Author Topic: Road designers suck  (Read 7423 times)

Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2020, 07:04:09 pm »
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2020, 08:32:27 pm »
It was notable this morning how many of the frantically car-scraping parents had kids in the local school uniform, ~10 minutes walk. At our last place, under 10 minutes walk to the station, we had neighbours who drove there and spent 15 minutes trying to find sub-optimal parking that would net them a parking ticket at least once a week. One of them used the excuse that they had to drop the kids at school (five minutes, and on the way to the station).

It's correct they think other people should drive less. Drivers always have an excuse for their own journey.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2020, 10:28:22 pm »
Can beat that.

Parents setting off from home here:
https://goo.gl/maps/QQ9ziLzathcDSAvx8

And driving to the schools:
Here: https://goo.gl/maps/9Jj74mQyZ7k4FKiZ7
and Here: https://goo.gl/maps/om8VM69PNQskruqU6

Amazingly this takes them them the 20 mins it takes me to walk to the shops
here: https://goo.gl/maps/dBXzmPCSRxJz7vG97
And back while walking round the first school in the process...


ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2020, 09:13:03 am »
We live 12 minutes walk from the town centre*. There's one neighbour that walks (and she's the crazy lady) but other than her, I think I can safely say that everyone else drives (and once they're in the car, they generally don't go to the town centre other than for the supermarkets, of course).

*OK, I confess that if it's late in the evening or we have bags, we'll usually get a taxi.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2020, 09:54:35 am »
Altruistically, each town would have a strategic green transport plan, and an approach to ensure each new piece of development contributes towards that plan.

In practice, what might one expect? What joined up thinking is in place against which local developments are approved?

I'm just thinking how one might get involved in understanding at a local level what is in place, and how one might be able to challenge proposed developments that fall foul of sustainable and environmentally aware development. Bringing in an appropriate pressure group is one aspect, but that would depend upon the type of issue arising. That itself depends upon the standards / plans against which a new development can be assessed.

Part of my job includes road design and its interaction with the planning process. To try to keep it simple: 

Your local council produces a Local Plan which should be on their website. This covers a period of 15-20 years and would typically include both area-wide policies, and "Allocations" (specific bits of land) which are expected to be developed in that timeframe. The Local Plan will be updated every so often via a formal consultation process, including an Examination in Public (which anyone can attend) overseen by an independent Planning Inspector.

Landowners and developers attempt to promote their sites via this process, as once a site becomes an Allocation it makes it much easier to apply for planning permission in due course. The council may also promote its own ideas through the plan, or in some cases safeguard land *against* development.

Example for one which is currently in the consultation stage: https://beta.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/local-plan

Another key consideration is the slightly Soviet Five Year Housing Land Supply. Every council should, in theory, have a pipeline of land to build new housing for the next five years. In practice, many councils have fallen behind with their supply. When this happens, it becomes easier for developers to achieve permission for poor-quality or badly-located schemes to be given permission as they are "helping" to meet the five-year position.

There are also national policy documents which carry weight when councils make decisions on development. The main ones are:
National Planning Policy Framework
Manual for Streets - this emphasises the importants of streets as places where people live and spend time, rather than just corridors for cars
Design Manual for Roads and Bridges - more relevant for "big" roads rather than local ones.

Finally there are many other protections and designations which can limit how land can be developed, such as:
Conservation areas
Air Quality Management Areas
National Parks
Flood plains
Contaminated land (for brownfield sites)
etc

Further questions/abuse welcome!
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2020, 12:33:21 pm »
I was at a Parish meeting yesterday to discuss a planning application.  There were more questions raised around parking than anything else.  It just demonstrates how car-centric we have become.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2020, 12:36:05 pm »
Superb reply telstarbox. Thank you very much  :thumbsup:

That gives me a bit of a structure on what to look out for, and to see whether it is feasible to get involved in the process of improving the local environment above and beyond what the planners might think they can get away with. There have been some very poor decisions in my local town centre in the recent past.

Eddington: 129 miles

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2020, 12:39:53 pm »
I'm just thinking how one might get involved in understanding at a local level what is in place, and how one might be able to challenge proposed developments that fall foul of sustainable and environmentally aware development.

People should be made liable for the externalities they impose on others, not just in their neighbourhood but on their commute, and around the world. Basically a 'VED plus' that factors in particulate and rubber health impacts, carbon emissions, wear and tear on roads, etc. It should become a serious tax penalty to operate e.g. a jeep. And it should be HMRC doing the enforcement, not do-nothing councillors.

This comment would suggest that you don't actually understand the constraints that local councillors actually work under in relation to planning.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2020, 12:49:00 pm »
I was going to say - in the last couple of years I was minorly involved in objections to a plan to build a waste dump very near my house that would involve (originally - this has now been tamed down) - about 8 large trucks full of said waste down a very residential street just down from my house an hour - ALL day.    Don't really want to get into the ins-and outs of this case as it's a long story but TWO of our local councillors got heavily involved in AIDING us in trying to stop this.  They turned out to be just as powerless as us.  It's all quite complicated but I got the impression that plans of councillors and others involved can be scuppered and ignored by the engineers who are actually involved in implementing such things*.  Would be interested to hear what Telstarbox might say on that... :-)

*for good reasons sometimes (or often)


(Briefly, though, the main reason we were scuppered and ignored was that this was a patch of land in the Vale of Glamorgan - and we are (just) in Cardiff.  So we had no say at all in this... apparently an adjacent council can do what they like over the neighbouring one's land and this is OK.... ::-)    Incidentally, I have no NIMBY attitude on this - waste has to be dumped somewhere I guess - what I objected to was large fleets of dumper trucks rumbling ALL DAY down a residential road where children DO actually play outside all the time still - plus their assessments of the suitability of the road were done essentially fraudulently... as I said... long story)

It's a reverse Elvis thing.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2020, 01:07:25 pm »
I'm just thinking how one might get involved in understanding at a local level what is in place, and how one might be able to challenge proposed developments that fall foul of sustainable and environmentally aware development.

People should be made liable for the externalities they impose on others, not just in their neighbourhood but on their commute, and around the world. Basically a 'VED plus' that factors in particulate and rubber health impacts, carbon emissions, wear and tear on roads, etc. It should become a serious tax penalty to operate e.g. a jeep. And it should be HMRC doing the enforcement, not do-nothing councillors.

This comment would suggest that you don't actually understand the constraints that local councillors actually work under in relation to planning.
My point isn't about planning it's about 'governance' in a broader sense. My comment is more that councillors do not have the inclination or capacity to do real, impactful environmental health enforcements, or indeed much else. See e.g. this report on stagnant road safety in England: https://www.transport-network.co.uk/Local-road-safety-is-weak-and-failing-report-finds/15992

Quote
oncern was raised that cuts to funding may soon prevent LAs [local authorities] from fulfilling their statutory road safety duties while most LAs indicated that they no longer have the capacity to improve road safety, including meeting their own targets where these have been adopted locally.
Road safety governance was generally weak and most of the limited funding for road safety comes from the LA’s own budget
The loss of the central government road safety grant has been the most significant change in LA road safety funding in the last decade, respondents noting that this means there has been very limited funding for delivery beyond staff revenue
Road safety activities that have been cut include education, training and publicity activities and school crossing patrols; some casualty reduction partnerships have come to an end and the number and scale of engineering interventions on many collision-affected routes have been reduced, if not stopped altogether
Scotland’s safety performance has overtaken that in England over the last decade as a result of years of work including the use of formal casualty reduction targets and the establishment of multi-agency partnerships specifically tasked with achieving them.
The statutory framework that requires highway authorities to deliver safety in general terms is weak in comparison with, for example, modern health and safety or product liability legislation. LAs naturally give priority to legislation where the requirements on them are explicit.

