Cost of Underpasses

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Vorpal » 19 Feb 2017, 9:34am

The last election in Norway, one of the parties ran on 'people, not cars', and there were several posters and flyers about showing local candidates out in town centres with bikes.
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 19 Feb 2017, 9:55am

http://elycycle.org.uk/2017/02/13/under ... ommitment/ is Ely Cycling Campaign's take on it.
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Rob Archer » 19 Feb 2017, 8:24pm

Just for clarification - are we talking about where the proposed bypass crosses the river and National Cycle Network Route 11? This section of route is now in very poor condition and the section from the railway bridge to Barway is still unsurfaced despite being promised when the cycleway was built over ten years ago. One could be forgiven fir assuming that the lack of spending on this potentially very useful route is deliberate. When the nearby railway bridge was rebuilt (after being demolished by a derailed freight traib) Railtrack didn't initally plan to replace the cycle underpass (which would have closed the route as they weren't planning a level crossing either). Public pressure from ECC, Sustrans, CTC and others ensured it happened. This will be a fast stretch of road and anything less than a light-controlled crossing is unacceptable.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby atlas_shrugged » 19 Feb 2017, 10:29pm

Maybe the OP could give clarification where this underpass is required.

If the underpass is near to the new eastern roundabout then why not run a cycle path along the new road until it is near to the existing cycle path (which runs north-south) and then have one common underpass at this point (where the new road will be high in order to clear the river). Granted this will need a bit of new cycle track but since there is no cycle track on the busy Ely - Soham road then this can only help cyclists - at some modest expense.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby horizon » 20 Feb 2017, 1:45am

1. Ely already has a by-pass.
2. This by-pass will cost £36,000,000 (or the average family in Ely £7,920)
3. The increased traffic speed will create greater background noise.
4. The by-pass will be one mile long (that's £36m per mile)
5. There are already roads that carry the traffic that the by-pass will carry.
6. These roads are congested due to the increase in vehicular traffic caused by the building of by-passes.
7. Human beings sometimes act unintelligently.
8. Later it is seen that these apparently unintelligent acts are designed to benefit a particular group or class of people at the expense of others.

I shake my head in sorrow for Ely. I'm ashamed to be British, ashamed to be educated, ashamed to be a member of the human race. It is so unbelievably sad that such an appalling solution has been chosen for such a simple problem. I cry for us all. The underpass is a mere detail, a figleaf on human greed, stupidity and folly.
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Adnepos » 20 Feb 2017, 6:47am

Rob Archer wrote:Just for clarification -
NCN between Barway and Ely is in a bad way and the section near Barway has never been any different.

However, I am talking about a route across the A142 at the to-be-built eastern roundabout of the new Bypass.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Adnepos » 20 Feb 2017, 6:54am

atlas_shrugged wrote:If the underpass is near to the new eastern roundabout then why not run a cycle path along the new road until it is near to the existing cycle path (which runs north-south) and then have one common underpass at this point (where the new road will be high in order to clear the river). Granted this will need a bit of new cycle track but since there is no cycle track on the busy Ely - Soham road then this can only help cyclists - at some modest expense.


There are lots of other ways of designing a pedestrian and cycling route across the A142. The existing 'path' (usual signage put up on a footway that is inadequate both for pedestrians as well as cyclists never mind mixing the two) along the east side of the A142 that runs past the Byspass eastern roundabout may not be one of the better options. The intention of the underpass is first to provide access to the Ely allotments and the village of Stuntney, which are on the wrong side of this busy main road for the existing shared use 'path'. Yes, an underpass well to the south of the eastern roundabout might work but that is not going to happen because it would be considered a separate project and therefore would never get the funds.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Stevek76 » 20 Feb 2017, 5:37pm

horizon wrote:1. Ely already has a by-pass.
2. This by-pass will cost £36,000,000 (or the average family in Ely £7,920)
3. The increased traffic speed will create greater background noise.
4. The by-pass will be one mile long (that's £36m per mile)
5. There are already roads that carry the traffic that the by-pass will carry.
6. These roads are congested due to the increase in vehicular traffic caused by the building of by-passes.
7. Human beings sometimes act unintelligently.
8. Later it is seen that these apparently unintelligent acts are designed to benefit a particular group or class of people at the expense of others.

