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Westbrook/Asda traffic lights

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Originally posted by legion:

Pete,

 

you keep saying that the lane was put in as an addition to the existing lane..

 

That is because it is a simple statement of fact.

 

You do know no road widening occured for this, and the bus lane was simply "stolen" from the existing lane, which while maybe having no seperation markings that I remember (althgough they could have been there)...has been and was used as 2 lanes for many many years.

 

There were no separation markings because the road was not wide enough. Basically it was a continuation of the currently blocked off section. When Lythgoes Lane was originally upgraded for the A49 to by-pass the town centre this was also constructed as with a single lane in each direction.

 

The lanes were much wider than the current ones, but there was only one in each direction. The widening occured on the stretch occupied by the bus lane past the new store, as you can see from the newly constructed pavement on that stretch

 

 

one thing I do remember was the funeral/wedding cars using this area, and Im sure when these events was not happening cars used it freely as a lane.

 

so can you stop saying that.

On the other hand I remember the seeing the actual construction works. The cycle campaign was very concerned about the the new Tesco and so we were following the construction of the junction in detail. For example, we tried (unsuccesfully) to get the dangerous cycle lanes removed. I wrote on behalf of the cycle campaign supporting the traffic order creating the bus lane, and took a great interest in the construction. So I think my recollection of events is rather more likely to be accurate than your childhood memories.

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Originally posted by Pete Owens:

I have no doubt that you show just as much disregard of the law and contempt for the needs of other road users when you drive your car. It is not the vehicle being driven that causes these things, but the attitude of the driver - whatever vehicle they happen to be using at the time.

Oh no no no no. How man drivers do you know routinely drive up the pavement when it suits and on the road when it doesn't? Or use pedestrian crossings to cross on wheel rather than use the road? How many drivers go through red lights as soon as there is no cross traffic?

 

Far too many cyclists seem to have no idea of the highway code, or think it doesn't apply to them.

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I have to agree with FS on this. See it everyday in central Manchester taking no notice of road markigns and lights and dicing with trams and traffic. One guy every day rides the wrong way down a one way street. Sorry but if he gets killed then i'll be there to back up the driver.

 

But back to the thread. When are they going to chaneg this junction. As it currently satnds it apepars agreed (even by PO??) that it is an abomination.

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Originally posted by fatshaft:

Originally posted by Pete Owens:

I have no doubt that you show just as much disregard of the law and contempt for the needs of other road users when you drive your car. It is not the vehicle being driven that causes these things, but the attitude of the driver - whatever vehicle they happen to be using at the time.

Oh no no no no.

How man drivers do you know routinely drive up the pavement when it suits and on the road when it doesn't?

 

Like BazJ you mean?

 

Just look outside any school gate, residential street, cash point .... Yes, they drive there in order to park rather than to make progress, but the offence is the same.

 

Or use pedestrian crossings to cross on wheel rather than use the road?

Only because in most cases this would be physically impossible, and not gain any advantage.

 

How many drivers go through red lights as soon as there is no cross traffic?

Look at any set of lights and observe how many will accelarate rather than brake when they see the lights change. Count the number that go through after it changes to red. Look at how many will illegaly encroach advanced stop lines for cyclists.

 

Far too many cyclists seem to have no idea of the highway code, or think it doesn't apply to them.

Just the same as drivers then. There is nothing inherent in holding a steering wheel that confers virtue on a person.

 

"Cyclists" and "Drivers" are not two separate species, but people who happen to be using a particular mode of transport at that time. most people are law abiding but some are impatient and will flout the rules when it suits them, but there it is absurd to suggest that those individuls are going to be more or less respectful of the law just because vehicle they happen to be using at the time.

 

The rules they tend to break will be different due to the different characteristics of their vehicles and the nature of the advantages they seek to gain. For example, when cycling, people tend to rigourously obey speed limits. This is not because sitting on a saddle has turned them into model citizens, but because of their physical capability.

 

There is a sad tendency in human nature to identify ourselves with "tribes" of similar people. We then tend to excuse the behaviour of those within our chosen group while amplifying the faults of those outside. We see this with race, religion, football supporters and so on.

