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About AndrewC

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  • Birthday 03/06/1985

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  1. You didn't type all that twisted logic with a straight face, surely? Call it whatever you want, the fact is the tax that car owners/operators pay relates to the specific costs on society that cars cause. Taxes on fuel and emissions-based VEDs exist to offset the impact burning fossils fuels has both locally and globally. It's got nothing to do with who uses and pays for the roads. You say roads are for everyone but there are vast swathes of situations where that isn't true both directly and indirectly, aren't there? Motorways; it's literally forbidden for pedestrians and bicycle users to be on a motorway. If someone never uses a motorway all their life (and there millions who won't), will they be getting a big tasty tax rebate at some point? Oh, and by the way, motorways and many other types of car specific infrastructure cost an absolute bomb - there is a upgrade of Junction 18 on the M60 which is predicted to cost up to £350million. That outweighs most major UK cities cycling investment plans put together. One motorway junction. And then there's the indirect restrictions. However you try and twist it, it's nonsense to suggest that even smaller local roads aren't also dominated by the car, in many cases to the extent that it is not suitable for pedestrians and bicycle users to try and share the carriageway. Legal as it may be for a pedestrians and cyclists to use a local road, it rarely happens because of the dangers caused by cars. Even pavements - which should be the preserve of pedestrians - are used by motorists for pavement parking, and yes, the occasional cyclist (but lets be clear, you can observe pavement parking on 80% of roads every single day - I see cyclists on the pavement once in a blue moon). You might want to ask yourself why levels of cycling are so low in this country. Despite the arguments about hills and weather that tend to get thrown around, the truth is that case studies from around the world show that it largely comes down to a) convenience and b) safety/quality infrastructure, though those two largely go hand in hand. Build a safe, quality bike lane that allows cyclists to get from A to B quickly and you soon see cycling levels rise, whatever the weather and gradient. We've spent 100 years spending far more of that general taxation on infrastructure which has massively favoured cars, leaving cycling (and to a lesser extent pedestrian and public transport) infrastructure in the doldrums. Environmental issues, congestion issues, and other reasons, dictate that we must now start to rethink that balance, and yes, that does mean the car is going to start losing out (though I might add that the Netherlands & Denmark - despite their focus on active travel - tend to have very high satisfaction rates amongst drivers, because of low congestion and less worn-out roads).
  2. He might always have been 'performing' but I think you can really see a difference between the interested, excited Walsh of the earlier Chase episodes compared to the last couple of series. A friend of mine was on it recently and. partly joking, partly serious I commented as we were watching his episode that Bradley looked like all the soul had been sapped from his body, and my friend says that wasn't far from the truth. Grouchy, flat, didn't speak to the contestants at all off camera. I think he's had enough of it, basically. Pays the bills, though.
  3. Funnily you should bring Nottingham up after Planner1's point above, as I was going to use a recent example from there. They've been grappling with the deceased shell of Broadmarsh for years, and there was recently an visionary, exciting looking development involving mixed uses and a new park proposed. I was reading through some of the facebook and other social media comments from locals about the scheme, and I was struck by how utterly familiar the cynical ones all were, in terms of tone and structure. They were bemoaning the council for wasting money, they were bemoaning modern developments which don't 'deliver what normal people need' and they were even going so far as to suggest Nottingham city centre isn't what it used to be (which might be true I guess, but I'd say Nottingham is still a pretty great city centre). It does just go to show how similar the opinions of locals are about their councils, modern developments, etc.
  4. I don't think the discussion at hand is confined to just the last year or so of leadership. I defend some aspects of Sheffield city centre - things are never quite as bad as so many people constantly like to suggest on here; many tens of thousands of people use and enjoy Sheffield city centre every day for living, working, leisure, etc. - but it does clearly lag behind it's peers, and that is in no small part thanks to often being mismanaged by the local leadership over the last few decades, and that does include some years under Lib Dem rule.
  5. Sorry - I misread. Though I think my general argument still holds true. Non-vulnerable, vaccinated people can still be in danger of getting ill from covid, and can be a danger to others by passing it on. It's still true to say there is a significant benefit of having the non-vulnerable wear masks. Coincidentally, in my experience - I have a couple of friends in the vulnerable group - they are already doing far more than most of us to help protect themselves. Whilst I and many others this summer started being a bit more relaxed about where, how often and who we were socialising or going in to the office (though I personally have always kept wearing my mask on public transport and in shops and walking around pubs/restaurants), my vulnerable friends have generally remained very cautious.
