Agenda item

Bus Hub, Barrack Row and Garrick Street, Gravesend (For Information)

Minutes:

Richard Shelton, one of the Project Managers from the Major Capital Programme Team from KCC Highways introduced himself as the technical support officer for the Barrack Row and Garrick Street Bus Hub in Gravesend. The Board was apprised of the outstanding key areas of the project which included the proposed layout. It had originally been proposed that old bus shelter and bus stop furniture would be re-used. However, Garrick Street would need a Fastrack canopy system as it was the intention to use two Fastrack buses with the Arriva services using Barrack Row. The Board was referred to the officer’s report which set out details of the project.

The following comments were made in relation to this subject:

·                    A request was made that taxis be allowed to go through the Bus Hub. It was explained that when clients were dropped off at the railway station, drivers had to travel round the long way to return to the rank. The same applied when collecting passengers at the station as they had to pay more for their taxi service because of the road layout. It was confirmed that taxis would not be allowed to use the Bus Hub. However, the officer undertook to look into this matter and would report back to the Board. However, there had been some concern about the number of taxis this would involve and the impact on the Hub,

·                     It was noted that queueing traffic on Darnley Road caused by abuse of the bus gate at the junction with Barrack Row and the layout of the associated roads meant there was additional pollution. It was suggested that taxis should be allowed to turn into Darnley Road. The Board was advised that Kent County Council was aware that there has been regular abuse of the bus gate that was putting additional demand on the traffic light systems that were not working efficiently for traffic on the Ring Road. Consideration was being given how best to enforce the bus gate to assist with traffic flow. The officer advised that a detailed design was being produced and he would submit it to a future meeting of the Board. The layout of the Bus Hub had been challenging, especially fitting all required bus stops onto the site which had not been possible in such a limited area which also had to include adequate waiting areas for pedestrians, seating and soft landscaping.

·                    Enforcement had been mentioned and the issue experienced by car drivers in Chelmsford was raised. Enforcement cameras had been installed into a bus lane in Chelmsford and approximately 5,000 motorists had been fined in the 25 days after installation. This had led to criticism of Essex County Council in relation to inadequate signage. Officers were urged to consider signage when installing enforcement cameras.

·                    An issue was raised on how long the beautiful design of the Bus Hub would last if such things as the possibility of public toilets on the site was not factored into the design. It was noted there was an issue about who would maintain the public toilet if one were to be built on the site now or in the future. The Clive Road facility had been closed by the Borough Council. Arriva was considering whether this was something they could take on board but it was likely to only be toilets and a restroom for Arriva staff. It was noted that the Clive Road facility had been closed due to antisocial behaviour issues. However, it was a popular location because of the proximity of the Railway Station and the Bus Hub. It was suggested that the possibility of a future tram system should also be taken into account together with use by the walking public. Officers were asked to consider the possible future inclusion of a toilet facility, its possible location and who might offer to maintain the facility.

·                    The Chair raised the issue with the markings at the end of Clive Road as there was nothing to stop motorists doing a U-turn if they did not want to use the Anglesey Centre.

Resolved that the report be noted.

Supporting documents: