Bath Spa traffic debate

brynpoeth
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Apr 2019, 3:43pm

Stuttgart is a bit like Bath, lots of hills, many roads are serpentined so they are not so steep
There are hundreds of Staeffele, steps, staircases, instead of roads to get up and down steep bits, Plus One!
And there is a tram to Degerloch that takes bikes uphill but not down, the wrong way round for me :?

Stuttgart has lots of trams that go up and down the hills, some big motor factories (-1) and a fantastic underground train station is being built, minusplus?
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby Bmblbzzz » 12 Apr 2019, 4:32pm

pwa wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:Bathwick Hill would probably be extreme if taken as an example of UK urban topography but it is not extreme for Bath. The Wellsway, Prior Park Road, Lansdown Road and Lansdown Lane, Bannerdown, and others are at least as steep and long. And yes, people do live on them, including old people: Bath is quite popular as a retirement place. One of the most congested spots though is Cleveland Bridge, which carries both north-south traffic on the A46-A36, east-west traffic on the A4, and local traffic.

Yes, and that is a bottle neck that a lot of through traffic cannot avoid. I know some people oppose new roads in all cases, but for me that is one of the best examples of what happens when traffic that should be diverted away from a town is instead fed in on a road network that cannot cope. A lot of the traffic at that junction is just trying to get past Bath, not to enter the town at all.

There's been talk of some sort of bypass to take traffic directly from the end of the A46 at Batheaston to the A36 without going through the city, since at least the 1970s, but it all runs into a similar problem: lack of space in the valley to the south, where river, road, canal and railway plus several villages are all jammed into a narrow, steep-sided, rather pretty valley.

recumbentpanda
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby recumbentpanda » 12 Apr 2019, 5:02pm

Plus, as noted above, if it gets built, then in five years or so the problems will be just as bad or worse, because building roads attracts more traffic.

pwa
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby pwa » 12 Apr 2019, 10:38pm

recumbentpanda wrote:Plus, as noted above, if it gets built, then in five years or so the problems will be just as bad or worse, because building roads attracts more traffic.


Up to a point I agree with that, but I think you can take that too far. On the whole I think a lot of towns are nicer places due to by-passes. I have travelled in Ireland, where a lot of towns only acquired by-passes recently, and the traffic through town was a nightmare. A town's road network is simply not complete without a by-pass for through traffic. And that isn't fair on the residents. But I do see the difficulty with the geography of Batheaston.

recumbentpanda
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby recumbentpanda » 13 Apr 2019, 8:04am

I suspect the important word in your story about Irish towns may be ‘recently’. The phenomenon I am talking about is technically termed ‘induced demand’. The Wikipedia article on it is very thought provoking for anyone interested in transport planning issues.

It seems that the answer to motor traffic congestion is not more roads but less driving.

pwa
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby pwa » 13 Apr 2019, 10:00am

recumbentpanda wrote:I suspect the important word in your story about Irish towns may be ‘recently’. The phenomenon I am talking about is technically termed ‘induced demand’. The Wikipedia article on it is very thought provoking for anyone interested in transport planning issues.

It seems that the answer to motor traffic congestion is not more roads but less driving.

I was first introduced to the idea of new roads generating more traffic as early as about 1980, and I have never had any doubt about its truth. But I do not take that to the extreme of concluding that all new roads, in all circumstances, are bad. I think some new roads can be justified on the grounds that they divert traffic and congestion away from highly populated areas.

One congested town I used to drive through occasionally is Tipperary, a town I was not visiting and didn't want to stop in, but I had to pass through just to get to the other side. No by-pass. The google pics show it a bit less congested than when I went through.
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Apr 2019, 8:32pm

recumbentpanda wrote:It seems that the answer to motor traffic congestion is not more roads but less driving.

Who'da thunk!

thirdcrank
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Apr 2019, 8:45pm

pwa wrote: ... One congested town I used to drive through occasionally is Tipperary, a town I was not visiting and didn't want to stop in, but I had to pass through just to get to the other side. ...


One of the memorable things about Tipperary is that it's a long way to go. Anywhere beyond Tipperary is further still. To leap from a WWI song to modify a WWII phrase, "Were your journeys really necessary?"

pwa
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby pwa » 13 Apr 2019, 11:00pm

thirdcrank wrote:
pwa wrote: ... One congested town I used to drive through occasionally is Tipperary, a town I was not visiting and didn't want to stop in, but I had to pass through just to get to the other side. ...


One of the memorable things about Tipperary is that it's a long way to go. Anywhere beyond Tipperary is further still. To leap from a WWI song to modify a WWII phrase, "Were your journeys really necessary?"

