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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:56 
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Just to reprise a topic on the CSCP forum,
Carlisle City Council are to conduct an experiment to turn OFF the traffic lights at the Hardwicke Circus interchange.
This follows a campaign started after the recent floods. For a lengthy period, there were NO lights working, as the complex control box was flooded, and took some time to fix.
During that time, it was widely reported that traffic flowed better WITHOUT the lights, than it did with. This seemed to be born out, when queues built up within minutes of the lights being turned back on.
The council are now to conduct an experiment, where the lights will be turned off. However, they require time to tinker with the junction - adding new signage etc.

Some members of the council are against the idea. A report from senior traffic engineer Rob Lewis opposes scrapping the lights on safety grounds.

He says: “We have received reports that the traffic runs more smoothly without signals. However, the potential for vehicle collision increases without the signals and it is not recommended to remove the signals permanently.”
Councillors are also to consider removing the lights at the junction of Warwick Road and Victoria Place, as well as the pelican crossing in Drovers Lane.

But Mr Lewis adds: “Before any decision is made, it is essential that traffic counts/pedestrian counts be undertaken to determine actual movements and so a risk assessment can be made.”
Now I dont know how much Mr Lewis gets paid, but if motorists were able to sort out traffic problems themselves like this, he may be quickly out of a job, unable to justify his position by staging traffic counts etc. Can ANYBODY explain how having lights reduces the POTENTIAL for collisions? I exit from a steep narrow lane in Windermere, onto the A591 with the disadvantage of a ramp up onto the tarmac where the H.A. re-surfaced the main road, making it even higher above the exit than it was before. Collisions are rare (but not unheard of) but could in no way be reduced by lights! There are already warnings of standing queues on this point of the A591 - lights would merely make them MORE likely.

In a press release on Radio Cumbria, the council spokesman stated part time lights were not an option, because they were discouraged by the Highways Authority.
Over the last month, I have encountered dozens of part time lights, now I realise they are an endangered species, I have been on the lookout for them.

Anyone care to comment on this turn of events? Are traffic engineers becoming like squirrels, storing up nuts for retirement?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:55 
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Seems a sensible idea. I always remember about 12 years ago on the roundabout above J4 of the M40 at High Wycombe when due to extensive works, the lights were out for some time, and the traffic flowed so much better when they were off.

Also in the Channel Islands, they make extensive use of the idea of "filter in turn" idea whereby one car goes across the junction alternately from each direction. However this relies on courteous drivers......so not much chance of this idea working in some areas :cry:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 21:13 
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The Boreham interchange off the A12 has a large roundabout with lights that are operational only in rush hour.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 23:28 
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Broughton roundabout at Preston has them, and there are lots in Manchester. I cannot imagine why CCC think there is some sort of ban on them!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 18:55 
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The smoother traffic flow you experienced in the absence of traffic lights doesn't surprise me at all.

I am convinced the majority are placed and timed to bunch up traffic as much as possible.

One thing is for certain: they generate unnecessary pollution as the fuel wasted while cars are waiting for badly-phased lights to change from red to green (green for a shorter time usually) and starting from standstill, is considerable.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 20:01 
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You would'nt be in Kendal by any chance? :(
Every time I see the lights in operation, I cannot help but think of the 40 monkeys with 40 typewriters, somehow coming up with a novel - Kendal has the same approach to traffic management.
My seven year old son could do as well, if not better! :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 23:36 
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In the US they have a way stop. Cars go over in sequence giving way from the right.

The also have lights that are sensative to traffic levels. If one lane has no waiting traffic they don't change. Great for keeping trunk roads flowing.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 09:27 
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Monday is D-day, when the lights go off.

Tim Smith will be holding his breath perhaps?
Radio Cumbria's reporter asked "How many more things have they [CCC] got wrong?
Well there's Ings, Bassenthwaite, Shenstone (Bad accident this week), Ambleside (cycle lanes), Staveley road end.... all site which have been extensively modified sine their conception!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 16:14 
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Gizmo wrote:
In the US they have a way stop. Cars go over in sequence giving way from the right.

