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Warrington Borough Council Local Elections 2021


Gary
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Apart from your link not working Gary, I was happy to see that the Independents took all three seats in Penketh & Cuerdley.

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I thought it a bit odd too, normally the political types get all excited when it comes to elections but this time it was all very quiet. The only person I’d vote for didn’t stand for election so the wife and myself both voted for the conservatives on the basis that they seem to have made a good job of dealing with the immediate virus issue whereas labour seemed more obsesses about wallpaper.

I know there’s a big difference between local and national politics, but our vote was just a way of saying well done to one political party and giving a big thumbs down the other. Had it not been for the virus, our votes as floating voters could well have been different.  

 

Bill 😊

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It is definitely a good thing that there is a greater range of voices to be represented on the committees. However I deeply resent the use of all out elections and would value a return of election by thirds and also favour dumping the cabinet system and returning to the previous committee arrangements. It is the cabinet system which promotes the closed decision taking which is at the root of the most unpopular policies such as the bad investments and the local plan. Election by thirds would give a faster opportunity for the electorate to show their displeasure and stop things going too far.

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During the leafleting campaign on the run up to the local elections I noted that the number one issue from the conservative candidate was to introduce speed bumps onto the A57 Manchester Road. What a big mistake, it put me off and I reckon it would have done for a lot of others that use that main road daily.

I drive up and down Manchester Road almost every day and you can never go any faster than the slowest car on the road so overall the average speed along there is well below the limits and that would have been shown to be the case if any proper testing had been carried out. Sure you get the occasional biker or boy racer that floors it down the dual carriageway section when it’s quiet but it doesn’t make sense to penalise everyone else for the actions of a minority.

 

Bill 😊

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It’s not specifically speed bumps I have the issue with but more the fact that the root cause of the problem is not being addressed and it’s the same thing with so many of the things’ people would like to see changed.

Virtually all of our local issues are the result of a lack of enforcement by the police and the courts and rather than address these head on, our politicians look for ways they can pacify the public and create a photo opportunity at the same time. That’s the way we’ve always done it so I suppose I can’t really blame them for taking the easy option.

We need to think differently, use technology and move forward instead of the same old same old. For example on the speeding issue, we have enough technical know how these days to build intelligent systems to identify the people that cause the problem and not penalize an otherwise safe driver that accidentally exceeds the limit. But even if we could develop such a fair system, it would only be effective if the offenders were permanently deterred by a hefty fine that they can’t wriggle out of paying and that’d probably require laws being changed.

 

Bill 😊

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We have enough technology to fit a device that will limit the cars top speed to the specific speed limit in that area.

it it is a twenty zone then when the car passes a certain point it will be limited to twenty even if you have four people pushing it as well.

The  problem lies in making cars that will go from 0 - 60mph in three feet and with a top speed approaching that of a fighter plane and then expecting people to stick to a certain speed.

enforcement of of fences is even more difficult to address than herding kittens. hefty fine are ok if thy are given to people who will genuinely learn from their errors and change. but pointless when you have somebody who is a serial offender, for example the drink driver who despite having been caught several times and has no license etc but will still climb into a car when "drunk" and drive it.

Fixed penalty fines aren't really fixed if there is an option to pay less by paying early.

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10 hours ago, Evil Sid said:

We have enough technology to fit a device that will limit the cars top speed to the specific speed limit in that area.

it it is a twenty zone then when the car passes a certain point it will be limited to twenty even if you have four people pushing it as well.

The  problem lies in making cars that will go from 0 - 60mph in three feet and with a top speed approaching that of a fighter plane and then expecting people to stick to a certain speed.

enforcement of of fences is even more difficult to address than herding kittens. hefty fine are ok if thy are given to people who will genuinely learn from their errors and change. but pointless when you have somebody who is a serial offender, for example the drink driver who despite having been caught several times and has no license etc but will still climb into a car when "drunk" and drive it.

Fixed penalty fines aren't really fixed if there is an option to pay less by paying early.

The problem with 20 mph speed limits is actually that there is no actual research that shows they work. The 20s plenty mob produced a TRRL paper or two but they weren't applicable and didn't actually substantiate the claims. The system they introduced was indented to work only when the average speed was already below 24 mph. You get that in double parked streets  The promised reduction in the so called trial was non existent and it was pushed forward by the cycling lobby and just used children's shroud waving to get what the cyclists wanted.

It was and is a singular waste of money and a cyclist's hoax to boot. When asked last year on R4 whether worked a statistician responded that we would know for years yet!

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The 20-mph thing may have cost a lot but it only takes someone to say “if it saves one child’s life then it’s worth it” and there’s no easy reply to that. I think statistically the 20mph zones have slowed the traffic down slightly and we’ve all become used to them, but it won’t stop accidents from happening.

I don’t agree with Sid’s notion of a device that limits speed by understanding the limits. It’d be possible of course but it’s moving too close to the autonomous vehicle for my liking. And BTW Sid, bear in mind a car that can accelerate quickly from the lights causes less annoyance to others than one that’s too slow. ;) Give all cars the same performance with limited speed and the next thing would be we’d all be wearing the same grey cloths.

