Lewes Road Improvements - City Wide Negative Impacts

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

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Dear Brighton and Hove City Council,

--- Context

The 2010 consultant's report for the "Lewes Road Improvements" predicted that the 50% drop in its road capacity would result in many vehicles being displaced to other areas of the city, most notably to Falmer Road (Woodingdean & Rottingdean Coastal Wards).

It seems extremely likely that experienced consultants will have pointed out that the impacts (including but not restricted to likely deterioration to bus services) could outweigh the local benefit to the Lewes Road and that in order to protect their reputation this would be minuted or recorded in correspondance or memoranda.

Parts of the consultant's report imply awareness / concern about this issue.

...
--- Information Request

[A]. I require information on whether, how and when the consultants advised B&HCC of these wider impacts and what actions B&HCC took as a result, including any steps taken to estimate the impacts and discount them against the benefits, when assessing the case for the improvements.

This would be in the form of relevant correspondance (including emails), memoranda, minutes of meetings or briefing notes.

...
...

[B] If B&HCC is unable to locate evidence that they were informed of this issue ...

... then with respect to B&HCC's exchanges with the consultants re the Lewes Road Improvements, I require copies of all
- correspondance (including emails)
- minutes of meetings
- memoranda of telephone calls and conversations
including copies of any draft versions of the report that may have been amended as a result of such exchanges.

I also require copies of all such exchanges between council officials themselves or between council officials and elected councillors, including briefings to council committees and minutes of their meetings.

I recognise [B] would be a far reaching request that could require commercially sensitive or personal data to be redacted from some material and will accept in the first instance just such material as does not need this and will then review the need for further information in the light of the initial information provided.

...
...

I support B&HCC's commitment to the environment and its efforts to eliminate unnecessary printing and confirm I prefer all material to be in machine readable form.

Yours faithfully,

rob shepherd

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for submitting your Freedom of Information (FOI) request to
Brighton & Hove City Council.

 

We will respond to your request within 20 working days as stipulated under
the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

 

Regards,

 

Information Governance Team

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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.

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Dear Mr Shepherd,

I apologise for the delay in not providing you the reply to this FOI. We are currently working on this, and your remaining 7 FOIs.

We are planning on providing you a reply to all your transport related FOIs in a single combined response at the beginning of December.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Regards,
Adam Rezazadeh | Information Governance Officer (Information Governance Team) | 4th Floor | Kings House | Grand Avenue | Hove | BN3 3LS |

show quoted sections

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Do not delay sending the information you can send by the FoI deadlines.

Most of this information is needed by the end of the month to write a briefing note for a meeting with B&HCC which should not be postponed.

I tried to get this info by other sources and only raised the FoIs when it was clear I would not have the information I needed in time for the meeting.

Already some key info has been delayed by another authority who took 21 days to tell me the information is held by yet another authority - in part due to not reading one of the questions properly, so the information from Brighton is now even more important.

Please do your best to send me what you can, I don't mind if it is not tied up neatly, I just need the facts to est an agreed basis of facts, so as not to waste your time at the meeting.

Yours sincerely,

rob shepherd

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for submitting your Freedom of Information (FOI) request to
Brighton & Hove City Council.

 

We will respond to your request within 20 working days as stipulated under
the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

 

Regards,

 

Information Governance Team

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation.

rob shepherd left an annotation ()

Brighton chose to include this request in a composite reply as follows on 8/12. I do not accept Part 1 is too large or non-specific and asked them to act on this - they have yet to respond.

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Thank you for your FOI request. However your request is too large and non-specific and the time required to locate and process information and correspondence would exceed the time guidelines as set out in the FOIA and is therefore Exempt under S12.

Further, all the monitoring information on the Lewes Road scheme will be published as part of the reporting process and is therefore Exempt under S22 (intended for future publication). The report will be published on our website once it is complete which is expected to be in December 2015.