Agenda item

PETITION - MILMAN SWING BRIDGE, APPERLEY ROAD, BRADFORD

Previous Reference: Council, 16 October 2018

 

The Committee is asked to consider (Document “P”), which outlines a petition that has been received requesting a traffic light system at Milman Swing Bridge on Apperley Road, Bradford.

 

The report also outlines the response of the Strategic Director, Place to the petition.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)  That no action be taken on the request for a traffic signal system on Milman Swing Bridge, Apperley Road, Bradford.

 

(2)  That the petitioner be informed accordingly.

 

(Regeneration & Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee)

 

(Andrew Smith – 01274 434674)

Minutes:

Previous Reference: Council, 16 October 2018

 

The Committee was asked to consider (Document “P”), which outlined a petition that had been received requesting a traffic light system at Milman Swing Bridge on Apperley Road, Bradford.

 

The report also outlined the response of the Strategic Director, Place to the petition. The Principal Engineer, Traffic and Road Safety attended the meeting and explained in detail the situation at the bridge, which was very narrow and was owned by the Canals and Rivers Trust. The Council was however responsible for maintaining the road surface and managing traffic flow. He stated that replacing the bridge entirely would be a significant cost to the Trust. He advised that, while there had been no incidents on the bridge, traffic flow was high as it was on a busy through route. Improvements such as the installation of lights or a separate footbridge would be prohibitively costly and previous works to improve signage had already taken place so the recommendation was for no further action to be taken.

 

The lead petitioner attended the meeting and spoke in support of the petition, arguing that simply to veto any action was not appropriate and did nothing to protect pedestrians who were very vulnerable when using the bridge. She reported anecdotal evidence of people being brushed by cars when both were on the bridge at the same time. She also explained that a significant new development of housing was underway near the bridge so traffic would only increase. She highlighted particularly the problem of trying to cross the bridge with children, a pram or in a wheelchair. She concluded by stressing that it was not appropriate to simply suggest that drivers must obey the highway code and by suggesting an alternative route for drivers which she considered to be more suitable.

 

The Principal Engineer responded by stating that this issue was a matter of available resources and that a new bridge would be extremely costly. He did not consider it to be suitable to consider closing the road at the moment but it could be considered in future alongside the lights scheme at Greengates.

 

Members asked the Principal Engineer about the layout of the bridge and road and were informed that the bridge crossed over the canal with a road and a narrow pavement on either side. The pavement could not be configured to a single path of greater width as a buffer was required at either side of the road to prevent vehicles striking the bridge.

 

Members discussed whether an improvement to the bridge could be considered once the major road improvements at Greengates were in place and asked that this be examined at the appropriate time.

 

They also asked whether more explicit signage could be used to alert drivers to the potential hazard but were informed that there was prescribed wording for road signs and any other signs would not be legally permissible.

 

A member considered that a more emphatic approach to the issue must be taken, including robust discussions with the bridge owner.

 

The petitioner advised that the road had been closed for a period of eight weeks earlier in the year and all traffic had been required to go via Greengates. She considered that this had not caused a significant delay for anyone.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)  That no action be taken on the request for a traffic signal system on Milman Swing Bridge, Apperley Road, Bradford at this point.

 

(2)  That representations be made to the Canals and Rivers Trust to attend a future meeting to discuss the issue of Milman Swing Bridge.

 

(3)  That, once the Greengates Junction improvements are complete, this issue be revisited and a further report be presented to the Committee explaining possible solutions. 

 

ACTION: Strategic Director, Place

 

(Regeneration & Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee)

 

 

Supporting documents: