Mr Guy Ferguson made the following statement:
“If we look at what the scheme was designed to do, there were two main aims of the scheme, as noted in the report under point 2.3 in the report: ‘to prohibit misuse of the right hand turn of junction at Station Road and Warwick Road’, ‘to allow the creation of a pedestrianized area for local businesses to utilise, creating a small park let’.
So, I've looked at both those points in terms starting first of all with the misuse of the turning. The report notes that the scheme has reduced the number of near misses and collisions and has no environmental impact. Unfortunately, from my position, the problem with both these points is quite simply the conclusion being drawn, is impossible to justify. In terms of near misses, it states reduction, but it's unclear whether this means no accidents; and presumably if not, then you draw it's been a failure, but correlation does not imply causation. The report does not mention once the reduction of the 20mph speed limit that was reduced from 30mph along that stretch of the Warwick Road, that was implemented at the same time. Claiming the road closure has reduced accidents, is for me to equally claim the 20mph restriction has caused these, is completely unprovable.
As the environmental impacts, if you displace traffic from the main non-residential through road, onto residential roads, wholly unsuitable for the purpose, then you're shifting exhaust fumes to residents from shopping areas. I further add that in terms of residents of Central Kenilworth Association, who make representations on behalf of central Kenworth residents, they wrote to the Council in May 2022, and they received response to nine months later. There has been no risk assessment on the additional safety risk of Station Road being closed, in light of pedestrian being knocked over by reversing lorry.
A decision is being made on an assessment, after this decision is being made. It's like operating on a patient before you've diagnosed the condition. It needs a full assessment. There appears to be no assessment of extra traffic, especially HGV's, through Abbey and Car Park, which is wholly undesigned for the traffic. Kenworth Town Council and Warwickshire County Council have reported no extra problems apparently, but this assumes no complaints means there's no issues. Again, it needs a full assessment. There's been no assessment whether a light controlled junction could be fitted at this point to prevent the right term being made; again, there's been no assessment in light of so little information.
How can a reasonable decision be made today? I'd further add there's no data on traffic displacement in the report. There's massive displacement to other roads.
People who want to turn out right of Station Road are now being forced onto Waverley and Priory Roads. I live there, you get too many vehicles down there at the same stage. It seems to suggest that driving out of Station Road on to Warwick Road is problematic in terms of health and safety for large HGVs reversing out of Station Road. I run a large retail distribution operation, reversing is a health and safety concern and, from a very simple perspective, reversing blind where there's no requirement for those retailers to put two people on that vehicle or fit reversing cameras means it's substantially more dangerous than pulling forward. There’s not enough evidence to draw a conclusion, we need more assessment.”
Councillor Isobel Seccombe stated that she understood Mr Ferguson’s view of the level of assessment and the report itself stated that the measures implemented during Covid-19 and post-pandemic will be made a Regulation. She continued that, assessments had been done and objectors and supporters of the scheme had been spoken to. Residents of Kenilworth (RoK) submitted their objections, and these were taken separately, not as one singular objection; there were 11 objections altogether. Support for the scheme was given by the local Warwickshire County Council (WCC) member, local Town Councillor and the scheme was funded by Kenilworth Town Council. WCC would be carrying out this work on Kenilworth’s Town Council’s behalf as a Council partner.
Councillor Seccombe suggested this be put to Kenilworth Town Council and she planned to approve the recommendation.
Councillor Seccombe thanked Mr Guy Ferguson for attending.
That Leader approves the making of an Order, pursuant to section 1 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which is to reproduce and continue in force indefinitely the provisions of ‘The Warwickshire County Council (Station Road, Kenilworth) (Prohibition of Vehicles) (Experimental Order) 2021’