Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
As local councillors, Paul Mercer and Ted Parton have been consulted about
proposed changes in the centre of Loughborough.
The first relates to pedestrian improvements at the junction of Baxter Gate and
Market Place.
Leicestershire County Council has proposed a new uncontrolled pedestrian crossing
point and the realignment of another. The revised location of the uncontrolled
pedestrian crossing is to improve safety for pedestrians by increasing the visibility
for drivers along High Street. The new uncontrolled pedestrian crossing point is
designed to assist visually impaired pedestrians in particular.
These proposals seem to
be reasonable given the
number of pedestrians
crossing at these points
and did not require a
response.
The second relates to a ‘build
out’ on Swan Street to
discourage vehicles from
entering the pedestrianised
area. Removable bollards
would also be added further
along.
Again, this was non-contentious and seems to make sense.
The third, more contentious idea, is the construction of two ‘speed cushions’ on
High Street to discourage cars from taking a shortcut from Wood Gate, along High
Street and up Baxter Gate.
According to the proposal:
“Following the construction of the inner relief road and the introduction of an order
on High Street to prohibit driving except for access surveys have been undertaken
monitoring vehicle movements on High Street, these surveys show that a
significant number of drivers are contravening the order and driving through High
Street and Baxter Gate without accessing any of the properties.
“To act as a physical and visual ‘deterrent’ we propose to install two speed
cushions on High Street close to its junction with Pinfold Gate/ Wood Gate.”
In order to assess whether these ‘speed cushions’ will have any impact, Paul and
Ted monitored the traffic on a weekday and on Saturday. Only about one in ten
cars that were taking the detour had a legitimate reason – either making
deliveries, dropping people off or picking them up. The rest were simply taking a
shortcut and they included Post Office vans (which did not stop), police cars which
were self-evidently not on an emergency call and even a Leicestershire County
Council van. Curiously, the vast majority of cars were being driven by young men
and few of them were new
vehicles.
There is no parking for users of
the cinema development and the
new restaurants in Baxter Gate
and it was noticeable that those
drivers who are legitimately using
this route were largely doing so
to drop off or pick up children
and young teenagers. If these
measures did have an impact and
prevented parents from dropping
off or picking up their children it
could far more adverse safety
implications than momentarily simply slowing down traffic moving along High
Street.
Monitoring the traffic as it came along Wood Gate, it was clear why the majority of
drivers were taking this shortcut. Most of them clearly knew that it is usually
quicker to turn right, onto Leicester Road, and then drive around the new bypass
because they are not going to be delayed by buses. Therefore, most of them seem
to be driving on Wood Gate in the right-hand lane until it was clear that there was
a long line of traffic turning right, they would then change to the left hand lane and
turn left into High Street.
The question is therefore whether will be enough to discourage them from turning
left. Although it is impossible to say, it will not deter drivers from turning left who
do not know the traffic calming measures are in place because they will not see
them. It will therefore rely upon those who habitually turn left knowing that they
have been added. The problem is that those drivers who are turning left are doing
so because they know it is quicker than joining the right-hand lane and waiting for
the lights to go through a cycle and most of them appear to be turning left on a
green light.
The more seasoned drivers will also know that it is usually quicker to turn right,
onto Leicester Road, if they have a green light than navigate past buses on High
Street and Baxter Gate. None of the drivers that we witnessed were driving fast
and a speed cushion is only likely to make their journey fractionally longer and
therefore it is hard to see that it will have a deterrent effect.
Both Paul and Ted believe that these proposed speed cushions will have little or no
impact on the number of drivers who are taking this shortcut and have submitted a
letter opposing them to Leicestershire County Council as part of this consultation
process.
Paul and Ted respond to proposed
changes on Market Place
Published and promoted by Paul Mercer, 58A Wards End, Loughborough LE11 3HB
This site only uses cookies in order to collect anonymous usage data for Google Analytics and StatCounter. By using this site we assume that you are happy to receive cookies.
Paul and Ted respond to proposed changes on High Street
As local councillors, Paul Mercer and Ted Parton have
been consulted about proposed changes in the
centre of Loughborough.
The first relates to pedestrian improvements at the
junction of Baxter Gate and Market Place.
Leicestershire County Council has proposed a new
uncontrolled pedestrian crossing point and the
realignment of another. The revised location of the
uncontrolled pedestrian crossing is to improve safety
for pedestrians by increasing the visibility for drivers
along High Street. The new uncontrolled pedestrian
crossing point is designed to assist visually impaired
pedestrians in particular.
These proposals seem to be reasonable given
the number of pedestrians crossing at these
points and did not require a response.
The second relates to a ‘build out’ on Swan Street to
discourage vehicles from entering the pedestrianised
area. Removable bollards would also be added
further along.
Again, this was non-contentious and seems to
make sense.
The third, more contentious idea, is the construction
of two ‘speed cushions’ on High Street to discourage
cars from taking a shortcut from Wood Gate, along
High Street and up Baxter Gate.
According to the proposal:
“Following the construction of the inner relief road
and the introduction of an order on High Street to
prohibit driving except for access surveys have been
undertaken monitoring vehicle movements on High
Street, these surveys show that a significant number
of drivers are contravening the order and driving
through High Street and Baxter Gate without
accessing any of the properties.
“To act as a physical and visual ‘deterrent’ we
propose to install two speed cushions on High Street
close to its junction with Pinfold Gate/ Wood Gate.”
In order to assess whether these ‘speed cushions’
will have any impact, Paul and Ted monitored the
traffic on a weekday and on Saturday. Only about
one in ten cars that were taking the detour had a
legitimate reason – either making deliveries,
dropping people off or picking them up. The rest
were simply taking a shortcut and they included Post
Office vans (which did not stop), police cars which
were self-evidently not on an emergency call and
even a Leicestershire County Council van. Curiously,
the vast majority of cars were being driven by
young men and few of them were new vehicles.
There is no parking for users of the cinema
development and the new restaurants in Baxter
Gate and it was noticeable that those drivers who
are legitimately using this route were largely doing
so to drop off or pick up children and young
teenagers. If these measures did have an impact
and prevented parents from dropping off or picking
up their children it could far more adverse safety
implications than momentarily simply slowing down
traffic moving along High Street.
Monitoring the traffic as it came along Wood Gate, it
was clear why the majority of drivers were taking
this shortcut. Most of them clearly knew that it is
usually quicker to turn right, onto Leicester Road,
and then drive around the new bypass because they
are not going to be delayed by buses. Therefore,
most of them seem to be driving on Wood Gate in
the right-hand lane until it was clear that there was
a long line of traffic turning right, they would then
change to the left hand lane and turn left into High
Street.
The question is therefore whether will be enough to
discourage them from turning left. Although it is
impossible to say, it will not deter drivers from
turning left who do not know the traffic calming
measures are in place because they will not see
them. It will therefore rely upon those who
habitually turn left knowing that they have been
added. The problem is that those drivers who are
turning left are doing so because they know it is
quicker than joining the right-hand lane and waiting
for the lights to go through a cycle and most of
them appear to be turning left on a green light.
The more seasoned drivers will also know that it is
usually quicker to turn right, onto Leicester Road, if
they have a green light than navigate past buses on
High Street and Baxter Gate. None of the drivers
that we witnessed were driving fast and a speed
cushion is only likely to make their journey
fractionally longer and therefore it is hard to see
that it will have a deterrent effect.
Both Paul and Ted believe that these proposed speed
cushions will have little or no impact on the number
of drivers who are taking this shortcut and have
submitted a letter opposing them to Leicestershire
County Council as part of this consultation process.