, or back into Walton Street."
- Please provide evidence of how the council is monitoring and evidence that it has been monitoring and stopping vehicles from turning "from Walton Street into either Beaumont Street or Worcester Street, or back into Walton Street"
2.b. It also states "The Experiment will be closely monitored during its operation".
- Please provide evidence of how exactly the council is "closely monitoring the experiment during its operation"

3. It also states "The County Council continues its responsibility to consider the provision of convenient and safe movement of motor vehicles and other traffic, and the proposed measures are aimed at ensuring that 1 danger is minimised whilst 2 facilitating the effective and safe passage of traffic, 3 access to facilities and the effect on the local environment."
- Please provide evidence that the "convenient and safe movement of motor vehicles and other traffic" is not being impeded by the road closure
- Please provide evidence that "danger is minimised"
- Please provide evidence that there is "effective and safe passage of traffic"
- Please provide evidence that the road closure is not impeding "access to facilities"
- Please provide evidence of the "effect on the local environment"

Yours faithfully,

Dolce Far-Niente

FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

1 Attachment

Our reference: 16325 EIR

 

Dear Dolce Far-Niente,

 

Thank you for your correspondence received on 16 January 2020 in which you
asked for information regarding evidence from Walton Street ETRO
consultation documents.

 

 

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information
requested as soon as possible and in any event within the next 20 working
days in compliance with the Environmental Information Regulations
2004/Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless an exception applies. This
means that the council will respond to you by 13 February 2020 at the
latest.

 

If appropriate, the information requested can be made available in
alternative formats, including other languages, Braille, large print, and
audiocassette. If you require any of these formats then please let me
know.

 

Please contact me if you have any have further enquiries about your
request. I would be grateful if you could quote the reference number given
at the top of this email.

 

Kind regards

Renata Malinowski

 

Freedom of Information Support Officer

Joint Commissioning and E&E

Email: [1]E&[email address] and
[2][email address]

 

 

[3]cid:image002.jpg@01D072CF.0B31BC70

 

 

Save money and paper - do you really need to print this email.

 

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If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and
delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of
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FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Dolce Far-Niente

 

Unfortunately the Council has not been able to supply you with the
response to this request today, its due date. The Council apologises for
this delay and will update you again tomorrow. The response is
substantially complete.

 

You do have the right to request an Internal Review now.  However, you may
wish to reserve your right to do this until you have considered the
Council’s response.

 

We will update you again tomorrow.

 

With regards

 

Glenn Watson

Principal Governance Officer

 

 

From: FOI - E&E <FOI-E&[email address]>
Sent: 23 January 2020 16:16
To: Dolce Far-Niente <[FOI #635320 email]>
Cc: FOI - E&E <FOI-E&[email address]>
Subject: 16325 EIR - Acknowledgement

 

Our reference: 16325 EIR

 

Dear Dolce Far-Niente,

 

Thank you for your correspondence received on 16 January 2020 in which you
asked for information regarding evidence from Walton Street ETRO
consultation documents.

 

 

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information
requested as soon as possible and in any event within the next 20 working
days in compliance with the Environmental Information Regulations
2004/Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless an exception applies. This
means that the council will respond to you by 13 February 2020 at the
latest.

 

If appropriate, the information requested can be made available in
alternative formats, including other languages, Braille, large print, and
audiocassette. If you require any of these formats then please let me
know.

 

Please contact me if you have any have further enquiries about your
request. I would be grateful if you could quote the reference number given
at the top of this email.

 

Kind regards

Renata Malinowski

 

Freedom of Information Support Officer

Joint Commissioning and E&E

Email: [1]E&[email address] and
[2][email address]

 

 

[3]cid:image002.jpg@01D072CF.0B31BC70

 

 

Save money and paper - do you really need to print this email.

 

This email, including attachments, may contain confidential information.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and
delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of
Oxfordshire County Council. Council emails are subject to the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. [4]http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/emaildiscl....

