If you have any questions, would like some advice or want my opinion, please ask here.
Please keep it clean and friendly and remember, if you are involved in the design of a scheme, you are responsible under the CDM Regulations, not me!
You can also leave comments here if you like or even suggest an idea for a post you would like to see!
In my opinion, there is no such thing as a stupid question. I have sat in rooms full of experts and have been the one to ask the "stupid" question that nobody else knew the answer to - just ask it!
You can also leave comments here if you like or even suggest an idea for a post you would like to see!
In my opinion, there is no such thing as a stupid question. I have sat in rooms full of experts and have been the one to ask the "stupid" question that nobody else knew the answer to - just ask it!
Section 106 payments: Out here in Hertfordshire section 106 money is one of the few ways to get any cycle routes funded, good news for towns with developments like Hatfield where I live, less so for other places. I guide to how they work, how to lobby to get them spent on cycling and who and when to go to to try to influence them would be really useful. Thanks in advance. AdamReplyDelete
Why are q & as backwards?Delete
Ah screened comments, good planDelete
Blogger v Wordpress any view?Delete
This is on Blogger because it was the one I found easiest to use when I set it up, but Wordpress looks flashier!Delete
Tricky one this as I am not really an expert and S106 for "stuff" is kind of moving towards a community infrastructure levy. I will have a go though!ReplyDelete
Not sure if you have seen this but looks like an interesting case. I was expecting Non-Motorised User Audits to help here, not that we have seen many in Herts despite being told the rule was we had to have them.
Advice on this too appreciated.
Know of them, but never done one and so really not qualified to comment I am afraid!Delete
Sorry I'm late to this question, but as a qualified Auditor I'll comment.Delete
Part of the problem is we can only audit the scheme as presented. This first requires the designer to give the auditor an audit brief; at its most basic this tells the auditor what the extents of the scheme are and what needs auditing, at its best it may outline the background to the scheme, why it is being put forward, and any design decisions which have been made which might be seen to affect safety, but which are required by others (usu. the LA).
As you may suspect, if we actually get a brief (and frankly, we have taken to giving the designer an empty pro-forma, simply to get one in the first place), then it's of the first type. I do not think I have ever had any designer actually volunteer why a scheme was going in, they all required prompting.
Therefore, all we'll usually have is something which says, "...audit this junction we're changing from a simple T- to a ghost-island...". That's it, together with a number of drawings, and hopefully some collision data (although again, this usually requires some prompting to get).
Possibly more worrying should be the lack of schemes which include any cycle facilities to audit.
BTW, NMU Audits can help, because it's here one can suggest, for example, more direct crossings, wider crossings, shorter waiting times for signalised crossings to activate (a major bug-bear these days, it seems); and with NMU audits there are elements of consultation with both the public and designer.Delete
It should also be borne in mind that both RS and NMU audits are carried out at different stages of a project ad that the comments on what should be included/changed reflect those stages. E.g. at a Stage 1 RSA one might suggest a grade-separated crossing instead of the zebra proposed by the designer; at Stage 2 it's more likely to be a modification to whatever type of crossing has been proposed, so if the designer persisted with the original zebra proposal we might suggest additional signing (unless the auditor feels it still presents a major danger); and at Stage 3 it's a case of looking that the crossing has been installed correctly and ensuring that whatever the safety reason was for suggesting grade-separation in the Stage 1, that measures are in place to reduce or eliminate that problem.
However, continuity of the audit team through a scheme is by no means guaranteed (although previous audits must be made available to the next audit team, if they have been carried out, along with the designer's response to it).
Andy, good points as always. All too often designs are fixed too early which greatly diminishes the help auditors can bring to a scheme and hence many do seem to be just going through a tick list.Delete
I would like to query something in regards to the manual DMRB below about Ghost Islands.ReplyDelete
It states in the manual that its for trunk Roads.
Would this manual also apply to C Roads in the event that there was no other Geometric Design standards to fall back on.
I have been looking at MfS (Manual for Streets) & other road manuals including Councils road polices on this matter
& have found nothing that states what the minimum Turning length for a Ghost Island should be on a C Road.
It states in the Design Manual For Roads And Bridges at 7.32 (The turning length should be 10 m, measured from the centre line of the “minor road”
irrespective of the type of junction, design speed or gradient).
But it states in the Manual for Streets 2 at 1.3.3 (Where designers do refer to DMRB for detailed technical guidance on specific aspects,
for example on strategic inter-urban non-trunk roads, it is recommended that they bear in mind the key principles of MfS, and apply DMRB
in a way that respects local context. It is further recommended that DMRB or other standards and guidance is only used where the guidance
contained in MfS is not sufficient or where particular evidence leads a designer to conclude that MfS is not applicable)
As there is nothing in the MfS about Ghost Islands should it default to DMRB or is there another standard that should be applied.
I would be very grateful if you could clarify the position on this matter
DESIGN MANUAL FOR ROADS AND BRIDGES
VOLUME 6 ROAD GEOMETRY
SECTION 2 JUNCTIONS
Chapter 7 Geometric Design Features
Well, DMRB is only mandatory for trunk roads and motorways - this will be the Highways Agency, the Welsh Government and Transport Scotland.ReplyDelete
For most local authority uses, it won't be of relevance, although I would use it as a starting point for high speed roads (40mph +) which will be relevant for urban dual carriageways and high standard rural routes (dual or single).
The 10m turning length is a minimum for HGVs, but read on and where there are queues, it will be longer to give stacking space.
For your "C" class road, it is all going to depend on local speeds, road widths and context. MfS is generally aimed at low speed roads (30mph and below) and mainly new developments. It could be that a half way could be used between DMRB and MfS.
Without knowing the problem, it is a bit hard to give much more advice!
>people are still allowed to load and drop off/ pick up passengers (like on a yellow line)< single yellow lines are no parking (or 'waiting') for the hours of the controlled parking zone. vehicles can still drop off / pick up even on double yellow lines double kerb blip areas (single or double kerb blips prevent loading of goods). red lines mean no stopping, so no dropping off/picking upReplyDelete
Yes, that is all correct. Don't forget, blue badge holders can park on a single and double yellow line (without no loading blips) for up to 3 hours (different rules apply in central London) and holders can park in a "paid for" bay for as long as they like and without charge.Delete
Nobody can stop on school keep clear zig zags or bus stop clearways (although taxis can drop off/ pick up on bus stop clearways).
Further to my Q i ask about Ghost Islands Anonymous 21 March 2014 20:49ReplyDelete
I sent a Email too The Secretary of State for Transport regarding ghost islands.
Is Reply is below. But before reading it all i find is last words interesting. It states "This decision is entirely a matter for the relevant local highway authority."
Does this mean the relevant local highway authority could turn a planning application down if the DMRB was not adhered too even when its classed as a C road ?
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
Tel: 0300 330 3000
Direct Line: 020 7944 2249
Web Site: iw.gov.uk/dft
Our Ref: *******
Date: 17 April 2014
Dear Mr *********,
Thank you for your e-mail of 17 March addressed to Robert Goodwill MP,
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport regarding ghost islands. I
have been asked to reply.
The Design Manual for Roads & Bridges was introduced in 1992 in England and
Wales, and subsequently in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides a
comprehensive manual system which accommodates all current standards, advice notes and other published documents relating to the design, assessment and operation of trunk roads (including motorways).
It has been developed from a number of separate series of documents previously
published by the Overseeing Organisations of England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland (i.e. the Highways Agency in England). These documents,
together with later additions, have been gathered together in a consistent series of volumes within the manual to help in meeting the requirements of quality assurance procedures. The Manual is a series of 15 volumes that provide official standards, advice notes and other documents relating to the design, assessment and operation of trunk roads, including motorways in the United Kingdom.
The Design Manual for Roads & Bridges is a Highways Agency publication and is therefore aimed at the motorway and trunk road network. Local highway authorities may however use this guidance when designing road schemes but it is them to decide the extent to which the documents in the manual are appropriate to a particular situation. This decision is entirely a matter for the relevant local highway authority.
I hope this reply is helpful.
