Sports hall response highlights management of event traffic

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A NEW sports hall at Oakfield would need event traffic management and improvements for pedestrians, a senior civil servant has said.

Plans to build a new £3.1 million facility at Oakfield were submitted last month after the original proposal was refused because of concerns around parking, as well as the design and size of the proposed building.

If plans are approved, the facility could become a hub for a number of sports which are being moved out of Fort Regent.

As part of a parking review submitted with the new plans, officers say that should there be an increased demand for car parking, especially during an event, alternative parking locations are proposed within the school, college and St Saviour’s Hill car parks.

A planning application has also been submitted to create 64 staff parking spaces at Highlands College to cater for the potential increased demand.

However, William Prendergast, principal transport planner, said in a response to the application that a plan would need to be implemented during ‘overspill events’.

‘Depending on the nature of the event, pre-event planning temporary traffic management could be organised to facilitate traffic movement using signals or marshals and reduce the impact on the highway network,’ he said.

‘The key considerations in terms of travel and transport are impact upon other road users at the access junction with Wellington Road and facilities for those wishing to walk, cycle or use the bus to access the sports centre as well as the education campus. There is also the consideration of when overspill parking is required and impacts that has upon the access onto St Saviour’s Hill.

‘Planning conditions will be required to safeguard the operation of the public highway, including event traffic management, implementation of a site travel plan and delivery of the cross-site pedestrian link improvements,’ he added.

He also said that on-site transport links needed to be provided.

‘With a route through the site maintained, students can still access the wider college campus on foot or bike. And providing, as stated, a link for pedestrians into the northern part of the campus is provided, on-site access improvements are offered,’ he said.

‘Support from the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment Department can only be forthcoming with the securing of planning conditions,’ he added.

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