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Closing Roads To Traffic & Widening Pavements For Social Distancing

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Can they afford them?

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They can afford anything that suits them as long as it is to their liking. The public come second or third depending on your view.

Lets build a nice ring road that will take all the traffic out of the city centre then put so many traffic lights and junctions on it that it becomes a massive bottle neck for all. That will work, and just in case it does actually speed things up we can keep putting road works in and constantly change the junctions just in case somebody actually had a speedy journey once.

I do not claim to have all the answers but I am damn sure I know who hasn't. 

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4 minutes ago, busdriver1 said:

They can afford anything that suits them as long as it is to their liking. The public come second or third depending on your view.

Lets build a nice ring road that will take all the traffic out of the city centre then put so many traffic lights and junctions on it that it becomes a massive bottle neck for all. That will work, and just in case it does actually speed things up we can keep putting road works in and constantly change the junctions just in case somebody actually had a speedy journey once.

I do not claim to have all the answers but I am damn sure I know who hasn't. 

Couldn't agree more - they can't plan their way out of an open paper bag.

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14 minutes ago, busdriver1 said:

So by default, you are saying they have got it right then. OK maybe no money for training courses but money there for  consultants. Hmmm

I recall when I lived there in Dunstable they brought in a consultant to "Improve" the traffic in the town. The resultant revisions cost over £5 million and straight away it was obvious that they had got it very wrong. It was admitted that he had not visited the area and the last 3 projects he had consulted on had all been complete disasters but, he was cheap. Within 3 weeks the work was undone and traffic started moving again. 

Good these consultants aren't they?

No, I'm asking you what your solution is. You're big on criticism but rather light on suggestions of a better way forward.

 

Yes that's correct. The fact that there is always money available to build new things is a bit of a contradiction with the lack of money for everyday operations and people often point this out. It's to do with the way that the government fund things. Training is what is described in government finance terms as a "revenue" funded activity. "Revenue" funding is what has been severely cut in local authorities. Consultancy services / design and delivery of schemes are normally paid for using "capital" funding, which is specifically allocated to pay for buying or building an asset. Using capital funding to train your staff isn't allowed. Most money local councils receive is from the government and it is specifically split into capital and revenue. There is limited scope to change one to the other.

 

Not every engineer or planner or consultant  is brilliant, same as any profession. Equally they aren't all incompetent either. However, there's always a process in place to check the work and political approval has to be obtained to finally implement the schemes, so there should be safeguards in place. 

 

Also, making changes to highways or putting in new ones isn't a precise science, you can't always accurately predict what is going to happen. Road closures can be done on experimental orders to see what happens. The orders can be confirmed later if the initiative is successful.

 

I'd respectfully suggest that comparing Dunstable, with a population of 35,000 to a city of half a million people  is a bit like comparing chalk with cheese. The consultants that a city like Sheffield or Leeds would use are large multi-national companies and it is up to the people commissioning the work to ensure that they get suitably experienced staff working on it. It can be done in procurement and contract management. The word "consultant" appears to be misunderstood by many. These companies are basically private sector engineers and / or planners whose staff are very similar to those who work in local councils. They provide additional resources for councils who normally only staff up to cover their basic workload, any extra work that comes up goes out to consultants

 

Nowadays, with the advent of Google street view and its derivatives , it isn't uncommon for the designers to base their work on images that can be seen online and ensure there is sufficient flexibility in the design to take into account any changes on site. I'm told its more economical than doing lots of site visits and surveys. Its the way most places work nowadays.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, busdriver1 said:

Lets build a nice ring road that will take all the traffic out of the city centre then put so many traffic lights and junctions on it that it becomes a massive bottle neck for all. That will work, and just in case it does actually speed things up we can keep putting road works in and constantly change the junctions just in case somebody actually had a speedy journey once.

 

That would be because many people (including those on here) criticised the council for blocking off roads and limiting access, (which, incidentally  was done in the interests of speeding up traffic). If you are putting junctions on a busy road, the government guidance issued to engineers is that they should be signalised if the traffic movements are expected to reach certain levels. Signals also of course include pedestrian and cycle crossings, which are vital to safety and allowing accessibility.

 

You can't have it all ways. 

Edited by Planner1

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3 minutes ago, Planner1 said:

No, I'm asking you what your solution is. You're big on criticism but rather light on suggestions of a better way forward.

 

 

 

I'd respectfully suggest that comparing Dunstable, with a population of 35,000 to a city of half a million people  is a bit like comparing chalk with cheese.

I did not compare Dunstable to Sheffield, you in your own view decided that. I was simply pointing out how we can rely on consultants.