Quote: "But before reading it all i find is last words interesting. It states "This decision is entirely a matter for the relevant local highway authority."ReplyDelete
Does this mean the relevant local highway authority could turn a planning application down if the DMRB was not adhered too even when its classed as a C road ?"
What he's getting at is that since the LA will be responsible for the new junction it is up to them to decide what standard the junction should be built to, and that while the DMRB is commended to them, they are not obligated to use it if they have decided on their own standards (be they lower or higher).
The Designer will no doubt use the DMRB in the first instance, but may well use the MfS (or perhaps other research information) to inform their design wrt visibilities, for example, (it's likely they will also carry out a Designer's Risk Assessment to satisfy themselves any 'compromise' in the design does not affect user safety), and then present their case to the LA's officers. This is where a Road Safety Audit is likely to be a very important piece of the design documentation.
Just seen this blog post on how urbanising the countryside appears to get used as an excuse to leave muddy and unusalble cycle paths.ReplyDelete
Is this something you are familiar with and are there arguments to counter this e.g. it's an old railway so already urbanised anyway?
A great post that! I have had that plenty of times. We had a scheme to improve a bridle way from grass'n'mud. We proposed tarmac, but was overruled by client department because of urbanisation and had to do gravel. But, we did do an engineered scheme which at least is usable on a hybrid in depth of winter.Delete
Not much help for Local Authority roads, but there's talk that the HA, possibly moreso when it eventually converts to 'Highways England Ltd.', will be looking in more detail at accessibility and inclusivity in developing its schemes.Delete
If this is the case it will obviously have an impact on what the original scheme briefs will incorporate - designers design what they are told to and what is within the budget, if there is a firm requirement for wider accessibility issues to be taken into account then this widens the scope of what engineers may provide and what the Client expects.
Certainly I would suggest the Equalities Act could be the best tool for campaigners in this respect (although I believe it contains some weasel words regarding the scale of changes required to accommodate everyone - and therefore a getout if LAs judge a measure is too expensive given what it will bring to a scheme).
Consider two streets which are closed to all motor traffic except, for example, buses. One is also signed as a pedestrian zone, the other is just a bus only road with separate footways.
From a highways engineering point of view (putting aside surface treatments and things like that), what is the difference?
Is there any difference in the traffic orders needed to create it, given that the same vehicles are permitted? Are there any rules or guidance on an appropriate speed/volume of traffic, or is it just engineering judgement?
Once the scheme has been designed and the signs are in place (and the pretty granite paving has been laid), does the creation of our 'Pedestrian Zone' require drivers (or pedestrians) to behave any differently with regards speed/priority?
Jim - a pedestrian zone and a road with only buses are pretty much the same thing, although the traffic orders will be a little different. I can only think that a pedestrian zone with buses might be useful to remind bus drivers that pedestrians area there!ReplyDelete
Road Safety AuditsReplyDelete
The following update that has been made to DMRB
1. DMRB – Volume Contents Pages and Alpha-Numeric Index.
2. HD 19/15 Road Safety Audit. Please note HD 19/15 supersedes HD19/03 and IAN 152/11 (and the other Overseeing Organisation documents IAN 152/11 (W), DEM 136/11 and TS Interim Amendment 40/11)
Difficult one this, whilst retaining some (mutual) anonymity, but is there a way to ask you a question in private, outside this blog or twitter?ReplyDelete
Andy, are you on Twitter? I can DM an email address.Delete
Can you explain the reason why staggered pelican/toucan crossings are phased the way they are? Pressing the button on the first stage only changes the signals on the first stage and then the button has to be pressed on the second stage with another wait.ReplyDelete
It's as if the signal engineers are surprised that people want to cross from one side to the other! Logic would suggest that the second stage is also triggered by a button press on the first stage, with a small delay depending on the size of the island.
If it's something about 'traffic flow' why is stopping motor traffic on one side at a time preferable to stopping it on both almost at once?
But how big should that delay be? Guidance suggests we use a walking pace of 1.2m/s, however, research has found that older pedestrians walk at speeds down to 0.7m/s. It might not seem much difference in the time taken to cross, but consider you've got to account for crossing one half of the road, as well as negotiating the island, then that time difference can become significant.ReplyDelete
Having said that, it might be possible with modern detectors to set up such a system - in essence a ped 'green wave' - the problem is peds can behave unpredictably (one of the reasons we have Puffin crossings with their plethora of pedestrian detectors), older peds or those with mobility problems may take the opportunity of the island to rest before crossing the second half of the road, but if the detectors pick them up then road traffic would be held at red unnecessarily, and in terms of traffic flow, even outside that there London signalised junctions in urban areas are usually at or near capacity, certainly during the morning and evening commutes.
Assume an arm of a junction is 4 lanes wide (12m absolute minimum, with another 2m for the island). Stopping traffic to allow crossing of both sides at once means 11.7 seconds minimum crossing time, plus 5 seconds intergreen before and after for safety. That's about 22 seconds when vehicles are essentially stationary. If we split the crossing into two that's only 5 seconds crossing time, plus the 5 seconds before and after gives 15 seconds stationary. That 7 second difference is when vehicles could be going through the junction without conflicting with pedestrians crossing the adjacent half of the road. Splitting crossings allows a more efficient use of the cycle time because we can fit (almost) all those half-crossing movements into the wider signal scheme whilst minimising the stopping of vehicle streams.
There is a crossing design which does cater better for cyclists, by splitting them from peds and making use of their greater speed to get across in one movement - but currently it doesn't seem to be widely used.
I was searching the net for ramped kerb units when I stumbled upon a picture on your website http://therantyhighwayman.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/on-level.html
I am referring to the photo next to which the paragraphs starts reading as "There is a variation on using quadrants with a little slope ..."
I was glad to find out that you were based in the UK so my hope flared up that you might be able to recommend a few companies that sell such ramped kerb units.
I would be grateful for your guidance.
Unfortunately, those are not standard UK kerbs and I think they are natural stone, so can be expensive. However, CED Stone is very good at sourcing this kind of stuff, although lead ins could be a long time because it is often imported http://www.ced.ltd.uk/Delete
Hi, I am making a video on cycle parking in London. I'd like to combine my hobby of video editing with my interest in cycle campaigning. I'm doing lots of research on parking requirements but still have a few questions unanswered. Do you mind if I ask you some? I've been out recording Lambeth bike hangers and the lack of parking outside shops on the cycle superhighway.ReplyDelete
So here's some of the questions. Please don't feel you have to help or provide detailed answers, but if you could point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful.
1. Is the London Plan table 6.3 enforceable and is it stuck to rigidly? Th new Sainsbury's in Nine Elms has far fewer spaces than it should based on its square footage. Would it be safe to say so in the video? The Waitrose in Nine Elms didn't include cycle parking until it received a lot of hassle on Twitter. It now provides good racks very close to the main entrance.
2. When did the London Plan come into effect? There's the Tesco on Clapham Road in the Printworks that doesn't provide any cycle parking despite cyclists making up the majority of all vehicular traffic in rush hours. Was there anything in place before the London Plan.
3. Is it just up to councilors to determine the level of cycle parking in residential streets or Borough town centres? Do they have to provide any?
Hi Will - some interesting questions, so I'll do my best!Delete
Planning in the UK is meant to flow from national policy to local and the London Plan is part of this. Borough development plans should be in accordance with the London Plan, but some with older policies are not quite there.
But, a planning application should be reviewed against borough planning policies and the London Plan.
So, Q1 means that for a new planning application, failure to provide cycle parking in accordance with T6.3 is a material planning consideration. A developer may sidestep this with a financial contribution to provide cycle parking elsewhere (which happens on all sorts of planning areas).
The issue will be for a planning committee (which deals with bigger applications) is if everything else meets policy, what would happen if a scheme is rejected because of a lack of cycle parking. The applicant would go to appeal and the Planning Inspectorate would decide - I'm not aware of any case hinging solely on cycle parking.
So, once planning consent is granted, planning policies (they are not laws) cannot be retrospectively applied/ enforced; the key is to point this out at application stage.
This comes to Q2, T6.3 came into the 2011 version of the plan, before that it was not set out as a minimum requirement. In many cases (you cite a Tesco) if the building use doesn't change, then planning consent isn't required. We've had lots of pub to supermarket conversions which don't need consent (other than new signage and ATMs).
For Q3, the London Plan requires residential cycle parking (as on T6.3), although developers often do this poorly with cycle sheds at the back of the site and without enough useable space. For "retrofit" to town centres and residential areas (e.g. bikehangers) it is all down to local policies, although TfL has been maing funding available.
That's great information. I am very grateful. I am writing the script for my first vlog now, and your information will help no end to shape it. Many thanks.Delete
Excellent - if you're on Twitter, let me know when it's up and I'll tweet it out. I do like the idea of videos about subjects as you can obviously capture more than photos!Delete
I wonder if you know of any guidance or have experience of the following situation?ReplyDelete
I'm hoping to 'cycleproof' a Highways England scheme with a hybrid cycle track running between the footway and carriageway. At some point there will be a signalised crossing of the carriageway (this will actually be two separate crossings - one for peds, one for cyclists). Therefore, peds will be required to cross the cycle track to get to a waiting area at their set of signals. No problem, 'mini zebras' exist for cycle tracks. However, should tactiles also be used to help blind/partially-sighted peds cross the cycle track and if so, in what arrangement? This is a particular problem since the signalised crossing will have tactiles in the 'L' layout. Obviously normal zebras have the same 'L' layout, but having two sets of this so close together seems like overkill and more than a little confusing. However, doing without tactiles to cross the cycle track also seems wrong.
It's a good question, not specifically covered in guidance. My gut feeling is that there should be an L on the footway and an L on the far footway with just a block crossing on each side of the track - think of the track as a road and it would kind of be like a staggered crossing. Just a view though!Delete
I remember seeing one of your tweets about cycle kerbs that allowed cyclists in an emergency to smoothly transition from a segregated (kerbed) cycleway / footway. From memory the kerbs were flush but looked to have a 45-60 degree chamfer.
My Google-Fu has let me down and I cannot find much information. Do you have any manufacture names for those types of kerbs? Recycled rubber bolt down kerbs would be ideal as it is planned for on a bridge deck so there is limited space for traditional kerbing
Andy (not related to any previous Andy's)
HB1 kerbs laid on their backs work a treat and might be useful on a bridge;
I've also used 45 degree which are standard, but after using the HB1 on back, I would be less likely to use it;
Or was it something else?
Thanks Ranty, HB1 laid on its back was what I was thinking. Also thanks Andy R will have a look at the link and see what if anything takes my eye.Delete
Although probably not suitable due to the depth, it's worth knowing that Charcon now produce the 'Cambridge Kerb' as standard.ReplyDelete
Just wondering where you got your trailer from. Looking for a seatpost mounted one and hard to come by.... especially in New Zealand!
We got ours from Amazon essentially this one, but I think harder to get hold of in your neck of the woodsDelete
whoops, no this one!Delete
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
Hi, I was reading one of your articles and tried to look at the idiots guide to highway maintenance. Unfortunately the web site will not come up. Do you know if this is now closed? or if Chris Summers has closed it down?ReplyDelete
Oh, I don't know what has happened - it's still available as an archive;Delete
Dorking has a Sill fund(might be 'Cill fund'). I am part of a local group that is trying to get one of the main roads into town slowed to 20mph. A helpful local business owner told me that the best way to get the road slowed was to make a proposal through the local business association, on the grounds that it will improve trading in the town. And use the Sill money for the changes.
(I think this is the 106 funding someone above asked about.)
I would like a light segregation bike lane that runs the length of the high street, and terminates at the main train station.
My idea is that this will slow traffic and increase the already large numbers of people cycling through the town. Which should boost trade in the way bike lanes in NYC have been shown to.
>>Perhaps you guys here know why this wont work and could suggest a better solution?
While researching options I have come across the vocal back lash against the mini holland schemes in London.
In an economic case for one of them they made the good point that nationally the high streets are in decline. So I am loathed to fight for something like that to be put in, only to find it blamed for an ongoing trend, of declining high streets.
On the other hand, one end of our high street is in decline, and I think they need to do something to turn the town around and making it a more competitive retail environment. Some sort of pedestrianisation, or cycle infrastructure, looks to me like it might help.
Please could you rip the above to shreds if need be. I plan to start chatting to the local business soon and would like to know my stuff when I do.
Any thoughts, alternatives and advice will be read, thought about and acted upon.
Hi Alex - 'CIL' is the community infrastructure levy and essentially is a contribution from developers towards local improvements, which could include transport;Delete
S106 is section 106 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 and deals with "planning obligations";
S106 essentially means that a development on its own is not acceptable unless something is done - often used to fund transport improvements (new bus services, highway works etc), but it can also agree things like new residents not being eligible for parking permits.
I don't know Dorking, but it might be a wider issue than just the High Street in terms of wider traffic management to free space for cycling - light seg is OK, but it's never going to be as good as decent tracks.
Getting business support is a good plan - I would also see if there is a local cycling group to connect with - if you are on Twitter - it would be a great way to get the message out.
Thank you so much for this. FYI David harvey Williams of kingston LCC told me about you. I will look at the links.Delete
My two starting points is that every £ not spent on petrol is a £ people can spend on the high street & people who cycle out for dinner, don't need to pay for a cab, and can all have a drink. So it will help local restaurants, and retailers.ReplyDelete
If anyone has tried these arguments, and knows how they fly do let me know :-)
We often see comments about spending power of people cycling (and on foot), but the key is to try and give it some local spin - I was interested to read that the town is pushing for a Business Improvement District;Delete
That would be a key ally.
There must be some infographics out there on spending power!
Thank you for finding this. I will write to them.Delete
Wombat crossings - can I suggest that you add a definition of these to your Glossary section? They are a Zebra crossing with the addition of a table or speed ramp.ReplyDelete
Also, I'm keen to see examples of both Zebra and Wombat crossings that include extra width to enable riders to move easily through without having to move to the right into the carriageway.
Thanks! (love your blog!!)
Q1) Do you have to have a cycle lane on both sides of a road?ReplyDelete
Q2) Are there any types of bike lane mobility scooters can use?
I made an enquiry a while ago about a light segregation in Dorking to the Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Flooding.
The response I got back said:
"Cycle lanes on the carriageway should ideally be 2m wide with 1.5m as a minimum. These are either mandatory lanes, with a solid white line, or advisory with a dashed white line. ##As cycle lanes can only be travelled on in the same direction as the flow of traffic they would need to be on both sides. ##"
> Is this true? Would they have to put them on both sides of the road?
it would be a massive improvement to have a mandatory bike lane on the 'uphill' side of the carnage way, to protect slow cyclists climbing the hill and pedestrians that need to step off the pavement to allow mobility
scooters to pass.
On the down hill section, as a cyclist I can pretty much stay in front of the cars as gravity is on my side.
"Armadillos provide an extra degree of separation on a mandatory cycle lane by discouraging people driving in the cycle lane. It seems reasonable to suggest that mobility vehicles could also use the cycle lane but unfortunately this isn’t permitted (https://www.gov.uk/mobility-scooters-and-powered-wheelchairs-rules/driving-on-the-road).”
>This is true for mediatory cycle lanes, but is it true for all types of bike lane? Is there a designation which would allow at least the 8mph scooters on a segregated bike lane?
You don't have to provide them on both sides - I suspect the comment might have meant having people cycling against traffic on a two-way street. Absolutely you could have a lane on one side to help with the uphill issue.Delete
The mobility scooter thing is daft; I don't think it could apply to advisory lanes though as they are not exclusively for cycles as a mandatory lane would be.
The other daft thing is mobility scooters can't use cycle tracks which is also stupid.
Our local council put down some elephants feet WBM 294s at several roundabouts.
As far as I'm aware they can only be legally put down at signalised junctions. They were not.
A pedestrian was hit by a car and killed at one of these sites and the coroner mentioned their use in his report.