In my view HMRC is one of this country's only really strong regulatory enforcement institutions. If it were to be purposes to levy pigovian taxes on the externalities people lumber the rest of us with that would be really switching the frighteners on. LAs are in a political economy problem (they are run by councillors who don't want to lose elections) and the facts are that enforcement of duties which they're given is slack. HMRC don't give a monkey's, they'll come for anyone and they have the resources and manpower to do it.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2020, 01:17:33 pm »
I was at a Parish meeting yesterday to discuss a planning application.  There were more questions raised around parking than anything else.  It just demonstrates how car-centric we have become.
It's not so much about "will the people who'll live there have trouble parking?".  It's really "if there's not enough parking, will cars spill over onto streets and pavements, making the place an eyesore and surrounding roads more clogged and dangerous?".  These are valid concerns; non-car owners in particular often hate having cars parked right outside their house.  It's in everyone's interests to keep cars off the roads when not being used. 

The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2020, 01:20:49 pm »
We went to a 'roadshow' for developments in Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago, one of the developments the council is hoping to get permission for is Tipner West and they want the whole development to be car free, the plans include a massive underground car park accessed from the M275. It looks impressive but what it will actually end up like is a different issue.

We got chatting with one of the planners who admitted that his ambition was to turn the whole of Portsea Island car free.

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2020, 01:27:29 pm »
I'm just thinking how one might get involved in understanding at a local level what is in place, and how one might be able to challenge proposed developments that fall foul of sustainable and environmentally aware development.

People should be made liable for the externalities they impose on others, not just in their neighbourhood but on their commute, and around the world. Basically a 'VED plus' that factors in particulate and rubber health impacts, carbon emissions, wear and tear on roads, etc. It should become a serious tax penalty to operate e.g. a jeep. And it should be HMRC doing the enforcement, not do-nothing councillors.

This comment would suggest that you don't actually understand the constraints that local councillors actually work under in relation to planning.
My point isn't about planning. My comment is more that councillors do not have the inclination or capacity to do real, impactful environmental health enforcements, or indeed much else. See e.g. this report on stagnant road safety in England: https://www.transport-network.co.uk/Local-road-safety-is-weak-and-failing-report-finds/15992

Quote
oncern was raised that cuts to funding may soon prevent LAs [local authorities] from fulfilling their statutory road safety duties while most LAs indicated that they no longer have the capacity to improve road safety, including meeting their own targets where these have been adopted locally.
Road safety governance was generally weak and most of the limited funding for road safety comes from the LA’s own budget
The loss of the central government road safety grant has been the most significant change in LA road safety funding in the last decade, respondents noting that this means there has been very limited funding for delivery beyond staff revenue
Road safety activities that have been cut include education, training and publicity activities and school crossing patrols; some casualty reduction partnerships have come to an end and the number and scale of engineering interventions on many collision-affected routes have been reduced, if not stopped altogether
Scotland’s safety performance has overtaken that in England over the last decade as a result of years of work including the use of formal casualty reduction targets and the establishment of multi-agency partnerships specifically tasked with achieving them.
The statutory framework that requires highway authorities to deliver safety in general terms is weak in comparison with, for example, modern health and safety or product liability legislation. LAs naturally give priority to legislation where the requirements on them are explicit.

In my view HMRC is one of this country's only really strong regulatory enforcement institutions. If it were to be purposes to levy pigovian taxes on the externalities people lumber the rest of us with that would be really switching the frighteners on. LAs are in a political economy problem (they are run by councillors who don't want to lose elections) and the facts are that enforcement of duties which they're given is slack. HMRC don't give a monkey's, they'll come for anyone and they have the resources and manpower to do it.

It's nothing to do with "inclination or capacity" - it's to do with power/authority.  It's nothing to do with local councillors not wanting to do anything because they're scared of losing elections (parking enforcement can actually be a vote winner) - that's just lazy stereotyping.   In reality. local authorities oftenhave little power/authority to take enforcement action on these matters.

Something as simple as the ability to enforce parking restrcitions varies from authority to authority.  Parking offences have been decriminalised but enforcement was not (with the exception of London) automatically transferred to local authorities.  Police authorities maintain jurisdiction unless they decide to devolve it to the relevant local authority.  Many police authorities have - but some simply refuse to do so.  Cambridgeshire is a case in point.  They have devolved parking enforcement for the City of Cambridge but refuse to do so for the other parts of Cambrdigeshire - despite repeated requests from the relevant local authorities. 