No. I didn't have to take my elderly parents on holiday to cottage in a remote location, helping the economy of western Ireland. It wasn't strictly necessary. But I wanted to.

And please don't suggest we could have got there by bus. We needed the car to get about when we got there.

thirdcrank
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Apr 2019, 6:38am

pwa wrote: ... No. I didn't have to take my elderly parents on holiday to cottage in a remote location, helping the economy of western Ireland. It wasn't strictly necessary. But I wanted to.

And please don't suggest we could have got there by bus. We needed the car to get about when we got there.


My only comment is that the easier it gets, the more people are likely to do it. To take an example closer to home, driving from Leeds to Bridlington used to involve queuing in Tadcaster, York and Malton. All three were bypassed and - as my dear old dad used to say - you can get to Brid quicker and spend your time driving round looking for a parking space. More recently, big queues have begun to form at other bottlenecks on the route, even though the attractions of Brid have paled for many people

pwa
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby pwa » 14 Apr 2019, 7:56am

thirdcrank wrote:
pwa wrote: ... No. I didn't have to take my elderly parents on holiday to cottage in a remote location, helping the economy of western Ireland. It wasn't strictly necessary. But I wanted to.

And please don't suggest we could have got there by bus. We needed the car to get about when we got there.


My only comment is that the easier it gets, the more people are likely to do it. To take an example closer to home, driving from Leeds to Bridlington used to involve queuing in Tadcaster, York and Malton. All three were bypassed and - as my dear old dad used to say - you can get to Brid quicker and spend your time driving round looking for a parking space. More recently, big queues have begun to form at other bottlenecks on the route, even though the attractions of Brid have paled for many people

I know what you mean and I half agree, but I think the cost of a "no by-pass" policy is just too great for the people living alongside or close to trunk roads through towns. We have a road a few miles from here that was the most direct connection between Bridgend and the nearby M4, but it was by-passed several years ago. The old road still carries local traffic, including buses, but it is probably carrying a tenth of the traffic it once had. And it must have been a great relief for the people living alongside it. Their quality of life must have benefited. So I don't think we should be withholding by-passes as a traffic control measure. Instead, we should encourage route choices that avoid built up areas, and then provide disincentives for driving into built up areas alongside providing attractive alternatives.

This road in Ennis is one I remember driving along, at less than walking speed. It took me about half an hour to get through this tiny town. But now it has a by-pass there is no need for through traffic to enter the town at all. I'd not want to be the one to tell locals "sorry, we made a mistake giving you the by-pass so we are going to put things back as they were to discourage people from motoring".
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brynpoeth
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby brynpoeth » 14 Apr 2019, 8:49am

Plenty of bypasses were so successful they had to be bypassed :?
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basingstoke123
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby basingstoke123 » 16 Apr 2019, 11:25pm

This brings back memories of my time at Bath Uni.

pwa wrote:Have you cycled up Bathwick Hill? Cycling would not be for everyone there, certainly not the elderly or infirm. E-bikes might widen the range of people who could use a bike, but how good are they on long steep hills?

Yes. You don't realise how long it is, until you come to cycle back up. But I preferred going down.

For many people, cycling in Bath means free wheeling down, and walking up, with not much in between.

Where else could you hide a university on top of a hill? (And why are downs always up?)

There are other routes up to the Uni. Widcombe Hill, for example, which is shorter. Or Brassknocker (from the South, even shorter?). When I lived off campus, the most direct route would have been a nice gentle down, followed by up Widcombe Hill. But we took a much longer route, starting with a half mile hill (up, of course), then around Claverton Down. Just to avoid Widcombe HIll. I did cycle up Widcombe Hill (all the way). Just once. And still remember taking a long time at the top, recovering. I now have much lower bottom gears, but no matching hills.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby Bmblbzzz » 18 Apr 2019, 9:13am

Brassknocker might be shorter but it's steeper. More importantly, it goes in a completely different direction (ie not to the city).

pwa
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Re: Bath Spa traffic debate

Postby pwa » 18 Apr 2019, 10:01am

All the main road hills in Bath could be done by electric buses, so I suggest that for people actually vising the centre the answer is probably a cost effective (for the user) electric bus fleet meeting car users at several Park and Ride locations outside the built up area. The problem this does not address is traffic funnelled into Bath but bound for locations elsewhere, and for that my only suggestion is another look at by-passing. Put those two in place and you can introduce a congestion charge for the city with no problems. To make it simpler, you could just raise the parking charges in the centre to prohibitive levels.