Saturday, 7 January 2012

A guest article by a TC reader from Dukinfield

In Portishead near Bristol an experiment was trialled in 2009. The traffic lights at the main Cabstand junction in the town centre, installed in 2004, were removed and replaced by a filtering system. The chronic congestion instantly disappeared, traffic flowed freely and journey times were reduced by up to 50%. This was achieved with no measured reduction in pedestrian safety, despite gretaer numbers using the route. The trial was declared a resounding success and the lights removed permanently. Similar experiments were tried in Bristol with the same success in 2010 but after the trial a permanent decision was deferred.

This type of scheme appears to have passed TMBC by, and their mania for installing traffic lights continues unabated. Traffic lights were originally conceived to regulate the flow of traffic at busy junctions. In some areas they are now being installed as 'traffic calming' or traffic deterrent measures. There is no reason for traffic lights to be left switched on 24/7. In some European countries the lights switch off at off at peak times and revert to amber or similar, meaning equal priority or give way depending on the type of junction. If Volatile and aggressive Italian drivers can cope with this so can British ones, who are amongst the safest in the world.

For those who think traffic volume is the 'reason' for all these extra lights, can they explain why they are left switched on permanently, i.e. when that volume does not exist. In any case traffic volumes plateaued in 2005 (apart from the M60) and have markedly reduced in the last two years.

Traffic lights in many cases now actively CAUSE delay, congestion, pollution, noise, economic harm and environmental damage. At tens of thousands of pounds per set to install they are also extremely expensive.

If Tameside Council are serious about environmental and emissions issues they should be doing everything in their power to keep traffic flowing. In some cases this involves removal of or switching off of, the chronic and unnecessary overabundance of traffic lights in the borough.

Some excellent points raised here and the video is interesting too. The author of this article has witnessed first hand the disruption caused at the Cheetham Hill Road/Ashton Road junction since the installation of what many locals believe to be an unnecessary set of traffic lights. Tameside Citizen


Driver said...

The above should read: 'In some European countries the lights switch of at OFF peak times.'

ukip said...

I agree one hundred percent with this post. It is not just the sheer quantity of lights, it is also the gap between different sets, and worst of all the phasing of the lights.
These lights as well as causing congestion, cause impatience in drivers, more traffic fumes , more wear and tear on the vehicles and burn considerably more fuel.
The biggest impact of course is the time element. you may work a 40 hour week, but by the time travel is included, for many it becomes a 50 hour week. This is leisure time you do not get back.
I had the great misfortune to deal with Tamesides road safety unit in the 1980s, and although nice people the were distinctly anti car, I doubt that has changed.
I am pleased to say these issues have been discussed within our party and specific policies for removal/improvement of road junctions have been part of our manifesto within Tameside for many years

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting point. I have never thought about traffic congestion in this way but it makes sense when you think of it.

Wood Elf said...

Speaking theoretically I would rather we had our towns back instead of being confined to the side of large never ending strips of land reserved for priveleged motorists.

Motorways and railroads are fine enough, they stay out of the way, but we have roads everywhere. Whats wrong with cars having to be left at the edge of town, or even just having a ten mile an hour speed limit within civilisation?

Combined with a population drop and a move back to rural villages this would make perfect sense.

The paraphernalia of modern civilisation is ugly looking and therefore inherently evil. We need more green space, less fossil fuel burning engines and less people, the last should be operated around a 'last in-first out' basis.

Transport 2000 said...

This is a thoughtful article but sadly not the solution. A massive expansion of the tram network would be the best incentive for people to leave the car at home and use public transport. When I lived in Amsterdam very few people used cars as the public transport network was so good. TMBC should send a delegation to look into the Dutch integrated transport network.

Anonymous said...

This will be filling the press pages tomorrow and still the Labourites
will spread their Labour rhetoric.

The £12m tax mystery: Tony Blair's earnings soar by 42% (but he only pays £315,000 to HMRC)

Read more:

Now what the press do not disclose is that Tony Blairs Barrister Brother is a world specialist on the subject of money laundering,he has been paid as a consultant to the World Bank,has written many articles regarding money laundering.
So here we have a crook (T.Blair)
sending our lads & girls into an invasion to get killed based on lies,(plus the vast numbers of innocent Iraq people, and then sets about ripping the UK off by not paying his taxes.
Vote Labour Vote For Crooks should be plastered on every street corner.
This Labour utter slime ball leader worshipped by millions of the brain dead has destroyed every word that Labour ever offers.
Even the Pope got taken in,so where do Labour voting people draw the line on scum.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-Labour member I must admitt to feeling absolute rage when I hear the name of that wretched war criminal Blair.

Anonymous said...

What about the poor pedestrian?

TRA(FFICJA)M said...

Transport 2000, the tram cannot (even if it was expanded tenfold,fnancial impossibility anyway) approach the flexibility, speed and sheer capacity - currently 77% in Greater Manchester - of the private car. If the tram was removed tomorrow and traffic flow prioritised instead with sensible solutions like the one in Portishead the local economy would receive a massive overall boost as increased traffic speeds are proven to have a direct, positive knock-on effect on the economy. If the car was removed, the tram could not cope with one hundredth of the load carried by the car. The tram is only allowed to exist at all (and would not be constructed without state subsidy) because the vast bulk of the moving public load is shouldered by the car.

Railbound c**p said...

If completed the Metrolink's 90 trams will only mpove a tiny proportion of people, assuming they operated at full capacity, which they don't. Quadruple the size of the tram network, if there IS that much money in the world, and it would still only play a relatively minor part. And ina ny case where would it go? The existing few lines cause widespread delays now and have led to Manchester city centre having amongst the slowest traffic speeds of all European cities. The tramlines were dug up 70 years ago for good reason: it is an outdated, inflexible and extremely expensive to maintain (especially when considering its pitiful relative capacity). They are being relaid because of ideology, political deals, and cranks who have infested the corridors of power.

ukip said...

It may be time for bed, I agree with the last two posters on here!
As for Anon "what about the poor pedestrian". Pedestrians on town centre pavements will gain massively from improved kerbside air quality. They will also not have to cope with the 'Grand Prix' starts every time the lights change. Noise levels will drop, you will also not have to weave amongst queued vehicles.
Bus users will also gain from reduced travel times. Simplfication and reduction of traffic signals is a win-win situation for all residents of Tameside

John Neiland said...

You'll never convince the deranged rail/Green lobby with their toy trainset mania, by using reasoned argument. They KNOW the tram isn't the solution, they're building it out of spite against car users.

UKIP fan said...

UKIP, the link to your website is dead. Is there a problem with the link or have you a different website?

ukip said...

The link on my profile is to a Blog that I set up, but never had enough time to write. The link to the Tameside UKIP site on the main page is live though

Anonymous said...

Oh big deal spelling