Monday, 11 December 2017

Study shows traffic impact of 450 new homes

THE impact of 450 new homes in Henley would see big increases in the number of vehicle trips on some roads in the town centre

THE impact of 450 new homes in Henley would see big increases in the number of vehicle trips on some roads in the town centre.

A £50,000 study predicts there will be rises of traffic moving in and out of Henley.


The complete study can be viewed here.

The report, compiled by Peter Brett Associates, says there will be increases in the number of trips on sections of Greys Road in both directions of about 20 per cent as well as up St Mark?s Road, away from town, between 5pm and 6pm.

On Remenham Hill there will be an increase of more than 10 per cent in trips of people entering the town and seven per cent leaving.

In the morning rush hour it says there will be an increase of almost 11 per cent along Duke Street, 17 per cent up St Mark?s Road and between 6.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent along sections of Greys Road in both directions.

Remenham Hill, which already experiences long queues, will see an increase of 6.6 per cent of vehicles entering the town and 8.5 leaving.

Councillor Will Hamilton, who chairs the town council?s transport study group said: ?What it does for the first time is give us a view of the density of traffic in Henley.

?It shows us which HGVs are stopping and which are moving straight through.

?None of the sites individually will have an impact on the traffic but all together there will be, particularly along Greys Road and the pinch point on lower Greys Road.

?What is also points out is that traffic parking incorrectly in the loading bays is causing congestion, particularly with lorries.?

Cllr Hamilton said the report also highlighted the ?serious problem? with Remenham Hill and the Scoot traffic management system in terms of getting traffic over the Henley Bridge. Clearly now we have got to look at out traffic management within Henley,? he added. ?The problem is clearly the weight of traffic. Now what the committee is going to do is start working up the modelling.?

Mayor of Henley Lorraine Hillier added: ?It?s not actually a bad scenario from the transport study. I feel that we?ve got something to work with now and there are solutions to come up with.

?It means talking and liaising with transport companies but I think it?s doable. We?re looking at weight restrictions on the bridge. We?re finding out the actual routes they [the lorries] are taking.

?Some of them are using Henley as a cut-through when they could be given an alternative route and it?s down to their sat navs.?

The study will inform the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan, which names the 11 sites where 450 homes should be built by 2027 to meet national housing targets.

A development at the Highlands Farm industrial estate, off Greys Road, where 140 homes could be built, would see the most trips of people and vehicles.

The study says there would be 29 arrivals and 64 departures of vehiclesfrom the site in the morning rush hour with 51 arrivals and 40 departures in the evening.

For movements of people it says there would be 51 arrivals and 113 departures in the morning and 90 arrivals and 70 departures in the evening.

The report also found that in the morning rush hour there were high volumes of traffic within the town centre and ?high demand? for crossing the Henley Bridge with 836 vehicles leaving the town and 698 entering.

There was a similar volume of traffic along Duke Street and Kings Road travelling northbound.

The difference in traffic volumes to the east of Henley bridge indicated that approximately 50 vehicles are potentially ?rat running? along Remenham Lane, it said.

There were similar volumes of traffic travelling into Henley from the north west with 542 using the A4130 and 522 using Gravel Hill but relatively low volumes of traffic travelling along Gillott?s Lane.

In the evening peak there were again high volumes of traffic within the town centre and demand for crossing Henley Bridge.

There was a higher volume of traffic using Duke Street rather than Kings Road to travel northbound when compared with the morning peak hour, and a greater difference between eastbound trips to Henley from the north west when compared with the morning. Again there were low volumes of traffic travelling along Gillotts Lane.

The report added: ?The main roads within the town cater for approximately 6,000 to 9,500 vehicles throughout a 24-hour period.

?Protecting the built heritage of the town and the quality of the surrounding countryside is essential, which discounts any large scale infrastructure interventions.?

The report also found that a ?significant level? of HGVs use the town at peak times.

The report said: ?LGVs and HGVs can cause some serious congestion in the town centre when loading or delivering particular driving in peak periods.

?Laybys do not always accommodate the size of the vehicle. Private cars often use the loading bays and prevent use for loading.

?HGV flow profiles generally increase towards the middle of the day and gradually decreases towards the end of the day. A significant level of HGVs travel to and through the town during peak periods.?

In a 24-hour period a survey of HGV traffic flows found there was a high demand for HGVs crossing Henley Bridge, and the majority of HGV movements were along the main A-roads within Henley.

There were minimal HGV movements through the residential areas to the west of the town. It found that some congestion issues in the town were as a result of traffic signal phasing which intentionally gates traffic outside the town centre in order to improve air quality.

?Consequently there are frequent queues and delays at the traffic signals at Thames Side/Henley Bridge and Station Road/ Reading Road and Greys Road/Reading Road, especially within the morning and evening peak hours,? it said.

?As a result of these queues and delays, there is suspected to be a certain amount of rat-running traffic through the residential areas of Henley.?

The report also revealed that all the roads within the Henley urban area recorded an average speed of less than 30mph.

It said: ?The majority of the town centre recorded a speed lower than the Department for Transport?s 24mph threshold for suitability for a 20mph speed limit.

Henley Town Council has agreed to put its joint neighbourhood plan forward for scrutiny by a planning inspector.

A referendum is expected before the end of the year and the plan will become legally binding if more than half of voters back it.

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