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About Planner1

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  1. Because I would often see / hear people making those claims and wanted to definitively know the truth of it.
  2. Loading / unloading is allowed on many parking restrictions, like single and double yellow lines, unless there is a specific loading restriction. Obstruction is something only the police can enforce. Clamping for parking contraventions was outlawed several years ago. You saw one incident, some time ago, that caused a traffic problem. That is not proof that the Council or the Police don’t want to enforce there. There are probably a dozen or so CEO’s patrolling at any one time in the whole city. Expecting them to be there to enforce every parking contravention that occurs, isn’t a reasonable expectation. Same goes for the Police.
  3. Have you considered that the staff you have seen being delayed have been specifically tasked to work on other priorities? They can’t just stop where they like and do whatever they want. No council in the country has enough enforcement resources to enforce all areas equally, all the time. They all prioritise. Some places, like Burngreave Road, could in the past be enforced by camera. Parking services had a couple of camera vehicles and used them to good effect. The government changed the rules and effectively dictated that only school entrance markings and bus stop clearways can be enforced by camera. That means parking pcn’s have to be issued by a CEO on foot. It makes the operation much less efficient. The area a CEO can cover isn’t anywhere near as big as can be covered by a camera vehicle. Parking Services do the best they can with the resources they have. If you want more enforcement, you need to tell your councillors. They control the budgets and dictate how much resource each service can have. Different politicians will have different views on what level of enforcement activity is proportional, given the extent of the known problems. Depends who is in power and taking the decisions. If there was a groundswell of opinion that consistently higher levels of enforcement were needed and they thought it was a vote winner, I’m sure they’d listen. There are many views on appropriate levels of enforcement activity, the council can’t please everyone. The contravention has to be something they can actually enforce. For example, they can’t do anything about obstruction. Only the Police can do that. Some places folk can get away with parking on the footway, even when there’s a restriction on the carriageway, because the restrictions in place do not cover the footway, so there’s no contravention the CEO can enforce.
  4. Parking Services, as you would expect, prioritise enforcement in some locations. The city centre and permit zones around it are obvious ones. Major routes and public transport corridors are another at busy times. Areas around school entrances get attention at school run times. The city centre is an obvious priority. Permit zones are regularly enforced because the council commits to do so when they introduce a zone. Main roads and transport corridors are obvious priorities, particularly at busy times. I was closely involved with Parking Services for a good few years and during that time neither I nor anyone else there was told by senior managers or councillors not to enforce certain areas. I asked staff whether they had ever received such instructions in the past. They said not. Politicians are involved in priority setting and they approve the Parking Strategy ( Google it). School entrances are an example. Councillors get a lot of grief about parking around schools at school run times and want enforcement, so it happens daily. Very few tickets are issued, so if the council were chasing more tickets, the CEO’s would be elsewhere. All the areas you mention are not permit zones. If they were, they’d be enforced very regularly. The council wanted to put a permit zone in around the Northern General Hospital, the locals rejected it. The CEO’s are strong minded people and sometimes don’t agree with their deployments and think other priorities should be pursued. They can speak to their managers about it, but the decisions aren’t theirs. If people want enforcement action in certain areas they should tell Parking Services and speak to their Councillors. Parking services are happy to tell people how many tickets are issues on particular streets or specific areas. You just need to ask.
  5. Some sets of traffic signals are set to sit at red on all approaches if there are no demands from traffic. It's to slow drivers down, as they can tend to go faster if they see a green at every set of signals. If they do that they are working on sensors only and will change to give you a green as you approach them, so it just slows you down a bit. The traffic signals can be set to work just on sensors or be controlled by the central urban traffic control computer, which will impose different timing plans at different times of the day / day of the week, to better manage traffic conditions. The vehicle sensors aren't always in the road, there are little boxes on top of the traffic signal heads which are either microwave or video detectors, which pick up traffic movements.
