Stopping Victoria Embankment being a through route for traffic

I support stopping the flow of traffic through Victoria Embankment that was introduced on 3rd August. I believe there is the potential for significant advantage to Meadows residents and users of all the facilities along the Embankment. This change is now the real opportunity to find out what will actually happen with closures, and I know the overall impacts are to be reviewed every month. If the change is to be kept beyond next year, it still needs a full and extensive public consultation.

Diagram showing the location of the barriers, published in the run-up to the 3rd August.

For some time, there has been a body of public opinion calling for through traffic between Trent Bridge and points west of The Meadows to be prevented. At least 500 vehicles a day were making that journey and that meant noise and pollution in The Meadows.
Plus, the Embankment supports recreation on the riverside, around The Memorial, at a bandstand on the fields for football, cricket and at the special places supporting paddling, adventure games and the mini-cycling network. The presence of traffic, often travelling above 20 mph, does take way from the pleasure of using the general area.
And indeed, on occasions, the through traffic is stopped – for the Riverside Festival, concerts, cycling & running events, commemoration and for car parking to support Forest home games and Test Match days.
But we’d not considered making those changes permanent. So what happened?

The Public Health Emergency highlighted how people were less vulnerable to Covid-19 if they were fitter and if their breathing air was cleaner. The Government responded by saying to councils (as highway authorities) that they would provide extra money to introduce schemes that promoted cycling and walking. Nottingham proposed a range of schemes that were so ambitious that the Government awarded extra money – and one of those proposals was to improve walking and cycling along Victoria Embankment.

I support the change as the emergency measure it is. Which means it’s introduced but can’t be made permanent without the more normal extensive consultation, often associated with letters to many local residents and public consultation meetings. And I am surprised that announcements through the media, and shared by social media, left as many saying they didn’t know the changes were coming as they did. The barriers are also not going to feel permanent, cos they do have to be moved, and they may not state.
Any kind of change is also going to take time to bed in. Car drivers think they know the way, despite whatever diversion signs say. Satellite navigation devices are also not updated frequently and are not aware of diversions. Other changes might affect route selection – part of Wilford Crescent East being unavailable to traffic cos of construction, Collin Street being closed (after 20+ years of trying), and the A52 over the bridge at Clifton not being fully available. But schools are closed and shops and offices are not open to the extent they were.

So I support the change. I believe the best way to find out if the change is suitable, is to continue until we at least know what the impact when traffic volumes are back to much normal levels.
Then we assess the benefits of friendlier space is against the drawbacks.

The potential drawbacks to assess are –
– transference onto more residential streets in unacceptable levels, including on smaller streets;
– delays to public transport;
– and arguably, impact on the Nottingham road traffic in general.
The obvious concern for The Meadows is the parts of Bathley Street and Wilford Grove used by the NCT Green No. 11, and streets off such as Wilford Crescent East, Collygate Road and Turney Street.
I am surprised that traffic might prefer Bathley Street and Wilford Grove given how traffic has to traverse vertical deflection and often has to wait for oncoming traffic to pass; Meadows Way is a much more relaxing route to drive around.
Otherwise: Knowledge of the changes will increase with time. We can listen out for people who have challenges to their mobility.

An Embankment walk

Barriers protecting the new open space along The Embankment; Dad and daughter playing football; cars waiting for the opening of the drive-in cinema; The Memorial in the sunset; construction works along Wilford Crescent East.

The Embankment was closed to through traffic four days previous, and an open space created from the Wilford Gove junction to the Bunbury Street junction. The primary aim is to encourage more walking and cycling.

The drive-in cinema was a bit of a surprise to those of us not hooked into internet advertising, but sales appear to have been strong, and cars have been disciplined in following the official ways in and out.

The construction of new houses and flats on the site of the old Trent Works, and the conversion the former Mundella School extension are now well begun, but has required a road closure.

Arkwright Walk developments

New designs for the apartments at either end of Arkwright Walk have been approved.

It’s envisaged that the housing will be available from a year after construction works, with all housing planned for Arkwright and Blackstone being available after two and a half years.  Works might start in April.
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Now we have the full road open again to walking and cycling, we are also planning for midi buses to used the route (NCT Navy 3 and city council LOCALINK 1) both for convenience of local residents and to give the shopping centre a higher profile.
The grass patch next to the play equipment is very worn (the litter bin and the lighting column proving natural goalposts).  Perhaps some proper goal posts, a wicket and some grass mats might give the kids a better experience.