 

Whenever there is a debate on transport it usually degenerates when some participant sees themself as a "driver" rather than as a "person" and starts to slag off other classes of road user. If we are to get anywhere, then we need to balance the needs of all road users, and that requires a degree of respect for the needs of others.

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Originally posted by Adrian:

I have to agree with FS on this. See it everyday in central Manchester taking no notice of road markigns and lights and dicing with trams and traffic.

Where as a speeding car is something so rare that you haven't witnessed a single occurence in the last month ... and as for those rumours that people might be doing things such as driving while using mobile phones you have never witnessed at all.

 

When you last rode a bicycle did it bring out an irresistable lawless urge in you? Do you think those you saw in Manchester are any more likely to stick to the rules when they drive their cars?

 

But back to the thread. When are they going to chaneg this junction. As it currently satnds it apepars agreed (even by PO??) that it is an abomination.

No - I still see it as an overall improvement, which balances the needs of all road users rather than treats car drivers preferentially to the exclusion of everybody else. less than optimum for all users maybe - an abonination certainly not.

 

True, it seems to have been poorly designed (I would normally have expected a traffic light controlled junction to have greater capacity than a roundabout). There should be some potential gain by tweeking the phasing of the cycles - if that fails then some right turns could be banned - after all it is rather less of an imposition to ask a driver to detour to the next roundabout than expect pedestrians to walk that distance - as some on this thread rather glibly suggested.

 

As for another major reconstruction. I can see ways it could be better designed for all users - pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers. However, I don't think it would rank as a high priority for where the council should spend our money.

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i like the use of the word balance. Hundreds of cars as opposed to a handful of bikes/pedestrians (i'm a local resident and have seen this area for more than the odd afternoon).

 

Thats balanced is it?

 

As for the car - cyclist comparisons, the difference is a driver can be banned, fined etc if caught. A cyclist doesnt. No tax no insurance and can cause a multi car pile up and walk away scot free. The proportion of law abiding cylists as opposed to cars is much lower.

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Originally posted by Adrian:

i like the use of the word balance. Hundreds of cars as opposed to a handful of bikes/pedestrians.

And hasn't it ever occurred you that the reason that so few people walk in your nick of the woods is the systematic anti-pedestrian bias that has governed the design of the area. We are not even talking about a design that treats pedestrians preferentially here - merely one that accomodates them.

 

You often point out that the reason people drive so much is that there is no practical alternative. Well now the good folk of Ladywood Road do have a practical alternative when they want to visit their local shops/school/cinema.

 

And remember when you next advocate spending resourses on railways that rail users are an even smaller minority than pedestrians or cyclists.

 

Also, the design of the junction was not subject to cycle audit, and has not included any cycle-freindly design principles - though the fact that a roundabout has been replaced by a set of traffic lights does make it safer for cyclists this is a matter of chance rather than an aim of the scheme.

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Originally posted by BazJ:

Anyway on another note, you seemed very keen to pick out some of my points and highlight them and answer them; however you missed out the point about the Walton road and the reduction of a dual carriageway to a single lane to cater for cyclists who never actually seem to be using it.... how can that be justified?

I was going through the list - then I got to your anti-cycling rant and realised that there was not really much point in explaining any more as your motivation appears to be resentment at other road users, rather than any rational assesment of the merits of particular schemes. Also Walton Road seems a bit far off topic(though I assume you mean Chester Road). A rare example of a cycle lane in the town that is actually of benefit to cyclists.

 

Anyway, since I was instrumental in getting it installed here goes. That stretch of road used to be particularly nasty (for drivers as well as cyclists), with tight blind left hand bends very close to a wall, which was frequently demolished.

 

When we first proposed the idea to the council

(see http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/report/chester-road/chester-road.htm)

their first reaction was to reject it out of hand. "We can't possibly do that it would cause congestion". Fortunately the lane was coned off at the time for hedge trimming so I could prove conclusively that the traffic was free flowing.

 

Their next tack was the public consultation of the scheme - which involved works along the whole of Chester Road. Mostly it consisted of the usual vague questions, but there was one (and only one) specific question with a yes/no answer box. "Do you approve of the proposal to convert one lane of the dual carriageway to a cycle lane". The public response was overhelmingly "yes", much to the surpise of the council officers.