I shake my head in sorrow for Ely. I'm ashamed to be British, ashamed to be educated, ashamed to be a member of the human race. It is so unbelievably sad that such an appalling solution has been chosen for such a simple problem. I cry for us all. The underpass is a mere detail, a figleaf on human greed, stupidity and folly.


Seems a little dramatic? I'm not quite sure I understand why the general nature of the scheme is such an issue (as opposed to the cycle underpass issue). The existing road layout might carry the traffic but doesn't seem particularly well suited to doing so. There is already a bypass, but the south/eastern end of it rather inexplicably dives into the town (eh, city technically) and terminates in a mini roundabout in a built up area. HGVs on the (semi) strategic route then cannot use the railway underpass since it''s too low and have to use an adjacent level crossing. Noise and air quality should be improved by moving traffic out of the inadequate section of the A142. And yes £36m/mile is not cheap but structures aren't. At the same time it's 0.005% of last years tax intake and the funding is a mix of DfT/national rail etc by the looks of things, not ely residents.

As for traffic inducement, perhaps but that really depends on what the approach to transport is like internally in Ely. Moving longer distance & goods traffic out of the town could and should be followed by improvements in favour of non private vehicle transport in town. Unlikely that will happen of course but the concept of getting traffic that doesn't need to be in the town out of it isn't really a the problem here it's the follow up. And on that basis I think criticising schemes for being expensive, as is so common in the UK, really isn't helpful. It mostly seems to result in a race to the bottom of not spending anything. Why should £ms be spent on urban realm improvements when it's not even allowable to spend £ms on a numerically demonstrable traffic problem is the argument taken. Despite the apparently best efforts otherwise, this is rich country, it can afford to build infrastructure that supports the population if it wishes to.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 20 Feb 2017, 6:30pm

Stevek76 wrote:At the same time it's 0.005% of last years tax intake and the funding is a mix of DfT/national rail etc by the looks of things, not ely residents.

http://www.cbrd.co.uk/road-schemes/a142 ... ern-bypass says it's Cambridgeshire financing it, but I've not checked. They also say £28m which was the consultation-time estimate and now out of date.

Stevek76 wrote:As for traffic inducement, perhaps but that really depends on what the approach to transport is like internally in Ely. Moving longer distance & goods traffic out of the town could and should be followed by improvements in favour of non private vehicle transport in town. Unlikely that will happen of course but the concept of getting traffic that doesn't need to be in the town out of it isn't really a the problem here it's the follow up. And on that basis I think criticising schemes for being expensive, as is so common in the UK, really isn't helpful.

Possibly not, so let's criticise it on the basis of being the most expensive and most damaging option of those available, backed by a near-Soviet-level 81% approval of the council's preferred option in a consultation, produced by carefully leading questions: first, "Do you support improved access to the South of Ely?" then "Do you want to see traffic levels reduced around the station area?" and finally "Which of the Options do you prefer?" Unsuprisingly, people picked the option furthest to the South and furthest from the area around the station!

Never mind that the chosen route is most visible from the cathedral (which English Heritage objected to), will obstruct National Cycle Route 11 during construction, will permanently divert National 11 down to fen level and back up (yay, more climbs(!) ) or any other of drawbacks because "it will primarily affect the small proportion of people walking [and cycling, but we don't even merit mention] along the riverbank rather than those approaching by road. This has been given due consideration" - ie the bare minimum fig leaf needed to allow this project for the Old Men In Big Cars to go forwards. (source)

The consultation report, including those leading questions, is still online at http://www4.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/ ... ern_bypass which is better than many councils would do.

Ely is 17 miles from cycling capital Cambridge and less from its northern science and business parks. There's a train line and a river which could be followed for low-crossing cycle routes, as well as the A10 corridor. Surely it should be a high priority to enable fast cycling (snelfietsroutes) between the two? And yet, they keep sacrificing the city to King Car - how can someone still think opening faster road access will not induce more traffic? :eek:
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Rob Archer » 20 Feb 2017, 10:12pm

As I understand it the main driver for the bypass is the increase in rail traffic over the level crossing just north of Ely station. There is an underpass but it only has a 9ft headroom. At busy times there are tailbacks of HGVs which obstruct the mini roundabout. Many of the rail routes from Ely (to King's Lynn, Peterborough, Norwich and Ipswich) are due to see a doubling of services over the next fee years. Freight traffic is also increasing. This will mean the crossing will rarely be open to road traffic. This is one bypass that really is needed!

