Thu - November 20, 2008

Living Streets audit for St Owen's St - 27, 28 and 29 November


Herefordshire Council has commissioned national public spaces charity Living Streets to carry out a Community Street Audit of the walking environment in the St. Owen Street area of Hereford. This project is part of the Council’s ongoing work to improve walking and cycling routes to and from the city centre.

The aim of this audit is to provide the Council with an overview of the issues facing people using the St. Owen Street area on foot, and to draw up a list of possible ideas that would improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the area. The audit may identify opportunities to improve the street scene and change the way road space is used, or indicate a need for better street lighting, removal of obstructions, improvements to footway surfaces, or better crossing points, for example.

We need to know what you think about walking and cycling in the St. Owen Street area. Please come along to one of our informal Community Consultation Meetings being held discuss the audits and to brainstorm the key issues affecting walking and cycling in St. Owen Street – these meetings will take place in St. Peter’s Hall, St. Peter’s Square, Hereford at 2pm and again at 7pm on Thursday 27th November 2008. The meetings will let us explain the processes Living Streets adopts, and will give you an opportunity to raise your issues and ideas for the streets in your area. We also hope to recruit volunteers (of all ages and abilities) at these meetings to come on the audits.

The essential part of the audit process is a live assessment of the streets and public spaces through your eyes, to harness your local knowledge and experience. To achieve this, Living Streets will be conducting a series of short community walking audits with volunteers in the St. Owen Street area on Friday 28th November at 2pm and again at 7pm, and on Saturday 29th November at 10am and 1pm. We will walk the streets in small groups and listen to what you think of the routes, so please do put the dates in your diaries now! Read more ...



We are keen to hear from as many different people as possible, so we are inviting representatives from residents groups, local councilors, community groups, businesses and other interest groups to take part. The final times and meeting points for the audits will be agreed on the 27th November, depending on the likely numbers of volunteers we have.

If you know of someone who would like to join in, please pass on this invitation. We need as many people (of all ages) taking part as possible, so please mention this to your friends, colleagues, neighbours and family. If you cannot make the meetings but would like to make comments about walking and cycling in the St. Owen Street area, please contact myself, Mairead or Stuart by phone or e-mail as listed below.

I hope you will take part in these audits – it really is your chance to let us know what you think about walking and cycling in your local area, and how St. Owen Street could possibly be improved. It would be helpful if you could let us know if you can come to the meetings and/or the audits. Please contact us:

• Sue Webber on 01483 476612 or 07958 533260 or by e-mail on csa.leader@livingstreets.org.uk.
• Mairead Lane, of Herefordshire Council, on 01432 260944 or e-mail mlane@herefordshire.gov.uk
• Stuart Nowell, of Amey, on 01432 377179 or e-mail Stuart.Nowell@amey.co.uk

I look forward to meeting you at the Community Consultation Meetings on the 27th November. Please do contact me, Sue Webber, if you need any further information, or if there is anything that you would like me to clarify. SUE WEBBER, LIVING STREETS COMMUNITY STREET AUDIT LEADER

Posted at 04:22 PM     Top  

Sat - October 6, 2007

Welcome to our Community Travel Plan Section


Before ... and after ... what could be ... discussion, prevarication, obfuscation, political point scoring, County/City Councils bickering ... we've had it all since 2001, when all we want to do is make our streets safer and our community a better place to live. We've achieved a little, but we're still fighting for a lot more.

Residents of the St James and Bartonsham area of Hereford are working with Herefordshire Council to reduce car dependency and improve conditions for walking and cycling and also to increase transport choice for residents and visitors. This can be achieved through a combination of street design improvements and safer cycling, walking and public transport routes within St James and to the rest of Hereford.

See the updates below for the latest.

Images courtesy of Hamilton-Baillie Associates


Posted at 05:54 PM     Top  

Fri - April 13, 2007

Slow streets movement


Safer roads, slower traffic and less clutter are now possible as a result of the government’s new Manual for Streets, published in March by the Department for Transport and Communities and Local Government in partnership with CABE. This replaces the old Design Bulletin 32, which led to places dominated by the car at the expense of pedestrians. Download the manual here. Lets hope Councillors take the time to read it ...