But back to the issue of the A57 Manchester Road. 40 mph is IMO a reasonable speed for a major road and that limit’s been in place for decades and has probably been assessed multiple times by safety professionals. Yet a prospective councillor says he will fight for these measures without any sort of evidence that the limits are in any way wrong, and that in my book is just not right.

If the problem is the occasional idiot, then do something that would stop them, and don’t penalize or restrict the ability of the law-abiding general public to go about their business.

 

Bill 😊

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Bill, the “if it saves one child’s life then it’s worth it” argument is what I meant by shroud waving and is despicable as well as absurd.

With regard to the speed limit on the A57 you are correct that the councillor's approach is more than wrong. There is a tool to calculate speed-limits which councils are expected to use. Your prospective councillor is clearly unfit for office since the decision is made based on traffic levels, accident rates and road geometry. What he wants doesn't come into it.

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On 5/11/2021 at 7:40 PM, asperity said:

Apart from your link not working Gary, I was happy to see that the Independents took all three seats in Penketh & Cuerdley.

So much for using the link button on here to try and do it properly - I have now manually added it and it works! ;)

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On 5/11/2021 at 11:26 PM, Confused52 said:

It is definitely a good thing that there is a greater range of voices to be represented on the committees. However I deeply resent the use of all out elections and would value a return of election by thirds and also favour dumping the cabinet system and returning to the previous committee arrangements. It is the cabinet system which promotes the closed decision taking which is at the root of the most unpopular policies such as the bad investments and the local plan. Election by thirds would give a faster opportunity for the electorate to show their displeasure and stop things going too far.

They will all be up for election in three years which gives the opportunity for a clean sweep if that's what people want.

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1 hour ago, Gary said:

So much for using the link button on here to try and do it properly - I have now manually added it and it works! ;)

I actually managed to open it eventually by right-click on the link and "open in new tab", but as you say you've fixed it now 😉

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Quick comment on 20 mph.  I have always believed that people over, the years, have been psychologically conditioned to believe that slow slow is 30 mph, so their brains’  automatically reject a 20 mph sign as an aberration.

 

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I think it's more to do with the set up of cars in general. To go at 30 mph you're in 4th gear (going back to the time when most cars had 4 gears), so to slow to 20 mph you have to drop down to 3rd, out of your comfort zone sort of thing. In the USA I think that they drive more slowly in residential areas because most cars are automatics. That's my perception at any rate.

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I can just about do 30mph in sixth, but the engine wouldn’t be at its most efficient or respond very well if I needed to accelerate so I tend to go just a tad faster if it’s safe to move from this awkward rpm. Some would argue that makes me into some kind of lunatic law-breaking boy racer but it's only what most people do. 10% slower would cause the engine to judder, 10% faster it's smooth as silk.

I think it causes more tension and annoyance when someone constantly drives 3mph below the limit, whereas nobody could complain at 3mph over.

 

Bill 😊

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I know the problem bill. the harley had five gears and in fifth at thirty it was like riding in a rodeo it bucked about that much. The manual recommended that fifth gear was for use at speeds in excess of forty mph. (in saying that it would do thirty in first gear. was very noisy though if you did that but then again that is what harley's are for)

The car is different it is an automatic with a constantly varying transmission. in effect it has either two gears or an infinite number. (the two being forward and backward)

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The only good thing that came about after they filled the roads round here with speed bumps is that it stopped all the driving instructors using it as their preferred area. At one point it was almost every other car was a learner but now there's none.

Since I first posted on this on the 11th, I’ve been up and down Manchester Road every day and constantly checking my speed. At one point, I very nearly got to 40mph for a few seconds but if I was to guess at the overall average it’d probably be about 35mph. Today it was barely 25 for most of the way to the motorway due to a woman at the front of the queue in a small Suzuki other times it’s a bus or something but most times you just can’t go any faster than the slowest vehicle.

Whoever thinks there’s a speeding issue on this road clearly doesn’t drive on it

 

Bill 😊  

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  • 3 weeks later...

FYI... the technology to make cars follow the speed signage already exists and is in some top end cars...

 

I had my S Class written off by a young lady back in June last year (I've got a nice shiny new one now so thanks to her!!) I was given a 69 plate, Audi A8 LWB and when you set the autonomous cruise control to say 60, and you drove into a 30 area, the car would reduce speed accordingly...

 

It won't work with motorbikes though because bike riders are above the law when it comes to speed limits and rarely follow them... like cyclists and red lights....

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Talking of cyclists, I was on the 329 bus (Saint Helens to Warrington) yesterday as it crawled up Hollins Lane following a cyclist labouring up the hill to the red light at the A49 Newton Road. Undeterred, and without losing stroke, he was straight through the red light turning right. Shameless.

By the way Baz, that annoying beastie is still trapped on your computer 😉.

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I’m all in favour of tech that assists and makes things safer but the day my car takes over from me will be the time I start using the bus.

Good to see you back Baz.

 

Bill 😊

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