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Highway Maintenance

Policy Statement and Protocol in Gating Orders

Policy

The County Council’s statutory duty as the Highway Authority is to keep the highway passable and safe.  The Council also has duties under the Traffic Management Act 2004 to prevent unnecessary disruption of traffic.

Section 2 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 introduced new powers for County Councils to make gating orders to restrict public rights of way in respect of a highway that is facilitating high and persistent levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

These powers were inserted into the Highways Act 1980 (Section 129A) with effect from 1 April 2006.

Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 the County Council has a duty to embed crime and disorder prevention into service planning, delivery and decision making and so reduce crime and the fear of crime in all our communities.

Highways provide accessibility between destinations and a gating order may restrict access for highway users, often pedestrians, at all times or for such times during part of a day that may be specified in the order.  It is therefore necessary to weigh the inconvenience to highway users and those properties accessed from the highway that would be caused by the closure against the potential reduction in crime and the fear of crime.  Consideration may also be given to the dispersal of crime and anti-social behaviour to adjoining areas if a gating order is made.

The County Council has to consider what other measures have been implemented or discounted to try and reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour before a gating order can be progressed.

The promoting body will need to provide the necessary data to demonstrate that gating is justified and an analysis of the likely impacts for the areas to be gated as well as the surrounding area.

Protocol

The County Council requires the promoting body to provide an analysis of crime and anti-social behaviour incidents, both in the area to be gated, the adjoining area and the background levels of crime in the area.  This information needs to include an analysis of types of crime and time of day at which the crimes occur.  Where possible, trend data should be included.  The request should contain an assessment of why closing the street or footpath is expected to reduce the incidence of crime and what alternative measures have been considered and rejected.

The promoting body will normally be the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP).  Where the CDRP is not the promoting body, the Partnership should be used to consider the crime analysis for the location and a copy of its advice should be included with the submission.

Information should be provided on the use of the routes and what properties or services they link, eg shops, schools, bus stops and what alternative routes are available to the public.  The County Council will assess the accessibility implications, if the crime analysis suggests that a gating order would have a significant benefit in reducing crime and the fear of crime.

If there is a demonstrable case for a gating order the County Council will then hold a meeting with the promoting body to discuss funding and management arrangements, including:

  1. public consultation and scheme promotion costs;

  2. capital costs of the gates and their installation;

  3. maintenance costs and responsibilities;

  4. operational responsibilities; and

  5. public liability.

In order for a scheme to progress, the support of the community must be demonstrated at all consultation stages.  A minimum support level of 66% will normally be required. This will give the County Council reassurance that there is a reasonable level of public support for gating.

If there is a strong case for a gating order being made, the Council will contribute on a 50/50 basis to the scheme promotion costs and, if the scheme goes ahead, 50% of the capital cost of the gates.  All other costs, liabilities and operational arrangements, eg long term maintenance, opening and closing of gates, must be met by the local promoting body.  An appropriate agreement will be drawn up for signature by the responsible body.

Version No:   1.0

Effective from:   14/10/2010

If copied or printed, this document should be treated as uncontrolled and correct only at the date it was copied or printed.

 

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