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Workers call for end to traffic nightmare

graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
edited March 2013 in Commuting chat
Front page article in my local paper today:
WORKERS on a business park in Coventry are demanding action to clear gridlocked rush-hour traffic.
http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/c ... -32894801/

Basically a bunch of people who drive their cars in rush hour are complaining that too many people are driving their cars in rush hour. The business park is adjacent to the University campus I work on. There are reasonable bus services to the city and adjacent towns and it's a short cycle into the city. I simply don't understand how the people who are causing the gridlock have the front to complain about it. If you don't like the gridlock then don't drive your car in it!
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  • cookdncookdn Posts: 410
    Hilarious. We should see how many up-votes we can generate for Graeme_S's comment on the story at 10:50 (the devil in me has already up-voted it three times :lol:). No doubt it won't go down very well if his comment appears to have attracted a good deal of support :twisted:.
    If you're sat in a car and stuck in a traffic jam, then you are part of that problem and you're effectively complaining about your own behaviour.

    If everyone on a bus route took the bus, and everyone within a 10 mile radius of the business park cycled then we wouldn't have a problem.

    I cycle to the Warwick Uni campus every day from Coventry. In the recent snow it took up to 3 hours for people to drive from campus to Coventry, and it took me 30 minutes on my bike instead of the usual 20.

    Give it a go, you might find you enjoy it!

    Workers call for end to Westwood Business Park traffic nightmare

    Best regards
    Boardman CX Team
  • Worked in Cov for a year & my other half is from round that way and tend to agree there are lots of other options than 1 person 1 car to work!

    Did like the line "it normally takes an hour but when it snowed it took 3" or "what if there was an accident down the road we wouldn't be able to get out"
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    and a response to say hes missing the point RE buses get stuck too, they dont get that they wouldn't be stuck if 60 cars worth of people took up one bus....... (60 plucked out of the air, I cycle, buses are slow :-))
  • There was a billboard ad campaign for TomTom SatNav last year that ran with the byline "You're not IN traffic, you ARE traffic". If only more people understood the reality of that. I commute through Surrey/South London into the centre weekly, and the proportion of single occupancy cars is just astounding.....
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    I agree with the point about being the traffic, but surely it could be the case that for the volume of cars the traffic delays are out of proportion and could actually be resolved with some planning and a little engineering?

    For example traffic light sequencing, only one road in and out so everyone is forced to go one way, or having the estate's exit join another main road which is busy and therefore makes it hard to pull out.

    In many cases it isn't as simple as saying that there are too many cars. Look at how well some roads flow when traffic lights break down.
  • Upped. +1
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    davmaggs wrote:
    I agree with the point about being the traffic, but surely it could be the case that for the volume of cars the traffic delays are out of proportion and could actually be resolved with some planning and a little engineering?

    For example traffic light sequencing, only one road in and out so everyone is forced to go one way, or having the estate's exit join another main road which is busy and therefore makes it hard to pull out.

    In many cases it isn't as simple as saying that there are too many cars. Look at how well some roads flow when traffic lights break down.

    There's a roundabout in Derby called Spider Island ('cos of the multi-way footbridge going over it) which had traffic lights put on it some time back. Immediately after the lights went active, the traffic in the area became a nightmare.

    I can clearly remember the local radio station at the time during one of its morning traffic reports saying "the traffic lights at Spider Island are broken, so traffic is flowing very freely"
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • I find it a little annoying that their answer is to build more roads.
  • davmaggs wrote:
    I agree with the point about being the traffic, but surely it could be the case that for the volume of cars the traffic delays are out of proportion and could actually be resolved with some planning and a little engineering?

    For example traffic light sequencing, only one road in and out so everyone is forced to go one way, or having the estate's exit join another main road which is busy and therefore makes it hard to pull out.

    In many cases it isn't as simple as saying that there are too many cars. Look at how well some roads flow when traffic lights break down.

    Don;t disagree that it might be simply a poor exit/entry system to the business park.

    However the points against it are still very valid;
    Environment - its better to have less vehicles on the road
    Buses - plenty of options in the area for people to get the but
    Car share - simplest way to reduce costs and the number of cars on the road
    Cycle not drive - saves you money, gets you fit, less cars on the road, more commuters more of a voice to push the council to invest even more money into cycle specific work

    "If your not part of the solution then your part of the problem" sums it up pretty well TBH. Even if they did spend £1-5M on building this link road & it stops the pinch point, your creating a smoother traffic system & yet more vehicles are going to use it and potentially end up in the same situation no better off & several £M's worse off which could have been invested in park & ride, car share, cycle lanes which have benefits.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    davmaggs wrote:
    I agree with the point about being the traffic, but surely it could be the case that for the volume of cars the traffic delays are out of proportion and could actually be resolved with some planning and a little engineering?

    For example traffic light sequencing, only one road in and out so everyone is forced to go one way, or having the estate's exit join another main road which is busy and therefore makes it hard to pull out.

    In many cases it isn't as simple as saying that there are too many cars. Look at how well some roads flow when traffic lights break down.
    Given the proximity of other sites that also have high volumes of traffic (like the University), I think it would be very difficult, if not impossible to significantly improve the traffic flow by re-engineering the roads. It might have been possible if you'd planned a site with this number of buildings from scratch, but the whole site has grown organically over the last 40 odd years.
  • cookdncookdn Posts: 410
    Another voice of reason in the comments to the article.
    It's funny that this appears a couple of days after a report says Coventry is one of the most car dependent cities in the UK, and that it's only going to get worse.

    As has been said, Tile Hill station is less than a mile away, Canley isn't much further and Coventry station is only a gentle 20 minute bike ride away. A folding bike would let you ride from home to the station, travel quickly to Coventry and then ride the last leg to your place of work. There are also regular buses to Warwick uni which is only a short walk from the business park.

    If you spend 2 hours a day in the traffic then even at minimum wage that's over £3,000 or 500 hours of wasted time. Is driving still worth it?

    Of course, not everyone can walk, bike or use public transport, but lots of people can change some of their journeys. And that might just be enough to make everyone's lives easier.

    The council and employers need to make it easier for employees to car share, walk, bike, bus and train to work. Just building more roads is an atrocious waste of money when there are alternatives. A dual carriageway costs £13 million PER MILE and because the extra space just encourage more people to drive you end up back at square one.

    Isn't the userid somewhat familiar? :? :)
    Boardman CX Team
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008

    Don;t disagree that it might be simply a poor exit/entry system to the business park.

    However the points against it are still very valid;
    Environment - its better to have less vehicles on the road
    Buses - plenty of options in the area for people to get the but
    Car share - simplest way to reduce costs and the number of cars on the road
    Cycle not drive - saves you money, gets you fit, less cars on the road, more commuters more of a voice to push the council to invest even more money into cycle specific work

    "If your not part of the solution then your part of the problem" sums it up pretty well TBH. Even if they did spend £1-5M on building this link road & it stops the pinch point, your creating a smoother traffic system & yet more vehicles are going to use it and potentially end up in the same situation no better off & several £M's worse off which could have been invested in park & ride, car share, cycle lanes which have benefits.


    I don't know this area, but sometimes there really doesn't need to a large amount of rework just a tweaking.

    For example in lots of London high streets there has been a policy of causing traffic problems to make the car unpleasant to use (narrowing roads, removing left turn lanes at the lights, longer red lights, removing slip roads outside shops). Lift these artificial hinderances, and suddenly life becomes a little better. Coventry council may well be doing similar things in that they don't want to make improvements as policy.

    I've also been to places where massive employers can't provide parking (the same with new residential properties) because the council's belief is that if they make life unpleasant enough then cars won't be used. Except that this enforced set of hurdles doesn't actually work.

    The flaw in councils not wanting to be pro-active is that companies will move when the break clauses kick in on their leases, and Cov has spent 3 decades trying to get firms in. Then Cov council will be spending money on seminars on understanding why firms don't do business there.
  • davmaggs wrote:

    The flaw in councils not wanting to be pro-active is that companies will move when the break clauses kick in on their leases, and Cov has spent 3 decades trying to get firms in. Then Cov council will be spending money on seminars on understanding why firms don't do business there.

