"Car dependency" - a depressing report

pwa
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby pwa » 5 Jan 2019, 9:52pm

basingstoke123 wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Times changed, how? Surely people had to eat back then, just as much :?

The evidence would suggest that people now eat more? The growing population (at individual level, that is) cannot be due only to less physical activity.

There was a news item a few years back that said a study had established that people in the UK were eating more calories in the early twentieth century than at the end of the century. But instead of sitting at a desk all day they were digging holes etc.

Ian55
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Ian55 » 6 Jan 2019, 12:12pm

Pete Owens wrote: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.


Despite Warrington BC having a LCWIP policy they still make little or no provision for cyclists. The recently made changes ( I won't use the word improvements) to two roads in Warrington. One got cycle lanes, but the other got no cycle provision. But they did manage to find the space to create car parking bays! On a different note, I live on an estate in Warrington. A lot of the residents use the pavement to park their cars on. No doubt these are the same people who complain about cyclists on pavements!

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Vorpal » 6 Jan 2019, 12:43pm

brynpoeth wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:That used to be the way. They were successful. Times changed and eventually nobody shopped in them. They closed, to open again clustered together in 'destinations'. These have prospered.

Times changed, how? Surely people had to eat back then, just as much :?
I would not care whether my local store was an a or a l or a coop

The biggest reasons are economic, though somewhat based upon false economies.

The village butcher, green grocer, etc. had trouble competing on the basis of price, and were disadvantaged when, for the sake of efficiency, someone could drive 5 miles and do all of their shopping in one location, and drive home again.

In reality, walking from one shop to another and home again might only be a few minutes slower altogether, but when you add to that the price difference of some goods, especially items that can purchased in bulk from a 'superstore', and it looks like driving 5 miles is better for efficiency.

If you add in the cost of petrol and the time to drive and park, it makes less difference.

But then if you can also drop off the dry cleaning, visit the office supply shop and the building goods superstore, drop off a package to post, and have a cafe lunch all in the same location... ?

Oh! you just reinvented the town centre.... with extra parking :cry:
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reohn2
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby reohn2 » 6 Jan 2019, 12:53pm

al_yrpal wrote:In our villages latest housing development of 50 houses which lies on a pretty busy B road our Parish Council insisted on a cycle path to connect with the main village and that this path was extended to an older development and public open space further out. There is also a footpath through adjacent land to a bus stop.
There is also another new development of 70 houses and half the farmers land offered had to be allocated to a new village playing field and pavilion. And, they arent allowed to lay a single brick until this is landscaped and completed. We never had a playing field and the new villagers will be paying for it.

All this waa insisted upon by our fantastic local parish council. With great leadership they are transforming a mundane village into a great place to live. I would be quite happy if our Parish Council made all our laws, ran the Police and collected taxes. Local government that responds to local desires is great.It's one of the reasons I voted to leave the unresponsive EU Superstate, its remote, undemocratic and a total waste of money.

Al

And yet many countries within EU manage to do on a countrywide scale what your enlightened Parish council is doing on a very small scale,I'll put it to you that the EU it isn't some smothering superstate you claim it to be but an enlightened collection of "parish councils" not unlike your own seeking at the heart of it a better way of living for all it's members.
I'm not about to try and change the remit of this thread but you couldn't be more wrong in your assumption with regards to reducing car use in relation to countries that have the right to that autonomy within the EU.
The EU isn't a superstate and from a car use perspective the UK will be worse off out of it and won't have a seat at the table that decides whether the EU becomes a superstate or not.
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brynpoeth
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 6 Jan 2019, 6:54pm

Some lucky people including me can walk to the shops, I have two stores nearby :wink:
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atlas_shrugged
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby atlas_shrugged » 15 Jan 2019, 9:27am

Maybe these new developments should be called out for what they are:

Slave Camps.

If two parents are driven out to work (and the figures may vary from the below):
30% goes on the mortgage
30% goes on buying and running two cars
30% goes on taxes

Then very little is left to enjoy life. Any children just get deposited in far away inadequate child-care-dumps. Our replacement level is around 1.7 for the British population. The only conclusion then for the building of all these houses is that it is a Ponzi scheme. Great for the large international corporations. Not so great for the worker bee stuck in traffic.

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Jan 2019, 10:04am

A motor firm was trying to recruit workers in Brazil
The personnel executive got talking through a translator to a man sitting by his hut by the river

'Come and work in our factory, you can earn $$$, then you can get a flat in town, later you can even own a car and get a cottage in the country and drive there for weekends!'

'No reason I should work for you for years to achieve what I am doing already!'
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pga
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby pga » 26 Jan 2019, 12:21am

Sadly developers are running rings round local authorities. They wine and dine local councillors who are no match for the smart buttock consultants employed by the developers. At the same time local planning staff have been cut to the bone and what remain are mainly young and inexperienced and again no match for the developers. We have all seen the early drawing showing cycle routes within the scheme and to surrounding areas and then failed to find them on the built scheme. Meanwhile new roads are given priority eg the Cambridge/Milton Keynes/Oxford Expressway.