 

 

 

This email, including attachments, may contain confidential information.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and
delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of
Oxfordshire County Council. Council emails are subject to the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. [5]email disclaimer. For information about how
Oxfordshire County Council manages your personal information please see
our [6]Privacy Notice.

References

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2. mailto:[email address]
4. https://webmail.tiscali.co.uk/cp/ps/Mail...
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FOI - E&E, Oxfordshire County Council

3 Attachments

Our reference:  16325 EIR

 

14 February 2020

 

Dear Dolce Far-Niente,

 

Thank you for your request of 16 January 2020 in which you asked for the
following information.  Please find our response to your questions below.
Apologies that this is a day later than it should have been.

 

Please provide evidence for the following questions regarding the Walton
Street ETRO consultation documents:

 

1. For the  'preliminary' 2 week consultation on the introduction of a
proposed 'Experimental Low Traffic Neighbourhood Area' (4-18 October 2019)
([1]https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk...)
, the council states that it "sees this trial as having the key benefits
of:   Improving air quality in the direct area; Reducing traffic
congestion in the local area by removing the signalised junction of Walton
Street/ Worcester Street; Helping to create a safer environment for
Cyclists and pedestrians within the city;  Reducing “rat running” "

 

- Please provide evidence that the air quality was bad; evidence that the
traffic congestion was bad; evidence that the environment for cyclists and
pedestrians was bad; and evidence of rat-running

 

We have historic air pollution diffusion tube data from Walton Street –
however, this monitoring method is not very time sensitive as its used to
calculate an annual mean. We do have monthly data though which, with a
number of caveats related to weather influence, can give us some idea of a
comparison of non-closure vs closure NO2 levels. The data for 2019 has not
yet been ratified, so is subject to minor changes.

 

All this said the data seems to indicate that the non-ratified results of
the diffusion tube located on Walton Street  for August 2019 are roughly
20% lower than the ones observed at the same location in August 2018, and
also 20% lower in comparison with the previous month (July 2019).

 

The annual mean NO2 in Walton Street in 2017 and 2018 was 27µg m-3 and 26
µg m-3 respectively, so significantly below the legal limit (40ugm-3).

 

The authority does not hold documented evidence to support the other
requests within this question.  It has been widely accepted by many
residents and elected members that “rat running” has been a significant
issue within this area. However as aresponsible authority we always have
regard to making improvements to the local environment. 

 

- Please provide evidence of who lobbied the council to initiate this
consultation or who complained (i.e. where did all this start from?)

 

On  12 September 2019 Cllr John Howson expressed an interest to Cllr
Yvonne Constance in relation to a potential closure of the Walton Street
area to mitigate rat running.   Whilst Cllr Howson’s request was integral
in the trial it was not the sole instigation of the order.  The decision
to instigate the order was officer and local elected member led. The link
below will take you to Delegated Decisions by Cabinet Member for
Environment (including Transport) on Thursday 12 September 2019,
information can be found under Items 45/19 Questions from County
Councillors Minutes.

 

[2]https://mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/ieL...

 

- Please make fully transparent all full results of the first October
consultation - how many respondees, what the comments were and what the
figures/percentages were and so forth.

 

PRELIMINARY CONSULTATION:

The council received 493 individual* (see point below) responses in total
which, and in summary;

o 310 (63%) in support,
o 160 (32%) objections, and
o 23 non-objections or raising concerns (5%).

 

*A petition was also received, signed by 65 residents of Walton Street
(who may have also contributed separately to the consultation) registering
their support for the decision to close Walton Street to through traffic.

 

Comments are attached in pdf documents ‘16325 EIR Walton Street Email Full
Responses 1.pdf’ and ‘16325 EIR Walton Street Online Full Responses
2.pdf’.

 

 

- Please explain how the results of the consultation warranted proceeding
to the next stage of the experimental order

 

See attached report submitted to the cabinet member for transport, ‘16325
EIR Walton Street – REPORT Oct19.pdf’.