 

The implementation was mostly up to standard for once apart from one rather strange feature:

http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month/April2004.htm

which was inserted into the design after the plans displayed during consultation.

 

The scheme allowed the general traffic lane to be wider with gentler bends, so the road is now improved for drivers as well as cyclists. though it is a pity they didn't take the opportunity to use the extra space to install a pavement.

 

What is your problem with it - other than the fact that it exists?

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Originally posted by Pete Owens:I was going through the list - then I got to your anti-cycling rant and realised that there was not really much point in explaining any more as your motivation appears to be resentment at other road users, rather than any rational assesment of the merits of particular schemes.

Pete, sadly that is my view of you too. What started out as a perfectly justified complaint about the abomination at Westbrook, has become a pro-cycling at the expense of all others and common sense rant from you.

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Originally posted by Pete Owens:

Originally posted by fatshaft:

 

 

How many drivers go through red lights as soon as there is no cross traffic?

Look at any set of lights and observe how many will accelarate rather than brake when they see the lights change. Count the number that go through after it changes to red. Look at how many will illegaly encroach advanced stop lines for cyclists.

 

Originally posted by fatshaft:

Far too many cyclists seem to have no idea of the highway code, or think it doesn't apply to them.

Originally posted by Pete Owens:

Just the same as drivers then. There is nothing inherent in holding a steering wheel that confers virtue on a person.

 

Let's look at a clear indication of your bias. First of all, FYI, I am also a cyclist, but let's discuss this point again.

 

A large majority of cyclists will completely ignore a set of traffic lights or use pedestrian crossings as their private cycle lane. I am a cyclist, I don't do that, but I am c;learly in the minority. I have hardly never seen a driver go through a red light at the instant cross traffic has cleared just becuase they could. So clearly it is not a case of the person, but the mode of transport they are using that makes them feel they can do this. And a clear red light jump in general is very unusual, so again the percentage who do this is minute compared to cyclists who do this almost at will it seems. Why? Probably as previously mentioned, because there would be no real sanction, you can't lose your license, so they don't care, yes the road is clear, but that doesn't mean you can crash threough the lights anymore than a car can!

 

Encroaching over a part of the cycle box at the front of junctions, compared with red light ignorers is a ridiculous analogy by anyones values, and again isn't something that happens willy nilly.

 

Yes a lot of drivers are ignorant of the highway code, but few blatantly flaunt it when they know it's wrong, with the obvious exception of speeding.

 

It appears however that cyclists either do not know the highway code at all (after all there is no competency test is there?), or they feel they are above it.

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The area around westbrook , old hall etc has plenty of paths etc cutting through housign estates etc and have for many many years. Most of them are used (myslef included) regularly.

 

However this roundabout is a major pinch point being the only north to south route other than winwick road or whittle hall. This was exacerbated when Burtonwood road was closed off.

 

Its all well and good there being pedestrian access. There already is in the shape of a big huge red bridge. Also as ha sbeen mentioned, some pedestrian facilites with the roundabout in situ would have worked (see crossing for Old hall school). Most journeys through this point are not journeys in any event that coudl eb replaced by bikes and pedestrians.

 

This new set of lights has been universally condemned because it hasnt created a balance. Far from it, it has created congestion which never existed before. This is wholly contrary to the LTP and specifically WBC were criticised for not doing enough to stop congestion.

 

Sorry but you are in a very small minority on this point.

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As for Walton Drag, WHY would anyone say NO to making one lane for cyclists, when no doubt it doesn't effect them?

Was traffic stopped and people asked that used it? :confused:

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Originally posted by fatshaft:

What started out as a perfectly justified complaint about the abomination at Westbrook, has become a pro-cycling at the expense of all others and common sense rant from you.

In what way?

 

The new junction does not have any facilities, either on or off road to assist cyclists, nor has it been designed with any sensitivity to the needs of cyclists. Nor has it been subject to cycle audit. Nor was it advocated by cyclists. (Indeed it now seems that the initial motivation for the change was to enhance vehicle capacity). My arguments in support of the juction have been entirely in terms of the needs of pedestrians.

 

I have not claimed that it has not caused problems, and I have stated that I think it was badly designed. My issue is with those on this forum who think that their own journey is so much more important than everybody elses that the needs of pedestrians should simply be ignored.

 

Cycling only came up because I was asked what the cycling input was - at which point you made a post highlighting some of our proposals, without at any point explaining what your issue was with them, along with an intemperate rant directed at the behaviour of cyclists.

 

You will note, that unlike some on this forum, I do not make generalisations or slag off other road users simply on the basis of their choice of vehicle. Nor do I seek to justify illegal behaviour on behalf of those using particular forms of transport. I do not claim that people are any more or less law abiding depending on what vehicle they drive.

 

When you describe your pavement cycling I am just as critical of you as I am of others who moan at being victimised by being caught speeding, but that criticism is directed at your individual behaviours - not generalised to steriotype a whole group of road users.

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Originally posted by Pete Owens:

 

I have not claimed that it has not caused problems, and I have stated that I think it was badly designed. My issue is with those on this forum who think that their own journey is so much more important than everybody elses that the needs of pedestrians should simply be ignored.

 

I don't think anyone said anything of the sort, in fact I was the first one to ask why there hadn't been pedestrian crossings erected at the approaches to the roundabout. It is the simplest alteration, and the most effective in meeting the needs of all users. But hey.....crack on.

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Originally posted by Pete Owens:

Cycling only came up because I was asked what the cycling input was - at which point you made a post highlighting some of our proposals, without at any point explaining what your issue was with them.........

 

No I didn't, but why let the facts get in the way......

 

Originally posted by Pete Owens:

.......along with an intemperate rant directed at the behaviour of cyclists.

 

I didn't rant. I did make a fair point that the MAJORITY of cyclists blatantly flout the law, in particular at traffic lights. You countered that it was the person not the mode of propulsion that was to blame. Patently that is nonsense, unless these same road users do not drive at all. Otherwise most would by now have been killed at a set of traffic lights.

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When did anyone see a group of the Lycra boys riding in single file?

 

This problem seems to be spreading.

Stockton Heath got it a few years back, which slows the flow of traffic. Now Lousher's Lane junction with the causeway has continuous tailbacks due to someone altering the timing down to 6 seconds and that allows only 3 cars out. That is a busy road, and someone needs to get their act together. :x

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Originally posted by Peter:

[QB] When did anyone see a group of the Lycra boys riding in single file?

 

Just so it's clear, when I cycle I'm not a lycra boy

:spin:

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Judging by today's lead story the council have been following this thread.

Hopefully the problems will soon be resolved.

Personally I believe fewer traffic lights = less traffic congestion.

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"However, it is clear that there are delays at certain times and efforts are being intensified to identify the exact triggers to this and address the problems."

 

Hmmmm that will be the traffic lights perhaps Phil??

 

Never realised they employed real life rocket scientists in the council!

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Grid locks are being formed at junctions (lights or no lights) and even where they are yellow hatched; because bird brains insist on entering the junction, irrespective of whether their exit is clear. :roll: Result, they block traffic - EG: Pinners Brow. :o:x

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Originally posted by BazJ:

"However, it is clear that there are delays at certain times and efforts are being intensified to identify the exact triggers to this and address the problems."

 

Hmmmm that will be the traffic lights perhaps Phil??

 

Never realised they employed real life rocket scientists in the council!

Incredible isn't it?

 

It appears that the survey team that were there a couple of weekends ago have had some effect. Timings appear to be changed now, so that there queues from the south have been greatly reduced.

 

Mind you, now traffic queues back under the red bridge on Callands side now, wonder how long it will take them to work that one out?

 

And finally, this Sunday, I saw 4 pedestrians waiting to cross, the first I've seen on any of my drive-bys.

 

Never have so many given so much for so few :roll:

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First post so please be gentle!

 

These lights are just a joke.

 

My family and I were travelling through and have never seen traffic like this ever.

 

Queues on all sides and no pedestrians.. it was an absoloute joke - never have I had to wait for this amount of time to pass this area in warrington.

 

As residents of Warrington, surely something needs to be done about this.

 

Is there a contact in the council to complain about this? the team responsible for this should all be sacked and does nothing more than reinforce peoples perceptions of how ignorant, stupid and idioctic councils can be.

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