I was lucky in that most of my town planning career in a New Town came during a period when development was plan led and developers were told what they could build and they were carefully monitored to ensure that they did as they were told. Left to their own developers will always cut costs to maximise profit. It is a nasty world out there - just check how much the CEO's of the big house building firms are paid and compare that with how much local government town planners get.

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Pete Owens » 26 Jan 2019, 1:38am

Ahh new-towns - the most car-dependent settlements in the country. And not by accident, but because the planners forced developers to design them around the needs of cars, rather than people.

Presumably during that time those plans will have required developers to provide excessive car parking (while permitting houses with no secure cycle storage). You will have insisted developments to be provided with a network of distributor roads designed to ensure that cars can move at speed throughout the town - so they become the natural mode of choice of the residents. You will have insisted on zoned development - so housing, employment and shops are all in different places - usually too far to walk. There will have been no through routes in the residential areas making them very difficult to serve by public transport. (you may have required a short term subsidy to provide a bus service to a new development, but that service will have been unsustainable due to the inherent problems with the planning). You will have required low housing densities - again making destinations further away and difficult to walk to. You will have insisted that shops and work places were provided with large car parks, rather than adjacent to frequent bus services.

It will all have been done in the best of intentions - separating people from traffic without realising that you should be aiming for people to BE the traffic. The immediate surroundings of residential developments will be landscaped, and quiet (you will have forbidden development on busy streets). But this means that from a pedestrian perspective, each small cul-de-sac is effectively an island be isolated from the rest of the town rather than connected to it. There will have been paths through landscaped parkland for cyclists and pedestrians, but these will be little used (people prefer to walk on well lit and populated streets rather than dark secluded places when they are going to work in the dark).

This is why our new towns are without fail the most auto-dependent settlements in the country - and the places where people do walk and cycle tend to be those that were built well before the planners insisted on making way for cars.

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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby mjr » 26 Jan 2019, 6:41pm

Nice rant, but not quite true. Some of the new towns included fairly comprehensive cycle route networks (including quiet streets) with good signposts and marketing and parking and achieved... roughly national average levels of cycling. So not the most car dependent "without fail" but I'd agree if you said they were all too motoring-friendly.

One problem has been that since the demise of the original new towns authorities, the successor local councils haven't always continued to maintain the networks and insist new developments connect to them - probably because most of their populations aren't cycling regularly. This then breaks the perception that you could cycle everywhere even if few do. :-(
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby MikeF » 26 Jan 2019, 10:25pm

brynpoeth wrote:Some lucky people including me can walk to the shops, I have two stores nearby :wink:
I can and do walk (and cycle) to the shops. Most people near me drive to the shops. They can buy much larger quantities than me which saves time :? so I need to go shopping more frequently, but then I do more exercise than them and buy only what we need.
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby [XAP]Bob » 27 Jan 2019, 9:20am

Does it save time though?

I used to go shopping very frequently, but it was on my way home from work, so it cost me virtually zero time.
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby brynpoeth » 27 Jan 2019, 10:07am

I drive past the shops on the way home from work, have supper, walk to the shop later
Costs time maybe but saves fuel and I get exercise, +1
Last edited by brynpoeth on 29 Jan 2019, 4:18am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby MikeF » 28 Jan 2019, 10:46pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Does it save time though?

I used to go shopping very frequently, but it was on my way home from work, so it cost me virtually zero time.

Might do, might not, hence my smily. It's always seems an argument for using the car. :roll: The other consequence of taking a car for shopping is that too much is bought and then subsequently thrown away.
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Re: "Car dependency" - a depressing report

Postby Cugel » 29 Jan 2019, 9:37am

MikeF wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:Does it save time though?

I used to go shopping very frequently, but it was on my way home from work, so it cost me virtually zero time.

Might do, might not, hence my smily. It's always seems an argument for using the car. :roll: The other consequence of taking a car for shopping is that too much is bought and then subsequently thrown away.


Car use an an inducement to impulse shop for land-filling gew-gaws and other dross! I will add that to my long, long list of "Evils engendered, enabled, amplified and promoted by the car".

But I would like to know what all this alleged time-saving, provided by car-shopping and other excuses to pilot the evil things, is used for? Most addicted car-users I know spend hours slumped in front of a screen watching moronic media-dross whilst eating the junk-fud they just impulse-bought during their car-shop.

Personally I like "spending" time doing whatever is happening at the time. I have been accused of "drifting through life". I prefer to think of it as sailing (sometimes skiing; or even riding a bike through life). One finds oneself here&now then moves in some interesting way to there&then, employing mental winds and gravity, adding a thrust or a steer only occasionally.

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