Cost of Underpasses

pga
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby pga » 21 Feb 2017, 8:11pm

It is over 25 years since I was involved in civil engineering costs but the simple fact remains that it is far easier and cheaper to put in an underpass as an essential part of a new road schemes rather than add one at a later date where lack of space, unfavourable ground levels and diversion of existing services can add considerably to the cost. Underpasses benefit all users,not just walkers, cyclists, mobility vehicle users and horse riders (in Milton Keynes) but also motorists and public transport users as well. However they do do need to be designed to a generous standard and not the rabbit holes that we often see.

Section 105 planning gain money is often a source of funding.

Rob Archer
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Re: RE: Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Rob Archer » 21 Feb 2017, 10:07pm

mjr wrote: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?

There is an underpass adjacent to the level crossing. Yes, it does flood and is pumped. The crossings at Prickwillow and Queen Adelaide will be closed a lot more frequently. One of the reasons the upgrade of Ely North Junction has been delayed (yet again!) is because that has to be factored in. There is a theoretical risk that traffic could back up from one crossing across the other one. The whole Ely area presents major transport challenges but unfortunately planners appear unable to see beyond cars and trains!

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mjr
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Re: RE: Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 22 Feb 2017, 11:55am

pga wrote:Section 105 planning gain money is often a source of funding.

Section 106 but that doesn't matter much because it's being replaced by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Rob Archer wrote:
mjr wrote:Will the Prickwillow Road crossings complex also be closed lots more?

The crossings at Prickwillow and Queen Adelaide will be closed a lot more frequently. One of the reasons the upgrade of Ely North Junction has been delayed (yet again!) is because that has to be factored in. There is a theoretical risk that traffic could back up from one crossing across the other one. The whole Ely area presents major transport challenges but unfortunately planners appear unable to see beyond cars and trains!

Yes, but fixing Ely North Junction properly could have benefits for cycling, from us not needing to ride across so many sets of slippery rails, to upgrading that section of National Byway to something worthy of the National name. One solution seems obvious: bridge the central (currently Fen Line) crossing and realign the western (March/Peterborough) way across the field to a new junction north of it, close the eastern crossing (the east-west/north loop is already bridged) and put the road in an underpass under the eastern (Brandon/Norwich) way instead of the current nuttiness of climbing up embankments to a level crossing. I bet it'll never be deemed value-for-money, though.
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Pete Owens
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Pete Owens » 24 Feb 2017, 7:33pm

Rob Archer wrote: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!

Even if your starting point is that the one and only purpose of transport policy is to speed the passage of those driving motor vehicles then as a justification for spending £36 MILLION to bypass a town that already has a bypass it is utterly pathetic (Perhaps £36 THOUSAND to replace the mini-roundabout with a set of traffic lights would be appropriate to the scale of the problem). Every road scheme has some justification – just as every driver accruing 12 points on their licence seems to have an exceptional reason to justify keeping their licence. OK, driving round Ely on the A142 might not be the ultimate driving experience – but can anyone honestly say that of all people travelling around north Cambridgeshire that motorists have it hardest so are in greatest need for public largess?

Horizon has hit the nail on the head. The reason we are in the state we are today is our unquestioning acceptance of the need for such things. It is all very well saying that this is small beer in the overall scheme of things – just a small fraction of the national budget – that this on its own will not encourage more people to drive. But it has to be seen as part of a long standing pattern of investment biased towards motor traffic. Just look at a map of the area and you see that Ely already has 2 bypasses and all the villages along the A142 are bypassed. Each of these will have been justified by relieving those villages from through traffic – but the overall effect is to make longer distance motor journeys more attractive – thus the road has becomes busier and more hostile to cyclists. Drip by drip transport policy is ratcheting up car dependency.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Feb 2017, 7:40am

Pete Owens wrote:
Rob Archer wrote: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!

Even if your starting point is that the one and only purpose of transport policy is to speed the passage of those driving motor vehicles then as a justification for spending £36 MILLION to bypass a town that already has a bypass it is utterly pathetic (Perhaps £36 THOUSAND to replace the mini-roundabout with a set of traffic lights would be appropriate to the scale of the problem). Every road scheme has some justification – just as every driver accruing 12 points on their licence seems to have an exceptional reason to justify keeping their licence. OK, driving round Ely on the A142 might not be the ultimate driving experience – but can anyone honestly say that of all people travelling around north Cambridgeshire that motorists have it hardest so are in greatest need for public largess?

Horizon has hit the nail on the head. The reason we are in the state we are today is our unquestioning acceptance of the need for such things. It is all very well saying that this is small beer in the overall scheme of things – just a small fraction of the national budget – that this on its own will not encourage more people to drive. But it has to be seen as part of a long standing pattern of investment biased towards motor traffic. Just look at a map of the area and you see that Ely already has 2 bypasses and all the villages along the A142 are bypassed...


