Following public consultation, Nottingham City Council has decided to progress plans to permanently close Victoria Embankment to through traffic, with the aim of making the park a safer, more attractive environment for people to enjoy.
A trial has been in place since August last year, and a public consultation was carried out in March.
More than 1,500 people responded to the consultation, around a third of whom live in the Meadows area. Of all the respondents, 54 per cent supported the proposal to make the closure permanent, while 44 per cent were against.
Councillor Rosemary Healy, Portfolio Holder for Transport, said: “We have taken the decision to progress with the permanent scheme, based on the outcome of the consultation, alongside factors including the council’s traffic monitoring.
“Creating a traffic-free environment has improved access to the riverside, parks and gardens. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from both residents and visitors who have found the space quieter and safer, and enjoyed using it more.
“In a survey last year, residents told us that parks and green spaces are important to them, and that people are looking to walk and cycle more in the wake of the pandemic. We’ll be replacing the current, temporary barriers with permanent signage more in keeping with the area, and better designed to deter motorists trying to drive around the closure points.
“This is one of several measures we’re implementing to make walking and cycling easier, and I’d like to thank everyone who responded to the consultations in March and April.”
The next steps will include detailed design of the physical features to be installed at the closure points, and undertaking the required formal Traffic Regulation Order, to be consulted on over the summer.
The council received over 3,300 responses to public consultations on more than a dozen schemes, and have been analysing the feedback in detail over the last month.
The measures aim to encourage sustainable travel, and support a green recovery from Covid-19, using £2.5m awarded to the City Council from the Government’s Active Travel Fund.
- Proposal to introduce a 20mph speed limit in the city centre – 71 per cent of respondents supported, but there is more work to do to develop the scheme before a final decision will be made
- Proposals to deter cut-through traffic in the Arboretum – While many respondents were supportive of the aims of the scheme, there was limited support for the specific measures proposed. Due to the limited support, the council will not be taking the proposed scheme forward, but will continue to meet with local groups to explore alternatives
- Proposal to improve road safety, pedestrian and cycle links in Derby Road – The response to the consultation was positive, and the scheme will be going ahead later this year
- Proposal for a toucan crossing on Low Wood Road – The majority of responses were supportive, and construction is set to begin in September
- Proposals for School Streets schemes across the city – The council consulted on proposals outside 15 schools in the city. As a result of the consultations, measures will be made permanent at 14 schools.
For the latest updates on all the schemes visit our project page.
Feedback following consultation
More than 1,500 people responded to the proposal to make permanent the trial closure to through traffic. We delivered leaflets in the Meadows to ensure local residents had the opportunity to provide their feedback, and around a third of respondents said they lived in the Meadows area.
Most respondents used the Embankment to exercise or for leisure, 3 in 4 people said they visited the area on foot, and 43 per cent used their bikes in the area. Forty per cent accessed the park via car.
A total of 46 per cent of respondents from the Meadows told us they had noticed an increase in traffic since the trial began in August 2020, while 32 per cent said it had decreased.
On the key question of whether there was support to make the closure to through traffic permanent, 53 per cent of respondents supported this (51 per cent of Meadows residents’ responses), and 45 per cent were against (48 per cent of Meadows residents’ responses).
In considering the outcome of the consultation, combined with factors including the council’s traffic monitoring, the decision has been taken to progress proposals to make this scheme permanent.
We received lots of feedback from respondents, which will be used to guide the final design for the scheme. This will include improved barriers, more effective at deterring drivers from going around them. A Traffic Regulation Order will now be proposed and consulted on over the summer.
We will continue to monitor traffic levels in neighbouring residential areas.
20mph city centre
We received 421 responses to this consultation, with the majority of people telling us they will mainly access the city on foot, by bike or by public transport, once all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
In total, 71 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that reducing the city centre speed limit to 20mph would make the centre safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Sixty-one per cent said doing so would improve the city centre.
Although the results of the consultation were positive, there is further work to do developing this scheme before a final decision can be made. This will include more detailed conversations with public transport operators and the police.
In the meantime, we are developing ideas on which roads would be included, taking on board the feedback received during the consultation. A further consultation will likely take place during the summer, when this proposal has been developed.
