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Planner1

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Everything posted by Planner1

  1. Rejuvenated public realm on Fargate and High St is already happening, using the £15 million SCC have secured from the government’s Future High Streets fund. See this article.
  2. I'm not sure you understand the functions of a local authority planning team. There's a big difference between the planning (application) process and the project design process (ie planning the project) and they are done by different specialist people in different organisations or parts of an organisation (if it's a local authority). There are usually two areas of work in local authority planning teams, one is about processing and determining planning applications, the other is about developing planning policies (which are used to determine planning applications) The involvement Sheffield council planners will have had with this project will have been to appraise and determine the planning application. How this is done is set out in planning law and national policy. You can see the planning application and all the supporting documents on the planning portal here If you look in the documents there has been a topographical survey carried out by a specialist company, which included mapping and identification of all the underground services in the area, including sewers. The actual design of the project isn't done by the council planning team. If you read this article on the project, it was carried out by a specialist company who are based in Kelham, who would have been appointed by the scheme promoters (probably another council department who are managing the project). Because it is a temporary structure it appears that Yorkshire Water are not a statutory consultee on the planning application, so they say they have only recently become aware of it. The rules on who is a statutory consultee are set out in the national planning regulations that all planning authorities in the country follow. I am involved in major transport projects on a daily basis. They usually involve quite a bit of interface with buried services. In my experience, the statutory undertakers (ie the owners of the buried plant, like electricity, gas, telecoms and water) often can't say precisely where their plant is located and it isn't uncommon to come across buried services that haven't been identified in the enquiries that are made with them through a regulated process. That's why scheme promoters carry out their own surveys with ground penetrating radar and electromagnetic location and physical investigations, which also aren't foolproof, but its the best you can do to manage the risk. Even when buried services have been identified as needing diversion or protection as the result of works, it is sometimes the case that the owners are slow to determine what work is actually needed and even then change their mind about it late in the process. That's why prudent scheme promoters make appropriate risk allowances in their budgets and programmes to plan for the very real potential for additional costs and delays no matter how well you design your project and engage with the statutory undertakers. As far as I can see in this case, the project designers have done what you would expect them to do in terms of surveying and identifying buried services. The planning application appears to have been of the required standard and has been approved. The problem appears to have been that Yorkshire Water decided that they needed unrestricted access to their buried plant and had some concerns about potential damage from the weight of the structure. Those appear to have been resolved (we don't know how, could have been as simple as providing YW with more information on ground loadings, footings locations etc) following discussions with the scheme promoters. There was a minor delay and no doubt there was some cost involved. From my experience in significant highways projects, issues like this are not uncommon even on the best designed and managed projects. I certainly wouldn't be pointing the finger at the designers or promoters as being incompetent just because there was a minor issue with some buried plant. These things happen, you plan for it, deal with it and move on.
  3. Budget levels for subsidising services are limited. They don't have enough to subsidise an ever increasing number of services, especially when costs are increasing too. The government would have to give them more money to subsidise services. It's a national problem isn't it? They're having similar issues in a lot of places.
  4. Initiatives like low traffic neighbourhoods (LTN) take some time for the positive impacts to show. In London they’ve had them for a few years and University of Westminster have done research on the outcomes. They found: LTN residents did 115 mins more walking and 20 mins more cycling per week. These positive effects were much higher in LTN’s than in other areas which had received walking / cycling investment without an LTN. The impacts increased over time. Number of cars and vans registered in LTN’s dropped by 6% over 2 years There was a 70% reduction in road casualties in the LTN’s and no negative impacts on roads around the boundaries There was a 10% reduction in street crime in the LTN’s which increased over time. No displacement to adjoining areas. No evidence that emergency services response times had been affected Search for University of Westminster LTN impacts and distribution if you want to find details.
  5. Do you also expect pedestrians to pay road tax if they need any improvements to the highway? As I’m sure you well know, road tax income just goes into the general taxation pot and doesn’t specifically get spent on roads. Cyclists will be paying the same taxes as you or I, so have just as much right to ask for it to be spent on better infrastructure.
