North Somerset Council is inviting the public to have their say as part of a consultation on proposed public realm, cycle and pedestrian improvements in Clevedon.

The new proposals include public realm improvements in Hill Road, The Beach, and other local roads.

Click on the Project Title above to go to the North Somerset Consultation page for this application.

The Conservation & Planning Group, on behalf of the Civic Society, have commented on this application.

Our letter text to the Consultants involved in drawing up the plans for North Somerset Council (NSC) is as follows:

CLEVEDON CIVIC SOCIETY

February 2021

Dear Paola,  

Clevedon public realm improvements at The Beach and Hill Road.  

The Civic Society supports overall objectives of these proposals, but we have the following reservations;  

• There is undue emphasis on priority for cyclists.  

Whilst we can see the advantages of a segregated cycleway on The Beach we disaree with it in Hill Road where trade relies heavily on regular deliveries to the restaurants on a daily basis and to other businesses less frequently. To facilitate deliveries, lorries would need to park blocking the proposed cycleway to avoid obstructing the flow of traffic.In this busy road ,where shoppers circulate freely, and hospitality businesses could benefit from more outdoor seating, the cycle lane sterilises a 3 metre wide strip as well as posing a hazard for pedestrians.

We cannot see the logic of introducing segregated cycleways in Seavale, Woodlands and Gardens Roads .These are narrow residential roads and unless the residents parking is removed there is insufficient space to introduce a contra flow cycle lane.

We also have concerns about;  

• Proximity of bus stops to Hill Road. For incoming buses from Bristol and Weston the nearest stops are either on the Beach or Wellington Terrace.  

• The junction created where The Beach, Alexandra Road and Marine Parade intersect is dangerous, particularly for cyclists travelling down Marine Parade who must cross oncoming traffic to join the cycle lane.  

• No provision for a coach drop off point at the west end of the Beach.  

• Where is the additional parking to be provided at the eastern approach to Hill Road?  

• There should be permanent power points available to ice cream vendors on the sea front to avoid them running their engines whilst the vehicle is stationary.  

• Will the dedicated crossing points on both schemes incorporate raised surfaces to reinforce the 20mph speed limit?  

• The implementation works must be carefully phased to minimise disruption to traders who have had a bad time recently.  

• Parklets in Hill Road can only be formed with the loss of car parking spaces  

Hopefully these comments are helpful and we look forward to seeing the final designs,  

Yours sincerely,  

John Tranter for Clevedon Civic Society. 

The Society have received a reply from the Consultants:

Hi John

Thanks for your comments. Your time to look into this is greatly appreciated, and I will make sure all the comments are taken into consideration by the wider design team. 

Apologies it took me a while to get back to you, but the consultation is getting very popular, and is keeping us very busy. 

I have put some comments below 

• There is undue emphasis on priority for cyclists. 

Whilst we can see the advantages of a segregated cycleway on The Beach we disagree with it in Hill Road where trade relies heavily on regular deliveries to the restaurants on a daily basis and to other businesses less frequently. To facilitate deliveries, lorries would need to park blocking the proposed cycleway to avoid obstructing the flow of traffic. In this busy road ,where shoppers circulate freely, and hospitality businesses could benefit from more outdoor seating, the cycle lane srterilises a 3 metre wide strip as well as posing a hazard for pedestrians. 

The scheme funding is tied to improvement to active travel facilities. Hill Road scheme includes extensive pavement widening through nearly the whole length of the street, which implies the need to reduce traffic to one way. 

The Council does not want to preclude the permeability to cycles coming from the eastern part of Hill Road who wish to stay at the same level (unfortunately Clevedon gradients can be a bit challenging), hence the provision of a contra-flow cycle lane is key. 

However, the cycle lane total width is kept to the minimum of 2m including kerb segregation (not 3), and there are increased pedestrian crossing points with build outs to ensure pedestrians can cross as safely and quickly as possible (if your concern about hazard to pedestrian is related about people attempting to cross the cycle lane). 

At the moment there are no loading bays in Hill Road. We have had extensive engagement with the BID, and have provided 3 new loading bays (one of which of double length), at different locations along the street. 

• We cannot see the logic of introducing segregated cycleways in Seavale, Woodlands and Gardens Roads .These are narrow residential roads and unless the residents parking is removed there is insufficient space to introduce a contra flow cycle lane. 

We do not envisage segregated cycle lanes at these location. These residential streets are sufficiently quiet to provide a “no entry except cycles” restriction without physical segregation, which contemplated by the current design guidance. 