We received 180 comments on our proposals to reduce cut-through traffic, in order to make streets safer and create a more pleasant environment for residents.
While many respondents were supportive of the aims of the scheme, there was limited support for the specific measures proposed: 44 per cent of respondents supported the proposals to a great extent or somewhat, while 55 per cent supported them very little or not at all.
The main issue cited was around access. Due to the limited support we will not be taking the proposed scheme forward.
We are continuing to meet with local groups and residents to explore what alternatives could address some of the existing issues, and also the concerns raised through the consultation. For example, we could focus on improving footways and crossings, without introducing traffic-restrictive measures.
Sherwood and Berridge
We received 453 responses to this set of proposals to reduce cut-through traffic. The proposed scheme at the Nottingham Road junction received the most support, while opinion was more mixed on the remainder of the proposals.
- Nottingham Road junction – 65 per cent supported
- Valley Road, Edwards Lane and Mansfield Road – 50 per cent supported
- Arndale Road – 44 per cent supported
- Woodville Road – 50 per cent supported
While the levels of support may not seem high, due to the way these schemes were consulted on together, we saw a high proportion of neutral responses that have lowered the overall figure of support.
All schemes will progress to further design, which we will then consult on in more detail with residents.
St Ann’s Well Road
We received 70 suggestions on measures for this road, with around 77 per cent supporting the proposal to make improvements. Work is continuing to identify the most popular and feasible options.
We received 201 comments on this proposal to improve road safety, pedestrian and cycle links, between Canning Circus and Lenton Boulevard.
Of these, 80 per cent supported the proposed scheme.
Following the positive response to the scheme, the council has decided to progress this proposal, and will propose and consult on permanent highway measures later this year.
Low Wood Road
Forty responses were received on this scheme, which includes a new toucan crossing.
The majority of responses were supportive – 70 per cent.
We are currently reviewing the proposed design, with the aim of beginning construction in the autumn.
Following consultation on proposed school streets schemes outside 15 schools in the city, we will be making permanent measures at 14, with some slight amendments in line with feedback (see individual schools below).
We are also reviewing the signage outside schools to ensure residents and businesses know they can still access their homes and properties.
We are introducing or maintaining School Streets at the following schools:
- Carrington School, Sherwood – a planter has already replaced the previous barrier used in the EATF trial
- St Augustine’s School, Mapperley – two planters to replace the barriers used during the trial around May half –term. Although there was some support for the ‘No Entry’ from Mapperley Road, we are no longer proposing this, although it could be considered for future improvements
- Sycamore School, St Ann’s – one planter to replace the barrier around May half-term
- Stanstead School, Bulwell – one planter to replace the barrier around May half-term
- Highbank School, Clifton East – two planters to replace the barriers used during the trial around May half –term
- Greenfields School, Meadows – two planters to replace the barriers used during the trial around May half –term. The current barrier located approximately half way along Kirkby Gardens will be relocated to the junction with Wilford Grove and Sheriffs Way, so that the school street also covers the nursery and sure start centre
- Djanogly Northgate Academy, Berridge – work under way to design and install a new zebra crossing with road narrowing and relocating ‘your speed’ signs. Two planters to replace the barriers used during the trial around October half-term, subject to the crossing
- William Booth School, Dales – three planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents. We are also looking at park and stride options
- Hempshill School, Bulwell Forest – two planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents
- St Teresa’s School, Leen Valley – two planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents. We are also looking at park and stride options. As the consultation showed no clear support for the ‘No Entry’ from Beechdale Road we are no longer proposing this
- Robert Shaw School, Leen Valley – three planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents. We are also looking at park and stride options
- Jubilee Academy, Bilborough – three planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents. We are also looking at park and stride options. As the engagement showed no clear support for the ‘No Entry’ from Beechdale Road we are no longer proposing this
- Brocklewood School, Bilborough – two planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents. We are also looking at park and stride. As the engagement showed no clear support for the ‘No Entry’ from Beechdale Road we are no longer proposing this
- Henry Whipple School, Bestwood – two planters on order, to be installed in July following communication with the school, residents and parents.
We also consulted on a proposed school street outside Edale Primary School, in Dales ward, but we are not currently progressing this.