Your Council

Request for a pedestrian crossing, Langdown Lawn, Hythe

Response from Hampshire County Council, July 2013

Thank you for your letter and attached petition regarding the need for a new pedestrian crossing in Langdown Lawn, near the former Croft Inn, Hythe.

I can confirm that the conversion of the former Croft Inn to a new Tesco store has been made as a permitted development. As such the developer was not required to seek planning permission for the conversion to the new store. Consequently the County Council was unable to negotiate funding from the developer towards highway improvements such as a pedestrian crossing. Therefore the provision of a new pedestrian crossing would need to be funded directly by Hampshire County Council.

The County Council uses an established set of criteria to assess requests for all controlled pedestrian crossings such as Puffin crossings. A similar type of crossing exists further west along this road near Fairview Parade. The numerical criteriaare based on both passing traffic flows and the number of pedestrians crossing and is based on guidance from the Department for Transport. The principle of these criteria is that crossings will only operate satisfactorily if they are used on a regular basis throughout the day and if reasonably justified by both pedestrian and vehicle flows.

Pedestrian crossing requests are also evaluated by this criteria as a means of comparison for competing sites across the county. Thus, with financial resources under pressure, a simple ranking by a numerical criteria system will indicate which sites offer the greatest benefit for the investment involved. The County Council has insufficient funding to meet all the requests it receives for crossings at present.

It is proposed to conduct an initial survey of traffic flows and pedestrian numbers at this location. Should the initial assessment suggest that the criteria might be met a further more detailed survey and technical assessment would need to be arranged.

It is understood that the new Tesco store will be opened this month. However traffic flows typically reduce to their lowest levels during the summer months which coincide with the school holiday period. Undertaking a survey during this period would detrimentally affect the assessment. Therefore it is intended to conduct the initial survey in September when traffic levels return to their normal levels and pedestrian movements to and from the new store start to become established. While you may be disappointed that this can not be done sooner it will help to strengthen the justification for a new crossing.

Should you require any further information please contact Jonathan Mundy (tel. 01962 846895, email: jonathan.mundy@hants.gov.uk) who is the officer dealing with this matter. He will write to you again once the initial survey has been completed to inform you of the outcome.

Councillor Seán Woodward
Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment