Three topics today.
Firstly a new scheme is announced as the first of the TCF projects, this has come totally out of the blue as it is entirely in Dorset Council area, not BCP area, was a Sustrans Activation project initially and since passed to D.C and was already in progress outside of TCF. So designs will have been in progress for many months. In July 2019 I attended the stakeholder consultation and looked at the initial plans, there were people present not keen on the ideas, and several including me who were. it could be that this is part of S5 Route? Poole to Ferndown and will be added to that section, for which we have no knowledge of yet apart from offering advice on the beginnings of at Ringwood road.
For context, this links a section of the Castleman Trailway which runs all the way from Poole to Ringwood and is part of the old Brockenhust to Dorchester Somerset and Dorset line. Ive been ‘selling’ it to people as part of my Sustrans Employ since July 2019, simply as a length of off road leisure/ commute route this long is to be celebrated. Even if a small proportion of the people queuing up Oakley Hill every day in the cars at peak time could be persauded to use it for travel between Wimborne and Broadstone/ Poole Merley would be a better place to be. If you travelled up from Poole and wanted to go beyond Wimborne, this scheme takes out using the double roundabout at end of East St/ Leigh road and gives an alternate way. Coming from Poole or Broadstone traffic- free and using the crossing after the foot/ cycle bridge at the Canford Bridge, you go down an alley and through some back streets on signed N25 route past the recycling centre and Cobham onto Brook road – thats where this new scheme starts eastwards to Canford Bottom. You use Old Ham Lane under the A31 to pass Little Canford there, going through Canford Bottom on shared tracks and shortly after back onto the gravel track right past Uddens, West Moors, Moors Valley and then finally to Ringwood. This links well with other work in the area and upcoming Ferndown work too.
Ive been assured that the work is going to be set into 3 parts as its a long route, starting East end and moving to the most difficult at Brook Road end, engineers work on the easiest sections first, who wouldnt, there is adequate space East which narrows down as you go towards town centre. Many sections have existing greenswards that need preserving or putting back in such a wide space if it is not to become a sea of tarmac. The whole thing will make a great addition and we are pleased to support it, Sustrans 2018 review of the NCN found the priorities, – and the offroad routes that are their flagships (Tarka trail, Granite way etc) are main development now. If the Castleman was made into a tarmaced track along its entire length, with lighting and easy accessibility it would provide the sort of long distance route that is seen everywhere throughout Europe. We believe that Engagement H.Q are to be used as consultation managers and hope the plans appear soon too on DC website, BCP are also due to announce a new consultation platform perhaps this will be it too? Listening to what people say through actual consultation not just social media noise is essential. Note- there will be 2 new foot/ bike crossing over the Leigh road, and there may be traffic lighted junctions at the new estate builds, much to be finalised.
Design pics, they are always prospective, as we always find. There are photos here of the Castle Lane West floating bus stops which are better design, hope the actual plans are released soon, some of these could be given more attention, location of dropped kerbs and sections of change between shared / protected tracks need good design.
We have requested the Engineers plans from Dorset Council officers.
How the road is now, an old trunk road before the Wimborne By pass was built, wide spaces with greenswards that need preserving, a lot easier prospect than many of the other upcoming TCF treatments.
Second up Lansdowne project has appeared again yesterday, we took several Forum members along to talk to Project manager in 2018 during the last BCP administration, and had last contact in March 2019 with Project manager, more than a year ago and before UA took leadership of the Council. No further contact or consultation since then. Several stages later this scheme to have been significantly watered down from its purpose- which was to make the locality a destination of its own. Original ideas were aimed to create workspaces, student centred learning environments and a vastly different street scape made for Urban life. Bus and cycle priority to bring people to the doors of the locations they worked, shopped and studied at. Not continuation of the the Holdenhurst road as a through main road for cars, often the first thing that visitors see when they have caught the train to Bournemouth, and a long term unpleasant environment. Examples of consultation document below, whole document below on the link.
Photos here of the Original plans-
The pictures above show places imagined for people, not roads for moving cars through. In 2019 we did a consultation of 125 people and asked them what bike routes would be of the sort that would convert all those latent active travellers to make local journeys by bike and foot. Protection is the key, and the results are here, recent press photo of design shows the exact opposite, with bikes mixing in the traffic stream of busy bus routes. You can see the original designs here which may be better than photo conversions. Lansdowne-Consultation
Update 11th November. New paper for consideration, watching the Live stream BCP broadcast nothing was mentioned about the Meyrick road filter, of great benefit to College students and much made of the potential modelling that showed a 7 minute addition to traffic timing through the area with potential filtering on Holdenhurst road. Its impossible to talk about ‘Public Realm’ improvements when what was to be pedestrianized is still going to be through route for all motors. Bus companies have had a large impact on the evolution of this scheme, and its continuation as a through route- this is to be expected and we would just like to mention the example of Exeter cathedral city. Exeter has an entirely pedestrian high st, of much larger scale than Holdenhurst road- the idea that adding 7 minutes to traffic timings in the area once again illustrates how the models used to predict traffic times dont work in any way other than to continue use of all roads as through routes. The full designs are here if you want to see these words clarified. Keep submitting emails by all means.