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2017, 7:38am

Don't be daft: there can't be an underpass at Ely station because it would have to be pumped out and no one can afford that(!)

Seriously, there was a route for the bypass not cutting National 11, route D, which was cheaper so should have left more money to build active travel infrastructure. I guess there were routes A and C too at some point, but not in the consultation.

Will the Prickwillow Road crossings complex also be closed lots more?
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby horizon » 21 Feb 2017, 9:47am

Stevek76 wrote:
Seems a little dramatic? I'm not quite sure I understand why the general nature of the scheme is such an issue (as opposed to the cycle underpass issue).


I'm questioning the fact that we believe this scheme to have acceptably benign consequences and unarguable needs. My sadness is about society's blindness to the consequences and unquestioning acceptance of the needs. It's an appalling scheme at an obscene cost driven by our reluctance to question the movement of goods and vehicles. I believe that avoidance of questioning to be deliberate because those in power stand to gain hugely either direclty through building the road or in lower freight costs at the expense of those who will carry the cost of a truncated city and a further increase in traffic. The fact that the cost of the scheme is borne by central government seems to say that it isn't for the benefit of the people of Ely. I can think of lots of ways to spend £36m in Ely but it wouldn't be on this road.
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Stevek76 » 21 Feb 2017, 5:39pm

mjr wrote:Possibly not, so let's criticise it on the basis of being the most expensive and most damaging option of those available


Don't have a problem with that and while I've always found objections on the basis of landscape settings a little bemusing (most of Ely wouldn't exist on that basis), I'd not looked at the previous consultations when I'd written that. I just have a problem with arguments of don't build X because it's expensive when it's generally not expensive in the grand scheme of things and it's an argument just as often used against decent cycling infrastructure.

Having looked a bit more a the consultation document I really can't see the benefit of B over D. As for the traffic inducement, I'm not contending that such provision would not induce traffic along that specific route, my point was that decent provision for longer distance demand can remove or allow the removal of traffic from more urban areas. The dutch and the danish still provide good infrastructure for goods and vehicles particularly on longer distances.

mjr wrote:Seriously, there was a route for the bypass not cutting National 11, route D, which was cheaper so should have left more money to build active travel infrastructure. I guess there were routes A and C too at some point, but not in the consultation.


This actually piqued my curiosity enough to do a proper bit of digging now. Planning application (here) is usually a good place to start to get a report name and an addendum can be found by googling:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=A142+ ... ent+Report

There were actually 6 routes up to F considered since 2002, plus later 3 tunnel based ones (all canned due to cost (£50-70m) rather unsurprisingly), D was the only one not to cross the Ouse. At the time of that report, route D was actually more expensive. However B seems to be consistently favoured.

Curiously B massively outperforms D in the transport benefits. I'm a little suspicious of that, the provided explanation is that B puts the through traffic on the far side of the Queen Adelaide Way junction helping it considerably but, even if that is the case and it's not a quirk of the traffic model, that's nothing that Option D plus a junction improvement(s) couldn't deal with.

That route D went through the playing fields seems to have been a consistent sticking point though and wouldn't surprise me if it was more that resulting in the public favouring of B than psychological manipulation via questioning. Park groups tend to be quite vocal and organised, politically I suspect there was a fair bit of pressure against D on that basis.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Feb 2017, 7:10pm

The same County Council that allowed this magnificent Cycle Facility near St Ives - the Guided Busway

Image

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2017, 7:48pm

Cunobelin wrote:The same County Council that allowed this magnificent Cycle Facility near St Ives - the Guided Busway

The first picture probably isn't the Guided Busway because the route isn't wide enough (the CMGB has a cycle/maintenance track alongside two bus tracks, so it's pretty wide). The second picture is near Oxford from http://cyclinguphill.com/cycling-floods/ and the third isn't the busway because blue motorway patches are on the road sign and the busway doesn't reach the M11 or A1M.

Cambridgeshire County Council do commit some howlers and the actual current state of the still-incomplete Ely-Cambridge cycle track is poor enough when it's dry, but let's not go all fake news, eh?
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