Comments by TARA:
It seems to us that Atkins have done a reasonable job with the limited brief they were given and while we might quibble with the details and limitations of their recommendations the council has provided an inadequate forum for doing this.
We would however, like to highlight two observations they report:
1. "It seems like this is just tinkering with traffic management without any overall plans for the City Centre - What is the vision for what kind of City Centre we want?"
This for us seems to be a key observation and should form a starting point for a new consultation.
2. The state of the pavements and the muddle of street furniture are a constraint on any access and mobile plans for the city centre.
We note that there are large sums of proposed expenditure for "active" travel schemes most of which is planned to be spent of specialist cycling infra-structure. We would contend that much of this expenditure would be better directed at improving the ability of pedestrians and disabled people to move around the city.
Finally, reading officers analysis of the consultations responses make it clear that there is a bias in designing consultations to making them easy for officers to analyse at the expense of offering residents the widest range of options for participation. This is a bias which, in our view, should be corrected.