Author Topic: Southend Cycle Town - part 2  (Read 157097 times)

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #750 on: September 17, 2010, 11:22:29 am »
Pedantically, one might say that there is no need for cycle lanes anywhere. That's what roads are for.  But Southend does seem to have taken idiocy to an inspired level.  I was there a few weeks ago and went out for a short ride along the seafront with my stepfather, who splits his time between Leigh and a small town in Holland. We used the cycle route from Chalkwell to just before the pier. I came back on the road and he joined me just after the casino.  We both came away concluding that someone has been putting something mind-altering in the councillors' tea.

I'm glad it's not only us locals who think this.

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #751 on: September 17, 2010, 11:39:58 am »
I was at a regular meeting with Essex County Council last week and the Southend cycle Town Project manager (who actually works for a 3rd party consultant firm) was there for the first time.  He branded me a troublemaker in front of the people who have known me for years.

So...    :demon:



He was asked to give a short presentation on what's happening in Southend.  Here is a summary from my notes (it's only a summary because Southend told me to put my pen down and stop making notes).


Southend has been awarded money to create a cycle town so we have four schemes underway.
Progress Road, Cuckoo Corner, Victoria Circus, City Beach.
All these schemes are implementing cycle facilities.
The total cost of these schemes is £25m, of which £3m is on cycling.




Now call me a cynic, but considering that the Cycle England money is £3.2m matched funding (SBC pay £3.2m and get another £3.2m from CE), doesn't this sound a lot like "we'll juggle the budget to say that we've spent £3m in order to get more funding revenue coming in"?


Let's look at the four schemes, where is £3m being spent on cycling?

Progress Road.
Current cycle path crosses Progress Road without a crossing.  They are putting in 5 toucans so that a cyclist can press the button and cross lots of slip roads, as well as the eastbound A127 twice.  This is a delay to cyclists, not an improvement.  The driver for the scheme is to try to reduce queuing motor traffic.

Cuckoo Corner.
Roundabout is getting traffic lights and another traffic lane.  The plans in the public domain show nothing else, although I did see one draft that showed partial cycle lanes at one point on the roundabout.  The driver for the scheme is to try to reduce queuing motor traffic.

Victoria Circus.
Remove a well designed roundabout without queuing traffic and replace with a traffic lights T-Junction.  Call this "shared space".  Paint some cycle lanes.

City Beach.
Change the current road with a central reservation into a narrowed normal road, thus widening the pavement.  Make this a shared use promenade.  Bring the road surface up to be flush with the pavement to make it easier for irresponsible motorists to use the pavement for parking/bypassing a queue.

Clandy

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #752 on: September 17, 2010, 11:46:16 am »
Plus Southend council are on record as saying there will be 'no dedicated cycle lane' on City Beach. Cyclists will be 'free to use the road or the promenade'. So £0.00 spent on cycling as part of City Beach.

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #753 on: September 17, 2010, 05:49:16 pm »
Everybody who has these new plans for the area, please make sure you not only provide suitable feedback to them but also make sure that the council acknowledges these responses.

They claim to be consulting, now lets see them respond accordingly.

Who do you normally send comments to? Do you just respond to Sarah Haddens email or is it best to email someone like Neil or Tim?
Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #754 on: September 17, 2010, 05:51:00 pm »
Plus Southend council are on record as saying there will be 'no dedicated cycle lane' on City Beach. Cyclists will be 'free to use the road or the promenade'. So £0.00 spent on cycling as part of City Beach.

Yeah but... no but... yeah but... no but...

them little round shared use signs cost loadsa money  :D
Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #755 on: September 17, 2010, 06:06:26 pm »
Here is a summary from my notes (it's only a summary because Southend told me to put my pen down and stop making notes).

Bring a dictaphone or MP3 which records next time. ;)

Sounds like they're making Southend a dog's dinner for everyone who uses the roads.

Clandy

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #756 on: September 17, 2010, 07:01:47 pm »
It's something I suppose… wonder what type they'll be?

More bicycle parking in Southend (From Echo)

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #757 on: September 17, 2010, 09:35:42 pm »
It's something I suppose… wonder what type they'll be?

More bicycle parking in Southend (From Echo)

I suspect they will be the same as the ones the council has installed in the schools etc. A row of sheffield stands with a glass/perspex awning.

Cycle Parking is on the Agenda of next Mondays cycle forum meeting so looks like we will get more details then.


Mondays forum meeting is in the civic centre, committee room 6 from 19:00 - 21:30
Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

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Clandy

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #758 on: September 17, 2010, 10:52:57 pm »
If possible perhaps someone could try to get across that the main issue with cycle parking is security. There is nothing stopping thieves approaching parked bikes, bolt cropping and walking away with a bike. At least with car parks there is some form of security keeping an eye on things.

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #759 on: September 18, 2010, 12:44:43 am »
If possible perhaps someone could try to get across that the main issue with cycle parking is security. There is nothing stopping thieves approaching parked bikes, bolt cropping and walking away with a bike. At least with car parks there is some form of security keeping an eye on things.

At the last meeting the project manager was pushing a new bike storage device that a local company has designed.  A sealed box in effect.

The meeting was very similar to an episode of Dragon's Den.   I asked whether the boxes would be large enough to hide in whilst sawing through the bike padlock.

I don't think that we were supposed to hear the entrepreneur say "well myself and the project manager have known each other for years and we're hopeful that the southend cycle town budget can be spent on these new boxes we're trying to launch".  Old boys network....

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #760 on: September 18, 2010, 12:47:54 am »
Everybody who has these new plans for the area, please make sure you not only provide suitable feedback to them but also make sure that the council acknowledges these responses.

They claim to be consulting, now lets see them respond accordingly.

Who do you normally send comments to? Do you just respond to Sarah Haddens email or is it best to email someone like Neil or Tim?

Work's been manic so I haven't even opened those mails yet as I need to give them a lot of attention.

Reply to Sara, copy Neil & Tim.  If you have serious concerns, based on errors made elsewhere, I'd consider cc'ing the leader of the Council/Chief Exec/whatever his name is (sorry - brain mush - still at work!)

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #761 on: September 18, 2010, 12:52:40 am »
Although I'm working from home, I'm catching up on the stuff that the nice Mr Sky records for me.  I've just finished watching this week's episode of Police Interceptors as that's something you can have as background watching.  It's episode 15 of 15 of the latest series.

This has obviously been filmed this summer as the cycle track is there in all its painted and finished glory.

The police interceptor car was parked ON THE TRACK at the end of the episode whilst they monitored the southend cruise scene.  The view ahead through the windscreen also showed another vehicle on the track near the casino (I think not a police car).


I wonder what would have happened if a cyclist had headed east along the track?   The traffic was heavy and almost stationary.  Could the police car have got off the track in time?   Is it legal to park on the track as there are double yellow lines on the carriageway.  etc etc etc.

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #762 on: September 18, 2010, 08:27:41 am »
Quote
The police interceptor car was parked ON THE TRACK at the end of the episode whilst they monitored the southend cruise scene.  The view ahead through the windscreen also showed another vehicle on the track near the casino (I think not a police car).

That might have been before the cycle path was officially open though  :hand:
I have not been along the seafront late on a Saturday night for a long time. I would expect that just like the pre-cyclepath days or rather nights in this case, post-cyclepath its no different. A very dangerous place to ride a bike.
Is the cycle path policed at all during the evening, I doubt it.

2_Flat_Erics

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #763 on: September 18, 2010, 08:40:42 am »
If possible perhaps someone could try to get across that the main issue with cycle parking is security. There is nothing stopping thieves approaching parked bikes, bolt cropping and walking away with a bike. At least with car parks there is some form of security keeping an eye on things.

At the last meeting the project manager was pushing a new bike storage device that a local company has designed.  A sealed box in effect.

