Jump to content
Colin James

Councillors Responses To Lights Out Trial

Recommended Posts

We had a meeting on the evening of December 6th 2014 in the Hereford Town Hall Chambers with MP Jesse Norman together with Paul Hillman and Andrew Butterfield of the Highways Agency, to discuss the possibility of a 'traffic lights out' trial along a short corridor on the A49/A465 in Hereford.

 

The highways agency indicated that they were prepared to look into funding a micro simulation and MP Jesse Norman offered to assist with finding funding if required.

 

Jesse Norman also suggested that it would be a good idea if we contacted all of the local councillors in an attempt to get their support for a trial, we agreed and also thought it would be courteous and help our cause to have the local councillors support.

 

Cllr Jim Kenyon kindly arranged for our group (Hereford Reunited) to give a brief presentation to the Hereford City Planning Committee on January 15th which was also held at the Hereford Town Hall. Details of this meeting can be found in the Hereford Traffic 'Lights Out' Meeting Topic. In general, our presentation was received well by the majority of the committee even though the chairman on the day Cllr Bob Preece explained that the committee had no powers to implement a trial and could only make a recommendation to the HA at best.

The Lord Mayor Cllr Phil Edwards also offered a letter of support from the Mayors Office.

 

Following this meeting and several weeks later John Harrington (Hereford Reunited) wrote an excellent letter to all the Cabinet which was published in the Lights Out Campaign Letter Topic, asking if we could present our case to them, a copy is attached below. Several weeks passed with no replies from any councillor!

I then sent a bulk email to all of the HV members on April 14th. Cllr Mark Hubbard and Cllr Jon Norris to be fair responded immediately and copied in all of the local councillors, now we have started to receive their replies and decided to publish each and every one of them as arrive on HV for you all to read and comment on, they are as follows:

Cllrs Lights Out Letter.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FROM Hereford VOICE:

 

Hi Mark Hubbard,

 

We had a presentation to the Council with the help of Councillor Jim Kenyon last December, which was discussed in our

Traffic Lights Out Meeting topic, since this time we have been working on our mission statement etc. 

 

The following letter was sent out to the Hereford Cabinet a few weeks ago but we have not received a response at all.

 

 

Cllr Mark Hubbard  - It's OUR County! Sent the following email to Cllr Philip Price:

Mark Hubbard.jpg

 

Dear Phil,
 
I have been forwarded the email below and was wondering if the Cabinet and/or yourself have had time to consider what I think would be a very valuable experiment?
 
I believe this group of people to be genuine in their concern to do what is right for the city.  It may lead to nothing, but it just might lead to a Cabinet member having a positive effect on the congestion everyone suffers on a daily basis - surely worth a punt!
 
Best wishes & Happy Easter,
 
Mark Hubbard.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Cllr Jon Norris - It's OUR County!

Jon Norris.jpg

 

I'm sorry you didn't receive a reply from any Cabinet member. Maybe they are looking first for support from Ordinary members, of which I am one.
 
I support the interesting idea of reminding drivers that they too are often foot users. In California there is the presumption that if someone is already waiting to cross the road, or as a car driver is already at the junction before you, then they have priority. Courtesy and consideration was rampant. I'm off to read more on the Wikipedia link. Thank you.

Jon Norris

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Heather Blevins

 

Just a really silly thing, when they say they cannot do this because of crossings, why can't the lights be on green until someone presses the button, much as they do for pedestrian crossings now, this was there poor excuse for not turning out the lights at the ASDA roundabout, AND WHY MUST THEY BE ON AT 2am in the morning.  Thanks I feel better now.  Heather Blevins 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Cllr Robert Preece - Herefordshire Independents to Cllr Anthony Johnson

Robert Preece.jpg

 

Can you have a look at this please Leader.
Thanks.
 
Bob.

Cllr. Bob Preece
St. Martins & Hinton Ward

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Cllr Chris Chappell - Herefordshire Independents

Chris Chappell.jpg

 

Just for clarity, this has never come before Hereford City Council for a decision.  A presentation was made to the City Council's Planning Committee but no vote or decision was taken at the time.  I have no idea if collectively we support these aims or not.
 