My parish and district council - and the county council as the main highways authority - can put in restrictions but have no ability to police them.  We have repeatedly asked the police authority to devolved enforcement powers - they've refused to do so.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2020, 01:28:05 pm »
The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.
Simply not providing parking is not going to do anything, in part because people will assume they'll find somewhere. But if you provide very limited parking and enforce that, both financially and physically, it can do. Unfortunately we're back to the electability trap, people won't vote for councillors who introduce meaningful RPZs.
This ain't really your life, ain't nothing but a movie
Ain't nothing but a badly written novel

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2020, 01:35:42 pm »
I was at a Parish meeting yesterday to discuss a planning application.  There were more questions raised around parking than anything else.  It just demonstrates how car-centric we have become.
It's not so much about "will the people who'll live there have trouble parking?".  It's really "if there's not enough parking, will cars spill over onto streets and pavements, making the place an eyesore and surrounding roads more clogged and dangerous?".  These are valid concerns; non-car owners in particular often hate having cars parked right outside their house.  It's in everyone's interests to keep cars off the roads when not being used.

These are valid concerns but, as someone who deals with this sort of thing on a regular basis, the issue isn't necessarily about capacity - it's about selfishness. Often those parking on the roads/pavements are residents who have the ability to park off road but simply can't be arsed doing so.  We see it a lot in the village, as parking off road would mean them getting out and opening a gate or a garage door... they simply park on the road (or the pavement) instead.

Quote
The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.

I don't think there has ever really been a theory put forward that people will be fewer cars if less parking is provided.

That said, I'm all for the sort of restrictions on urban/suburban car ownership they have in Japan, combined with investment in public transport and alternative travel forms.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2020, 01:45:34 pm »
Increased frustration with congestion on the roads was a large part of my decision to ditch my car.


But I am perhaps unusual.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2020, 01:50:45 pm »
The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.

I thought it was that people will drive less if there's less or more expensive parking at their destination.  That might result in less car ownership and therefore storage if the destination is an employer, but would generally result in different choice of destination, or the car spending marginally more time idle.

As such, it's effective for improving air quality and congestion in city centres, but probably has little effect on residential parking.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2020, 01:52:04 pm »
The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.
Simply not providing parking is not going to do anything, in part because people will assume they'll find somewhere. But if you provide very limited parking and enforce that, both financially and physically, it can do. Unfortunately we're back to the electability trap, people won't vote for councillors who introduce meaningful RPZs.

Any actual evidence to support that assertion?

As a councillor, one of things that is often raised with me is parking enforcement - but it's people asking *for* it.  I've never had anyone suggest they didn't want parking enforcement or wouldn't vote for someone because they proposed it.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2020, 02:31:04 pm »
The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.
Simply not providing parking is not going to do anything, in part because people will assume they'll find somewhere. But if you provide very limited parking and enforce that, both financially and physically, it can do. Unfortunately we're back to the electability trap, people won't vote for councillors who introduce meaningful RPZs.

Any actual evidence to support that assertion?

As a councillor, one of things that is often raised with me is parking enforcement - but it's people asking *for* it.  I've never had anyone suggest they didn't want parking enforcement or wouldn't vote for someone because they proposed it.
It's reckoned to be a large part of why Ferguson didn't get re-elected as mayor. He introduced RPZs and wanted to extend them to cover the entire city. Rees's two most prominent campaign promises were to halt the expansion of RPZs and 20mph zones, both of which he did immediately on being elected. People's support for RPZs once they've been introduced in their own area does not extend to support for their introduction from residents of proposed zones, particularly beyond the central areas. They're also unpopular in the outer areas because they're seen as 'elitist' and because those who drove to work in the centre were forced to pay for parking or take other transport.
This ain't really your life, ain't nothing but a movie
Ain't nothing but a badly written novel

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2020, 02:43:26 pm »
I thought it was because, as an independent, he had little electioneering support on the ground. It’s one way that party politics trump independence.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2020, 04:13:51 pm »
The theory that people will buy fewer cars if less parking is provided has been disproven over the last 20 years of shambolic new estates.  Most people lease newer cars and don't really care where they're left at night.
Simply not providing parking is not going to do anything, in part because people will assume they'll find somewhere. But if you provide very limited parking and enforce that, both financially and physically, it can do. Unfortunately we're back to the electability trap, people won't vote for councillors who introduce meaningful RPZs.

