Friday, 1 August 2008

Still no bollard

The Duke Street rising (not) bollard is still shy: hiding away in its little hole in the ground. There is evidence of investigative work (after more than a month of waiting) with some cobbles having been dug up and replaced by tarmac. But repairs are still awaited. For a couple of days at the start of this week a temporary barrier was moved into place, but that didn't last long and yesterday and today Skinnergate has been full of cars and vans driving through or stopping to shop.

On Monday, July 21st, I sent the following email to Cllr David Lyonette, the Cabinet Member responsible for this matter, copied to three officers, but, of course, I did not receive a reply:

There was some email correspondence between myself and officers last week concerning the broken bollard on Duke Street, which controls access to the Skinnergate pedestrian area. This is due to be mended within the next couple of weeks. However, since last week I have been approached by several retailers and cafe owners from the area to ask if a temporary barrier could be installed.
As the schools break up and kids are in town, and as the weather improves and tables and chairs are being put outside (Arcadia, for example), there is genuine concern that there may be an accident on Skinnergate while so many drivers flout the law and drive through during the day. Pedestrians and cars do not mix well - and kids running around outdoor tables and chairs mix even less well with cars! See for some examples from a ten minute stroll I had down Skinnergate this afternoon."

This afternoon I even saw a white van enter the Pedestrian Heart from Bondgate (which doesn't have a bollard, working or not) and park outside HSBC. The driver strolled into the bank, where I was also headed, carried out his business at the counter, climbed back in his van, negotiated a three-point turn among all the pedestrians and drove back out down Bondgate.

Do these people think pedestrian areas are some sort of outward bound challenge, with points awarded for successfully achieving their target. Some councillors are opposed to cyclists in the Pedestrian Heart: it's selfish, arrogant car drivers they should be worried about.


miketually said...

Policing of traffic offences in the Pedestrian Heart is terrible (and it's pretty bad in the rest of the town).

For years, cars have been turning left into Duke Street from the car park behind Barclays Bank, in order to get into Skinnergate.

Since the PH work went ahead, vehicles repeatedly park on the double yellow lines in the contraflow bike lane in Northgate, which is supposedly only open to buses and bikes. Some delivery vehicles try to get around the double yellow lines by parking on the footpath side of the markings. The Boots delivery wagon parks right across the opening, so cyclists have to cross over onto the pavement to get past - an ambulance trying to access the PH in an emergency wouldn't be able to get in.

Delivery vehicles also regularly park on the double yellows on the bus loop below the steps up to High Row and cars are often parked in the little bypasses that cyclists are supposed to use to avoid riding between the No Entry signs on Bondgate.

But, mention riding a bike through there and the cries of anguish and potential deaths begin...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Cllr Lyonette isnt aware that the Ped heart's his responsibility, I mean the eastern transport corridor problems had nothing to do with him!

Another theory is that maybe its not a ped heart at all after it proved so unpopular, perhaps this is John Williams way of allowing cars back in.