No one at the council seems to be able to say who made the decision to use them and who on the council signed it off.
These records shouldn't be too hard to find, right?
My local MP was portfolio holder for transport on the council at one point but claims it wasn't him as he resigned from that post in April 2009. But google maps image archive shows them in place back in November 2008. https://goo.gl/maps/kaiuYB6Cyf32
So to sum up:
these shouldn't have been used, should they?;
it shouldn't be too hard to find out who is responsible, should it?;
this isn't some dodgy cover up, is it?
They are allowed at signalised junctions to show a cycle route on a cycle stage and at parallel zebra crossings. So, yes, the ones you cite were unlawful (and this will have been before the marking was made lawful last year - prior to this it would have been by special authorisation).
In terms of fault, it would be down to the designer and the person responsible for approving the designs, so probably not a politician who goes on the advice of professional officers.
Council's vary considerably in how they have a quality assurance system to sign off schemes so it's not a surprise. Perhaps the coroner should have pushed for a better sign-off process?
Someone I know is looking to contact the coroner about it.
Any guidance or general advice on use of tactile paving at a T junction of a shared, unsegregated path with another shared, unsegregated path?ReplyDelete
DETR "Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving Surfaces" 126.96.36.199 text says to use it for shared to shared paths, but figure 32 only covers segregated to segregated, making it less clear which aspect of the layout the tactile is there to deal with - the junction as a whole or the correct side of the path to use.
We have just recently built our first real "designed" shared use paths and our designers had ended up going with blister paving on each leg of the path as an indication that there was junction, without the extra guidance from tramline paving to steer people to one side or the other.
We've got a new section of path joining in, and there are second thoughts over continuing that, or removing everything and leaving path/path junctions with no tactiles.
Personally, I would have not used any tactile paving as both are shared, unsegregated - perhaps a strip of "hazard" paving on each arm might be a useful reminder to visually impaired people that they are on an unsegregated path, but even that is probably overkill.Delete
A link to a well known website - the old one has been taken down, but something you might like to share again!!
It's a shame that it went down, but I'll share the link - thanks!Delete
In 'Kerb your enthusiasm' you say:ReplyDelete
"Where the transition is in line with the direction of travel, the upstand can "grab" wheels and throw the rider off - very dangerous." and "Even a small upstand can grab a tyre and throw the rider."
What height upstand in line with direction of travel is dangerous for cyclists?
It depends on the wheel size/ tyre width, but I would say look at tramline paving (the kind you get running in line with a cycle track); the "bars" on these have a 5mm upstand (+/- 0.5mm) and they do pull at tyres if you are not quite square. Really, anything which is not flush cam potentially grab large wheels with narrow tyres whereas fatter tyres are more forgiving. Avoid having to cycle across any kerb would be my starting point; flush if not. Even the 6mm maximum at a pedestrian crossing dropped kerb is too high to take at anything other than squarish on really.Delete
As I bumped my way over yet another tree root in the cycle path yesterday, it got me curious about construction standards. How is it road seem never to have this problem yet far too many local cycle routes get ruined by tree roots which councils then take ages to fix. Possible blog post on construction standards and what lies beneath a cycle path and what might stop this happening?ReplyDelete
Thanks Adam - that's a good idea. Some discussion in 6.3 of this https://cityinfinity.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/the-joy-of-kerbs-v1.pdfDelete
But, something more specific will be good. I'll add it to the list!
I work for Dutch transport company Mobycon. Next month i'm planning to conduct research on cycling in London on their behalf. I've been reading the blog and it would be great to speak to you as part of the research.
I couldn't find an email address to contact you on (hence this comment). If you get back to me i'd be happy to explain more details of the project.
Hi RH, love the blog. Have you seen the new cycle lanes which have recently been completed around Bexleyheath town centre? It feels like quite a good scheme from a ride around.ReplyDelete
Thanks! Not aware of that - any street names to look out for?Delete
Broadway, Arnsberg Way and Albion Road - these form a loop north and south of the shopping core which is mostly pedestrianised.Delete
Was looking into the Cambridge Kerb profile when I found your kerb your enthusiasm article. My previous road design experience in Australia meant exposure to the world of extruded concrete kerb. It's used almost exclusively and has been for over fifty years. You can pour almost any profile in record quick time and it has astounded me that it's never used here. Is it simply down to doing what's always been done? Extruded kerb is used extensively in the US as well where there are similar extremes of weather so I'm wondering why it has never caught on in the UK.ReplyDelete
We sometimes do extruded asphalt kerbs on UK trunk road - as it explains here, they are too fiddly for urban applications (levels). http://www.pavingexpert.com/edging5.htmDelete
If you enjoyed the blog post, you might like The Joy of Kerbs which took inspiration from the the blog and is available for free on my other website www.cityinfinity.co.uk
I disagree with the "fiddly" generalisation. As I stated, it is used almost exclusively in Oz ie whether it's long and straight, or short and fiddly, it is nearly always extruded concrete kerb. In fact fiddly can be quite easy as you are not restricted by fixed radii. By comparison, precast kerbing with haunching is by far the most fiddly, time consuming process. I feel that it is done this way in the UK for no other reason than that's the way it has always been done. Here's an example extruding the popular layback kerb and channel which elimnates the need for dropped kerbs for driveways: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owpCZt6WVyg I know this looks like a larger scale site, but I assure you, it is used on projects of similar scale to UK housing estates.Delete
I was out running and tripped when I put my foot down an uncovered 8 inch diameter 16 inch deep black hole on a highway left by removable bollards. I had to call my wife to take me to A&E. Can you advise me on the relevant laws please? I am assuming the holes should not just be left open? Thanks, MarkReplyDelete
There is a general duty to maintain the highway under S41 of the Highways Act 1980 (England and Wales)Delete
The authority has a statutory defence under S58
This means could they have reasonably found the defect using their reasonable inspection regime (and there is a whole code of practice on this).
As a general point, no holes should not be left open, but the issue will be who left it open (by the authority or another party).
Always tricky and it depends if the injured party is making a claim or simply reporting to stop someone else getting hurt. If it is the former, you would need independent legal advice.
Sorry for the delay, but the comments on here have been down and I hope you are OK now!
You say in your item on Experimental Traffic Orders: "In making the decision to make an ETO permanent, the traffic authority (through however decisions are made) will consider the information received from the public together with monitoring data (if appropriate) and the process concluded". Is this actually set out either in the legislation or guidance, as i have been unable to find any reference to this process (or, more importantly, reference to a requirement for this process to take place) anywhere other than on your site. Thank you.ReplyDelete
There are two issues here - legal and governance.Delete
The purism of the ETO process calls for a 6-months written objections period which must lapse before a decision can be made after considering objections, but within 18-months of the start.
The governance would be how the authority is set up to make decisions and it is often the case that decisions makers will be interested in general feedback.
I'm an engineer in the highways sector. I'm part of the ICE Graduate and Student Group from Kent and East Sussex. I've been looking through your blogs and have found them very interesting - particularly your 'Risk, Liability and Designers' page. I was wondering whether you would be interesting in giving a talk as an ICE event about the subject? About how engineers should design by using first principles not precedent e.g. not copying designs or following standards/guidance without challenging why new ideas cannot be used.
I look forward to discussing this further with you.
Was just reading through your excelletn glossary and I noticed that you referred to the amber flashing light on school patrol signs as wig-wags. IME Wig Wags refer to horizontal flashing lights, e.g. level crossing lights to diag 3014 (and are referred to as such in the Traffic Signs Manual and many RAIB reports) or the lane closed signals on overhaead motoray gantries. This is based on the original wig-wab mechanical signals at American level corssings.
The usual term I've heard for this type of signal is 'bouncing ball' and that's how we'd refer to them over on SABRE.
Interesting. I'm aware of the signals at level crossings and ambulance/ fire stations and I should probably add them.Delete
For crossing patrol sites, I know sign engineers and some manufacturers who call them wig wags and I have also heard them referred to as 'Tafflers'. Bouncing ball is a new one on me, but I will have to update the terms!
I have a question about zebra crossing on a one-way street. Is the Belisha beacon necessarily positioned on the side of the crossing that the vehicle approaches from, putting the pole on the left hand side of the pedestrian who has traffic approaching from their left? Or do you stick with the standard layout with pole on the right hand side of the pedestrian?ReplyDelete
If on the left, does the tactile stem also go on the left?
I feel ashamed at not already knowing the answer to this myself.
Hi Lucy - sorry for the delay - the comments section was broken for some reason.Delete
For this, the beacon is always on the right, even with a one-way street. This is so visually impaired people can located the pole. Many people do have some vision and so they will see the stripes. Those with no vision will be able to realise the lack of push button means a zebra.
Hi there from Tasmania! I'm looking for a link I've seen before to a free tool for designing streets for bikes - giving a cross sectional view that you can manipulate with various options. I had it but have lost it! Can you help?ReplyDelete
Streetsketch by MobyconDelete
You have a choice!ReplyDelete
The original - https://streetmix.net
and an improved version - streetsketch.mobycon.nl
Hi, I wonder if you can help or at least know someone more knowledgeable than me. As a data analyst I was wondering if I could get hold of a traffic survey dataset and do my own analysis. Ideally I'd like to be able to do this over several datasets. Do you have any knowledge of whether this is just asking too much of our local authority? My data analysis skills are up to it provided there is some sort of key and the data can be provided in CSV or similar. I realise there will likely be a lot of data cleaning but I've got very good Power BI and some R experience. If you think this is something that is likely to work, I'll ask an exploratory FOI request to get a handle on how many datasets are held by our authority.ReplyDelete
Hi David - loads of data on the DfT website, although I am not sure if entire areas of the data are available in chunks - might be worth contacting them https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/Delete
Other than that, it's seeing what the local authority has which might mean FOIs.
Thanks Mark, I definitely want local stuff so FOI it will be. Do you know of anyone who's processed such datasets before?Delete
Nothing I'm immediately aware of I'm afraidDelete
My question relates to a parking bay painted onto a pavement in Scotland. Although the Traffic Order clearly states the distances along the road, there is no mention of a width or position relative to the (flush) kerbline. As painted, the edge along the kerbline is on the carriageway while the other three edges are on the pavement. The Roads (Scotland) Act makes it an offence to drive on a pavement. The painted parking bay would appear to be somehow exempt. Is the painted bay still pavement or has it become carriageway? How does this work? Is it implicit or should it be stated in the Traffic Order? In fact, this pavement is not just a footway but it is a cycle track. Driving or parking on a cycle track are both offences. I've been trying to get the painted parking bay removed but the Council seems to hold some vague notion that the pavement can support some extreme form of shared use: walking, cycling and parking.ReplyDelete
The bay is essentially an invitation to park and the default position in an order is the carriageway (we don't specify that a bay is in the carriageway, it is the assumption that it is). I would therefore say that if it is on the footway, then that should be specified in the order. In terms of driving in/ out of the bay, again, I think it is taken as read that you don't drive on the footway unless accessing a bay (and off street premises if there is a dropped kerb).Delete
Many thanks. That's clear and useful. If only the Council was as prompt and succinct with their responses :)ReplyDelete
Hope you can help.
Are you aware of any arrangements whereby there is detection of cyclists as they approach a Toucan crossing along a cyclepath, so the lights change as they arrive at the crossing? Or that they don't specifically have to start the crossing sequence after they have got to the crossing? Or could be where there is cycle crossing provision at traffic lights, i.e. arrive on a cycle route. Not looking for detection of cyclists on roadway shared with other vehicles. Thought I had noticed some reference to this sort of arrangement in your blog but couldn't find it again!
It's awkward on a toucan because they are shared with people walking and detectors would pick up people walking past (assuming the toucan isn't on it's on little area with the main footway well back) - I'm not sure I've seen a toucan with autodetect to be honest.Delete
On the 8th July I was sent a letter informing me that a major junction near my house was to be enlarged:
There are "meet the contractor" events on the 11th and 23rd July and we're told that work will commence "towards the end of July".
I'm interested to know whether this lack of consultation is normal (or legal) and your thoughts on the scheme generally - it adds the cycle lane and pedestrian crossings but also the straight through and right turning spurs.
Mancunian Way? Looks interesting, although there are lots of crossings and I'd be surprised if you'd get to cycle in one go. Junction "improvements" often get done without any consultation as such as they are framed as adjustments, even if they are quite big changes. There is a general duty to consult, but it is very much open to interpretation depending on scale, what is being done etc; some of that duty has been explored through legal challenges, so I fear this looks very rubber stamped.Delete
I remember reading a while ago a comment on your blog about a cyclepath in bournemouth (I think) where they had used a row of tactile pavers to separate a footway from a cyclepath and someone had complained to the ombudsman about it not complying with the equalities act. The Ombudsman stated it was not acceptable as it failed to comply with a legal ruling?
I was wandering if you knew what the case was called?
I would rather like to cite it at Somerset county as they are still using stripes of paint.
And tarmac Coloured bollards. Can't have a cyclepath without a tarmac coloured bollard in it somewhere.
I'm afraid I can't recall the comment, but the Equality Act doesn't get into the detail of street design! Hopefully with the new LTN1/20 we'll get away from some of the poorer design practices though.Delete
You were asking about curly bridges on Twitter - here's another example from the North East:ReplyDelete
Are you aware of any guidance on maximum junction widths? I ask because the local council tells me they have no concerns about the safety of this junction, which is just ridiculously wide, encouraging drivers to turn into the side road far too quickly: https://email@example.com,-2.8375351,3a,75y,188.23h,83.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sW38ev9V4rZdl-BkrhGxAyQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656ReplyDelete
There's all sorts of guidance, but frequently, this type of junction is historic and never really has been designed; but certainly it does invite speeding.Delete
Dear RantyHighwayman, I saw this on my local bit of the BBC news websiteReplyDelete
I know kerbs are one of those things that you have a thing for, any thoughts?
I've used them before with the stick-down version where we didn't want to dig out a concrete slab and they did the job OK - I think a similar version has been used quite a bit on the Waltham Forest mini-Holland scheme. Beyond that I don't know they perform in long term use, but it will be interesting to see. I quite like recycled aggregate kerbs which use quarry waste (about 80%) which look good too. It's going to be interesting to see if they catch on.Delete
Hi Mark, can I get your advice on what will make a council support and make a temporary ETO permanent, please?ReplyDelete
The council recently closed our road in London under an ETO for 6 months. It is a small residential road with chicanes that didn't deter traffic and was constantly used as a rat run. I understand the council have closed the road to ease traffic and congestion in the back streets being used as a cut through and to reduce accidents between cars and commuting cyclists where cars were rejoining the main road. I and other residents fully support the closure.
However the road was closed from 20 October and there has since been a backlash from motorists who we residents believe are in a small majority. These motorists are being very vocal in their complaints and have even set up a website to email all the local authorities and MP through an algorithm. Do you know what will help the people who do support the road closure in ensuring this remains permanent? What factors do a council typically consider when deciding whether to make an ETO permanent? Is there anything else you recommend for us?
It's a tough one because the decisions are ultimately political. The residents really need to be encouraged to write in support of the scheme and it's always better for people to write in their own words if possible. Are there resident groups, walking and cycling groups or schools? Also, it's worth getting on social media if you can to drum up publicity and possibly snag seasoned campaigners. Possibly get local emergency services on board to counter the usual arguments it will cause them problems.Delete
The purism of the process is the council considers written objections and so perhaps remind the council of the positives and think what the objections might be (you may already know) and counter them too.
Thank you Mark, that's really helpful advice.Delete
The link to "Beyond the Bicycle Coalition" doesn't work - colon is missing after "https".ReplyDelete
cheers - link updatedDelete
I've got a question on kerb upstands and longfalls...
I come from a 3D modelling background and normally model with a kerb upstand that is constant (e.g. 125mm or 50mm etc.) . This would generally mean that my top of kerb would longfall at a constant grade with the asphalt in the carriageway.
I'm currently involved in a project in Central London where the architect has designed the top of kerb outside of a building they've completed. Over about 100m they had kept the same TOK level and applied 0% longfall. This was to keep a constant 2.5% crossfall on the footway. In order to get my carriageway to longfall, I will have to 'see-saw' the asphalt against the kerb and vary the upstand between 75mm and 125mm.
My view is that the footway crossfall should of being varied between 1.5% and 3.3% which would have allowed the introduction of longfall into the TOK level. This would of allowed me to keep a constant kerb upstand and have a longfall against the kerb.
Am i right? Or maybe both are correct? I would be interested to hear you opinion on this?
That's a great question! I'm assuming that this is new build rather than having to tie into existing levels.Delete
The third choice would be to use a drainage kerb system with a varying internal fall to keep the footway and carriageway long-fall at zero.
Of the two ways you suggest, both are valid, but a variable kerb face won't look as good as a constant face. Varying the crossfall of the footway means that you'll be getting some very flat spots at 3.3% and unless the footway is being machine laid or in paving with very good quality control, I can see puddles being an issue.
I think of the two, I would look at the variable kerb face, but you could use a channel block which means (with good construction care) get a channel long fall as slack as 1 in 180 between the local high spot and gully.
Thanks for the very quick response!Delete
Unfortunately the local authority aren't a fan of channel/beany blocks so we only have the two options I mentioned.
I'm unsure to why there would be flat spots at 3.3% as this would be even steeper than a standard crossfall of 2.5%. Could you explain?
Many thanks again,
I was wondering what the difference is between your role and that of a transport planner? Do they, for example, carry out more modelling? Additionally, what is your opinion on transport planners, and would you reccommend someone go into the profession?
I understand it's a rather odd question, but I'm just confused about what the difference is between a civil/highway engineer and a transport planner.
Thank you for your time!
It's a great question and in many cases there is a massive blur. Transport planners are often looking at policy and the big picture and engineers are often looking at how the stuff works practically.Delete
For example, a TP may be working on the higher level business case to go and build something and the engineer then is about how that thing will be built. The modellers may well be supporting both.
Many TPs end up being engineers and vice versa and many end up being a mix. Personally, I am mainly an engineer, but I do get involved in the transport planning side.
I'd say people who start as TPs may be more about wider thinking and those who start as engineers are more about detailed thinking, but everyone is different and maybe boxes don#t always help. TP is quite popular for people with a geography background.
I noted a photo of HRA 55/10 on your post dated, 29/03/2014 regarding a cycle route. I have a surface course that I have been advised is HRA 55/14, but doesn't seem to appear to be the same homogeneous finish similar to the 55/10 shown.
What effect will the difference in aggregate size make to the properties of the surface course, and which is preferred for a heavily trafficked vehicle route?
Also do you have any photos of a 55/14 that may assist in placing the surface course.
I'm not sure if I need to explain it or not, but 55/14 means that 55% of the stone is 14mm and so will have a rougher texture than 55/10 (55% of 10mm stone). You'll probably find that the finish does look more open because of the large stone content and so will be less comfortable to cycle on and noisier for general traffic.Delete
But yes, 55/14 will often be used for a heavy duty application. I don't have any photos of 55/14 I'm afraid, but I use a little 5cm square card with 1cm squares to try and identify surfacing - 55/14 will definitely show plenty of stone of that size on the surface.
I'd appreciate your opinion on 40mm kerb upstands at the end of driveways leading to shared surface streets. The legislation is Private Streets (Construction) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1994. I do not believe that the Regulations have been interpreted correctly in respect of the terminology "footway crossing". I'd like to send you more info via DM if that is possible please? Thanks
NI legislation isn't my area of expertise, but happy to take a look. Maybe email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
There's a junction near me where two "A" roads cross where a cyclist was killed 6 years ago by a lorry turning left when the driver didn't see her. To the best of my knowledge, nothing has been done to make it any safer since then.
After serious traffic accidents/deaths, is there any mechanism in place to investigate what went wrong and then use that information to correct any defects, for instance, redesigning dangerous road layout/junctions?
Hi Sarah, there is a general duty to promote road safety under S39 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which in practice (among other things) means local highway authorities will have a programme of reviewing collision sites. The problem is people look at long term statistics and so the places with the worst history are concentrated on, even if there are other sites - we need to be more proactive in dealing with problems in advance (which the Dutch and Swedes do). Unfortunately the kind of site you mention will be looked at if and when it gets to the top of the worst sites list. It's an uphill struggle.Delete
Thanks for that. The Dutch and Swedes seem to have a much more enlightened approach, I wish that the bar wasn't set so high in the UK for post-accident improvements to be looked at.Delete
Cheers for your interesting blog and hard work btw.
You wouldn't know it but the UK invented something called conflict studies, back in the 1960s at TRL. Unfortunately, it was ahead of its time as it required cameras to observe traffic movements at a junction over a period of time, which back then meant using equipment like the BBC would use. Nowadays, with a few Go-Pros and the right software it is an entirely feasible method to identify potential problems before collisions actually occur. A gap in the market for someone?Delete
I can't think of their name at the moment, but there is a firm using AI to look at stuff exactly like that.Delete
With apologies, can I just have a moan at you for pushing Lord Moylan into my Twitter timeline a few weeks ago (when is a traffic island not a pedestrian refuge etc etc). That man is an unmitigated moron, and he now keeps popping up saying more moronic things (latest: https://twitter.com/GeorgePeretzQC/status/1326903495660867584?s=20 ) and it is now driving me mad that he is "lording" over us all, AT OUR EXPENSE!!! The embodiment of a privileged white man whose self awareness has been drowned by arrogance.ReplyDelete
Anyway, keep fighting the good fight.
My apologies Norm. It's quite astonishing just how many subjects he is covering that he is so unqualified to comment on.Delete
Hi Ranty Highawayman,ReplyDelete
I read your article about ETO and objections, it's a shame I've only read this now that the ETO is being wrapped up otherwise we would have put more emphasis on the first 6 months around our objections.
1. Once the council respond to any comments/objections received throughout the 18month period, after making the ETO permenant, if the response is not satisfactory or it seems the council have taken a blanket approach as oppossed to a case by case merit approach, can we further appeal or not? As their response said that legally they do not have to respond to the same correspondence?
2. If we handed in a petition objecting/raising concerns to our ward councillers within the initial 6 months, but they only handed it to the relevant officors a week or two after the 6 month period, will this then be considered outside of the initial 6 months?
3. I assume raising general issues, objections, concerns with our ward councillers initially does not count as a offiical objection in writing that is required within the 6 months?
Appreciate your advice to clarify the above scenarios.
It's a good question, but the answer is pretty dry and legalistic (and I'm not a legal expert!)Delete
The specific requirements of the ETO process is that the highway authority must consider written objections that are lodged within 6-months of the order coming into force; plus make a decision on making the order permanent within 18-months of it coming into force.
Consideration of objections will depend on how the decision making is set up and it's hard to generalise, but there is no requirement to respond to individual objections.
The authority may go through and summarise the type of objections, give numbers, explain numbers in any objection petition etc. They may produce a summary responding to themes.
The decisions to make permanent will normally be political, subject to how things are delegated. For example, a small ETO which doesn't have objections might have the decision delegated to a senior member of staff. A decision might be made by a cabinet member, a committee or even full council - it all depends how it's set up.
In terms of a petition going through a councillor who didn't hand it on in time; legally speaking, any objections must be lodged within the 6-months and so strictly speaking, it doesn't have to be considered, but it being accepted could be a political decision, but it being late should be noted.
In addition, concerns raised through a councillor is not a written objection and so it's up to the councillor to raise such in good time.
On petitions generally, even a significant number of people signing does not automatically give anything any weight. It's a political decision on how much weight is given to anything.
For example, 3,000 people just saying they don;t like it may not carry any weight at all, but 1 written objection from someone who is fundamentally and profoundly impacted may carry very significant weight.
On challenge, the only recourse would be through Judicial Review within (I think and maybe this needs legal advice) 6-weeks of the order being made permanent, but that would be around the proper process not being followed.