I have never claimed to have the answers, A point I clearly made in another post that  you have decided not to quote. What I am saying is very clearly there are some in charge who do not either. 

Waits for the usual response.

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31 minutes ago, busdriver1 said:

They can afford anything that suits them as long as it is to their liking. 

"They" are your elected representatives. "They" make very hard decisions on what actually can be afforded, because although the council's overall budget looks big, there is always a lot more demand than money available to fulfil it.

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2 minutes ago, Planner1 said:

That would be because many people (including those on here) criticised the council for blocking off roads and limiting access, (which, incidentally  was done in the interests of speeding up traffic). If you are putting junctions on a busy road, the government guidance issued to engineers is that they should be signalised if the traffic movements are expected to reach certain levels. Signals also of course include pedestrian and cycle crossings, which are vital to safety and allowing accessibility.

 

You can't have it all ways. 

Typical response, cutting out the point I make that I think we all know who does not have the answers. That course in avoiding issues is paying off

ANYWAY, Getting bored of the usual drivel so off out to social distance

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Planner1 said:

Would that be your initial post in which you mostly moan about wider footways and narrowings of junctions?

 

Strangely enough, pedestrianised areas have worked pretty well on the Moor and Fargate where you can only access by public transport or from car parks from each end or adjacent streets. The Pinstone St proposal is no different.

 

The government and the council want to massively increase the levels of walking and cycling as well as improving the air quality in city centres. They won't achieve this by doing nothing. Things have to change. As with any change, some people will benefit, some might not.  

That's because the access from both car and buses to The Moor and Fargate is quite easy, relatively flat and even those with mobility issues don't tend to find it much of a struggle. Are you really suggesting that closing Pinstone Street off to buses, is relatively the same thing. The walk would be twice as long, including a long sloping gradient down to Arundel Gate, not something I'd particularly want to do myself.

 

What I find more baffling from this is the scheme to close Pinstone Street off affects the buses/taxis only element of the southbound carriageway, yet the northbound carriageway, which all traffic from Charter Row has to make use of, since the junction change around 10 years ago - is to remain OPEN TO ALL TRAFFIC!? 

 

Surely, something could be done through re-designing the T-junction at The Moor/Charter Road/Furnival Gate, by allowing traffic from Charter Row to continue straight across down Furnival Gate to the roundabout on Arundel Gate? That way you avoid the u-turns on Pinstone Street and all traffic been directed up to Cross Burgess Street and round by City Hall. Pinstone Street I've never found a personal problem with, it's not like its majorly busy even with pre Covid-19 traffic. Surrey Street/Norfolk Street are pretty much the same.

 

I've always been surprised they've never closed off parts of Arundel Gate to general traffic, to stop traffic avoiding the IRR and cutting through the middle of the city centre, especially when Sheffield United are at home.

Edited by Michael_N

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17 hours ago, Bargepole23 said:

About time the city centre was taken back from motorists.

 

Motorists kill people.

I've never killed anyone and I'm a motorist. Perhaps stop making such ridiculous generalisations. Wasps and bees kill people, so do spiders and fungi, shall we rid the world of them too?

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1 minute ago, busdriver1 said:

I did not compare Dunstable to Sheffield, you in your own view decided that. I was simply pointing out how we can rely on consultants.

I have never claimed to have the answers, A point I clearly made in another post that  you have decided not to quote. What I am saying is very clearly there are some in charge who do not either. 

Waits for the usual response.

Sorry, but in the context of a discussion about a scheme in Sheffield, you mentioned the use of a consultant in Dunstable as an example of why you clearly consider all consultants to be incompetent. You're very clearly ignoring the huge number of successful schemes both locally and across the country which are designed and planned by consultants. One single example of something that went not quite to plan is not a reason for never doing anything again ever.

 

No-one has all the answers. The government is pushing councils to implement schemes of this nature so that they can lock in the benefits of more people walking and cycling in the current lockdown situation (and address pressing air quality concerns). Councils across the country are putting in similar measures. These are political decisions at local and national level, if you don't like it, the decision makers are accountable at the ballot box.

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8 minutes ago, Michael_N said:

That's because the access from both car and buses to The Moor and Fargate is quite easy, relatively flat and even those with mobility issues don't tend to find it much of a struggle. Are you really suggesting that closing Pinstone Street off to buses, is relatively the same thing. The walk would be twice as long, including a long sloping gradient down to Arundel Gate, not something I'd particularly want to do myself.

Yes, it is relatively the same thing. I reckon most people find access to Pinstone St from Arundel Gate is pretty simple and the distance (150m or so up Charles St) and the gradient aren't huge. I'd recognise that some mobility impaired people might have an issue with it, but the vast majority won't. Nothing that can be done will be perfect for everyone.

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