Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

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boaBoy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:00 am

Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby boaBoy » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:21 am

Hi,

I live in Bradford on Avon (Wilts) and this week the residents are being asked to vote on our own Shared Space scheme called the historic core zone. The Poynton example is constantly referred to as being a 'success'. I am not sure how you measure that success - whether statistically or from anecdotal evidence etc. However, as residents of Poynton, what's the 'word on the street' (no pun intended!) surrounding the scheme - what do people think of it? The scheme here is VERY different because the proposal is to share a space within an already narrow, sometimes congested, town centre with no alterntaive traffic route - rather than a larger open space.

The town seems divided on the issue and I would be interested to know the opinions and experiences of the shared space scheme in Poynton to help make my mind up!

There's some info on it here for anyone who is interested to compare
http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/parkingtran ... rezone.htm

Thanks for reading,

Al.

nedsram
Posts: 4869
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:35 pm
Location: Poynton (board admin)

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby nedsram » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:52 am

In the centre of Poynton we had a very busy cross roads, controlled by traffic lights. Queues in the evening rush hour sometimes stretched back two miles. Crossing the road as a pedestrian was a nightmare. There were also occasional serious accidents, sometimes caused by drivers jumping a red light.

We now have a junction where traffic proceeds slowly and carefully, and in most cases the drivers are happy to allow pedestrians to cross. A frail and elderly friend of ours was dreading the new scheme, fearing that she would find it impossible to cross the road without a "green man", and has been astonished how much easier it is to cross now. Queues in the rush hour are far shorter than they used to be, and traffic throughput has increased - although not as much as had possibly been hoped, partly because some drivers behave rather like rabbits in the headlights, and hesitate unduly, but more because many drivers fail to indicate that they are turning left, leaving other drivers waiting for no reason.

Park Lane, the main shopping street, is a much more civilised place than it used to be. Pedestrians can cross much more safely than before, it has a far more friendly feel to it, and retailers such as Waitrose and Costa have opened outlets here, which it is most unlikely would have happened had there been no shared space scheme proposed. There is an issue with people parking all over the pavement, partly because there is (deliberately) minimal signage saying they can't, and an apparent reluctance to enforce the no parking rule due to perceived grey areas in the law. However it's a minor issue, and not one that has ever concerned me.

My personal view is go for it, and I think that the majority would agree with that. However there is a vocal minority (whose actual number is hard to determine) who think that the whole thing has been a bit of a disaster, and that any traffic improvements are the result of people avoiding the main junction, rather than because of the shared space scheme. Certainly there have been numerous problems caused by the poor build quality of the original work, which have on occasions resulted in the imposition of temporary traffic lights during rectification. However that's a criticism of the standard of work not the scheme itself. It's also been interesting to see how much the traffic situation has deteriorated every time traffic lights have been used!

My personal view of course, and I await the response of some users (notably A523Junction) saying that I am completely wrong.

Amadeus
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:10 pm

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby Amadeus » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:14 am

I'll get my retaliation in first and say you're completely right.

kayp66
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:23 pm

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby kayp66 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:29 am

I totally agree with both the previous posts - some hiccups due to shortcomings in the original build quality, but overall a resounding success. It's given a new heart to this previously very tired area, and it all feels upbeat. Credit should go to those who found the funding for it, and pushed it through against the odds, and in the face of a good deal of pre-emptive complaining.

zzippy
Posts: 2417
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:27 pm
Location: The rough end of Poynton

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby zzippy » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:16 pm

The idea works fantastically well, but takes a while to bed in. Neds post pretty much sums it up.

It's usually a love it or hate it response, generally about the "roundels" and waitrose junction but that's mainly down to incompetent dithery drivers not indicating not the layout perse,

I'll go with the former love it,

Ciderblob
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Our house.

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby Ciderblob » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:00 pm

If I can have my tuppenyworth then I think Sir nedsram has put it in a nutshell! :clap

poyntonian
Posts: 290
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:55 pm

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby poyntonian » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:35 pm

Also agree with Neds too

would be nice to have some signs approaching the share space asking everyone to use their indicators, instead of simply turning without warning, both highly annoying and disrupts the flow of traffic too much !

SK12ER
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby SK12ER » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:55 pm

Without a doubt the best thing that happened to poynton since I've lived here.

WigleyWoggled
Posts: 1564
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:53 am

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby WigleyWoggled » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:14 pm

I agree with Ned's too.

I would however do something about preventing car parking on the pavement. Posts would do the job.
Place bus stops away from junctions and in laybyes.
Avoid uncontrolled cross roads where nobody has right of way. Instead install mini roundabouts or roundels.
Allow for regular maintenance in the form of cleaning surfaces and clearing water drain slots. This is particularly important in the first year of opening to clear away building dust/grit etc..
Do try to plant lamp posts upright. Ours are becoming a visitor attraction ... 'The Leaning Posts of Poynton'!

nedsram
Posts: 4869
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:35 pm
Location: Poynton (board admin)

Re: Does the Poynton Shared Space Scheme work?

Postby nedsram » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:48 pm

WigleyWoggled wrote:Avoid uncontrolled cross roads where nobody has right of way. Instead install mini roundabouts or roundels.

For the benefit of the original poster, the main junction has clearly marked roundels, and here people give way to the right as they would if they were roundabouts (although this is technically only a guideline). There are two problems with the Waitrose junction. Park Lane was originally the priority road, and there is also limited visibility for traffic entering from the side roads (one of which leads to a car park). The designers in my view made a mistake by not specifying a roundel here. Many drivers still think that Park Lane has the right of way - or at least drive as if they do. If you have similar junctions in BoA, you need to make sure that if there is no defined priority, it's obvious to drivers approaching the junction that this is the case - particularly if this junction previously had stop or give way signs. I did raise this with the Councillor who masterminded the scheme, but I think that the problem is that there would be too much expense and disruption to fix what many don't perceive to be a significant problem.

The moral here is to try to think like a driver would if new to the area and presented with an unfamiliar scheme, and make sure that it's obvious to the driver when he/she does and doesn't have the right of way. However if this is a weakness of the scheme, it's a minor one, and the great majority of it works well.


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