Chris Chappell

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Cllr Polly Andrews - Liberal Democrats

Polly Andrews.jpg

 

Now this is a real classic as Cllr Andrews was not even at the meeting!! Anyway here is her reply for what its worth:

 

For clarification the exact comments made by the city council planning committee, when this group came in front of us was'the presentation and points made by the speaker have been noted. The City Council will consider this proposal when it will be presented to them at the consultation stage'. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Cllr Philip Price - Conservatives and Cabinet Member Infrastructure

Philip Price.jpg

 

Traffic signals Edgar street A49
 
I attended a briefing with the Highways Agency on 19th march and amongst other things discussed the idea put forward in the email from John Harrington.
 
The HA had done a report on this following previous requests.
Their findings would not support a non traffic signalled roundabout on Edgar street or the rest of the A49.
 
On review of the scheme mentioned at Portishead, the traffic levels at Edgar street are 4 times the level and include significantly more HGVs, busses and LGVs
 
The following data is produced by the DfT 
 
A49 / A438 junction
All traffic 42,558, HGVs 1285, busses 427, LGVs 4877
 
Portishead
All traffic 10,513, HGVs. 230, busses 22, LGVs 230
 
There are a number of documents they referenced, that could not be complied with in the design on a trunk road with the amount of entrance and exit lanes that are present at this junction.
The HA could not support turning out the lights even as a trial with the junction design as it is.
 
Surveys on trunk roads across the West Midlands, suggests that drivers are considerate for a short period of time when lights fail, but become more aggressive and try and force their way through traffic as time goes on, as could be seen last year when the junction was being upgraded.
The risk of shunts is greatly enhanced and junctions become very dangerous.
Actually turning off lights will be classed as having the same effect.
 
The Wiki link in the email starts with the following two paragraphs as explanation of shared space and clearly this could not be considered in the same context as the Edgar street roundabout 
  
"Shared space is an urban design approach which seeks to minimise demarcations between vehicle traffic and pedestrians, often by removing features such as curbs, road surface markings, traffic signs, and regulations. Typically used on narrower streets within the urban core and as part of living streets within residential areas, the approach has also been applied to busier roads, including Exhibition Road in Kensington, London.
 
Schemes are often motivated by a desire to reduce the dominance of vehicles, vehicle speeds, and road casualty rates. First proposed in 1991, the term is now strongly associated to the work of Hans Monderman who suggested that by creating a greater sense of uncertainty and making it unclear who had right of way, drivers reduce their speed, and everyone reduces their level of risk compensation. The approach is frequently opposed by organisations representing the interests of blind, partially sighted and deaf who often express a strong preference for the clear separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic."
 
The reference to Exhibition road South Kensington, shows a lovely paved area - not a vehicle in site.
 
For myself, I would not be prepared to risk others lives when the junction is not designed to work other than with traffic controls.
 
I'm sure if asked the HA will share their findings with you.
 
The view they expressed to me was, this is a non starter, and I agree.
 
Regards 

 

Cllr Philip Price
 
Cabinet member - Infrastructure
Ward member - Golden Valley North. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just come back from a Civic Society meeting where a professional architect said that in his 40 years of living in Herefordshire he has yet to meet a county councillor with any vision. I would go as far to say that those who think they possess any vision are already blinkered. I couldn't see what he was talking about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth I'm all for giving it a go and I am proactively trying to get rid of the god awful lights on Ledbury road and replace them with a roundabout, the lights would stay but only as predestrian crossing demand lights. I spoke recently at a planning meeting at the county council on just that and the money to do it would come from development contributions "106 money" I know it's not what your aims are but there is a belief in the council that the only way to control traffic is by lights we need to break that habit and get some different traffic management ideas in the fore front of everyone's minds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed Jim!

 

I think folk are frightened of the unknown, and just what to stick with what they understand.

 

We need some visionaries within the cabinet.

