“I walk like a viper, through these suburban streets. ”
‘Deacon Blues’, Steely Dan
You have heard about Poole Old Town and Quay being closed to through traffic as part of the BCP Emergency Measures for Active Travel in COVID. Great news, this work will greatly improve life for people in and around that area. Distance from multi-story car park must be all of 750 metres from its furthest point, like so many town centres are discovering the benefits will be multiple. Last week our Council was also awarded the full amount of its application to Emergency Active Travel Fund,(see below slide) social media appeared about this from places around the country, making out it was like having a bet on a horse as to whether or not you would win, some did, some didnt and thankfully ours did.
This fund described above, was first announced May 9th, in lockdown. This post today is called crunchtime for the following reasons, U.K now isnt in Lockdown, as much as it ever was. Roads despite whatever data you may find to the contrary, are as they were before- vile. U.K population has already forgotten about any of the risks of COVID, demonstrated by last weeks 500,000 visitors to Bournemouths beaches in one day. Along with that now changes made by Councils on roads are going to be seen as irrelevant by the public. Its Crunchtime, either sensibility will prevail or the anti-trolls will create so much noise that Councils and their Cllrs will back down to vocal pressure and measures will get installed and removed. This is happening, In Manchester, Tory Cllrs force their own Council to remove a cycleway.
Lets just remind ourselves of something. Grant Shapps, the Transport Minister of a Tory Government announces on May 09th changes to the roads to be made for walking and cycling, with funding. Regional Councils have different political constitutions, ours a coalition of different parties. Each Council has Ward Councillors that vote on whole Council decisions whether or not in support.
Tory Cllrs are stopping the implementation of their own Political parties agenda.
Nearer in Southampton- Royston Smith objects to Southampton Councils efforts. In the background is the public, given to adding comments on social media and to consultations, and behind them are the Officers who are designing road schemes constantly to make improvements.
If youre actually engaged in this eras developments, you will have read all of the posts on this blog, if its your first visit, I suggest you read them all first. Channels are now open for feeding back to BCP, the sole reason of me writing this today is to initiate positive input from people who have a genuine interest in our streets being made better for Active Travellers, and not the gridlocked, polluted, dead queuing car streams that they can be. Please contribute to consultations, or email in support of measures being made now.
So, heres the Poole Quay one, or email to Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org putting ‘ETRO/1’ as the subject heading, more ETRO’s to come soon because every single one has to now go through this process, and I’m asking you to get involved- more than clicking like, YOU and the networks you are involved with will have to support BCP NOW, because if we dont- the louder voices of anti change will prevail. Youre kids will thank you, so write personally about how streets that prioritise people over cars are the future, please, do it.
Poole June 27th 2020
This is who youre doing it for, locals and visitors to our beautiful centre parks by sea.
My fear. I have written to engineers and warned them about this behaviour below. If you went to Sandbanks road last week youll have seen hundreds of pavement parkers- the fine for pavement parking isnt any deterrant to people any more.
Thankyou to all photo providers, Especially Dan Bateman today. There is a new Twitter outlet now @bhactivetravel Give us a follow there for updates, Good Luck to Cllr Hadley presenting to the National Active Travel Forum ‘Ideas with Beers’ tommorrow.
Next week- Update on TCF.
This COVID work is just an 8 week block of work, theres 3 years of major changes to roads upcoming. BHAT have been involved with this since the start.