UPDATE October 2012 – Council’s Consultation not Fit for Purpose.
We are struggling to understand what has gone so very wrong with the council’s intentions to involve people in shaping the future of Sefton Park and the perimeter roads. In the final week of September 2012 about 950 homes on the edge of the Park received a questionnaire with diagrams here and here. But there are more than 10 times that many homes within a 1 kilometre radius – what should be easy walking distance to a local park. The proposals have the merit of adding two Zebra crossings and upgrading one crossing at Lark Lane to a Zebra, but they are wholly inadequate. As it stands we will be left with the fast, wide main road which cuts off the Park from many people who want to walk to it in safety. And until recently we did not know that the £6m budget is planned to bring the roads (the “carriageway”) up to a standard where it can be adopted, but NOT the pavements (the “footway”). Those pavements will not be repaired by the council and they will continue to break up. The questionnaire itself contains only closed questions.
“…I would be grateful if you could complete and return the attached questionnaire together with any other comments which you wish to make regarding these proposals only…”
The council does not want to hear about it if you have any counter proposals!
We hope it is not too late for this Labour council to recognise it can give its Highways officers a clear direction to adopt better practice on consultation and to involve the community in deciding what kind of road it is going to rebuild. If they can do that, the Green Party will give them due credit.
Please take our online poll to tell us what you think
A major upgrade of Aigburth Drive, is soon to begin, and we are asking for your input.
We welcome the work that the current administration has agreed to progress on Aigburth Drive and the other unadopted roads around Sefton Park; not least because it means the roads can become part of the adopted highway network and repairs will become the council’s responsibility.
We have asked to be involved in the final design of the road to ensure the most is made of this opportunity. This document represents an initial gathering of our ideas for the road, and we would welcome your feedback to help us refine our eventual proposal to highways.
Even in its worn out state, the road carries a significant amount of commuter traffic, as well as being an access route for residences around the park and visitors to the park itself. So we need to make sure that the road once finished doesn’t simply become a fast through route for traffic wishing to avoid the main roads, which would end up further severing the public from the recently-refurbished park.
The design should allow the best solutions for pedestrians and ensure that average speeds don’t increase because of driver confidence in a newly-laid road surface.
We would like to see designed in more natural traffic speed controlling measures that are less hostile to drivers than speed bumps, and which might actually be attractive to look at. For example, changing sight lines using buildouts, pinch points, traffic islands, planting, etc. which would lead most drivers to slow down without hindering progress. We’d also want to make sure crossings go in at points that are most obvious walking routes.
We have been in contact with council officers and will put questions to the administration via committees if we see fit.
You can get involved!
And of course we would welcome local residents’ input into the process too, so feel free to offer your own proposals to:
email@example.com or 728 2485
Some of our ideas in summary:
- 20mph speed limit;
- pedestrian priority to be asserted at all pedestrian desire lines;
- use Zebras rather than Pelicans to give instant priority;
- design junctions so that pedestrians have highest priority, then traffic entering the perimeter road and lastly traffic continuing along the perimeter;
- aim to reduce traffic volume as well as speed;
- (highway-speak) change the position of Aigburth Drive in the road hierarchy so that it ceases to be a distributor and becomes an access road;
- in particular aim to discourage and not provide for peak time commuter traffic – it is this traffic, if not reduced, which will compete for road capacity and junction capacity against the needs of pedestrians
- less traffic and slower traffic makes the park quieter and cleaner for visitors, including people who run around it;
- redesign of carriageway to provide angled or even perpendicular parking helps visitors and fits with the aim of reducing carriageway widths.
Please let you know what you think. We want your help to ensure Aigburth Drive is fit for all users.