I think the general point is that an ETO (as with traffic orders generally) are about the highway authority proposing to do something with the objections being a mechanism to ensure those impacted have a "statutory say".
If there's a council administration elected on traffic reduction, making walking and cycling easier etc with policies in place supporting it, then it is reasonable to expect traffic orders coming forward to meet this aim. Unfortunately (in my view) too many people are seeing this as a referendum on every change proposed and the policy and throught process keeps getting lost.
Of course, people could elect representatives to make different decisions!
Thank you for your details response, much appreciated as it clarifies the points I raised in simple terms :) and also good to get your view on it.ReplyDelete
A couple of additional questions following your response:
1. If the challenge is not related to process of the ETO or the ETO in it's entirety, rather just an element of the ETO (ie the ETO for road access restriction being made permanent with the exception of those on the exempt list, following such a decision a set of residents wanting to also be included to the exempt list put in place as part of the ETO) - I assume this is something the Council have powers to do even after the ETO becomes permanent at any time in the future and does not require a further ETO and would not be considered for a challenge that via the Judicial Courts if I've understood it correctly?
2. In your experience, could an appeal to the courts be something a resident can do themselves or something that requires legal expertise and skills to submit and challenge reasonably?
3. I assume the 'statuary say' a general resident has in the first 6 months, which includes residents not consulted as part of the initial consultation prior to ETO would be different to that of residents consulted as prior and part of the ETO, who the council would have considered 'affected residents' - If a set of residents who were not consulted yet felt they should have been considered 'affected residents' and consulted, would this fall under lack of process that can be appealed to the courts?
Thanks in advance and sorry for the lengthy and unusual questions.
OK, so answers as raised;Delete
Q1 - The council does have powers to add people to an exempt list, but it would be usual to do it on a permit system with registrations recorded on the enforcement system. Who can obtain permits would need to be written in the traffic order somewhere which would require an amendment to be advertised (and which would be potentially up for written objections too).
Q2 - I've never been on the receiving end of a JR, but I would have thought legal advice and potentially representation is needed. Certainly when I have been involved in other highways legal matters, I have had legal assistance as a highways officer, both internally and externally.
Q3 - Pre-consulation is not a legal requirement, merely custom and practice and the key point would be the when the ETO is advertised. There is a reasonable expectation that the highway authority should inform people it considers could be affected. The ETO isn't a consultation however and so residents not involved in any pre-consultation would struggle to bring a case I think, but any case would be around process - that's what JR is for.
Hi, I Have question about gaining permission for a dropped kerb to access my property. Some context - My local authority seem to be making up the rules as they go along, I live on a T-junction where sightlines are obscured by parked cars. I have been refused permission by the council for a dropped kerb because of a load of rules they seem to make up but not follow themselves. This has become an issue as the area now has a school street (a very good thing) and a possible CPZ if we ever get out of lockdown. What are the rules governing access to private property across pavements?ReplyDelete
There's no automatic right to a dropped kerb and it will depend on the council's policy. If they have a policy, then challenge would have to be through your councillor I would say. If there's no policy, then it should be taken through the formal complaints procedure and then the ombudsman. IT is a minefield though.Delete
We are desperate for advice and hope you may be able to help. The driveway to our house exits onto an A road . We used to have 1 Northbound traffic lane and 1 South bound traffic lane. Ten years ago the Council built a four arm junction with traffic lights 30 metres from our driveway, and we now have 3 Northbound lanes and Southbound 2 lanes merging into 1 lane directly outside our driveway. We complained as getting in and out of our driveway became very dangerous. We requested all the RSA’s relating to the works and our driveway was not mentioned in any of them. We were told if its not a safety issue it won’t be mentioned. It is a safety issue! We commissioned our own RSA which stated we have no safe entrance and only 1 safe exit. We sent our RSA to the Council and were stonewalled. There is a new proposal for further works to speed up the flow of traffic outside our house which would render our driveway completely unusable. We cant allow this to happen and we need a safe alternative entrance. We cant understand how the Council and our RSA can be at polar opposites when they used the same standards of reference .We cant help but feel things went wrong right at the first planning brief . We live in one of only two houses that were along this stretch of A road ( we have since been engulfed by a huge housing developement ) maybe right at the beginning the planners were told that our two houses would be bought and demolished which could explain why our access was not mentioned in the first RSA but every other access ( to fields and a layby were mentioned) even though they were further from the junction than our access.We don’t know where to go now as the Council literally ignore any correspondence. We would appreciate any advice you could give.
It's a really tough one. I think the first thing to do would be to get hold of the council's complaints procedure and send a fresh complaint and include a comment that you are aware of their complaints procedure and you expect a proper response within their published timescales. Then be prepared to escalate the issue through their process which ends up with the ombudsman.Delete
In parallel, raise it with your ward councillors. The big problem here is that things have been built and it's not going to be changed back. Is there a physical remedy to this such as an alternative access point that could be built?
We have taken your advice on board and complained to the council and contacted various councilors. We could have a safe rear access but when we approached the Council they told us the developer ( the developer who built the junction and commissioned the questionable RSA's ) would not agree. This developer has now applied for planning to build 119 houses to the rear of us effectively building over the only possible alternative access to us.We are being pushed into a corner with no room to manoeuvre . But we are very grateful for your response and advice.ReplyDelete
I am currently working with a local group to reimagine our nearby High Street, reducing its width to make it more accessiblefor all, introducing clearways etc... our aim is to produce a document that we can present to our local authority Planning and Highways Dept that lays out a workable blueprint for the street based on precedents elsewhere. I'd love to share it with you, if you add me on Twitter @tourguideliverp I can private message you rather than putting my email address on here.
Mark, can you explain why Highways need to dress roads regularly with coarse gravel approx 12mm grade. Is this nationwide and is it common in Europe?ReplyDelete
I understand fresh tarmac needs a hard surface, but older roads in Glos and Worcs are getting dressed every couple of years. The excess gets cleared after a few days but it leaves an almost unrideable surface quality, which excludes them for cycling purposes, unless you want your bike wrecked and yout fillings loosened.
I've not been involved in surface dressing for years, but I think it's popular in France and the Nordics. It's a perfectly good system for sealing the road surface and giving grip back, *but* it cannot be used on a heavily damaged surface and it needs lots of aftercare to clear loose chippings. Too many authorities use it when the surface is too worn out and full of potholes. The largest site I did was many years ago - the A130 onto Canvey Island and this was with a two-pass system of larger stones first then smaller stones to lock it all in. The surface was pre-patched first and horizontal cracks repaired which made for a decent life.Delete
I am trying to work out a plan, which I would later campaign for, to give children in my town the ability to cycle freely throughout the town.
Large parts of the town were built as LTNs and it would not take much to stop through traffic in the other areas.
However, this still leaves the issue of crossing the busy roads that segment the town.
I have identified crossing points which would connect the areas and am now trying to work out how children should be helped with each crossing.
Most crossings consist of two quiet residential roads that form a cross roads with a busy, but narrow, 30mph main road.
In some cases the ends of the quiet residential roads could be blocked off to cars making a Parallel Crossing suitable (I think).
In other cases these residential roads can not be blocked and I don't know what can be done here.
Could a Parallel Crossing still be used?
I thought about a combined 4 way toucan crossing, which stops traffic in all directions after pressing a button, but this seems like an expensive solution.
Are there any existing options for helping cyclists cross a road when they are not coming from a cycle path?
Any advice or pointers greatly received.
Well closing the ends of roads off opposite each other is a great plan to provide space for crossings. If you can't close, you may be able to partially close to give an option - have you an example I can look at maybe?Delete
Sorry slightly long preamble to describe the situation and a few related qestions - So I was at a Cyclox talk lat night about how they are finally being consulted in a meaningful way with other stakeholders over new route designs in Oxford under a process called co-production I think.ReplyDelete
However these are closed room meetings where the stake holders got shown designs across a lot of slides quickly. Far too many and too quickly to make any sort of comment on and these were things like junction design etc etc. This is now a sticking point.