Any actual evidence to support that assertion?

As a councillor, one of things that is often raised with me is parking enforcement - but it's people asking *for* it.  I've never had anyone suggest they didn't want parking enforcement or wouldn't vote for someone because they proposed it.

Attempts to even discuss a parking restrictions/RPZ on the main street near where we live face concerted (admittedly small and vocal) opposition along the lines of 'they're taking your parking' (which isn't the case, of course). Our local councillor (very good) said that it certainly makes candidates avoid the issue (sadly, the road is awful and desperately needs some restrictions). The danger of course is that while people support an RPZ, they won't risk their own parking entitlement to get one and ultimately there's less space than cars to fill it, so something has to give. Ironically far more car owners would benefit than lose out.

I think every planning developer in our town gets bogged down in parking issues (in part because there's zero parking control, the council outsourced it to Reigate & Banstead who pocketed the money and no one ever saw them again, though apparently they're cancelling this agreement and we might actually see some enforcement). This despite that town having regular bus services (and cheap ones, it's TfL) and a station with four trains an hour.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2020, 04:50:56 pm »
This despite that town having regular bus services (and cheap ones, it's TfL) and a station with four trains an hour.


I recall a few years back someone here pointing out an article on a local rag (commuter zone London territory) where an angry resident was ranting about his seasonal parking ticket at the the local rail station having been doubled in price (or thereabouts), causing him to have to pay an extra £800 a year.   It didn't take much googling for that original poster to track the guy's housing estate down and point out that it was less than a mile from this rail station.  I.e. about 15ish minutes walk - probably took him longer to drive it.
That people are prepare or willing to pay nearly £2k a year for parking spaces when they could easily walk shows you the lack of imagination and inertia in behaviour that designers are up against.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2020, 06:45:21 pm »
Swindon centre is all RPZs and they've sold far more permits than there are available spaces  :facepalm:
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2020, 07:49:17 pm »
There are all sorts of stupid conflicts within local government about RPZs as well.  At one stage, Oxford City Council introduced RPZs in Headington because they wanted people to use the Park and Ride instead of clogging up the roads driving to where parking was free (and cheaper to get the the bus). Oxfordshire County Council observed this, and then made every resident pay for their parking permit. Their reasoning was that in other parts of the county, the parking permit was introduced by request from the residents, and therefore a charging scheme was set up to pay for it!
Eventually they put the price of parking at the Park and Ride up (and the bus ticket price), so it's cheaper to drive into the centre of town and pay for 2 hours parking than it is to pay for a parking space at the park and ride and bus ticket to town. And gave permission to build a giant shopping centre in the middle of town with 1000 parking spaces. The result - more people drive into town than ever before and the whole place gridlocks regularly on Saturdays.  But it's OK because it's getting an ULEZ on 6 streets (that no-one ever drives on) next year. ::-)

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Road designers suck
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2020, 07:54:56 pm »
Wow, Oxford has changed since my days of living there then.  Back in my day (1989-1993) it was cheaper to park illegally and risk a fine than pay for one of the car parks or meters.  Iirc the parking fine was about £16 back then but the spaces were £12 a day.  So if you managed a couple of days of getting away with it....  (I didn't drive there, it was just what was known). Last time I went back properly 10 years or so ago, the city centre car parking charges had risen commensurately with the time and were similarly eye-watering (trust me £12 a day in the early 90s was huge).
Where are these spaces that are cheaper than the £4.80 (I think) I had to pay at Peartree Park and Ride a couple of weeks ago?
It's a reverse Elvis thing.