Ward Walk – February 2018

Screenshot (849) ab0587h ward walk compilation w CllrNH
In the south-west of the New Meadows.
Neighbours wanting to smarten the neighbourhood enjoying the Centrelink buses now they stop along Meadows Way (near “ng2”); a pleasant nine-month old dog; and the new housing, including on Bosworth Walk, awaiting snagging works for pavements, fencing and planting.

Meanwhile, uniformed officers dealing with a difficult situation nearby recently, received recognition from the Chief Constable.
Meadows Police awards tweet aa1266h DWuH8l1X4AE2TFE.jpg large


Planning committee – Broadmarsh bus station

Planning committee MME 28059140_10213423017204132_4709204315900656552_n
The no. 11 service that serves The Meadows is once again under threat, because London Road congestion has increased and made the service less reliable and less attractive.
We need a new and dedicated tram route to serve the A52 east of West Bridgford, but at best, it is fifteen years away, as presumably is the Broadmarsh tram stop.
The buses need to succeed to relieve our roads. We need to support the buses.
Since the early seventies, Nottingham City Council has had a proud and effective record of putting buses first.
Today’s committee will no doubt be work at getting the proposed changes right for the buses.

My specific requests are –
– fundamentally, expressing clear views and ambition for the viability and effectiveness of bus services;
– at a basic, understanding fully the conditions by which the new bus station is deemed to have sufficient capacity;
– being ambitious for bus services infrastructure, supporting the buses serving the Broadmarsh, Canal Street and the city centre loop;
– taking extra care to use highways infrastructure to enforce against car drivers queueing in lanes used by public transport and other service vehicles.

Expanding …
Panelling off bus bays from waiting passengers offers advantages for customers and operators, but there seems little doubt that even with the use of customer information technology, the capacity offered is at the limit for the services previously using the station.
Planning committee should send a clear signal that space for the buses to allow passengers to interchange is an expectation.

Bus services still need support

BBC graphic on DfT transport data DWK8p6sWsAAvy0j aa1001hMore information about the statistics found in a BBC report which analysed DfT figures about bus usage across the country.
Nottingham has seen an 8.1% increase in the number of bus miles since 2013/14 as is one of only 28/88 authorities that have seen an rise. There was a slight decrease in the number of overall passengers over the same time period (-0.2%) but this does not take into account the tram extension, so although bus passenger numbers fell slightly public transport usage is still on the rise.

Nottingham Post coverage


Single use plastic

Gedling Borough Council have passed a motion on plastic
“Declare Gedling Borough Council will become ‘single-use plastic free’ … Phase out, with a view to ending all sales of SUP bottles … Phase out the use of other SUP products … starting with (but not limited to) ‘disposable’ cups, cutlery and drinking straws … single-use ‘disposable’ plastic cups are replaced at all borough events … Launch an annual plastic free challenge month in July 2018 … to investigate and report back to Members on the impact on Gedling Borough Council of the Chinese Government’s ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste, particularly given the fact British companies have shipped more than 1.5m tonnes of plastic waste to China since 2012.

Challenging.  Prompted for its own sake, the planet’s sake and I think in part cos of a recent BBC documentaries showing the impacts on sea-life.

Recycling is challenging full stop, cos if material is to be re-used, it needs to sorted, cleaned before.
Nevertheless, I understand the landfill tax has done enough to justify recycling plastics.  Gedling is trying to reduce the amount that gets to that place at all.  And the 5p on plastic bags for groceries has also made progress.

In Nottingham’s case, most material not sufficiently sorted can at least be burnt and the energy and heat released used elsewhere. It’s understood that there’s a potential to burn more waste, but to explore what more sorting / filtering could be done.

I think the current situation is –

  1. general waste processing: example – Sinfin, Derby – understood to be a failure;
  2. waste sifting: example – Sutton (London) – witnessed in 2004, but not heard much of it being copied;
  3. gasification: example – Black Country, supplied by Chinook but don’t know status; Bulwell Industrial Estate – got planning permission (twice) but no progress; one challenge is to find a site near potential customers of waste heat;
  4. anaerobic digestion: land intensive and issues regarding getting high quality methane; but extensively used by water companies;
  5. there are interesting projects – in or near York; a recycling project – using enzymes – that Ørsted (formerly DONG) are doing in Cheshire.

Also struck by ideas of densely blocked wood can be used instead of concrete and steel to build skyscrapers.

Will happily receive advice, corrections and news on this and now is a good time to look and learn.

Rail fares protest

Joined the nationwide RMT protest on rail fares increases at Nottingham Midland station.
Rail fares have gone up on average by 3.4% when wages haven’t.
Did 4 media interviews and concentrated on the £2,000 million bail-out given to Richard Branson and David Soutar – multi-millionaires who wanted a better deal on a franchise already agreed on East Coast Main Line – which has been run by the public sector for a surplus.
Repeated Tom Watson MP’s complaints about the Conservative Transport Secretary staying low and silent, who it turns out wasn’t available until late in the day (for interviews by mobile phone from Qatar).
Thatcher’s promise on cheaper fares has not been upheld – nowhere close in fact – but when privatisation started, weird things happened like a big step increase in investment and drivers wages.  All to be overshadowed by the collapse in the network when “corner guage cracking was rediscovered.
In calling for a return to public owenership, have got to watch out for railways being starved by central government again.

Fantasy tram routes

A web-site promoting 20 possible NET expansion proposals invites ridicule, but we do need to bring forward a new and credible public transport route.
To relieve the congestion on London Road and through West Bridgford, we should do more for public transport generally and seek a new NET line to a park & ride site on the A52 to the east of the conurbation.
tram routes graphic 6d9373_5335cb736ce040378749670cfa5da8da
Had to smile as in November, the Nottingham Post reported on a web-site suggesting up to 20 more tram routes for the Greater Nottingham conurbation.
A fantasy since some of the proposals are poorly suited to trams commercially and longer distance travel belongs to heavy rail.  One part of the network shows the tram travelling north from Nottingham station to rise slightly to join Middle Hill, drop 10 feet to re-use the old Victoria railway station tunnel that has since been filled in by Nottingham Contemporary, and drop a further 20 feet and make a hard right turn to use Cliff Road to go east.

Extending each of the existing four legs of the Nottingham Express Transit network all make some sense and will be explored further as we plan for High Speed 2 running to Toton.

Yet, given the recent vulnerability of London Road to congestion, it is time to say we need action, cos car is clearly too attractive an alternative.  Tax on petrol has not kept pace with inflation, tax exemption for buses has been lost so the opportunity for lower fares has been lost.
Currently, cases for other public money to be invested  on a new public transport route needs to show the potential for commuters to switch from the car to public transport.  The missing opportunity is a park & ride tram route serving the city centre and the A52 to the east of West Bridgford.
The two obvious options are not even shown in the list of 20.  Both require a new bridge across the river –
– one to serve somewhere near to Gamston salt depot to the east of Lady Bay and
– one near the bridge for the railway line serving Bingham and Grantham.
A Trent Bridge route has already been difficult to make a case for, mainly cos West Bridgford doesn’t generate a lot of custom and slows a tram down quite a bit.

For The Meadows, it could be served by routes through –
– one route with stops on Meadows Way north & east (interchange with Green NCT buses and serving new housing on Crocus Street) and just north of the County Ground,
– another route with stops at Bridgeway Centre and Meadow Lane (just south of the County Ground).