  6. Saying it's as black & white as 'it is or it isn't' is just the kind simplification that leads to so much disbelief amongst anti-vaxxers et al that masks 'work'. None of the protections we've used in society over the last two years (social distancing, masks, vaccines, treatments) offer 100% protection/effectiveness and no one has ever really claimed that they do, but they do provide a high level or protection, and the more we use and the more time we use them for increases the level of protection. If you have to wear it in the shop but not in the pub, that's still better than you not wearing at all, because at the very least it helps reduce your spread of droplets while you are in the shop. You could argue that Ideally you'd wear it in the shop and the pub but obviously that's a political decision to only enforce the mask protection up to a certain point. Even among fully-vaccinated people, there's still a small additional % extra protection that masks, distancing etc brings that potentially makes them still worth doing - you're probably right in that if it really were the case that +95% of the population was vaccinated then it might arguably might not be worth the impact on life/economy to mandate masks etc. (Of course, the real reason masks are back officially is because of Omicron. It's such an unknown that it's effectively like we're dealing with a new virus again. If it's resistant to vaccines then we're effectively back in March/April 2020 again.) However, putting Omicron aside for a second and thinking just about Delta - we aren't at that level of vaccination (it's about 80% have had second doses?) and unfortunately there is no way to separate out those who are and aren't in any given indoor setting (unless we advocate segregation...which I suspect most don't want to go down that alley!) But the vaccine itself does not offer 100% protection. It massively reduces the potential symptoms and infectiousness of an individual, so you can still get it, get ill from it, and pass it on to others, it's just much, much less likely. So you're right in one sense; it probably is only because 15-20% of the population still haven't been fully vaccinated that we are currently having to mandate masks, but your suggestion that the unvaccinated should wear masks so that the vaccinated don't have to, it wouldn't work; there would still be risks for the vaccinated. Best that we all mask-up as much as possible.
  7. Yeah, not the smartest move in my book, but hey ho. Does go to show that Sheffield CC are far from anti-car when it comes to some of the approvals they let through the planning process. I recall around 10 years ago every time you heard the 'the council are anti-car' argument, I had to laugh a bit; the council had just built Derek Dooley Way and 2-3 large multi-storey car parks in the city centre. But that didn't fit the hard-done-by motorist narrative that some people love. Who thinks that would be okay? I wouldn't build it there in the first place, that would be my plan for the local roads.
  8. The space needed for more and more cars all around Meadowhead rbt and around Jordanthorpe, Batemoor, etc, and the retail park and the sports centre and the potential new stadium etc., etc.,; the road space needed to even come close to it being clear of traffic would probably require the council to start knocking down homes, or bankrupting themselves with expensive grade-seperated infrastructure (or if it were roads requiring national funding, it's a long wait for that to come in). Maybe they are anti-car. But perhaps its not a cynical, hatred of cars that drivers like to think it is, but rather an understanding that constantly investing in infrastructure for cars rarely solves the problem (see: Induced Demand), takes up too much space, and is extremely expensive - and thats before we even begin think about the environmental issues. These are all good points & suggestions.
  9. I'm interested to know exactly how much differently you'd design it? I mean, it's a pretty standard design - the only argument as per the OP is that you might make the right-turn lane longer to help keep the queue out of the two other lanes, but that would involve moving/changing the pedestrian crossing facilities there. People often look at traffic and assume it must be the fault of design - and don't get me wrong, some designs aren't quite right - but it's hard to know what people expect when you build a retail park + 100s parking spaces just near an already congested roundabout/ring-road...
  10. It's tempting to assume so - with Sheffield council's reputation and all the other noise and bluster there was around which station should go where - but it is pretty unlikely that the arguing in South Yorkshire and indeed other local authorities up and down the HS2 route (SY was no special case) really had much to do with it's ultimate cancellation.
  11. The very first HS2 plans were for a station at Meadowhall, parallel with Tinsley Viaduct. The line would have come up from south via Waverley, then to the north by a tunnel from somewhere around Ecclesfield, under Hoyland to the south side of Barnsley (or there or thereabouts). That was the original plan whilst the council called for it to be moved to Victoria. There was also around that time a vague suggestion that a 'city-centre' station around Nunnery Sq could be an option, which might be the Parkway option you're thinking of.
  12. I get the feeling you think I'm being dismissive of the potential displacement of traffic and it's adverse affects on neighbouring areas entirely - I promise you that couldn't be further from the truth. If you knew me then you'd know I'm very passionate about the subject of car-dependency, the noise & air quality impacts of car use, and the impacts - positive and negative - of things like CAZs and LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods). My previous post was specifically wanting to address the catastrophising predictions that a CAZ that includes the inner ring-road would simply displace all/most traffic as it is to other surrounding roads, which isn't true, and isn't a fair reflection of the desired outcomes and likely reality of what will happen - that's not to say it wouldn't displace some of the traffic in to surrounding areas, or that that wouldn't be a serious issue in it's own right; of course it would. But the truth is, it's the situation we have now - unabated petrol/diesel car/van/lorry use city wide - that is what is damaging the health of the thousands of nursery, primary and secondary children, creating higher levels of air pollution, and causing traffic congestion and safety issues. There are few easy answers, and virtually no options which don't - in the short and medium term - cause a shift of some of the issue to other areas, but longer-term they do improve the situation for everybody. Councils really have few options now but to use the stick (there is little money left for carrot) to coerce people out of their cars and/or get people to choose cleaner cars. The CAZ is much more than just an attempt to clean up pollution in the city centre. It is the first step towards addressing petrol/diesel car use, and overall car use right across Sheffield. Much of the through traffic you see in Broomhill will be vehicles travelling to the city centre (or potentially beyond the city centre, but using the inner ring-road to do so). If the CAZ was extended to private vehicles, those who travel via Broomhill to do so are likely to question whether making that trip in a non-exempt vehicle is worth it. The likely outcome - coupled with improved public transport and greater traffic calming measures in Broomhill and other are - is an overall reduction in car use across all of Sheffield, and/or a switch by most people to cleaner vehicles. Coincidentally, so you know I'm not just talking from a privileged position where none of this really affects me - I live on a road (not far from Broomhill) which would almost certainly see an increase in traffic if this CAZ comes in, particularly if it is extended to private vehicles in the future, and near another main road which also sees some of the highest levels of pollution in Sheffield outside of the city centre. It's a very real issue to me, as it is to everyone. Finally, if you haven't already, I urge you to raise all the points you've made with the council. It does help them build a picture of the public's view of both this scheme and the potential future issues that will need addressing, whether they go ahead with it or not.
  13. It's a fallacy to assume vehicular traffic is always displaced 100% as-is to different roads when some kind of new restriction comes along. If and when this scheme is extended to private vehicles for example, you'll see several different responses: Some people with non-exempt cars will simply continue as normal and pay the fine Some people with non-exempt cars will still travel but find an alternative route Some people will start to leave their car at home more and use alternatives (public transport & active travel) Some people will simply stay at home altogether and rule non-essential trips out altogether Some people will look at buying an exempt vehicle Despite the weaknesses of some of those responses, particularly the potential for rat-running, the argument for would be that any traffic & pollution caused by the rat-running would be offset by the increase in cleaner vehicles, reduced trips overall (as more people ditch cars & use alternatives), and therefore reduced congestion on those roads. When this comes in for LGVs, HGVs, etc covering businesses & industry, we'll see a similar spread of options: Some fleets are exempt vehicles already Some fleets will be upgraded quickly to exempt vehicles Some fleets won't be upgraded and potentially attempt rat-running Some fleets won't be upgraded, continue to use the CAZ and take the fee, factoring the fee in to their costs. Some businesses will adapt themselves completely in other ways (for example it's not inconceivable that a business might turn down jobs on the far side of the city centre, if the cost of the CAZ fee, or the additional time/petrol of taking a roundabout route outweighs the potential profit etc.) Long story short, apart from the early days of the scheme when there is always a period of adaptation, these things tend to iron themselves out. If rat-running really becomes that big of a problem, expect more restrictions to come in to place (though generally, I'm struggling to think of many places peripheral to the CAZ area that don't already have restrictions in place to discourage through traffic).
  14. Wouldn't it still be fair for them to say, 'we told you to do this +5 years ago'?
  15. Victoria isn't going to reopen as an all-singing, all-dancing central station again, no, but it's not inconceivable that it could re-open as a small station. It's connectivity out there at the far end of the Wicker on it's own wouldn't be great though. No train link to Midland, no tram link, limited bus services outside. As I said in a post above, infrastructure like this often creates its own demand (you'd see a growth in new developments around Victoria), but it would be limited without connections to the rest of the city centre/transport system.
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