  6. The trouble is that they are not actually verges as most people understand that term. Those are landscaped areas around the flats. Any planner or architect will tell you that having green space in a built up urban area is very important to people's wellbeing. The landscaped areas have a lot of mature trees in them and I can only see limited scope for extending the existing off street parking without having to take out lots of mature trees. Even then, the grassed area could have buried services in them which could affect the viability of putting parking in. I'm sure there will also be people who will object to tarmacing over grassed areas. It won't be straightforward. The council are going to be very reluctant to tarmac over communal green space and they will be especially reluctant to take out trees, given the negative publicity it attracts. Two of your three ward councillors are Green Party and they will no doubt have concerns on the environmental impact of any such proposal. Increasing the available parking (76 spaces you say) by even 50% isn't going to make much of a dent in overall demand when there are 980 homes. The fundamental problem is that you live in a densely populated area with limited scope for parking. The council won't be able to change that and they are already doing the best they can to manage the problem.
  7. Don’t think so. How would buses actually get to it? Via Cross Turner St? I’ve seen it said on here and elsewhere plenty of times that it is rammed with taxis at busy times, so how is a bus going to get past them? The site was looked at a few years ago for potential additional taxi waiting space to try to solve these queuing problems, but there were complications. If I recall correctly, the site was owned by DCLG ( now MHCLG) a government department. The station operator didn’t support that proposal as they would have preferred to have the site as their own car park. The site was put forward as a suggested home for Channel 4 when they were planning the move out of London. It’s a prime development site, so someone could come along and buy it for a development at any time.
  8. It is true that some utilities use verges to house their plant in some places. For one thing, it’s cheaper to dig up and reinstate a verge than footway. If it is going to be paved and driven / parked on, that might mean the buried ducts / pipes etc need to be protected or moved, which can be extremely expensive.
  9. Where do “we” need more parking spaces exactly? And what shall “we” demolish/pave over to make way for them? The city centre certainly doesn’t need more parking, there’s been an over supply for years. Many of the parking issues in the areas surrounding the city centre are caused by commuters who want to avoid paying to park. Encouraging people to use cars by making it easier to park is the absolute opposite of current government and local policy across the country. If we are ever going to meet the carbon reduction targets that all councils and the government have adopted, they need to get drivers out of cars and get them walking, cycling and using public transport. Across the country councils are reallocating road space and removing parking to achieve this. The only additional parking that’s on anyone’s agenda is park and ride. I think I’d put it as we need to make people use cars less. Having a car is fine ( if you’ve got somewhere to park it) but the car is just one of several options that most people have for their journeys. What we need to do is make walking, cycling and public transport more of a natural choice for some of those journeys.
  10. So is there pay and display in the flats car parks? What exactly is it the residents want the council to think about? There are only so many parking spaces, they aren’t going to provide any more. Presumably the permit system is there because residents want it and the pay and display is to promote some turnover and availability of visitor spaces. If the signs were removed and the restrictions weren’t enforceable, you might find commuters parking there, meaning even less space for residents. If the signing for the restrictions has been included in the Amey highway maintenance contract, it won’t trouble the council at all if someone removes the signs, as Amey will be contractually obliged to put up new ones within a very short time of the problem being reported and it costs the council nothing. They can also use anti-tamper fittings, which make it more difficult to remove them. If those flats were built now, it would be a planning condition that the occupants would not be eligible for permits in the on-street scheme, so perhaps residents should be grateful that there’s any permit entitlement at all.
  11. Are you in the Landsdowne flats? As I understand it from the Council website, flats permit holders can park in the adjacent Landsdowne permit zone, but Landsdowne permit holders can’t park in the flats. In very built up areas like yours, green space is at a premium and some people value it very highly, many are therefore likely to object to any proposal to tarmac it over for parking, so I would doubt very much whether your suggestion would get anywhere. When the on-street permit zone was originally introduced it was much bigger and permit holders could park anywhere within it. The parking within the flats and permits for it were entirely separate from the wider on street permit zone. However when the Lib-Dems were in power they decided to split it into several smaller areas and restrict where each zones permits were valid. From memory I recall that there were issues with permit holders from the outer areas of the zone using the streets in the zone near the city centre for commuter parking, which prompted complaints. These areas are difficult for the council due to the high demand for permits. They normally allow one or two per household, but only give more than that if it is identified that there is enough space to accommodate the extra parking. The council don’t do any of this just to generate income ( it wouldn’t be lawful). The permit zones were put in at local people’s request, to try to give some priority for local residents and businesses and to control commuter parking. Nothing they can do will satisfy everyone and for some it isn’t ideal. This is made clear to the locals in the consultation when the zones are being planned. I really don’t think there’s much the council could realistically do to resolve your issue with the current setup. I think the OP is referring to the grassed areas around the Landsdowne flats, not verges on-street.
