Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

City Centre Transport Strategy - Feedback from the Responses to the Conversation held in Autumn 2018

Report of the Strategic Director (Development) and the Deputy Chief Executive

 

This report presents the responses to a conversation and engagement exercise to support the development of a refreshed City Centre Transport Strategy. This was organised by Manchester and Salford City Councils and Transport for Greater Manchester and took place from August to October 2018 and obtained views from city centre residents, workers, visitors and businesses.  The report also describes the proposed next steps in developing an updated transport strategy for the city centre taking account of the plans for growth. 

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Development) and Deputy Chief Executive, which set out the responses to a conversation and engagement exercise to support the development of a refreshed City Centre Transport Strategy. The report also described the proposed next steps in developing an updated transport strategy for the City Centre taking account of the plans for growth.

 

The Head of City Policy referred to the main points and themes within the report, which included:-

 

·                The rationale as to why it was necessary to review the City Centre Transport Strategy;

·                Highlights from the responses to the engagement exercise which included, but was not limited to:-

·                     A total of 3700 responses had been received;

·                     90% of respondents identified air quality as an important issue;

·                     80% agreed that improving cycling, walking and public transport infrastructure would be the best way to improve air quality;

·                     Congestion and traffic was identified as one of the biggest problems when travelling into and around the city centre;

·                     Expanding the public transport network, cheaper and discounted travel and more frequent and reliable services were highlighted as being needed to encourage more people to use public transport to access the city centre;

·                     Deansgate was highlighted as the main street in the city centre that had too little space for pedestrians; and

·                Next steps, which involved the production of a draft strategy document for consultation that drew on the responses and identified specific schemes that would be needed to support future growth.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-

 

·                How representative were the findings of the engagement exercise in terms of the demographics of the city;

·                A Member felt that the issue with the space available on Deansgate was more to do with the volume of pedestrians rather than the physical width of the pavements;

·                There was concern about proposals to take traffic out of the city centre and the impact this could have on Wards on the periphery of the city centre;

·                There was concern that the pedestrianisation of roads could lead to increase in ground rents on local businesses;

·                There was concern that proposed alterations to networks were not being built with cyclists being taken into account;

·                How robust was the data collected from the survey of daily trips into the city centre in morning peak periods and did this data take into account journeys of those people who already lived in the city centre

·                A Ward by Ward breakdown of the consultation was requested for Committee Members; and

·                How was this strategy going to align with other emerging strategies;

 

The Leader acknowledged the need to consider the impact in areas surrounding the city centre and referenced that the report had identified that it would be important to consider the complementary measures required in areas surrounding the centre to ensure that any transport impacts that arose from the continuing growth of the city centre were effectively managed.  The Executive Member for Highways, Planning and Transport added that the Council was reviewing parking within the city centre and the impact of parking on the periphery of the city centre and agreed to share the findings of this with Members.

 

The Committee was advised that the main differences of the sample used in the engagement exercise compared to the representative of the city was a slight gender in-balance of responses from men compared to women and respondents aged 25-54 were overrepresented whereas respondents over 65 were underrepresented.  Aside from this, the representation of the responses to the engagement exercise was expected.

 

The Leader commented that rent levels tended to sit alongside the economic success of the city and there was evidence that if undertaken in the right way, pedestrianisation often improved access to businesses.  He also added that over the next planning period the dominant form of transport in the city centre should be walking.

 

The Head of City Policy advised that the survey of daily trips into the city centre in morning peak periods had been undertaken for a number of years now and was a consistent data set, which looked at all the crossing points of the inner ring road.  He added that this strategy was seen as a sub strategy of the 2040 Transport Strategy, which the Council was working alongside TFGM and Salford City Council on its development. The next stage would be to develop specific schemes and proposals.

 

Decision

 

The Committee:-

 

(1)       Notes the report and in particular the responses received to the City Centre Transport Strategy conversation and the proposed next steps in the development of a draft strategy document;

(2)       Welcomes the offer from the Executive Member for Highways, Planning and Transport to share the findings of the review of parking within the city centre and the impact of parking on the periphery of the city centre with Committee Members;

(3)       Requests that Officers provide a ward breakdown of the consultation responses with the relevant Ward Members; and

(4)       Agrees to receive a further report prior to the draft document for consultation being considered by the Executive.

 

Supporting documents: