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

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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

 

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).

Traffic failures

So, need to be a bit sensitive cos someone nearly got killed in a crash on the M1 in the evening, but in the morning of what should have been a light working day, was struck again by the volume of transport issues, including another one where someone decided to drive along a tram only part of the network.
But by expanding road traffic capacity, “we” have created more opportunities for incidents that hold up more people, rather than planning for people living nearer to where the work is and expanding public transport priority to help more not to need their own car.
In the nineties, we got more of this, and that was before the realisation that air pollution is hurting more city dwellers.