"Car dependency" - a depressing report

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661-Pete
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"Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby 661-Pete » 24 Oct 2018, 11:12am

See here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45956792
and here for original report:
http://www.transportfornewhomes.org.uk/ ... ry-web.pdf

Doesn't surprise me, really, since where we live we are literally surrounded by new housing developments of exactly this type. Consider one new estate, constructed barely a stone's throw from our house, in the past few years. On greenfield land. No integrated cycle infrastructure as far as I can tell (I don't often venture into that estate, but I'm minded to do an 'explore' - on bike - just to check it out). No school/shops/doctor/etc.etc. anywhere within ½ mile. Bus service - or apology for one: just one bus per hour, daytime only, none after 6pm. Only road access onto this estate opens onto a rat-run - which has become even more of a rat-run in consequence - and will become more so as they develop phase 2 of this estate. And meanwhile, a very similar estate being developed (on what used to be a nature reserve) on the opposite side of the same rat-run.

Ironically a railway line runs alongside this new estate. But is there a station in the vicinity......? :|

When the developers announce their application for such an estate, they generally invite along the public to a viewing of their plans (and ply them with free tea and biscuits to 'sweeten' them up...) We went along. The plans we examined definitely showed cycle paths. It didn't happen. :evil:

What can I say? We've lived in the same area for 36 years. We've seen it grow. Yes we need housing. But I get angrier and angrier - and so does Mrs P...
Pete

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brynpoeth
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Oct 2018, 11:36am

Lots of new estate roads have no pavements or just PSOs pavement shaped objects with no kerbs so they can be used for parking :(
I live near the edge of town, no building allowed (nature reserve) but several older apparently usable houses have been pulled down to build new ones
Few families have more than two children but many houses are extended, I guess people have too much money

What really gets me is the concentration of food stores, there are large areas with none, then a cluster of stores together so people are forced into TDS the tragedy of drive-shopping, -1
Local government should force stores to spread out, just as there is a law about post boxes being accessible. Not sure when I last used one :?
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Bonefishblues
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 Oct 2018, 12:00pm

I heard this on R4 this morning.

What puzzled me is that it was funded/commissioned by the RAC Foundation. Because why?

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mjr
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby mjr » 24 Oct 2018, 12:32pm

Bonefishblues wrote:What puzzled me is that it was funded/commissioned by the RAC Foundation. Because why?

They seem to be spinning it as a call for houses to have off-road parking spaces (directly contrary to the report's recommendations) and more local distributor roads rather than solely connecting to major roads (which is part of a recommendation, but it's not surprising that RACF is in favour of building even more roads).

Despite the funding, much of the report seems spot on. I know of developments which are right next to above-average cycleways (substandard but only just) but no access is provided so anyone cycling has to walk and lift their bike over obstacles, or ride along some busy A road, so few do - and yes, we did point out the need for a cheap access consisting of a bit of tarmac and dropping a bit of kerb; and of developments with cycleways that actually meet the standards but have only one or two substandard connections off the estate (at the nearest point of the development towards the town centre, a fence was erected to hinder access to/from the cycleway - so now they have a frequently-damaged fence which looks just fabulous) and none towards the largest local employment area (the cycleway in that direction ends in a dirt track down a grass bank into a rough field). In that case, I'm pretty sure that the developer paid section 106 money but the councils decided to spend it on something other than proper cycleway connections.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Oct 2018, 12:52pm

brynpoeth wrote:Local government should force stores to spread out, just as there is a law about post boxes being accessible. Not sure when I last used one :?

Are you talking about independent stores or large chains? Times are hard enough for independents to impose restrictions seems a bit negative. Smaller independents probably group together for survival. You want one shop and on the way you might spot something in another. A hub of smaller retailers probably does more business than the same number of shops spread out.

The real trick is to make it easy to get to such retail hubs not eliminate them IMHO. If course that's hard to b achieve with governments and local governments we have and probably always get.

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby ChrisButch » 24 Oct 2018, 1:00pm

The extent of this problem can't be overstated. In the South West, every market town is being rapidly extended with greenfield developments of this type. Planning authorities are over a barrel: unless they approve substantial housing development, refusals will be overturned on appeal by the Planning Inspector; but under the current rules Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, which could fund the cycling and other sustainable transport provision, can't be forced on the developers at anything like the necessary level, and local authorities simply don't have the cash to fund it themselves. Pious commitments to sustainable transport in local planning policies are blowing away in the wind. We now have an unstoppable rash of car-centred estates which repeat all the planning errors of the 1970s, only worse.

brynpoeth
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Oct 2018, 1:00pm

I am thinking of food stores only, used to be a friendly small aldi near me (no car park!!! but on-street parking nearby and a few thousand people within walking distance)
Aldi closed the store, opened a new one 2 km away, right beside lidl and a couple of other stores, now TDS applies, the tragedy of drive-shopping

Local government could be given powers to force retailers to open more smaller stores instead of fewer larger ones so that generally no-one lived more than 800m from a store, in towns at least

Little, often, co-op

As noted elsewhere, I am a Utopian and believe in control and direction. And freedom too :wink:
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brynpoeth
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Oct 2018, 1:02pm

I hate big supermarkets, they are not super

They are far too big, even daunting

Using a strange store or even an unfamiliar branch of a familiar store is difficult. In a store I know I use autopilot, hardly need to make a list
In a strange store the products are a bit different, have to think a bit more :?