    Sorry to disagree with you but MK which is growing as city at massive rate and has just taken the approach of reducing free parking, making car share cheaper (about 60% annually), increased bus services so they run from 6am to 7pm and well beyond for most of the work areas. We have more and more business's coming in & if people do want to park then the its their right too but they have to pay for that and more cars means means more traffic. If you want less traffic then use a car share scheme it works, saves you money and reduces the number of cars on the road.

    I spend a lot of time driving to meetings and visit lots of UK cities and some cope well with multi vehicle use on the roads and others do not do so well. There is not one perfect answer, but the people in this news report work there and know what its like so deal with it. I do when I'm on the M1 into London or B'ham I don't want another road built or another lane built as it won't solve the problem, but I do opt for alternative transport where I can as its a good alternative hence me saying "If your not part of the solution then your part of the problem"

    Its only my opinion but its the only way forward IMHO
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    Near to where I live there's a proposal for lots of new flats, unfortunately they're not going to provide as many car parking spaces as flats. Therefore I suspect the cars will start being parked in the surrounding streets, local residents will get annoyed and the council will try again to get parking permits introduced (they were rejected by residents previously), probably successfully. This will then lead me to tarmac over my front garden. :S
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Don't forget - you can multi vote with different browsers ! ;)
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    jds_1981 wrote:
    Near to where I live there's a proposal for lots of new flats, unfortunately they're not going to provide as many car parking spaces as flats. Therefore I suspect the cars will start being parked in the surrounding streets, local residents will get annoyed and the council will try again to get parking permits introduced (they were rejected by residents previously), probably successfully. This will then lead me to tarmac over my front garden. :S

    Creating an artificial shortage is actually a win for the council. Now they have a way to get a permit scheme in, more people in the same space to buy actual permits when they are being sold and a shortage of physical room which guarantees revenue from fines. Plus they now get to fine visitors to those same flats or your house too.

    I should add I don't support tarmacing over the nation either, I do object to the Ryanair approach to public revenue raising.
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 2,301
    slowbike wrote:
    Don't forget - you can multi vote with different browsers ! ;)

    Just clear your cache if you want to multi vote
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • davmaggs wrote:
    I do object to the Ryanair approach to public revenue raising.

    I used to agree with this, but in the current economic climate I think that councils are right to raise funds somehow & if your buying a property that does not have parking and you need to buy a permit then you know that when you purchase/rent the property.

    By the way I'm not picking on you as I used to think this way myself but the world is in a [email protected]@t state financially and we all need to pay (even though we don't like to) to get us out of it. For what its worth I live in an area with permit parking & I have to pay to park by the office but it is cheaper in the long run than paying cash into a machine by the side of the street.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    By the way I'm not picking on you as I used to think this way myself but the world is in a [email protected]@t state financially and we all need to pay (even though we don't like to) to get us out of it.
    You're planning to solve the financial crisis by increasing taxation (and indirectly increasing number of public workers?)
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    Here we go, missing 71 car parking spots. http://planning.walthamforest.gov.uk/Ge ... I=PLANNING
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    See from other threads about my views on how much financial trouble we are in.

    However, firstly it is illegal for councils to use parking revenue as a source of income. We all know that they do, but let's say the law is changed, then I really do worry about corruption of the system. What I mean by this is two-fold; firstly raise revenue openly and via taxation or service income and not by tricks so it is accountable and we have quality of life, and secondly if the agency making money also sets the laws then they have a direct incentive to game rules against people to make them fail. It starts getting corrupt very quickly.
  • jds_1981 wrote:
    By the way I'm not picking on you as I used to think this way myself but the world is in a [email protected]@t state financially and we all need to pay (even though we don't like to) to get us out of it.
    You're planning to solve the financial crisis by increasing taxation (and indirectly increasing number of public workers?)

    No I'm not a politician and don't pretend to be either. Whilst I do not like paying to park (we have just lost 2000 free parking spaces) & do feel that I am worse off. But in simple terms councils do have to raise their £'s and cut spending sensibly at the same time. If by increasing public parking charges and this encourages those who drive to ride their bikes then this is a good thing as they pay the same car tax, use the road less so less road wear, increase their own fitness which is no bad thing either.