The also have lights that are sensative to traffic levels. If one lane has no waiting traffic they don't change. Great for keeping trunk roads flowing.


Not only that, you can turn right on a red light if the road is clear. Very sensible.
You haven't lived until you've cruised from LA to Phoenix, Arizona, in a Ford Thunderbird and stopped at the truck stops along the way.
Veery safe roads. Oh, and no cash cameras.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 16:34 
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Quote:
You haven't lived until you've cruised from LA to Phoenix, Arizona, in a Ford Thunderbird and stopped at the truck stops along the way.


I can second that. 8-) (although I haven't done it in a Thunderbird though)

Also, driving from West Palm Beach to Key West down A1A, is another road trip that everyone should do - at least once in a lifetime.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 18:50 
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If you want a once in a lifetime trip how about Denver to Cody Wyoming. 550 miles in one day accross the great planes on a Harley Davidson. Did that last year.

Did Cody to Rapid City (North Dakota) on day two, another 350-400 miles over the Big Horn Mountains (10,300ft elevation).

Rode into Sundance, Custer and Deadwood. How cool is that!


They have some BIG country out there.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 22:05 
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ianc wrote:
Quote:
You haven't lived until you've cruised from LA to Phoenix, Arizona, in a Ford Thunderbird and stopped at the truck stops along the way.


I can second that. 8-) (although I haven't done it in a Thunderbird though)

Also, driving from West Palm Beach to Key West down A1A, is another road trip that everyone should do - at least once in a lifetime.


I did that in Nov '03, but not in a T'bird. I think it's 49 bridges, the longest 7 miles.
That reminds me of another super drivers road - The Stelvio Pass in Italy. It climbs to 9000 ft and has 49 hairpins. Try it downhill against the clock as on the old Alpine Rallies, or even uphill in a Cooper 'S'. Great!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 22:20 
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To get back on topic, the roundabout at Ferrybridge, A1/M62 has part time traffic lights.
When the lights are operating, as one changes to red, the other is changing to green, that quick, it is extremely difficult to get onto the roundabout from those slips that are not light controlled.
When the lights are off, life is so much easier.
I have been doing this roundabout for the past 5 weeks in a heavily laden HGV1 and sometimes the delay getting onto the roundabout when the lights are operating, I could quite easily smoke half a kingsize. Totally different when the lights are off.
As for getting out of the services, when the lights are on, it's diabolical, even in an unladen HGV with good acceleration available.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 23:37 
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It's a nightmare around there anyway at the moment isnt it Dtrasi with the roadworks for the new A1M... Worth it in the long run though... 8-)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 03:06 
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Cumbria County Council wish to build a cycleway through the Low Wood bends, possibly placing it on stilts over the lake. This would link to the ridiculous cycle lanes at Waterhead.

However, the Lake District National Park Authority refused to grant planning permission, UNTIL the CCC actually submit plans.

It appears that CCC dont wish to go to the expense of drawing up plans, until they have permission! Dont they know how the planning system works? What on earth led them to think they could get planning consent for vague proposals!! :evil:

Now what was it Steve said about Councils employing experts whom he placed his trust in?? :shock:

Sunday on the POLITICS SHOW, the Friends of the Lake District will be voicing an opinion about road signs causing roadside clutter! A previous release from them, included a tirade about road signs at Ings!
I can see where they would have cause for complaint - the cameras look ugly, and out of place (see comment in this weeks Gazette!) but this site
Image
is equally overburdened with signs - to the detriment of cyclists no doubt!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 14:19 
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I have not heard a single report of how the experiment is going at Hardwick Circus.... is it a case of "no news is good news"?

I would have expected a tirade from the pro-light brigade if things had gone awry.

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