  6. Traffic signal controllers can be configured in a number of ways. One of these is to have ultimate flexibility and let the actual traffic and pedestrian demands dictate the stage sequence, at least at quiet times of the day, like evening and overnight. There is a downside to this approach, it involves having a lot of potential options of which approaches get a green signal and what sequence the signals actually follow. I recall a situation where a junction was configured like this and 99.99% of the time, it used to follow a particular sequence, because the traffic demands were usually in place to make it do that. However very rarely, because of the prevailing traffic conditions, it did something different, which wasn’t in itself unsafe, but drivers were accustomed to the normal sequence. This normal sequence meant that drivers turning right on a main road didn’t have to concern themselves with opposing traffic, as that traffic stream normally got a red when their ahead movement got green. On rare occasions, usually late at night, they both (the ahead movements) got green and there were occasional collisions as right turning drivers clearly didn’t expect to be in conflict with the other movement. So, with safety in mind, the engineers tend to have signals working in a fairly fixed sequence, with just the green timings altering with time of day / day of week. It might not be the most efficient, but it avoids drivers getting “confused” which seems to happen more and more as time goes on. Theres also another angle to the debate about covering over the signal heads on an approach that’s not needed due to roadworks / closures. Vandals have been known to remove the covers, which can cause problems.
  7. Nothing to do with intelligent traffic management. Urban traffic control systems can change the timings on traffic signals but they can’t change the way the junction operates, which is embedded in the programming of the signal controller. How much pollution do we think that following the very short diversion is actually causing? The signals are working exactly as they did before, so no extra pollution there. If it’s a collapsed sewer, it’s not the councils fault that this has happened, or that it’s taken the owners of the infrastructure a while to fix it.
  8. In general, it isn’t usually practical to change the way a permanent set of signals works in order to accommodate a temporary closure/ roadworks situation. The stage sequences they can follow are embedded into the programming of the signal controller, so a new configuration would have to be designed, tested, installed , checked and commissioned. This takes time and costs quite a bit. And of course at the end of the works, the original configuration has to be reinstalled, commissioned and checked. Usually the practical choices are to keep the existing signals running as before and put up with the changed situation (if possible and safe), or switch the existing signals off and install temporary ones.
  9. If it happens at exactly the same time every day, it’s likely to be an automatic timing plan change. They usually happen by time of day and day of week, but can also be brought in automatically by the system when queuing traffic is detected on a particular approach. Difficult to say exactly what the problem was, it could have been any one of a number of potential issues. Obviously whatever was wrong, was fixed, or it would still be happening.
  10. Free on street but extremely busy.
  11. Nobody gets everything right absolutely all the time. UTC operators are no exception. To expect anything different is unreasonable in my opinion. I don't know the particular circumstances you mention, but, sometimes they do have to hold traffic at a location to prevent blockage further along the network. Occasionally (usually for emergency services) they sometimes have to clear out a route completely so for example a fast ambulance doesn't get held up all the way to the hospital. That means drivers can be held up for a few minutes at a location they wouldn't normally get delayed, and they may not be able to see any reason for it. Just because you've experienced one instance (or even a few instances) when you got delayed and there wan't any explanation for it, doesn't mean the whole system (or its operators) is useless or doesn't work correctly.
  12. No system is perfect. As for them “interfering”, the UTC system controls most of the signals in the city, altering timing plans by time of day and day of week and giving bus and tram priority, all done automatically, so them “ interfering” is the default position all of the time. If you are referring to times when the operators intervene and control signals directly. With the greatest respect to you and other bus drivers caught in any congestion, the UTC operators can see the full picture, all over the city via a network of cctv cameras, you can’t from the street. ( yes I know the bus operators have people in the control room) The UTC operators have to deal with all traffic, not just buses.
  13. You asked why the folk were parking on the footway in Commercial St. You just answered your own question. The park there because it’s outside where they work and they can do so for free.
  14. They don’t have tags because they aren’t needed. Neither are what you refer to as “load sensors” ie buried vehicle detector loops. The buses have on board gps tracking, which links to the Council’s urban traffic control computer, which gives them priority at signals if they are running behind schedule. Wouldn’t you like to be able to park for free right outside your workplace?
  15. Again, a single CEO is not going to be aware of all the complaints and requests that come in, or the nuances of priorities, policies and political decisions. The CEO’s often have their own opinions on enforcement priorities and it’s right that they express them to their managers and get explanations. But, the decision aren’t theirs and they don’t always agree with them. Of course SCC will be aware of the issues at Wicker. But, they are similarly aware of many many other issues and priorities all over the city that they have to deal with on a daily basis, with limited resources. That usually means that they can’t offer enforcement at a single location on a semi permanent basis. Most places will only get occasional enforcement. That is the reality of the limited resources they have and the many and often conflicting demands put on them.
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