A briefing has taken place today at the Council House, with Councillor Afzal and Senior Officers speaking directly to key stakeholders on the findings of the Kingsway Signal Junction Investigation.
The Council now has evidence which it wants to share with the land owners and retail tenants to stimulate a purposeful dialogue with the objective of developing a solution to secure the viability of the retail park in the future.
Councillor Afzal, Cabinet Member for Cohesion said:
“‘I made the decision to switch off the signals in the interest of keeping Derby moving, and instructed officers to investigate the causes and the options. We are making all of this information available. The congestion in the retail park, our work to try to resolve it, and the subsequent investigations have produced a lot of evidence of how the internal road and car park of the retail park can fail. The solution to this is in the hands of the retail park owners, and we are willing to help and share our information to assist the retail park to have a more sustainable future and for shoppers to have more reliable journeys”.
Sequence of events:
- The signalised roundabout, constructed by Kier Living on the A5111 to provide access for the development of 700 new homes on the Kingsway Hospital site became operational on Wednesday 13th July 2016.
- Traffic signals were part of the design to provide a safe operation of the junction and pedestrian crossing facilities over the outer ring road.
- This was constructed under a S278 agreement with Derby City Council. The total cost, paid for by the developer, is approximately £1m.
- A decision to switch of the traffic signals was made on Monday 25th July. The actual switch-off took place on the evening of Thursday 28th July.
- During the period of operation, the junction experienced on several occasions extreme congestion in the retail park and Sainsbury’s car park.
- The junction performed as predicted for traffic on the Outer Ring Road and for the housing development access.
- From the time of switching on the signals, various changes to timing plans and automated detection were implemented. None of the changes relieved the congestion in the retail park, which resulted in the decision to switch off the signals.
- Immediately following the decision to switch off the signals an internal investigation began to establish what, if anything had gone wrong in the planning and approval process.
- This investigation revealed that the original design was based on traffic flow data collected in 2011-2012. The junction was constructed in 2016.
- During the period between the original assessment and construction there were significant changes to the retail park, the type of shops and a related change to the traffic flows.
- The report is available in full with details of the Council’s process, changes to the retail park, and daily reports from 13th to 28th July 2016.
- The report contains recommendations – summarised in 2.1 of the three page report.
- The Council also immediately commissioned a technical review of the junction from an external consultant. This report is available to view in full.
- The three page report outlines the Council’s proposal for a small scale change to the junction to provide amended pedestrian crossing facilities on the Outer Ring Road, but without traffic signal control around the junction.
- This will not be implemented until 2017.
- The investigation and technical review have also suggested the fragile nature of the access, road layout and car park circulation within Kingsway Retail Park.
- The retail park has a history of congestion that was apparent before the new junction was constructed.
All the report documents are available to view and download on the Council’s Website.