Monday 7 March 2005

Andrew Duffin has sent me this e-mail:
I thought at the time of the recent referendum, that the authoritarian tendency in Edinburgh would take the view that the only thing wrong with their plan was that they made the mistake of consulting the people. I wondered how, and when, they would set about just "doing it anyway".

I didn't have long to wait.

Obliquely-written and subtle though it may be, this letter, it seems to me, is the beginning of that process.

"The current voluntary option has failed"

I am sure that's right: like with the EU, it'll be one step backwards (the referendum) followed by two steps forward (the non-voluntary option) for the transport statists. Take a look at an earlier letter:
Edinburgh has no congestion problem. It has a short-lived rush problem, which, with a shrinking populace, can only improve.

The rush-hour problem has been exacerbated by the schemes of Professor David Begg and his disciples to reverse years of good planning by narrowing perfectly good highways, choking streets with ill-placed pedestrian crossings, contaminating the environment with unnecessary signs and devices, and providing an ever-upward expansion of the empty bus fleet.

Outside rush-hour, Edinburgh is as quiet as any other small city.

Mr Scott is absolutely correct.

Take the Haymarket junction near where I live. Until recently one could turn left from Dalry Road onto Haymarket Terrace that leads to Glasgow Road, the western suburbs and the airport. That's not allowed any more. Instead of passing one set of traffic lights, westbound vehicles now have to go through four sets of lights in the one-way system, thus adding to the congestion at one of the city's busiest bottlenecks. Next, the bus stop in Dalry Road has been moved from about 150 yards from the Haymarket junction to more like 50 yards. Around 60 buses an hour call at this stop and often three or four are there at once. This change has added to the congestion at Haymarket. Then I ask why the westbound road has been narrowed just before Haymarket station, thus causing even more congestion. As a bus driver put it to me: "Just another bloody waste of money." I'm now looking forward to seeing what happens when the new westbound bus stop farther from the station but nearer the road intersection comes into commission: it probably means that buses will back up across the junction if - as is often the case - several come along together. But all of this will annoy the evil car drivers, so I suppose it's in a good cause!

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Stuart Dickson
And to think that only two months ago I was complaining about your wonky Edinburgh geography. Touché! 
Is there no limit to your portfolio of (useless) knowledge?

9 March 2005, 22:30:03 GMT
– Like – Reply

On the A701 (linking Edinburgh with IKEA/Penicuik) they have made the width of the road at traffic lights narrower than the actual road itself. Previously where two cars sat alongside each other at the lights (one turning left, the other heading straight on) there is now just the one car, usually trying to turn right, and obstructing the entire road. 
I've contemplated what possible purpose this road narrowing could serve many times whilst sat in my metal box on the way into Edinburgh, and I'd never previously come up with a reason why this was done, other than sheer spite. However, having read your article, I now believe it was done to foster the illusion that the roads in Edinburgh are indeed getting busier, and that yes we do need congestion charging. 
The one way system around New Town and Princes Street is a disaster. On the odd occasion that I actually drive into the centre I just end up doing laps of the city and adding to the congestion. 
The only good bit of planning was the new system of lights near the old Morningside station. Much better!

9 March 2005, 12:47:29 GMT
– Like – Reply

James Bulkice
DO we not just think its more opression from the large to attack the week. Prick us do we not bleed?

8 March 2005, 22:53:20 GMT
– Like – Reply

In Cambridge, opinions differ as to who is to blame for the street plan that causes traffic chaos. Some blame the Anglo-Saxons and some the Danes.

8 March 2005, 15:23:59 GMT
– Like – Reply

Derek Buxton
We have exactly the same problem in Stockport, Lib-Dim council opposed to all cars bar, of course their own, using our streets. The traffic lights and roundabouts breed faster than rabbits and many roads are narrowed in the search for "road safety" 
They then tell us to use "public transport" which is expensive and never takes you where you wish to go.

7 March 2005, 13:19:26 GMT
– Like – Reply

Andrew Duffin
Ayr is the same but on a smaller scale. All slip-lanes and filter lights have been removed; bus lanes proliferate (empty 99% of the time); bus stops are now built without laybays - in some cases laybys have been deliberately removed - so as to restrict traffic flows; un-necessary traffic lights are sprouting all over the place at junctions where there were never jams before; roundabouts are specially designed to be awkward to negotiate; etc etc. 
You have to wonder what the real motivation is. 
Well, actually, you don't have to wonder. It isn't hard to work out, I just wish they would stop denying that the whole idea is to make life difficult for people.

7 March 2005, 12:05:02 GMT
– Like – Reply

Paul Leiws
Theoretically, the council should base their traffic 'calming' initiatives on traffic flow data. Maybe a few stragic enquiries under the FOI act might allow us to determine if their initiatives have actually 'calmed' or more likely (IMO) ENRAGED the traffic. 
I have walked passed Haymarket a couple of times, and each time wondered what the hell they think they were doing. 
My mother in Law had an accident in the summer, because she hit one of the new bus stops which project right out into the road lane.  
Up where I live in Bruntsfield, they have recently modified the Bus stop, the design of which can only have one purpose. To obstruct the normal traffic flow when the bus is at the stop.

7 March 2005, 11:31:46 GMT