The council claim these are absolutely confidential and cannot be distributed at all because they might be leaked. This is due to commercial sensitivity. This sounds to me like either it's nonsense and their contractors don't want criticism and actual meaningful input. Or the council have made a pigs ear of writing contracts and don't have an option.
Is keeping proposed designs for road layouts confidential, even during stakeholder engagement, normal practice? Can this practice be justified in a way I'm not seeing?
Are there good existing frameworks for more open design principles I can send to the council or cyclox etc to suggest the council should be looking at implementing?
Cause I just find it so odd. The project is not a secret, it's a specific road, it's not as if someone's going to steal the designs and they ultimately have to be made public. So why the bizarre secrecy? I literally can't see a good reason not to just have a website where the designs and design options are just regularly updated for the public and stakeholers to see and comment on during the design process.
Why isn't done in a more open github like manner?
The council is paying the designers why not just incorporate an open and transparent system of design in the contract? I doubt companies would turn down work just cause they have to show the in progress parts of it. Or would they?
This is something I do in my job. I write my code, send out preliminary results and designs, ask for feedback, give options about what can be done given limitations. Ask what stakeholders want from the work. I don't just talk about what I want to do with the colleagues who know the technical aspects and go to users and stakeholders well here it is like it or lump it.
Generally contracts have the expectation that consultants' designs will be made public, but there's also a need for preliminary information to flow between council and consultant as things are developed which can be tough to get right. I wonder if the main issue is project programmes aren't long enough to have earlier consultation?Delete
I've a quesiton about the location of double yellow lines on the new Chorlton cycle lane in Manchester. In places the cycle lane is lifted up and separated from the main carriageway by a chamfered kerb. The cycle lane has green finish. Double yellow lines are painted on the left hand side of the cycle lane next to the kerb separating it from the footpath. This reduces the perceived width of the cycle and gives the impression people want to drive cars into the cycle lane and need to be warded off with the double yellers. Why can't the double yellers be painted on the main carriageway alongside the kerb separating the carriageway from the cycle lane? It would be much neater and make the cycle lane feel much safer.
The general principle is yellow lines hug kerbs and so I would put them on the traffic side - I have seen some photos of Chorlton and it looks really odd, although the yellow lines do apply across the entire hgihway.Delete
Can you discuss the possibility of getting local road maintenance contractors to cease using 14mm aggravate for surface dressing. I cycle and it is an appalling surface to ride on. It does not smooth down with traffic like the 6mm grit often used. Can you explain why its necessary, and we get it stopped?ReplyDelete
I have a question about experimental TROs - I'm part of a project that is trying to implement a semi-pedestrian trial in a corner of our town centre. We've been running an ongoing consultation with local businesses, residents and visitors, and the project has already secured external funding. We're now at the stage of trying to work with the council to see what the possible next steps are to get the trial moving forward.
Part of the proposal includes two parklets, taking up two parking spots each. These parklets seem to be a particular sticking point for the council, as they don't believe they fit within the parameters of an experimental TRO, and generally seem wary of
1) taking away parking and
2) what laws allow people/seating/plants to occupy a parking space (rather than a vehicle or a skip).
They've asked us to find the legislation that proves overwise. I know parklets exist in the UK and have been implemented through experimental TROs elsewhere (Merton, for example, has an experimental TRO for a parklet ongoing right now), but I have read section 9 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 several times and can't pinpoint what exactly I can show the council that will assure them it's legal and possible.
Am I missing something? Or is there a route other than an experimental TRO that might be more suitable?
Thank you in advance for any advice!
Hi Rachel - sorry I have had a comments moderation problem and missed loads. If you have parking spaces defined in an order and you want to put a parklet there, there they need to be suspended using a traffic order (can be experiment). Then putting in a parklet is a simply use of powers under Part V of the Highways Act 1980 which has general improvement (S62) to do "stuff" which would cover a parklet and seating.Delete
Is it reasonable to use an ETRO to trial the permanent closure of an A road through a town centre: 1 either Mon-Fri or every day and 2 as a continuation of Covid social distancing TTRO or with a three month gap?ReplyDelete
Our High St, an A road, has been closed to traffic for 18 month under a Covid social distancing TTRO, causing considerable congestion, rat running etc elsewhere.ReplyDelete
Is it reasonable for the HA to use an ETRO to:
1 continue this closure permanently or Mon-Fri only
2 open for three month then as 1?
I'd say they are entitled to do that. Some schemes were put in using a TTRO which realistically has a finite lifespan and there is no right of objection. At least with an ETRO people can object, although in principle it should be a scheme that they are generally serious about making permanent.Delete
Thanks Mark. That's surprising as I thought ETROs were for relatively small schemes, eg parking bay layouts, cycle lanes etc not the closure of a main distributor road with widespread repurcusions. Also, since ETROs don't follow the full consultation/objection process isn't a TRO (with a rigorous justification)a more appropriate procedure for such a substantial scheme? FYI, a recent "tweak" was to make one ETRO option one-way, until the Fire Service said no!ReplyDelete
The Covid closures will now be removed in Jan and reinstated in April with the planned ETRO start. But with little baseline (new normal) data or time to collect it, no mention of the scheme in any network development plan it all seems very opportunistic, don't you think?
Are there any examples of similar ETRO A road closures? Thanks again.
You can do pretty much anything with an ETRO bar changing speed limits - there is no restriction on the size or complexity of the scheme or the type of road it is deployed on.Delete
TROs and ETROs only actually have fairly basic legal requirements for consultation and in both cases, only written objections have to be considered - again schemes on the whole should be progressed on the basis that they are being realistically proposed.
An ETRO arguably allows for more time for a say with the 6-month objections period rather than 21 days for a TRO.
A-road is a good question, I know of quite a few B roads, but I don't think I have come across an A-road, although classification doesn't always explain the nature (rural vs high street for example).
Hi, would it be possible for you to have a look at this link (and give thoughts) https://documents.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/ATF-StubbingtonVillage-informationpack.pdf regarding a scheme local to me in Fareham. My view is that the scheme, in this form, was a good step in the right direction not only for the aim of discouraging through traffic, but also to help other means of travel. Although the scheme has now been approved, it was with some revision to maintain two lane entries to some arms of the roundabouts. I have no qualifications in highway engineering and guess that those opposing it on local social media have none as well.Delete
I'd say the scheme on the pdf is a bit better than it is now, but they don't properly redesign the approaches - if you really want to slow things down and make it easier to cross, the islands need to be changed from triangular to rectangular, the kerbs on the edges realigned to match with the crossing points set back because at the moment, people are still having to cross where drivers are exiting at high speed. Going back to two lane approaches is not good either.Delete
Thank you. Could the same or similar changes be made to other comparable roundabouts to slow traffic and make it safer for pedestrians to cross?Delete
A big problem with UK roundabouts is we use them for capacity over safety because you can stuff more traffic through than a comparable signalised junction. If you go down the path as I have described, you get limited to c25,000 vehicles a day, a traditional UK layout is maybe up to c40,000 vehicles a day as a maximum. Here's how the Dutch do it which is a safer layout for all road users https://goo.gl/maps/5XRUZ3bofy31szpp8Delete
Hi Mark - would I be able to use one or two of your photos of Taff Embankment for a consultation - with credit? Grateful if you could email me email@example.com. Many thanksReplyDelete
Grab any photos you like, always fine with a credit.Delete
I enjoyed reading your blog post about the Eddington development near Cambridge. I visited Cambridge yesterday with the aim of experiencing the city as a cyclist for the first time in 20 years - I'd previously had a couple of stints there in the 1980s and late 90s. So I drove from Rugby and the Sat Nav took me through Eddington (thankfully no bollards on a Saturday) to get to the Madingley Road Park and Ride. I was struck by the fact that, at the Park and Ride, I needed to park in the coach lane with my hazard lights on while I took the bike from the roof, because the car park has 2.2m height barriers - repeating the process on the way out. I was thinking to myself, while standing on my portastep and lifting the bike down as a bus drove past, that It would've been great to have a designated area to do this.ReplyDelete
Yes, same at Trumpington P&R - I guess they're trying to keep commercial vehicles and campers out!Delete