Ely the eastern powerhouse, or was that Cambridge?

How many other towns have two or more bypasses? Shrewsbury and Newbury spring to mind..
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Pete Owens » 26 Feb 2017, 6:22pm

brynpoeth wrote:How many other towns have two or more bypasses? Shrewsbury and Newbury spring to mind..

Warrinton has three (M6, M56 & M62)
That doesn't sop the locals constan'tly banging on about the need to more.

brynpoeth
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Feb 2017, 6:36pm

Pete Owens wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:How many other towns have two or more bypasses? Shrewsbury and Newbury spring to mind..

Warrinton has three (M6, M56 & M62)
That doesn't sop the locals constan'tly banging on about the need to more.


London of course, the north and south circular road plus the m25
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Grandad
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Grandad » 26 Feb 2017, 7:35pm

London of course, the north and south circular road plus the m25


Having often used both I would never describe either as a bypass. This bottleneck at Catford could perhaps be called a mini ring road :D https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4446414,-0.0222951,17z

brynpoeth
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Feb 2017, 7:49pm

Grandad wrote:
London of course, the north and south circular road plus the m25


Having often used both I would never describe either as a bypass. This bottleneck at Catford could perhaps be called a mini ring road :D https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4446414,-0.0222951,17z


They were bypasses back then maybe :wink:
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby mjr » 26 Feb 2017, 7:59pm

brynpoeth wrote:
Grandad wrote:
London of course, the north and south circular road plus the m25


Having often used both I would never describe either as a bypass. This bottleneck at Catford could perhaps be called a mini ring road :D https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4446414,-0.0222951,17z


They were bypasses back then maybe :wink:

Relics of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Ringways - not so much bypasses as part of an aborted plan to turn London into a sort of circular Milton Keynes with longer distances between junctions on bigger roads furthest from the centre... and without cycle tracks.
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horizon
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby horizon » 27 Feb 2017, 11:04am

By the way, if anyone had any information as to the source (and effects) of the sand and cement for this project, I would be very grateful.
Let's just stay!

psmiffy
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby psmiffy » 27 Feb 2017, 3:13pm

horizon wrote:By the way, if anyone had any information as to the source (and effects) of the sand and cement for this project, I would be very grateful.


In what way? - Cement would probably be Ketton - Aggregates from any number of east anglian pits - quantities are tiny compared to the bulk muck for the embankments - whatever is imported - environmentally it will be to all intents inert

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby horizon » 27 Feb 2017, 3:47pm

psmiffy wrote:
horizon wrote:By the way, if anyone had any information as to the source (and effects) of the sand and cement for this project, I would be very grateful.


In what way? - Cement would probably be Ketton - Aggregates from any number of east anglian pits - quantities are tiny compared to the bulk muck for the embankments - whatever is imported - environmentally it will be to all intents inert


I was struck by this article in the Guardian this morning (it may or may not be relevant):

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017 ... ever-heard
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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Pete Owens » 28 Feb 2017, 12:46am

Adnepos wrote: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.


Hang on - this is getting even more bonkers. Having established that £36 million is an absurd amount to spend bypassing a bypass. If anything spending £1 million more to build an underpass on the west side of the road, when the cycle path (however inadequate) is on the east side is even dafter. In both cases the only argument that can be made is that the huge sums of money is to compare it with even bigger wasted sums.

If you look up the traffic counts for that stretch of road #18157:
https://www.dft.gov.uk/traffic-counts/cp.php?la=Cambridgeshire#18157
You see a daily flow of cyclists in single figures! Yes - I do see the argument it is an upleasant road that is not attractive to cycle along - but an underpass is not going to improve that one jot - its only purpose would be to try to prevent it getting any worse. Say an underpass prevented 20% of those cyclists giving up riding - then it would have achieved a grand total of ONE extra cycle trip/day on the most recent figures.

To put it in context campaigners often ask for annual cycle spending of £10/person. The population of Ely is 20000 - so that would be 5 years worth. If the Ely cycle campaign were given £1 million to spend at their discretion over the next 5 years improving the infrastructure of the town would they really choose to blow it all on an out of town underpass.

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Re: Cost of Underpasses

Postby Pete Owens » 28 Feb 2017, 1:17am

And since the bypass appears to be going ahead. The most urgent campaign aim should be to change the design of the roundabouts at either end to continental (or compact) geometry http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/165240/244921/244924/TAL_9-97/
There are a couple of recent examples in Cambridge - so the concept shouldn't be entirely alien to the designers. The lower speed would make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists (whether riding on or off the carriageway) and it should easily handle the volume of traffic on that road.

What is more, the cost would be zero if designed in from the start - so affordability isn't an excuse.