To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding Revision to previously approved scheme for Eclipse BRT Busway including retention of Rowner Road Bridge and provision of shared use pedestrian/cyclist route at former railway land north and at Rowner Road Bridge, Gosport (Application No. 19/00034/HCC3 Site Ref: GPH002)
Revision to previously approved scheme for Eclipse BRT Busway including retention of Rowner Road Bridge and provision of shared use pedestrian/cyclist route at Former railway land north and at Rowner Road Bridge, Gosport (No. 19/00034/HCC3)
(Site Ref: GPH002)
Councillor Philpott declared a personal interest by virtue of the scheme having previously been before Gosport District Council, but confirmed that he came to Committee with an open mind and would vote in accordance with the matter and issues as were now before the Committee.
The Committee considered a report from the Head of Strategic Planning (item 6 in the minute book) regarding an application to reapprove revisions to a scheme at Rowner Bridge in Gosport.
The Chairman gave a brief overview of the application, confirming that it had previously been to Committee, but that changes to the plans and the decision to now keep the bridge rather than demolish it, meant that it needed to be reapproved by Committee.
The officer showed Members a location plan and the bridge in the wider context of the road network. The proposed plans for the bridge were also shown, and it was noted that the new arrangements would allow cyclists to maintain on the route without having to cross the main road. Safety of the junction at the top of the ramp had been maintained with the proposed installation of barriers, which had been recommended by Highway Safety.
It was confirmed that several updates had been made to Conditions 2, 8 and 10, and these had been circulated in an update report, along with the information regarding a further representation received from a local resident.
The Committee received three deputations on this item. Paul Martin addressed Members on behalf of Cycle Gosport. He spoke in favour of keeping the bridge, but raised concerns regarding the shared space and the omission of a path on the eastern side. Jim Morey spoke on behalf of Gosport Access Group and Disability Forum. Whilst he also spoke in support of the bridge, he emphasised the importance of having enough space along the path for people to pass each other with pushchairs and wheelchairs. He also felt the crossing further along Rowner Road was dangerous for people to share.
Sarah Lister and Paul Johnson addressed Committee on behalf of the applicant. The background to the application was explained and it was confirmed that there had been insufficient space on the eastern side for a suitable path. The new proposals would benefit 95-96% of current users and there was potential to further improve in future should funding become available.
During questions of the deputations, the following points were clarified.
· The path will have the same line as the current path in place and it will not be removed
· Signs along the path show which side is for cyclists and which for pedestrians.
During questions of the officer, the following points were clarified:
· Highways have raised no objections regarding the speed limit, and issues raised through the safety audit have been addressed.
· Highways always look at the accident history of the area when considering applications.
In debate, Members acknowledged the concerns of users, but were confident that any remaining issues could be addressed during the final stages of the design and implementation.
Councillor Carter said that he was happy to work alongside Cycle Gosport and the Access Group through his role as the Road Safety Chairman.
As a local Member, Councillor Stephen Philpott thought the scheme would be of great benefit to the local community and felt confident that there would be no personal safety issues for users as a result.
Committee agreed that ad advice note should be attached recommending that a further highway review be carried out by officers after installation to monitor whether there were any issues.
Planning permission was GRANTED subject to conditions listed in integral appendix B and amended Conditions listed in the update paper.
Favour: 15 (unanimous)