Zombie roads back on the agenda

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9903
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby horizon » 20 Oct 2012, 6:30pm

BeeKeeper wrote:The solution is perhaps to turn the clock back to the time when only the rich had cars and the narrow roads of the time were fine for the light traffic. The poor went to work locally on their bikes.

Except we can't turn the clock back.


No we cannot. But being stuck in a 1980s time warp isn't pleasant either. Britain is just way behind. We are talking about the future not a 1970s Golden Age.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

pete75
Posts: 12289
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby pete75 » 20 Oct 2012, 7:30pm

horizon wrote:
BeeKeeper wrote:The solution is perhaps to turn the clock back to the time when only the rich had cars and the narrow roads of the time were fine for the light traffic. The poor went to work locally on their bikes.

Except we can't turn the clock back.


No we cannot. But being stuck in a 1980s time warp isn't pleasant either. Britain is just way behind. We are talking about the future not a 1970s Golden Age.


If the motor vehicle haters get their way we'll still need roads for stage coaches and horse wagons.

Mike Sales
Posts: 3937
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Mike Sales » 20 Oct 2012, 7:50pm

pete75 wrote:If the motor vehicle haters get their way we'll still need roads for stage coaches and horse wagons.


Who are these haters? Those who have declared war on the motorist?

PRL
Posts: 602
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby PRL » 20 Oct 2012, 8:01pm

Re original topic :
The South Coast Motorway actually sounds better for cycling than the current practice of upgrading bits of the E-W main roads.There is often not much alternative to narrow high-speed hell. :evil:

hexhome
Posts: 1328
Joined: 1 Oct 2010, 10:33am
Location: Hexham, Northumberland

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby hexhome » 20 Oct 2012, 9:06pm

Mark1978 wrote:Oh yeah that's really simple. My job is 35 miles away and it took 7 months to get that. I'll just resign and get something closer. So easy. Why didn't I think of that!!


I sympathise as I live in Hexham and work from York. It is a balancing act which is difficult at times. It is always possible to get a job near home but not necessarily at the same salary or at the same 'level'. I'm 'lucky' in that I spend a great deal of time away 'on the road' and therefore avoid too many commutes. The real problem is the increase in working day length. So I am guessing that this is why you are keen on the upgrading of the A1?

The fact is that any upgrade will not reduce your day by any more than a minute or two at best. The reason that I commute is that I have a lifestyle in Hexham which fits mine and my family's needs perfectly. There are no suitable local positions. I would not be happy if, to save myself a minute or two, I was responsible for destroying someone else's perfect lifestyle! As a result of this opinion and experience, my strong conclusion is that any further upgrades of the A1 as discussed would be undesirable.

Rather than getting angry at counter opinion, why not consider these views?

Richard Mann
Posts: 427
Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 12:46am

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Richard Mann » 20 Oct 2012, 10:43pm

As a general rule, roads generate traffic, and their Cost-Benefit Ratios (ie their value-for-money) are poor. So the Govt must be desperate to dredge these schemes up.

Whatever the pros and cons of any particular scheme, it'd be far more sensible to civilise our streets, get some people on their bikes (and walking and using the bus), and then see whether new roads are really necessary (they aren't).

The problem of course is that new roads are a matter for central government, whereas civilising our streets is a local matter. The govt would be far more sensible to make 20 the default on urban roads, give local authorities a statutory responsibility to make that happen, and provide them with a little bit of money to do it. But that'd be too joined up.

The Belgians did a similar thing with making one-way streets two-way for cycling. Kept the local authorities busy for a couple of years changing all the signs.

User avatar
CJ
Posts: 2999
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby CJ » 22 Oct 2012, 3:06pm

horizon wrote:So why do I take the position "ALL ROADS BAD" (for argument's sake, obviously). Because (1) The UK has landscapes and townscapes, like Salisbury for example, that cannot accept by-passes with ease. You simply cannot build one of these by-passes without considerable damage so it isn't a solution.

Salisbury is a good example. A typical once-lovely old British town plagued by through traffic. You cannot tell me that the traffic which presently rumbles through the middle of Salisbury - simply becasue there's no way around the place - is not doing considerable damage to the town and the quality of life of all who live there. So long as all of that traffic has nowhere else to go, there is no possibility of making the town significantly more cycle friendly.

Maybe if we just wait, economic activity in this country will decline so far that the main roads through Salisbury no longer carry anything like as much traffic. Such a state of affairs would also result in an increasing number of Sarumites no longer having any alternative way of getting about than cycling.

Here are the options: (1) continue with a typical British muddle of building a few new roads and squeezing a few crap cyclepaths into existing gaps around them. (2) Go Dutch with lots of new roads and good cyclepaths where the old roads are narrowed and slowed. (3) Go Greek - which is, of course, the destination which option (1) merely prolongs the agony of reaching.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9903
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby horizon » 22 Oct 2012, 3:16pm

CJ wrote:
horizon wrote:traffic which presently rumbles through the middle of Salisbury - simply becasue there's no way around the place - is not doing considerable damage to the town and the quality of life of all who live there.