This scheme isnt subject to same rules as TCF schemes, its LEP funds, and only TRO compliant, therefore cant be regarded as not fulfilling LTN 1/20 regulations. Contribute by email to (quoting reference P9 2020) to email@example.com
WSP are the firm contracted by BCP to provide these designs, interesting to note they were also on the same panel that helped provide the government with information for LTN 1/20. If Cllrs had perhaps had more chance to see the plans and ideas in longer term, aligned with todays standards of designing for cycleways they may be as informed as campaigners are, and we have contacted them all soon with up to date information. We would have to say this scheme design seems very last minute and completely inadequate to meet the aims of the project, and will be supporting that stance in further communications. Discontinuous bikeways, that have nothing leading in or out of them wont be used by the distance cyclist. Its been proven repeatedly elsewhere that without continuity schemes will fail to make any modeshift conversion, and only the keenest bravest cyclists will carry on using that route. Additionally, mixing humans with buses should be avoided, and expecting that drivers will slow down for raised tables to allow pedestrians to cross is going to be a fantasy. Whilst accepting this Scheme has been delayed by COVID era holdups, we would have to say its very much a half measure outcome and will do very little or nothing to convert peoples transport choices to Active Travel
So two new schemes, two totally different designs standards. Very interesting.
By the way did you know Cambridge was the first Council where planning officers recently refused designs for a scheme on the basis that it wasnt according to LTN1/20 regulations. Without significant review this scheme dosent even make it on to a list of schemes designed to encourage and facilitate the type of transport mode shift that is now the directive of Local Authorities. Did you also know DFT recently replied to a petition of over 23, 000 people which were protesting against further measures made for Emergency Active Travel with these words. There are bigger issues to confront relating to LTNs like pollution, inactivity and long term change more than whether or not individuals are permitted to park their cars on public streets.
Third. LTN update. We have been handed this FOI reply from BCP about the Leven Avenue / Glenfurness LTN.
Our BHAT correspondents have shared this as residents of that street, look at the figures and read the results below. 39 Objections, compare that to the petition to DFT above with 23, 000 signatures- which has been rejected by the Government as personal preferences do not outweigh the serious challenges that face us all on climate, congestion and pollution caused by motor vehicles, cycle campaigning is climate campaigning at the same time.
- The number of formal letters (both email and written) supporting and objecting to ETRO 13 – In terms of formal correspondence there have been 39 objections and 19 messages of support.
- The results of the survey for ETRO/13 including a breakdown of the results for each question
39 Objections in a ward of over 9500 people Thats 0.41% , rather an insignificant number to make a decision on wouldnt you agree?
Reading the above data it shows that the 33% thats a third of all replies are from people over 65 years old. It also shows that the views towards the changes of the LTN would overwhelmingly make them ‘no change’ to any of their movements, if the model for consultation just shows that a third of the responses are from people that want no changes, does that meet the needs of the 66% of the rest that fall within the age category that might have young children, or actually be open to changes?
The other EATF change that is due to be removed at Keyhole Bridge has recieved lots of correspondence. Poole park should remain that, a destination not a through route and the filtering of the bridge or closure of park at Pier Gates would ensure that. Replies from a single Councillor to many emails are shown below, a single answer that shows no lead in observing other essential priorities of BCP council.
“1. The bridge is too narrow for anyone to pass others safely at a socially acceptable distance and therefore does not meet ETRO requirements;
2. It is part of the public highway and NOT part of Poole Park;
3. Since its closure to traffic there have been numerous incidents and even collisions between cyclists and pedestrians and also, reportedly, between cyclists and cyclists.
4. There are other cycle and pedestrian routes from Whitecliff to Poole, ie across Whitecliff and Baiter close to the water’s edge and also along both sides the railway line, should people choose to use them.
5. The Council has been overwhelmed with demands to return the bridge to its previous status when all users had to pause and then proceed carefully and safely, having determined the way to be clear.
6. I agree the Park should be a destination rather than just a through route, and this also applies to inconsiderate cyclists as well as motorists. However, that is a matter for the general management of the Park, and not for highways.
I therefore support the reopening of this bridge to traffic.”
This says nothing more than all roads are roads that everyone should be able to drive over, without restriction. Great outlook from 1950, however not appropriate to the state of the roads in 2020, and definately not one that could preserve the park as a jewel of Poole residents.
As always, we seek to add to and see the results of consultations- which are still open. If Portfolio Holders or Officers are reading this- remember the BHAT campaign is never a single issue campaign on transport mode- it has far more interests and experience to share with those that want to communicate. We have had much longer term involvement so the more collaborative officers can be the better outcomes for all residents of BH Area. As every TCF scheme being announced recieves opposition all over social media and the press, BCP should be approaching those people who are in favour of the changes as allies- in this essential culture change.
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