 

Hopefully next May, we'll have them.....they certainly aren't there at the moment!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done Jim - the hours that I and so many others have wasted sitting at these lights whilst nothing happens beggars belief, not to mention the impact on the poor souls who live on Ledbury Road. They were never needed in the first place, no one was consulted, it was one councillors ill judged stance that pushed them through, with an uproar once put in, which the council ignored. Not even MP Keetch could get them to rethink, so its about time something was done. In many respects this would be a good test at a minor junction - get rid, see the improvement and use the argument to get rid of more. Mind you, at the rate they're planting the damned things around the OLM we might never catch up!

 

I believe a couple of years ago there was a scheme on the table to remove the lights at the end of St Owens St/Bath St junction - I discussed it with Cllr Hubbard several times and I've seen a drawing. The red light running there is insane. It could still be done - presumably there is 106 money available from the flats currently being built next to The Victory?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We the people no nothing obviously? even thou we drive these routes everyday!!

I do think all traffic lights should work on sensor especially if they are not even going to give this great idea a go?

I do remember watching a program a couple of years ago where the topic was turning traffic lights off. Filming on a number of junction (I believe we're in London?) to see how drivers reacted when the lights failed. the view was very positive with drivers being respectful towards one another & the traffic flowing freely? Unfortunately I can't remember wot the program was called???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is there no technology in place that all traffic lights @ a given junction cannot communicate with the other traffic lights @ that junction so as when there's no traffic passing through the other traffic light would know it was safe to change to green!! Is this not the 21st century??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blimey Cambo!

 

That's a bit technical for me!

Traffic lights that talk to each other......

 

"I saw that Harry Bramer the other day...he soon saw red when I changed colour!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with Cllr Philip Price ...... I am all for forward thinking and all that but the road layout, at the moment, does not lend itself to just turning the lights out. If there was a 3 month trial and there was no crunch then I would accept my conservative opinion on this was wrong. Just my view! Thanks for listening! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with Cllr Philip Price ...... I am all for forward thinking and all that but the road layout, at the moment, does not lend itself to just turning the lights out. If there was a 3 month trial and there was no crunch then I would accept my conservative opinion on this was wrong. Just my view! Thanks for listening! 

 

But in the last 3 months there has been more than 1 accident, so does that then qualify to turn these lights out in your conservative opinion? All we are asking for initially is a micro simulation and depending if that is is favour of a trial then again all we are asking for is merely a trial! Surely this has to be explored? We cannot go on as it is, it is beyond a joke and getting worse! Just wait until the Old Market shopping centre opens.

 

The second phase of our campaign that I have been asking for since 2009 is Part-Time Traffic Lights on the ring road between the hours of 7pm-7am. Again, I have just got home and I have been sat at the Newmarket St traffic lights and again at the Asda junction traffic lights just waiting needlessly because of a red light at 12.35am!

I was the only car sat at the lights on both occasions! WHY?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Councillor Anthony Powers - It's OUR County!
Anthony-Powers.png

 

Very happy personally to support your campaign. Can't speak for the whole group as I haven't canvassed views but I'm sure it would have general support too
All best,
Anthony

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Councillor Alan Seldon - It's OUR County!

Alan Seldon.jpg
   

Thanks for the information. I have to say it looks very interesting. Please keep me 'in the loop' and if I can assist in bringing anything forward, please let me know.
 
Kind regards,
Alan

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Councillor Nick Nenadich - Conservatives

Nick Nenadich.jpg

 

Having listened to your presentation, I am sorry but I am not able to support this initiative at this time.
Cllr Nick Nenadich Aylestone Ward.  

 

 

 
 
There were a few exceptions when Cllr Preece offered comments from each of the councillors around the table in turn, Cllr Nick Nenaditch stood out to me the most, I could not believe his unprofessional behavior as an elected councillor as he said "He was onboard until he heard Amanda Martin 
(Hereford Reunited) mention the Edgar St trees while explaining to Martin Cassini what the extra lane was for while driving along Edgar St in the video presentation" Quite frankly, I am not interested in his personal opinion, he is only there to represent his constituents! But it all got a little bit embarrassing and he even refused to comment in the end. Personally, I think he threw his rattle out of the pram and acted very childishly indeed, certainly not what I expected from a councillor, even some of his fellow councillors were rolling there eyes, which spoke volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Councillor Adrian Bridges - Herefordshire Independents