    Nobody likes paying more money for anything but we are in a [email protected]@t state financially and its a simple equation of incoming funds Vrs spending.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    These are residents parking though. The cars will be there whether or not you have to pay for a permit.
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    davmaggs wrote:
    However, firstly it is illegal for councils to use parking revenue as a source of income. We all know that they do, but let's say the law is changed, then I really do worry about corruption of the system.
    Sometimes I wonder that, given the (near) complete absence of parking & driving enforcement, wouldn't it be an idea to have independent enforcement officials on commission? Write up the fines and keep X% of the take. I'd bet the ASLs would be free from cars within a week :)
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    My favourite thing about the original article (apart from all the thumbs up votes you guys have given my comment) is the photo at the top which shows a line of stationary traffic with a lone cyclist filtering through it. It's basically the entire issue summed up in a single image!
  • jds_1981 wrote:
    Here we go, missing 71 car parking spots. http://planning.walthamforest.gov.uk/Ge ... I=PLANNING


    Not sure I get what you mean?

    The link is for planning permission for a building works so presume a new mixed used building(s) which if people are buying or renting in this new development need to take into account if they do or do not get off road parking included.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    jamesco wrote:
    davmaggs wrote:
    However, firstly it is illegal for councils to use parking revenue as a source of income. We all know that they do, but let's say the law is changed, then I really do worry about corruption of the system.
    Sometimes I wonder that, given the (near) complete absence of parking & driving enforcement, wouldn't it be an idea to have independent enforcement officials on commission? Write up the fines and keep X% of the take. I'd bet the ASLs would be free from cars within a week :)

    That would be very bad, you do not want to stop people being fined if you are in that business otherwise your earnings model breaks. Instead you set the lights to change quick so that people get caught in the ASL, perhaps let the paint fade or perhaps close lanes or slip roads to force cars to join at the ASL point. TfL has several illegal box junctions with special exemption that earn year after year, they certainly aren't fixing them.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,787 Lives Here
    davmaggs wrote:
    jds_1981 wrote:
    Near to where I live there's a proposal for lots of new flats, unfortunately they're not going to provide as many car parking spaces as flats. Therefore I suspect the cars will start being parked in the surrounding streets, local residents will get annoyed and the council will try again to get parking permits introduced (they were rejected by residents previously), probably successfully. This will then lead me to tarmac over my front garden. :S

    Creating an artificial shortage is actually a win for the council. Now they have a way to get a permit scheme in, more people in the same space to buy actual permits when they are being sold and a shortage of physical room which guarantees revenue from fines. Plus they now get to fine visitors to those same flats or your house too.

    I should add I don't support tarmacing over the nation either, I do object to the Ryanair approach to public revenue raising.
    Kingston Council tried to get residnts parking round my place several times before they finally got their way. The one that finally won it for them was the petition with a letter saying "We've given the go ahead for a large leisure complex near you with no provision for parking so people will park in your road." Strangely the residents then went for permit parking. Most of them didn't work out that people go to the cinema and restaurants evenings and weekends when the residents parking isn't in effect.
  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    jds_1981 wrote:
    By the way I'm not picking on you as I used to think this way myself but the world is in a [email protected]@t state financially and we all need to pay (even though we don't like to) to get us out of it.
    You're planning to solve the financial crisis by increasing taxation (and indirectly increasing number of public workers?)

    No I'm not a politician and don't pretend to be either. Whilst I do not like paying to park (we have just lost 2000 free parking spaces) & do feel that I am worse off. But in simple terms councils do have to raise their £'s and cut spending sensibly at the same time. If by increasing public parking charges and this encourages those who drive to ride their bikes then this is a good thing as they pay the same car tax, use the road less so less road wear, increase their own fitness which is no bad thing either.

    Nobody likes paying more money for anything but we are in a [email protected]@t state financially and its a simple equation of incoming funds Vrs spending.

    But it makes no sense from an economic point of view, if there is not free parking then consumers simply go to the out of town shopping centers where there is, meaning town center businesses close and the rates and rental income for the council goes down
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