Thread drift, +/-1?
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Oct 2018, 1:25pm

"Humouros" aside from a town in Middle England, more bad planning :?

Postpersons working on a new estate had a lot of back problems

Experts eventually realised it was because the front doors had letter boxes at ankle level, not waist level, how clever :x

Now we have the interweb, do new houses still have letter boxes? Or does one have to drive to the PO to pick up letters?
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Bonefishblues
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 Oct 2018, 1:29pm

Rather more efficient to have a single van journey than hundreds.

It does seem to be the case that the tide of paper direct marketing is diminishing though. That said, one of our dogs pulls letters and much else from the Postman's hand as they come through the box and proceeds to pre-shred them, anyway.

pwa
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby pwa » 24 Oct 2018, 3:30pm

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bridg ... 5?hl=en-GB

Take a look at this. The extensive new estate, still being built, to the right of the screen, is geographically close to Sainsbury's and an out-of-town shopping complex. But walking or cycling from the estate to the shops is only for the bravest. I doubt anybody does it. It has not been designed in.

(The occupants of the adjacent prison might like better access to the shops too, but that's another matter.)

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 24 Oct 2018, 4:00pm

Instead of walking ten minutes the only way would be to drive several miles, mind the car park is so big, if business is good one might have a long walk too

Cycling & walking forbidden! :(
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Graham
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Graham » 24 Oct 2018, 7:15pm

Have any of our Netherlander friends access to a proposal to build 10,000 new homes for non-car-owning households in Utrecht .

Would it be possible for a foreign devil to buy such a property, or are you keeping them all for the locals ??

Any info about such would be very welcome :P

Pete Owens
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Pete Owens » 25 Oct 2018, 12:16am

Spot on report.

It is actually more depressing than the report makes out. It is not that developers are forcing car orientated development that the planning authorities are unable to resist, but planning policies forcing developers to design that way.

One of the settlements mentioned in the report is Chapleford in Warrington. The developers were genuinely motivated to do something different with a design that focused on people rather than cars. It was to be high density and mixed-use with the estate roads leading into informal plazas surrounded by shops. Minimum parking standards were to be dropped (this was before maximum standards became official goverment guidance) The busier bus routes through the estate were to be single-lane-duals to keep speeds down and prevent overtaking buses with a 20mph zone throughout, and the whole area was to be permeable on foot.

The planners were having none of it and resisted every non-conventional element. The single lane duals became wide dual carriageways (albeit encompassing cycle lanes), the plazas were dropped in favour of roundabouts - the shops had to be zoned by a huge dedicated car park. Individual residential parking spaces were insisted on, the speed limit was not allowed (though it has subsequently been adopted as borough policy). The housing plots have tended to be isolated cul-de-sac style. Mixed development was also out (even when this became national policy the local planners still got round it by creating zones for employment and residences miles apart claiming that it was "mixed use on a wider area scale"!) .. oh and they built a spanking new junction on the M62 to serve the area.

The estate is still recognisably different, but those differences are superficial rather than functional.

In order to make a real change a developer will need the single-minded determination to resist all this pressure from the planners plus the political clout to override them - which is probably why they managed to get away with it at Poundbury.

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Vorpal » 25 Oct 2018, 7:55am

Graham wrote:Have any of our Netherlander friends access to a proposal to build 10,000 new homes for non-car-owning households in Utrecht .

Would it be possible for a foreign devil to buy such a property, or are you keeping them all for the locals ??

Any info about such would be very welcome :P

I don't know about Utrecht, but new housing estates in Norway are built with walking/cycling only access to the homes. Cars must be parked in separate lots or garages. There are roads, which can be used by vehicles to collect disabled and elderly passengers or by delivery and moving vans, but they are single track, limited access, and there are no places to park inside the housing estates. There are however, covered cycle stands and/or indoor cycle parking.

Most new construction here, though, is not individual homes, but larger buildings with from 5 - 12 apartments, ranging in size from studio to 4 bedroom, and 'green' with underground heat pumps, and solar panels to power them. They made it harder a few years ago to get planning approval for developments with lots of single family homes. Mny of them are on the hillsides, so cycling to them can be a chore, but they have to have cycle paths, and 'under roof' cycle parking. There is no requirement for 'under roof' car parking.
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