• Include loading bay on other side and outside Sainsburys 

Se [sic] above, we did. 

We also have concerns about; 

• Proximity of bus stops to Hill Road. For incoming buses from Bristol and Weston the nearest stops are either on the Beach or Wellington Terrace. 

Noted, and will be considered once we engage in detail with the bus operators. 

• The junction created where The Beach, Alexandra Road and Marine Parade intersect is dangerous, particularly for cyclists travelling down Marine Parade who must cross oncoming traffic to join the cycle lane. 

The visibility is very good at this junction, and cycles’ movements will be very similar to the current ones. 

At the moment we feel there is an improvement, as the scheme encourages traffic to slow down due to the new high friction surface, and there is a dedicated turning lane for cyclists, where they can safely wait to give way to oncoming traffic. 

• No provision for a coach drop off point at the west end of the Beach. 

Following discussions with the Pier, there is a coach drop off nearer to the attraction, which seems the preferred location in the street. 

• Where is the additional parking to be provided at the eastern approach to Hill Road? 

See below – one loading bay (overnight use will be for residents) and two additional parking spaces 

 

 • There should be permanent power points available to ice cream vendors on the sea front to avoid them running their engines whilst the vehicle is stationary.

Great idea – We will explore this, depending on budget availability.

• Will the dedicated crossing points on both schemes incorporate raised surfaces to reinforce the 20mph speed limit?

This would be our preferred option, but it is strictly depending on budget, and the cost might be prohibitive. Once we have a final scheme we will cost it and consider raised crossings if budget allows. In the meanwhile we feel that a distinctive surface will serve the purpose of emphasising the pedestrian presence in this street, highlighting the areas in front of the local hospitality businesses where crossing movements are most likely to take place.

• The implementation works must be carefully phased to minimise disruption to traders who have had a bad time recently.

Agreed and already noted in the implementation timescale.

• Parklets in Hill Road can only be formed with the loss of car parking spaces.

This is indeed the case, and will be discussed in detail in a separate forum with the local businesses, to see if they still want to go ahead and take advantage of this opportunity (perhaps on a trial basis – as you can imagine the hospitality businesses are very keen) or not.

I also attach the Frequently Asked Questions document, if it helps.

Kindest regards

Paola Spivach

architect

Sustainable Street Design

Following consultation within the C&P Group and Society Executive Committee, the following was sent to the Consultants:

CLEVEDON CIVIC SOCIETY.

Dear Paola, 

CLEVEDON PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENTS AT THE BEACH AND HILL ROAD.

Thank you for your prompt response to our letter concerning the above which I forwarded to the Civic Society members. The number of responses I have received shows how concerned local people are about these proposals, and I therefore felt that it would be helpful to summarise as follows; 

• We did not know that scheme funding is tied to improvement to active travel facilities, however these improvements are surely not solely related to cycling, and specifically the construction of dedicated cycle lanes? 

The decision to introduce a dedicated cycle network into the highest density part of Clevedon , where many dwellings are without off street parking, and the roads are narrow just seems wrong.

 • We still remain unconvinced about the contra flow cycle lane in Hill Road . The area bounded by the proposed one way streets is so small that permeability of cycles throughout cannot be significantly reduced by ommitting the dedicated cycleway in Hill Road. The potential conflict between cyclists, pedestrians, delivery vehicles and cars would be removed from this important retail environment. 

• Please could you clarify the intentions for Seavale, Woodlands and Gardens Roads. Does the provision of “no entry except for cycles” mean that cars moving in accordance with the one way system will meet cyclists coming the other way? If so this is dangerous. 

• We queried the safety of the junction where The Beach, Alexandra Road and Marine Parade intersect, and we disagree with your statement that “visibility is very good at this junction” 

Cyclists travelling fast down the Marine Parade hill cannot see the junction until they are apprximately 60 metres away from it, and many of us have seen collisions and near misses between cyclists and vehicles turning right from The Beach into Alexandra Road. The situation will be worse at the new junction as it is currently envisaged.

The proposed introduction of a one way system plus segregated cycleways is a really significant change in the Beach Conservation Area and this is why people are concerned about its effect. 

Would it be possible for the new traffic arrangements to be put in place for a trial period, before finally committing to the full scheme and its consequent costs?

I hope that these comments are helpful, 

Yours Sincerely,

John Tranter, for Clevedon Civic Society


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