The meeting was very similar to an episode of Dragon's Den.   I asked whether the boxes would be large enough to hide in whilst sawing through the bike padlock.

I don't think that we were supposed to hear the entrepreneur say "well myself and the project manager have known each other for years and we're hopeful that the southend cycle town budget can be spent on these new boxes we're trying to launch".  Old boys network....

The bike boxes will never be used by the council for general public bike parking. They will be too expensive, take up too much room and (as pointed out by the designers themselves) they loose control of the box. (Someone could lock the box and keep the key and effectivly have their own private lock box in the town that no one else could use).

The boxes are fine for individuals at home or on business premises for the employees but not in a public space for general use.

For public bike parking their only seem to be a few alternatives to increase security.

CCTV. but then the opperater has to spot the theif in the couple of seconds it takes to crop a lock. Once the theif has gone they will probably never be caught even though they were caught on camera.

Locked unmanned compound which you can only gain access to with a ticket. This would work similar to the secure unmanned carparks i've seen in a few places. At the entrance you take a ticket and the gate opens (You only get a ticket if the camera can sense the shape of a bike). The ticket has an allocated space printed on it and you park the bike up. A sensor in the parking space knows you are parked up. You use the ticket to open the gate to get out the system knows your bike is not to be moved until you return with your ticket. If someone gets into the compound with anoter ticket and moves your bike then the alarms sound. When you return with your ticket the system knows which bike is allowed to be moved. This is expensive so will never happen.

Locked manned compound. Similar to above but makes extensive use of the mark one human eyeball. Again far to expensive so the council will never do it.
Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

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FatBloke

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #764 on: September 18, 2010, 09:58:27 am »
Is the cycle path policed at all during the evening, I doubt it.
I don't think Southend is policed during the evening!  :-\
This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional blood sport. It can happen to you. And it can happen again.


FatBloke

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #766 on: September 19, 2010, 04:22:42 pm »
But no mention of any incidents!
This isn't just a thousand to one shot. This is a professional blood sport. It can happen to you. And it can happen again.

Oaky

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #767 on: September 19, 2010, 11:04:36 pm »
Own up then: which of you did a "cat-lady" on Baker_Boy?
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #768 on: September 20, 2010, 06:11:44 am »
Own up then: which of you did a "cat-lady" on Baker_Boy?
Good job he was found by someone as he couldn't have formed a cohesive sentence to tell the emergency services where he was.   ::-)

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #769 on: September 20, 2010, 08:36:19 pm »
I liked the comment in the Echo

Quote
He must have been dumped by his girlfriend

 ;D ;D ;D

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #770 on: September 21, 2010, 07:55:12 am »
Highlights from last nights cycle forum meeting.

Prittlewell brook greenway. Work will continue to complete the greenway as far as Westbourne Grove where the money runs out. If new funds can be found then they will continue to the next phase. The surface will continue to be the “pea shingle” type that is laid at the completed Victoria Avenue end. Neil Hoskins assures us that the loose top surface is only temporary. The loose stuff should bed in or be swept aside after a few weeks of use leaving a solid surface. Part of the reason for choosing this surface was to increase the noise of tyres and footsteps on a shared path (peds can hear a cyclist or other peds approaching from behind which is probably a good idea in an unlit muggers paradise).

Cycle parking at train stations. A new secure cycle parking facility is going to be installed at Victoria Station but it will only be available for use by season ticket holders. Users will need to buy an electronic key fob that will allow them entry into the facility and it will also be covered by CCTV. If another key holder nicks or tampers with your bike they will know who it is based on the CCTV and logs from the key entry. I forgot to ask if a PIN number is also needed for entry. If no PIN is needed then there is of course a potential risk if someone has the key fob stolen or they lose it and it is picked up by the wrong person. New standard covered Sheffield stands are going it at Victoria, and Southend East. Indoor parking as part of the redesign in Shoebury, and some new double decker stands at leigh. Chalkwall is a bit of a problem due to lack of space but Tim Totten did mention that he has made up some plans that would narrow the carriageway to allow for cycle parking to be added but it’s still very early days and Chalkwall station is not due for a makeover until next year.

