Hi Martin, thanks for the welcome and I fully support your sentiments. As yet I am a mere novice in this area but I am an enthusiastic learner. BTW the Chideock puffin was being installed last night apparently!
The story of how we lost our Zebras and gained a Pelican is less about conspiracy and malice by local officials but the low status of traffic on anybody's agenda and the poor state of local democracy.
We had a two year consultation that I managed to contribute to along with six others independently arguing against these backward measures versus three who were supportive (anti pedestrian and hoping for a solution).
What this really showed was the bias of one officer who went through the whole consultation document refuting line by line any dissent. The counter arguments put were as unconvincing as they were biased, but did at least reveal the lack of any engineering analysis as well as the criteria that the council will use to judge the new scheme's success or failure.
When Easter comes we hope to be able to show failure on their own criteria. Bridport has very seasonal traffic and Easter marks the start of the season with much more market activity and many more pedestrians.
The important thing with all this is that if it hadn't been for your Newsnight film a few years ago and the ripples of media interest there would not have been much more than grumbling opposition here. Bringing out the ideas of Shared Space has given a way forward for all town uses and this has had the effect of changing a significant number of peoples attitude. The ghost crossing in the photo is still unofficially in use - drivers stop for pedestrians there and this has spread. People seem to be using the town as they need/want largely ignoring the signs and crossings although drivers are still forced to obey the lights.
Your awareness raising has already changed things!
It is so plainly clear that removing traffic light improves traffic flow
> that there are only two rational explanations as to why the opposite is
> (a) Virtually every person responsible for developing and implementing
> this policy is extremely stupid or
> (b) It is a deliberate, undeclared strategy to make the life of the
> motorist more and more unpleasant and to increase congestion to the point
> where - it is hoped - motorists abandon their cars for the utopia of
> public transport.
> It's not just the continual increase in new traffic light installations
> that should come under scrutiny: it is also the relentless increase in the
> number of 24-hour bus lanes being proposed (I'm currently fighting such a
> proposal in Bristol); it is also (can only be) the deliberate refusal to
> phase traffic lights at roundabouts to allow continuous progression to
> one's exit; and it's the refusal to even consider making traffic lights at
> roundabouts (or anywhere for that matter) part-time.
> I am no conspiracy theorist; but this one is staring you in the face.
Hello Martin. Looking forward to following your Blog. I am an academic researcher and I'm currently supervising an MSc Urban Design student studying shared space in the Netherlands (Haren) and UK (Ashford) - a cross-cultural study of attitudes to shared space amongst cycle users. He will shortly be arriving back from his fieldwork and I'm keen to find out his results which I will encourage him to publish. Bye for now.
That's what's good about life. Each to their own. My companion of 40 years in August swears she would sever the relationship were it ever to come off. Having said that, it did about 10 years ago and she said it was like sleeping with a new man.She quickly added she preferred the old one! Good to banter. I will add something constructive soon, but not tonight.
Thanks for the BIG welcome! It's great to be doing something with you after all these years. I can certainly report that, here in the colonies, we have the same issues. I think that 2 or 3 years ago, the City of Vancouver purchased a very large number of traffic lights at a surplus traffic light auction and has been busy ever since finding new places to put them.