New lighting on Victoria Embankment

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Switched on 2 days previous.
Set for 15 minutes before dusk and half past midnight; then for 5am (or 15 minutes before dawn).
The gap at night is cos some people have asked for less light spill at night (although these lamps direct the light vey well)  and for the benefit of bats.
42 lamps, each of 35W drawing 5 amps with average 8 hour use per day leading to 20 year lifespan.
Fresh grass seeding has taken well in the mild Autumn, but there are some snagging works to be done.
The scheme is expected to help cyclists and walkers, and we’ve certainly received doorstep concerns about walking to work in the dark.
The lampheads are 21st century technology, but have an Edwardian style.
The afternoon review was part of the handover process.
Fuller photos available in Facebook.

Beat the Street

A six week initiative with kit to read cards situated around Nottingham, that walkers use to log places they’ve visited, using a map that tells of places visited.
An initiative that we are running across Nottingham from 27th April to 8th June 2016 called Beat the Street. All schools in your area are invited and it is free to take part.
Beat the Street is a fun free real-life walking and cycling challenge delivered on behalf of the National Charity Partnership – a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation and Tesco – and is being delivered with full support of Nottingham City Council.
Find out more about how the competition works by visiting: https://youtu.be/psvE8k4OPow

Zebra crossing proposed

Nottingham Council has allocated funding to provide two new crossing facilities on Meadows Way as well as improvements to bus stops.
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As part of the Council’s commitment to improve accessibility to public transport and encourage increased use of sustainable forms of travel such as walking and cycling the following measures are proposed between Lammas Gardens and Eugene Gardens; Proposals are –
• To provide a new zebra crossing to the east of Lammas Gardens. The crossing will include a controlled area shown by zig-zag markings, meaning no vehicle will be allowed to park or load and unload within this area. As part of the work here, new footways will be built and the kerb line around the junction of Lammas Gardens will be altered.
• To accommodate the zebra crossing the bus stop box marking and raised kerbs at bus stop ME02 will be moved a few metres towards Mabel Street. The bus shelter will remain in its current position.
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• Install a central refuge to the north of Eugene Gardens, linking the shared pedestrian/ cycle route along Kirkwhite Walk to the footway leading to London Road.
• To accommodate the central refuge and allow sufficient space for vehicles to get past a stationary bus, work will be carried out to move bus stop ME03 approximately 10 metres south towards Eugene Gardens.
Consultation officially begins in a few weeks time, but the proposal will be presented at the public meeting on Thursday.

Broadmarsh plans announced

A plan between the City council and Intu have been announced to renew Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.
20131112-083542.jpgThe shopping centre met the aspirations of the past – bright interiors sheltered from the weather, accessible by motorised transport. But compared to other modern shopping centres, it no longer has a sense of occasion or arrival. The rear entrances are tiny mouseholes in huge brick walls that combined with a four lane traffic speedway make you screw up your eyes as you get through it.
So, the intention is to get traffic out of Collin Street, to re-create the processions that existed between the centre & the railway station and to restore the balance between the desirability of Nottingham’s two main shopping centres.
The southern relief route was established some ten years ago to enable the planned changes in traffic, and the new shopping centre will get the long planned for extra tram stop.

Blockade at Nottingham Station

Big changes at Nottingham Station.

    The tram expansion, with the new stop to be over the station.
    The Hub project, renewing the station buildings.
    The re-signalling, with a change to track layouts and platforms, which will reduce the frequency of trains waiting outside the station.

The track renewal requires what is dramatically called a “blockade”, between 20 July and 25 August.
So many bus services will be required to replace the trains, that the use of Station Street and Trent Street will be changed, to allow it to work as a bus station.
Some information is available now, http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/train-times/nottingham-disruption/ , and more details will follow in time, but in the meantime, in recompense, train operators have announced a 15% fare reduction.
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Disruption-station-leads-15-cent-discount-rail/story-18946961-detail/story.html#axzz2SmypXZ57

The Rights of Way over the railway station are being considered too.
Currently it applies to the wooden bridge (from opposite Loxley House) and through the old car park (serving a block of flats) which is to become a servicing area.
A previous request to remove the right of way was refused.
On May 23rd, Councillors will consider a change to the right of way recognising that pedestrians following a walking route to the block of flats will be better served by using the new tram bridge and the new car park; but this will not be available during some of the night, so can’t be a right of way.
Therefore the recommendation will be that the right of way stays for the wooden bridge, but then serves access to Summers Leys Road, via the current platform 6.
Official reports will be published soon.