  12. Well I use the station quite often and have never seen any of those. Those things can be seen in any town or city in this country. They are a wider problem of society and are nothing to do with the layout of the station frontage. The station frontage is open, well lit, busy. Significant amounts have been spent on improving it and no-one is going to provide £ millions to remove the public art to put in an additional bus stop. Especially when there are perfectly useable ones a very short distance away. The locations of our rail stations were in many places decided back in Victorian times when our towns and cities and transport infrastructure were very different. Many places can’t provide absolutely seamless integration between transport modes. There are often compromises and situations which aren’t optimal. Life is often like that. The benefits you cite of bringing the buses a little closer to the station building are incredibly minor compared to the huge cost of doing the work and the major detriment it would cause to the setting of the station. By the way, in your extensive travels, haven’t you noticed that modern suitcases usually have wheels? So not many people have to carry them any distance at all these days. Hardly a justification for spending millions of public money ripping out what most people see as a very nice public space.
  13. Exactly what anti-social behaviour is happening in the area outside Sheffield station?
  14. Why would you ever think that was a reasonable expectation? There are bus stops on either side of Sheaf St at the top of the ramp if you wanted to use something in that area.
  15. This article says there will be four electric buses of 9.5-10m size for the shuttle service.
  16. In this article it says that Councillor Fox says they will be Euro 6. The original article linked in post #1 of this thread says that funding has been secured for one of them from the government’s zero emission bus fund, which means the fleet will eventually be part electric when it arrives.
  17. Where exactly in the “grounds” of the station do you think it could go? I rather doubt that the station operators are going to displace the taxi rank and waiting area, as the taxi drivers pay them for permits to use these facilities, which provides them a tidy income. Yes the PTE always ran the tendered services, as they are the passenger transport authority but the PTE is essentially a part of the MCA.
  18. The tendered services are commissioned by the Mayoral Combined Authority, not the council. The council will have some input, but the MCA are the fund holders, so they issue the contracts.
  19. Exactly. Greater Manchester has around twice the population of South Yorkshire. Funding from the government for transport schemes tends to be generally based on population, so Greater Manchester always gets a lot more funding than they do here.
  20. Have you actually used it lately? It got reduced to 2 routes in 2018, due to declining passenger numbers apparently. It might be a “no brainier” if you can get someone to pay for it. Manchester’s is/was funded by a property developer who owns the Spinningfields development. The bus operator also contributed. Costs circa £1.2 million a year to run. Theres an article in Wiki giving all the history here
  21. There haven’t been any changes that I’m aware of. Whoever is working in the street usually has a discussion with officers of the highway authority ( usually the council ) to decide what form of traffic management is appropriate for the location. It’s horses for courses really. Safety is the primary concern. A “give and take” arrangement where traffic on one side gives way to the other is only usually appropriate on a side road with very light traffic.
  22. When people come to park in the centre of a major city, they expect to pay. Whether or not people come to visit or shop in the city centre depends on the “offer” of the place and has very little to do with the parking price. If folk are put off by spending a couple of quid on parking, you have to ask yourself how much they would spend anyway. Times have changed a lot from the days when High Streets were thronged with shoppers. Shopping habits have changed a lot too. That’s nothing to do with parking prices, it’s modern life. If paying £3 per hour bothers you there are Council car parks within the Inner Ring Road that are 90p per hour, £3.60 per day. The outer zone on-street parking is half the price of the central zone you parked in. There are prices to suit all pockets.
  23. It’s just what you pay to park in the centre of a major city nowadays. Council parking in Sheffield is still cheaper than council controlled parking in nearby cities like Leeds ( £3.30/hour on street) and Manchester ( £4.50 / hour in central car parks).
  24. All the Sheffield Council pay and display machines take cash.
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