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Planner1

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    Transport Planner

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  1. That’s correct, some do have to use a vehicle as part of their duties. Officers are in general expected to use public transport, walk or cycle ( there is a pool of bikes available) for business travel. For some jobs, council vehicles are used and they have to be parked somewhere back at the office, so they get a parking permit. People with disabilities also get a permit, as do folk who have to use heavy/valuable equipment that’s kept at the office site, or people have to be available on call out. There’s a well established permit system that looks at why a permit is needed and how often and allocates different types of permits which are used to park in different places. This is all standard operational stuff. The only thing I ever had any issue with when I worked there was that spaces are reserved exclusively for Councillors to use and most of them expect to be able to park for free whenever they come in. There was no assessment of need for them. I therefore have some sympathy for the point Councillor Johnson is making in the article, that Councillors should also to lead from the front when they are asking people to travel more sustainably. Some of them do, but not all.
  2. They have already looked into the workplace parking levy. Doing further work on it is included in the Sheffield Parking Strategy ( do an online search and you’ll find it). A good number of employers ( around half if I recall correctly) in Nottingham (including the council) pass the levy on to their staff who have parking spaces. Some also add on a percentage to cover their “administration” costs….. When the levy was proposed some employers, including very large ones objected to it and said they’d leave or move their operations outside the charging area, but in practice, when it was introduced, that didn’t happen. I was told a couple of years back that only one employer had left and cited the levy as a primary reason. The council use the income to underwrite the local contributions to the ( considerable) cost of tram extensions, as well as paying for some other local transport initiatives.
  3. Correct. It just appears to be reporting that the opposition councillors have called into scrutiny committee a decision to re tender the cashless payment provider contract. It is their right to do that. All important decisions can be called into scrutiny. It’s just a routine council process, the scrutiny committee call in a range of decisions every year. The contract is re tendered from time to time in accordance with the council’s procurement rules. It doesn’t appear that anyone is suggesting dropping cash payments: “Officers say the service is not designed to replace cash payments”
  4. It’s not just this council, it’s the same everywhere. Flyovers and underpasses are largely seen as outdated, undesirable and generally a thing of the past for very obvious reasons. Roads can be major barriers to what makes thriving places - people!
  5. Unfortunately many properties don’t have any scope for off street parking and some areas like Broomhill were essentially blighted for many years because of the extensive commuter parking for the Uni, several Hospitals and numerous schools in the vicinity. Residents and businesses lobbied the council for many years to take action. Unfortunately it’s not possible to accommodate all of the demands on parking in an area like that, so some prioritisation is needed. Businesses were struggling as all the nearby parking was jammed up with commuter parking and customers couldn’t park. Residents couldn’t park anywhere near their homes for large parts of the day. The council tried hard to accommodate most needs. There’s permit bays as well as long and short stay visitor parking and some free spaces too. You can’t please everyone, but most people in the area I’ve spoken to think it’s better than it was.
  6. Nope. I was there and worked on the permit schemes and the consultation. Locals were directly consulted and they also had opportunity to object to the traffic regulations when they were advertised. In areas where the majority said they didn’t want a permit scheme, they didn’t get one. Several streets at Hunters Bar opted out after a ballot. There was even a re-ballot some time later after residents asked to opt back in. The Hillsborough scheme was significantly reduced in scope so as not to impose it in areas where locals said they didn’t want it.
  7. All of the permit parking schemes which were introduced were only put in after extensive consultation with local residents and businesses. The schemes aren’t just permit holder only, there are free parking spaces in all of them and you can pay and display ( or get half an hour free for brief visits). The schemes were put in to give residents some priority over others coming into the area to park.
  8. Isn't the Carver St closure basically down to the Police wanting it closed because of safety concerns? Do you think the Council decide where bus timing points are located?
  9. Because I would often see / hear people making those claims and wanted to definitively know the truth of it.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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