It doesn't rumble through the middle of Salisbury. It rumbles over part of what was "a typical once-lovely old British town" but is now an inner ring road, devasating the town. This ring road has, as you say yourself, palbably failed. The solution: Let's build more ring roads! And after Salisbury comes Westbury ...
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

SJSBrompton
Posts: 96
Joined: 3 Nov 2011, 4:48pm

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby SJSBrompton » 22 Oct 2012, 4:32pm

Could it be (although unlikely) that lots of road building can be seen to generate jobs AKA the 1930s in depression era USA, when a lot of their infrastructure was built?

I don't agree with more roads, but wonder whether that is the rather naive basis on it from the government, though I guess the Daily Heil will have a field day with the fact that most of the construction workers are likely to be from elsewhere in the EU.

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9903
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby horizon » 22 Oct 2012, 4:44pm

There is another thread on here that queries the oft-held assertion that building roads creates economic growth. In my view, and that of others, it's a myth.

However, if you want to create jobs, it's very easy to support small housing cooperatives up north and put cash into the comservation of old buildings. Neither of these is done because the work created would go to small, highly labour intensive building firms which don't create stock market profits, cannot lobby and don't deliver funds to the Tory party. The £45m that went on a local 2 mile by-pass could have transformed the local economy here in SE Cornwall. Big road contracts are lobbied for, create profits, use temporary labour and a high volume of materials. The village concerned now has a 24 hour noise problem from high speed traffic and a by-pass that drives traffic into a dead end valley from which there is no escape apart from a narrow twisting road. The local firms have lost the passing custom. The jobless total is untouched.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

Mark1978
Posts: 4912
Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Mark1978 » 22 Oct 2012, 4:59pm

hexhome wrote:I sympathise as I live in Hexham and work from York. It is a balancing act which is difficult at times. It is always possible to get a job near home but not necessarily at the same salary or at the same 'level'. I'm 'lucky' in that I spend a great deal of time away 'on the road' and therefore avoid too many commutes. The real problem is the increase in working day length. So I am guessing that this is why you are keen on the upgrading of the A1?



No; not really, I don't use this stretch on a regular basis. I commute from Chester-le-Street to Stockton and don't really suffer big delays due to traffic.

Richard Mann
Posts: 427
Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 12:46am

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Richard Mann » 22 Oct 2012, 5:55pm

Salisbury's inner ring road isn't really the problem.

It's the fact that the inner city is a one-way ped&bike-unfriendly multi-lane mess. They're not even trying.

Big T
Posts: 2105
Joined: 16 Jul 2007, 1:44pm
Location: Nottingham
Contact:

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Big T » 22 Oct 2012, 8:23pm

Where I live, there are 2 road schemes that have been talked about for years - the A46 and A453 widening. The A46 is now complete and the A453 just starting.

Whenever i went out for a ride, I'd have to cross the old A46 at a staggered junction. This could take fully 5 minutes in each direction. It was also dangerous. a clubmate got knocked off at the junction and now can no longer ride a bike and walks with a permanent limp. Now that the new road is finished, we just ride over a bridge to cross the A46, so much safer and better than it was before. the old road is still there in places and we can now ride through some of the villages that we couldn't before.

The new road isn't generating extra traffic. The traffic was already there.
My JOGLE blog:
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com
twitter: @bikingtrev

Mike Sales
Posts: 3937
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Oct 2012, 8:51pm

Big T wrote:The new road isn't generating extra traffic. The traffic was already there.


Have you counted it?
The D of T report which concluded new roads generate traffic was quite comprehensive and was accepted by the Dept. It distinguished between generated traffic and released demand for instance. If the traffic was already there, was there no released demand? i.e. traffic suppressed by the slowness or congestion of the old road, which was allowed by the new. This is distinct from extra traffic seizing the opportunity to make new journeys.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1592
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Zombie roads back on the agenda

Postby Pete Owens » 22 Oct 2012, 11:59pm

Traffic generation doesn't happen overnight. As people realise that there is a new high speed road available they will start to adjust their lifestyles to take advantage of it and undertake journeys that they would not otherwise have done. So taking the A46 example someone taking up a new job in Leicester might think Newark is a nice place to live - only half an hour commute. Others will travel further and more often to shop. Others will use the road to make longer trips say to Lincoln, thus increasing the pressure on the roads beyond.

This is another example of a motorway-in-all-but-name of the sort that are increasingly making long distance cycling difficult. OK, in some stretches there is a completely new alignment that does indeed free up the old road, and you are lucky that there is a bridge happens to be provided at the place you happen to cross. But there are places that this isn't happening (otherwise it would be an extension of the M69). The bit I am familiar with (where the A52 crosses near Bingham) the junction was a huge cycle hostile roundabout. The new junction is an even bigger, faster more cycle hostile roundabout - and the old roundabout is still there.