Cycle parking general. There are plans to add a bunch of other single and double stands all over the town outside shops and doctors surgeries etc. These will be in ones and twos and will be either Sheffield stands or an attachment that can be bolted onto existing sign and lamp posts which the bike can then be locked to.

Thorpe Hall cycle route. This is being funded as part of a deal with Futures College. This explains why a road that does not need a cycle path now has plans for one. A number of issues were raised including the fact that it will make the road more dangerous for cyclists by forcing them further into the carriageway and by formalising a cycle path drivers will be encouraged to pass cyclists faster and closer. Issues were also raised about the lack of any path across the roundabouts. This is no problem for an experienced cyclist but a path will give inexperienced cyclists a false sense of security and then abandon them when they need it most. John Bowman also raised concerns about drivers moving well clear of the central reservation due to how close the trees are to the edge of the kerb, he also raised concern over the width of the door zone. Consultation is still ongoing but it seems that the scheme will go ahead in one form or another regardless. The council won’t be seen to be giving back money to a developer that has been given to them to improve cycling facilities.

The new cycling maps were shown but I did not get a chance to look at them properly. Basically each road has been colour coded in line with bikeability skills to show how appropriate it is for cycling at each skill level. I asked if a PDF copy could be sent out to all forum members but Neil Hoskins was not sure if they had a PDF copy they could send out, he will look though.  It seems that the map is going to be sent to print anyway so there is probably no time left to comment on it.

Maintenance. Winter maintenance (i.e. gritting of the cycle paths). This was discussed but the overall impression that we were left with was that it is probably not going to happen. The reasoning is that a major cycle path like the eastern/western esplanade gets a maximum of 500 cyclists a day on a sunny summers day. On a freezing icy winters day they expect only a handful of the hardiest cyclists to still be out and about. Basically the argument is that the numbers do not stack up to warrant spending the time and money on gritting the cycle paths.
Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #771 on: September 22, 2010, 08:38:57 am »
A couple of other things to add from the forum meeting.

Opperation Velo (Police on bikes) was only a trial but due to the success it has now been confirmed that the velo team will be permanent. The team arrest rate was way better than average so the team may also be expanded.

No one on the council is aware of any fatal or serious incidents on the path near Shorefield road. (Where Domestique, Clandy and others saw the police taking measurements). The council team belive that if there had been a serious incident then they would have been aware of it by now. It was suggested by a couple of people that the police may have been taking additional measurements in relation to the incident with the quad bike and paramedic.
Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

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Redlight

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #772 on: September 22, 2010, 01:17:46 pm »

 On a freezing icy winters day they expect only a handful of the hardiest cyclists to still be out and about. Basically the argument is that the numbers do not stack up to warrant spending the time and money on gritting the cycle paths.


Seems like a pretty good reason not to use them (as if one were needed).
Between the Disney abattoir and the chemical refinery

Clandy

Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #773 on: September 29, 2010, 08:20:56 pm »
Noticed today work has started on the inadequate door zone by Adventure Island. I seem to recall one of the safety audit issues with this was it wasn't wide enough. It doesn't look any wider now, just a different colour tarmac instead of hatching.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/EDz0sBY0Xvo&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/EDz0sBY0Xvo&rel=1</a>

and the shrubbery has been cut right back where I witnessed the cyclist/cyclist collision earlier in the year:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/LfdLEUfOppg&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/LfdLEUfOppg&rel=1</a>

Andrij

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Re: Southend Cycle Town - part 2
« Reply #774 on: September 30, 2010, 09:02:19 am »
Some of rode along the new farcility at the end of last weekend's FNRttC.  I couldn't help but think that Southend could now use a new slogan:
Southend Council — Redefining 'crap'

 
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup: