The Planning and Delivery Manager - Active Travel and Road Safety and the Strategic Policy Manager were in attendance at the meeting to provide an overview of transport and car parking in the Linthorpe Road area as part of the Panels current review of Linthorpe Road Regeneration.
Linthorpe Road was in some ways a victim of its own success with many thriving shops, restaurants and bars. Whilst there was on-street parking along the road itself, at peak times it was extremely busy. Residents parking schemes were in force in several side streets.
Teesside Universitys Clarendon car park was located off Linthorpe Road and was available for public use outside of office hours. However it was noted that the signage for the Clarendon car park was not very prominent and that members of the public might not be aware of its existence and availability. Although there was a variable message sign in the vicinity the Panel agreed that the car park could be promoted more widely. One suggestion was to promote the car park, in partnership with Teesside University, via the Love Middlesbrough magazine.
In terms of sustainable transport there were bus routes along Linthorpe Road with buses running regularly until 11.00 pm at night. At the present time there were no night buses and consultation with operators suggested that this would not be commercially viable. The bus lanes introduced in the 1990s were removed in 2012 to free up additional on-street car parking spaces for the benefit of businesses on Linthorpe Road.
A feasibility study into the potential benefits of the introduction of additional bus lanes in Middlesbrough had recently been undertaken at the request of the Panel. Whilst it was recognised that the existing bus lanes in the town had a positive impact on reliability, there were no plans for any additional bus lanes to be introduced at present, although it might be a possibility in the future. It was also confirmed that there were no plans to introduce dedicated cycle paths along Linthorpe Road.
Overall, the Planning and Delivery Manager was not aware of any particular parking or transport issues in the Linthorpe Road area, or complaints from members of the public. However, some problems with cars parking in the residents only zones were highlighted by a Panel Member.
In response to a query as to whether there were any planned changes on Linthorpe Road, the Planning and Delivery Manager stated that he was unaware of anything from a Highways perspective. Any new developments would need to go through the planning process and Highways would be informed at that stage.
AGREED as follows that:
1. The information provided was received and noted.
2. A copy of the Review of the potential benefits of the introduction of additional bus lanes within Middlesbrough would be forwarded to all Panel Members.