Frequently Asked Questions
Why is nothing being done about the traffic congestion in Evesham?
Worcestershire County Council (Worcestershire) has done much already, and more interventions are being developed.
The continual growth in travel demand affects many parts of the UK and Evesham is no exception. However, it is felt particularly keenly in Evesham, with its tight network of narrow roads and limited river crossings.
The Evesham Transport Strategy is being developed as there isn't a simple, single solution to tackle access and congestion in the town. This approach has identified and delivered the schemes that could be delivered now, whilst developing medium term schemes and building the business case for longer term investment in larger schemes.
Initial development of the strategy saw traffic surveys undertaken, a traffic model for the town created and an independent study of the feasibility of a number of proposals completed, and an Evesham Transport Stakeholder group (a key point of liaison throughout the lifetime of the strategy) was also established. The next steps saw those proposals that passed the feasibility 'screening' being tested in the traffic model, and a significant number of schemes delivered.
A bid for the Department for Transport’s “Local Pinch Point” funding has been put together: if successful, this will see those medium-term schemes begin to be delivered.
What improvements have been made so far?
The Transport Strategy's first phase of works is now complete. The works that have been delivered in this phase ensure that the absolute maximum capacity has been squeezed from the town's existing road network.
How have suggestions from members of the public been taken into account?
Many members of the community in Evesham kindly shared their ideas for improving transport in Evesham, for which Worcestershire County Council was very grateful. To ensure due regard was given to these suggestions, Worcestershire commissioned a consultant to assess them objectively and independently. Some of the suggestions will inform and shape the development of the Strategy (such as provision for walking and cycling and reviewing car parking provision) but none of the suggestions for converting Mill Street to two-way traffic were found to work.
What is the Evesham Traffic Model?
This is a computer-based system, used to test various options for improving transport in Evesham. Every road, junction and traffic signal in the town is represented in the model and it is underpinned by the results of the traffic surveys, all of which ensures that the model properly reflects Evesham.
What types of transport does the Strategy consider?
The Evesham Transport Strategy considers all modes of transport including motorised transport (e.g. car, motorbike, lorry etc.), walking, cycling and passenger transport (rail, bus, taxi, community transport).
Why can’t two-way traffic be introduced onto Mill Street?
Worcestershire received a number of suggestions from members of the public for changes to the management of traffic flows on Mill Street, Chapel Street and Swan Lane. These suggestions varied in what they proposed for Chapel Street and Swan Lane, but all were based on the introduction of two-way traffic flow on Mill Street.
To make sure proper regard was paid to every suggestion, Worcestershire commissioned a technically skilled consultant to assess the feasibility of each proposal.
The consultant found that the principal problem with the introduction of two-way traffic flow on Mill Street is the very tight bends with very poor onwards visibility on that road (where it meets Mill Bank and where it meets Bridge Street). The introduction of two-way flow would introduce a high risk of collisions and a high risk of large vehicles that are heading in opposite directions becoming 'stuck'.
There were other problems associated with the proposals, and these are set out in detail in the consultant’s report.
Unfortunately, the problems associated with introducing two-way traffic flow to Mill Street have meant that it has not been possible to take forward any of the proposals that have suggested it.
When the High Street is closed to normal traffic, such as when the Mop Fair is on, and two-way traffic is temporarily introduced on to Mill Street, temporary traffic signals are installed at the two ends of Mill Street to enforce a ‘shuttle operation’. One direction of flow is allowed whilst the opposing flow is held on a red signal. This avoids the risk arising either of collisions or of large vehicles becoming stuck, as mentioned earlier.
Do the town's transport issues have a detrimental impact on businesses?
It is recognised that if vehicular traffic growth trends continue, many of our main urban and interurban routes will become increasingly congested beyond traditional peak times. Evesham is no exception, and this can have a negative impact on the economy (including businesses and tourism) as well as the associated impacts on road safety, air quality and noise pollution. This is why Worcestershire is working on a comprehensive, multi-modal transport strategy for Evesham.
Can the traffic survey results be published?
View the Traffic survey results. Further reports will be published when they have been completed.
Why was traffic not surveyed on more of the routes outside of Evesham?
Worcestershire agrees that the more information on traffic there is to hand, the greater the understanding can be gained of Evesham and its surroundings. However, expensive traffic surveys can only be justified where the most pressing issues are and for Evesham this is within the town itself. Worcestershire understands that congestion in Evesham does affect communities beyond the town boundary, but the Strategy has to focus on the town, and the traffic surveys were targeted with this in mind.
Why are roadworks undertaken without enough advanced warning?
All roadworks should have a valid permit in place for them to be undertaken, if not then they are being carried out illegally. The advance notice period depends on the type of works being undertaken and the lead in time is in accordance with the code of practice for street works.
Will the Town Council's "Evesham Town Plan" (which has recommendations on transport) be considered?
Worcestershire is aware of the plan and its recommendations have informed the development of the strategy.
Can Worcestershire County Council comment on all the development growth in the town, as this is adding to problem?
The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) sets out a sustainable growth strategy for the town, and Worcestershire works closely with Wychavon District Council to secure mitigation of the impacts of housing growth where relevant. It is important to recognise that car-usage, particularly for shorter trips of 3 miles or less, is the highest it has ever been in our history (Census 2011) and this reflects a behavioural change in the transport mode-choices people make. One of the key opportunities to tackle congestion is to encourage use of other modes of transport (travel choice), particularly for these shorter trips. Worcestershire is working with the district council on the refresh of the SWDP.
Giving relevant choices to residents that enable greater uptake of walking, cycling and passenger transport will form a crucial part of the strategy.
Can bus services be improved: particularly for routes from the surrounding area and with regard to operating times?
Worcestershire continues to work in partnership with local bus operators, however, the majority of bus services in the County are independent commercial operations, limiting the County Council's influence.
Is there any ' joined-up thinking' between the Councils?
Worcestershire is working in partnership with Wychavon District Council to develop the Evesham Transport Strategy, along with Highways England and other key stakeholders.
Will Worcestershire County Council tackle the issue of the chevron parking on the High Street?
A comprehensive review of car parking will be undertaken as part of the Evesham Transport Strategy. The chevron parking is predicated on users reversing into the spaces, and as modern driving habits and behaviour have changed so other options may need to be considered.
What are the timescales for the Evesham Transport Strategy?
A first phase of schemes has already been delivered (see the first two questions). If the Local Pinch Point funding bid is successful, a next phase of schemes will be delivered over the next two to four years.
Worcestershire continues to work in partnership with Midlands Connect and with Highways England on the assessment of the A46 trunk road. Any large-scale changes to the A46 will take significant time to develop, fund and then implement.