Agenda item

Developer-Funded Highway Scheme Approval - Eastboro Way / Crowhill Road


Councillor Peter Butlin (Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property) moved the recommendation as set out in the report.  In doing so, he noted that the scheme was a necessity to support house building in the area. 


Councillor Wallace Redford seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.




Councillor Jonathan Chilvers considered that the proposal was unacceptable in its current form and considered it to be a hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists.  He considered there were improvements that could be made and the dominance of cars in the area was due to the limited options for pedestrians and cyclists.


Councillor Jeff Clarke welcomed the proposals which he considered to be much needed in the division and welcomed the provision of a pedestrian crossing.  He was pleased to see that the funds for the upgrade had been secured from developers.  He concluded by requesting the works commence at an early opportunity to support the progression of the housing development.


Councillor Sarah Feeney noted the considerable housing development in the wider area and supported the proposals which she considered would assist with traffic flow.  She did, however, consider than an upgrade to the provision for pedestrians was needed. 


Councillor Robert Tromans echoed comments regarding the level of housing development in the wider area and the subsequent pressure on the highway.  He considered that the focus of the proposals should be on improvement to traffic flows and pedestrian safety.  As one of the local members for the area, he noted that he had not heard calls from residents for cycle routes in this area.


Councillor Adrian Warwick noted that the crematorium was sited in this area and that the improvement to traffic flow would provide for a more dignified funeral procession to the site.


Councillor Tracey Drew stated that she had heard calls for cycle routes in the north of the county and expressed the view that following the declaration of a climate emergency and the housing development in the area, residents should be supported towards a modal shift from cars to cycles and walking.


Councillor Clare Golby, who represented Arbury division in Nuneaton, shared her experience of discussions with residents, noting that an interest in cycling provision or carbon footprint were not issues that had been raised with her.  There were cycle routes in the area which were not used and she considered that it was important for local councillors to represent the views of local residents.


Councillor Marian Humphreys stated that she was a member of the Council’s Cycling Liaison Group and this experience had led her to the understanding that the roads in Nuneaton were too hazardous for cycling as they were too narrow, and this is what had led to the local views that were being expressed by colleagues.  However, she noted that there were areas outside the town centre where cycling would be suitable for leisure or travel to school and, in her view, this was where the provision of cycling routes should be supported.


Councillor Sarah Boad expressed her disappointment that residents were not being encouraged to cycle or use buses as this would reduce traffic congestion and play a part in alleviating the cost of living crisis. She considered that cycle schemes such as K2L were a necessity for those who would like to cycle in a safer environment.


Councillor Justin Kerridge who was an enthusiastic cyclist, encouraged people to give thought to it as a travel option and believed that the Council should be providing opportunities for cycling.  However, he also considered that the view of local residents had to be taken into account.


Councillor Jenny Fradgeley noted that the government had issued guidance regarding active travel and that a climate emergency had been declared by this Council.  However, the modal shift had to be encouraged and the support of the highways authority was needed to enable that to happen.


Councillor Will Roberts noted that the residents in Willes division that he represented had raised the need for more cycle routes with him.  He noted the comments of Councillor Golby during this and previous debates and indicated that he would be pleased to accompany her to speak to residents so that he could hear their views and better understand local opinion.


Councillor Heather Timms expressed her commitment to active travel in all its forms and noted that there were many cycle routes in the county.  She highlighted campaigns like Cycle Buddies which provided experienced support to less experienced riders and considered that the focus of efforts should be in this arena together with cycling to school.


Councillor Andy Crump noted that safe and active travel needed to be encouraged but funding needed to be spent wisely where it would make the most difference.


Councillor Wallace Redford noted that the scheme had been proposed due to heavy traffic in the area and that developer funding had been secured to address the issues.  It was important to understand that the money was provided to improve the circumstances of local residents and that many of the views expressed during the debate were outside the scope of the report. 


Councillor Peter Butlin noted that the local planning authority had permitted the development with S278 funding and the County Council was required to implement it.  The developers had agreed to go beyond their obligations and were supporting improvements in the area and if it was possible to include a pedestrian crossing as part of the proposals then that would be done.




A vote was held. The recommendations were agreed by a majority.




That Council approves the addition of £4,409,900 to the Capital Programme in relation to the Section 278 highways improvement scheme (signalised junction works) at the A4254 Eastboro Way/Crowhill Road intersection.


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