(1) To receive a statement from Brian Wernham regarding traffic safety in the Stanwix Urban Division.
(2) To receive a question from Tracey Harris?Williams regarding road safety in Stanwix.
(3) There are no petitions to be considered at this meeting.
(a) Mr B Wernham made the following statement to the Committee:-
‘Thank you to the Chair of this meeting and to the Committee for allowing me five minutes to make a brief statement about traffic safety in Stanwix Urban. I had been planning to make this statement to this Committee for some time before the recent fatal traffic incident on Stanwix Bank.
In the week before the recent local elections, Stanwix residents witnessed a terrible road incident which resulted in a driver being airlifted to intensive care in Newcastle. Sadly, Cumbria Police confirmed that he died on May 12th and I am sure that I can say that our thoughts are with his family, friends and all those who witnessed the incident.
It happened at the traffic lights in Stanwix just above the Eden Bridge.
Eden Bridge forms the gateway from the City of Carlisle into the Stanwix Conservation Area.
The Stanwix Conservation Area is a series of narrow thoroughfares designed for pedestrians and horses and carts. This area cannot be much altered in terms of road layout because it is officially listed as a Conservation Area.
The newspaper reported three vehicles were involved in the crash. One of them demolished a traffic light post.
In addition to the fatally injured driver, a Trinity school student could have been innocently walking along the footpath or quietly waiting to cross the road. A parent could have been pushing a pram with baby. Any Stanwix resident could also have been killed or terribly maimed in the matter of an instant.
Stanwix Bank is residential. It stands opposite homes on Devonshire Terrace and Eden Mount – both residential. Scotland Road homes start immediately after that. Brampton Road buildings 1–17 are all homes to Stanwix residents, as is Miles Mcinnes Court. That whole area is residential.
I am proposing today that the Committee should ask County Council Officers to prepare a paper outlining the options for the Stanwix Conservation Area to be urgently put under a 20mph limit.
Many people think that 20mph zones are for small, quiet residential roads only but quiet residential roads are not where people get maimed and killed by traffic doing 30mph or just over or by drivers who are driving in a rushed, dangerous manner.
I propose that the options paper should also include a buffer zone of 100m on approaches to allow space for traffic to slow naturally from 30mph before encountering the 27 traffic-danger hot-spots which pepper the Stanwix Conservation Area from North to South and from East to West.
I will now list the 28 traffic-danger hot-spots:
1. The Stanwix Bank Traffic Lights.
2. The right-turn exit from Carlisle Cricket Ground.
3. The right-turn exit from Cavendish Terrace.
4. The Stanwix Bank traffic light junction.
5. The right-turn exit from St George’s Crescent.
6. The right-turn exit from Cromwell Crescent.
7. The blind left turning into Church Terrace.
8. That there is no pedestrian refuge or crossing across Scotland Road opposite the Church Street Bus Stop.
9. Dangerous right turns are frequently made by drivers from Etterby Street into Marlborough Gardens.
10. That there is no pedestrian refuge or crossing across Etterby Street at Etterby Terrace where many parents walk their children down to the river.
11. The exits from Eden Place both on the north and south side are on a dangerous blind bend.
12. Austin Friars school entrance is on a blind bend.
13. The exit from Thornton Road.
14. The exit from Rosebery Road (where I should declare an interest because I live there).
15. The exit from Sainsbury’s Local via Cheviot Road.
16. Cheviot Road (where three cars were written off by a fast car just before the pandemic).
17. The blind turn from Church Terrace left into Church Street.
18. The narrow pavement with overgrowing hedges outside the Bowls Club (a pavement which is used extensively by Trinity School Students on foot).
19. The Stanwix Primary School front entrance onto Church Street.
20. The Stanwix Primary School back entrance onto Mulcaster Crescent.
21. Amazingly the Primary School Area is still a 30mph limit!
22. The T-Junction at Kells Place/Knowe Terrace.
23. The blind corner at the top of Well Lane from Kells Place
24. The blind corner at the bottom of Well Lane onto Brampton Road (where a convex mirror urgently needs to be installed).
25. The blind corner at junction of Rickerby Lane and Brampton Road.
26. The public footpath from the Church across Brampton Road to the Rickerby Park pedestrian gate. This footpath is used extensively by students going to and from Trinity School on foot. There is no crossing or pedestrian refuge there.
27. Three blind residential exits in fast succession on Brampton Road – the exits from Vallum Close, ‘Stancroft’ and then Dykes Terrace.
28. A confusing joint exit from Longlands Close and Longlands Road.
The Highways Department requires 20mph schemes to usually be primarily residential.
All of those 28 traffic-danger hot-spots meet this requirement.
I ran my successful election campaign on a mandate for road safety. My policy of '20 is plenty' was stated in my campaign literature. Campaigning on traffic safety in Stanwix Urban is one of my five key election promises. And I believe that my democratic mandate was confirmed when I received 1,472 votes – the largest absolute majority of any councillor in Cumberland.
If we need extra funds for average speed cameras at the four major entrances and exits to and from Stanwix to do this, then we should. We need to keep our roads and pavements as safe as reasonably possible for everyone. Yes, a 20mph speed limit does slightly inconvenience some drivers, but it would enable many Stanwix residents to walk happily and safely around the Ward – especially the very old, the very young and those with poor eyesight or hard of hearing.
My personal feeling, and that of the 1,472 residents that elected me into office, is that we need to ensure the lives of our children, spouses and loved ones as a priority in Stanwix Urban.
The next urgent step is for you County Councillors to ask the County Council Officers that serve this Committee to prepare a paper outlining the options for the Stanwix Conservation Area to be put under a 20mph limit without delay.
Thank you for listening to my plea for road safety – let’s do it before somebody else is injured or worse.’
The Chair thanked Mr Wernham for his Statement and gave the following response:-
‘Thank you Mr Wernham for coming to Carlisle Local Committee today to make your statement regarding the Stanwix Urban Division. Road safety is a priority for this Local Committee and any concerns raised are considered seriously. At the present time the Police are continuing to investigate the causation factors in relation to the recent incident you refer to on Stanwix Bank. It is considered at this time that no knee-jerk reactions are made as a result of a collision which is not fully understood at this time.’
(b) Ms T Harris?Williams asked the following questions:-
‘What specific evidence is required so that councillors vote for a change on the road safety of Stanwix?
Are the safety railings on the middle crossing on Stanwix Bank going to be reinstated as it is very precarious at the best of times but seems more dangerous without any. It is a heavily used crossing especially around school times.’
The Chair thanked Ms Harris?Williams for her questions and gave the following response:-
‘Thank you for bringing your questions to this Local Committee. Road safety is a priority for this Local Committee and where there are concerns for road safety it is taken very seriously. Cumbria County Council have a program for road safety which includes minor safety improvements, engineering safety studies and other interventions working with stakeholders such as Cumbria Constabulary. Where there is evidence such as high levels of collisions related to vehicle speeds or where the road conditions may have contributed to collisions then assessment of conditions and collision factors are progressed to determine if improvements are needed.
The railings on Stanwix Bank that have recently been damaged will be replaced in due course.’
The local Member for Stanwix Urban thanked both Mr Wernham and Ms Harris?Williams and went on to express appreciation to the County Council’s officers for the work they undertook to ensure the highways were as safe as possible within current regulations. The Committee was informed that the issues regarding Stanwix Bank were being investigated by the County Council together with other agencies; a report would be considered by Carlisle Highways and Transport Working Group and Carlisle Local Committee in the future with regards to the allocation of funding in accordance with priorities.
(c) There were no petitions to be considered at this meeting.