 

2. For the next stage, where the Council put in to force the "Walton
Street (Oxford) Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (Prohibition of
Motor Vehicles)"
([3]https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk...),
in the accompanying PDF document "Statement of Reasons ver2", it is stated
that "As a result of concerns over safety and the adverse environmental
impacts of motor traffic on Walton Street, Kingston Road and neighbouring
residential roads...".

 

- Please provide evidence of the "concerns over safety" and "evidence of
adverse environmental impacts" on "Walton Street, Kingston Road and
neighbouring residential roads".

 

The concerns for safety were professional officer opinions.

 

The evidence for adverse environmental impact can be seen in the air
quality data in question 1.

 

2.a It also states "to prohibit at all times any motor vehicle to turn
from Walton Street into either Beaumont Street or Worcester Street, or
back into Walton Street."

- Please provide evidence of how the council is monitoring and evidence
that it has been monitoring and stopping vehicles from turning "from
Walton Street into either Beaumont Street or Worcester Street, or back
into Walton Street"

 

There are water filled barriers at the junction of Walton Street/Worcester
Street/Beaumont Street.  These barriers restrict access to Walton street. 

 

There are is access to motor vehicle signs at this location.  Failure to
obey these signs are a matter for the police to enforce as the authority
does not have moving traffic violation powers.

 

 

2.b. It also states "The Experiment will be closely monitored during its
operation".

- Please provide evidence of how exactly the council is "closely
monitoring the experiment during its operation"

 

There are traffic monitoring measures in place at the present time, which
are running 24 hours a day.

 

There is air quality monitoring being undertaken within the area.

 

We are liaising with local elected members and members of the public to
identify key areas of concern and trying to address them individually.

 

We have attended a public meeting to gather feedback from local residents

 

 

3. It also states "The County Council continues its responsibility to
consider the provision of convenient and safe movement of motor vehicles
and other traffic, and the proposed measures are aimed at ensuring that 1
danger is minimised whilst 2 facilitating the effective and safe passage
of traffic, 3 access to facilities and the effect on the local
environment."

 

- Please provide evidence that the "convenient and safe movement of motor
vehicles and other traffic" is not being impeded by the road closure

 

Oxfordshire County Council does not hold specific records on this question
as you’ve framed it.

 

- Please provide evidence that "danger is minimised"

 

There is no specific data however the reduction of cars within the area
has led to better walking and cycling routes within the area.

 

- Please provide evidence that there is "effective and safe passage of
traffic"

 

Oxfordshire County Council does not hold specific records on this question
as you’ve framed it.

 

- Please provide evidence that the road closure is not impeding "access to
facilities"

 

Oxfordshire County Council does not hold specific records on this question
as you’ve framed it.

 

The authority are commissioning a survey of local businesses to establish
the delivery/HGV movements within the area.

 

- Please provide evidence of the "effect on the local environment"

 

Air quality data is outlined in Q1.

 

 

Internal review

If you are dissatisfied with the service or response to your request, you
can ask for an internal review as follows:

 

·         Contact the Freedom of Information team in Law & Governance:

[4][Oxfordshire County Council request email] 

·         Write to the Freedom of Information team at the FREEPOST
address:

 

Freedom of Information Team
Oxfordshire County Council
FREEPOST (RTLL-ECKS-GLUA)
Oxford OX1 1YA

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 Website:  [5]https://ico.org.uk

 

Please let me know if you have further enquiries. I would be grateful if
you could use the reference number given at the top of this email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Tim Shickle

Group Manager (Asset Renewals)

Highway Asset Management – Street Lighting, Roads, Bridges & Traffic
Signals

Oxfordshire County Council

 

This email, including attachments, may contain confidential information.
If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by reply and
delete it immediately. Views expressed by the sender may not be those of
Oxfordshire County Council. Council emails are subject to the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. [6]email disclaimer. For information about how
Oxfordshire County Council manages your personal information please see
our [7]Privacy Notice.

References

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