Adrian Bridges.jpg

 

Mr Harrington
 
I would support such initiatives so long as we can still ensure the safety of pedestrians crossing various parts of our road network, but would certainly support out of hours switch off as a first trial ie between 1900hrs and 0600hrs am
 
Regards
 
Councillor Adrian Bridges
Belmont Ward, Herefordshire Council

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Councillor CVP - Herefordshire Independents

Glenda Vaughan-Powell.jpg

 

I am aware what you are trying to achieve, you have my support simply because having to travel down the A465 every day I am concerned about the congestion on this road and the air pollution it creates, together with  the time it takes to get into the city from Newton Farm. We will soon have an additional 259 homes built around the Belmont road with a possible 500+ cars all traveling down the A465. I cannot speak for my colleagues but I hope they will consider supporting this proposal.
 
Cllr Glenda Vaughan-Powell
Belmont ward

 

 

 
From John Harrington
 
(To be fair to Glenda, she was the very first Cllr to respond to the general e-mail).

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what its worth - I would be in favor of an evening turn off - its common sense!

 

But day time - I get the risks involved, and for those who talk about accident rates, thats fine that there have only been one or two accidents, and if this trial were to happen, and you Cllr XXX supported it, then your mum/dad/son/daughter or next door neighbor, got run over during the test would we all feel so "happy to trial this"?

 

Night time - common sense 

Day time - its too big risk and I wouldnt put my name to it.

 

Why can we get smart traffic lights that use sensors - even sensors that go 100 yards up the road to anticipate what will happen at the lights and change accordingly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On review of the scheme mentioned at Portishead, the traffic levels at Edgar street are 4 times the level and include significantly more HGVs, busses and LGVs

 

 

 

And we all know why that is don't we.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Philip Price quotes some Dept. for Transport DfT figures.  

Those figures appear to have been given high importance.  As usual without referencing or giving necessary details to back up the numbers (for instance, what periods of time and when exactly were those counts taken).  He may have given the details as addenda to his reply but Colin would have published if so. 

Last year traffic figures were supplied by the Highways Agency as levels of traffic at the Edgar Street junction and on questioning, they turned out to be the traffic count at another section of road, on the south of the city.

 

Typical that no support is given by the current cabinet to any popular suggestions from outside of their own cabal!!

What twisted version of being representatives of the people is that?

 

Brilliant to see positive replies from so many other good councillors.  :Thumbs-Up:

Edited by magicroundabout

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afternoon Colin!

 

Are you intending to send out a "reminder" to those councillors who haven't responded??

 

There are a quite a few whose response I am looking forward to reading!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its good to see some positive replies from some of the councillors but a lot of them as usual have sat on the fence. For Christ sakes just give it a try!! You are ONLY asking for a micro simulation at this stage so nothing to loose. The traffic is getting worse and I notice even more traffic lights are being installed in Edgar St. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

From Councillor Nick Nenadich - Conservatives

attachicon.gifNick Nenadich.jpg

 

 

 
 
There were a few exceptions when Cllr Preece offered comments from each of the councillors around the table in turn, Cllr Nick Nenaditch stood out to me the most, I could not believe his unprofessional behavior as an elected councillor as he said "He was onboard until he heard Amanda Martin 
(Hereford Reunited) mention the Edgar St trees while explaining to Martin Cassini what the extra lane was for while driving along Edgar St in the video presentation" Quite frankly, I am not interested in his personal opinion, he is only there to represent his constituents! But it all got a little bit embarrassing and he even refused to comment in the end. Personally, I think he threw his rattle out of the pram and acted very childishly indeed, certainly not what I expected from a councillor, even some of his fellow councillors were rolling there eyes, which spoke volumes.

 

 

What has the tree's got to do with it? So lets get this right, HE WAS ONBOARD until the tree's were mentioned? Surely, he is there to represent us not himself! Not interested in his own opinions either, full of himself by the sounds of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Councillors should have a set number of times that they can abstain per year.
They're paid to make decisions not sit on the face or fail to turn up to meetings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...