Posted at 12:56 PM     Top  

Sun - January 21, 2007

Community Travel Plan site moves in with JABA


For those of you still interested in the Community Travel Plan - we know you're out there, somewhere - we've moved all of the www.communitytravelplan.org site over to here and you'll find it, not surprisingly, under the Community Travel Plan Category. Minutes etc are under the Community Travel Plan Minutes Category.


Posted at 06:29 PM     Top  

Thu - October 5, 2006

CTP report for St James & Bartonsham Community Association AGM 2006


Mo Burns submitted the following CTP report to the AGM of the St James & Bartonsham Community Association. Most of our energy in 2006 has gone on trying to find out what’s been happening between the city and county councils re their undignified arguing over financing the junction build to traffic calm the centre of St James and Bartonsham. The plan was – back in 2004 – to calm the centre junction and the main streets leading to it, - that is Green, Harold and Nelson streets, if the pilot in Green Street proved successful. This was in answer to public concern over speeding vehicles.

As we all know, trying to work positively with ones local authority can be a very frustrating experience as they deal with the twin steep-learning-curve of improving their consultation processes and trying to reduce innate cynicism amongst the population. (The two are curiously interrelated ...)

So, achievements this year are limited to Green Street achieving staggered parking which is currently in pilot stage (more on that in the Dec Jaba) and, at the council’s request, running a one-off initial consultation evening for St Owen St retailers and local community to see if we could reach agreement in principal for our longed for right to reach OUR city centre and the shops along the way by bicycle! This is about to go to public consultation and we feel the C/A committee’s input, although not entirely played as we would wish, was useful. Out next challenge is to make sure we all comment on the plans when they are formally published – but in the meantime are available to see tonight and subsequently in the travel notice board in Harold Street.

Finally getting agreement to run the overdue second Quality of Life Travel survey– which has just been distributed to all households. I would like to thank all who took part, whether the hard-working, stoical and probably damp distributors, and all residents who took the time to fill them in. Everyone’s views are extremely valuable – more maybe than is realised - as they show democracy at work and provide the information, ammunition and heart to continue to argue for what we all want – a safe, calmed, clean, and attractive environment in which to live and play.

We will shortly be putting the council’s draft design for a cycle contra-flow up St Owen’ St in our Travel Notice board, with dates, deadlines and where you send your comments to. PLEASE comment – the council really do want to know what we think, and we will do our best to ensure our voices are listened to. Thanks to everyone. Mo Burns, CTP secretary October 2006.


Posted at 12:12 PM     Top  

Thu - May 25, 2006

Green Street staggered parking


As the changes to the layout of parking in Green Street take place, the Chairman of the Community Travel Plan Steering Group, Revd Preb Paul Towner, has written to address some of the issues that have arisen. What follows is his personal view.

"Over the months I have discussed these issues with many local people; with the CA executive and others engaging in local issues; with the school and with other local stakeholders. It must be understood that all decisions about Highways rest with Herefordshire Council. They have responsibility for all things such as road design, road signs, roadside parking, one-way schemes, and road crossings (such as the one now in St Owen Street). Local community groups can only act as a stimulant and as a corrective, and we have sought to do both.

The Council, of course, acts in “consultation” with local residents, but as we discovered over the needless replacing of kerbs in Grove Road and Grenfell Road, only in a very patchy manner. One of our campaigns throughout the local Travel Plan initiative has been for greater transparency and wider engagement. But having “consulted” the decision is still the Council’s.

One of the strongest points of agreement throughout the local community here is the desire for slower speeds on our roads. Whatever surveys have taken place, or public meetings been held, that view has always come to the fore. The Steering Group have always acted with that informed desire in mind, and we will continue to do so. There will of course be a wide variety of opinions about how that desire might be met, and of course we have aired speed humps, road plugs, one-way streets, mandatory speed limits and many more of the options.

Against the background of these desires, and those discussions, outline agreement to the concept of staggered parking has been reached. We have tried to engage with the whole community in this process, and specifically with the dairy, because of their business needs. Having got outline agreement, the traffic engineers have then been tasked with converting the agreed desire into lines on the ground, and as you will know that has now been through several revisions. I am confident that the scheme due to be published meets the two agreed desires 1) to introduce a chicane effect along Green Street to help reduce traffic speeds and 2) to do that without losing parking spaces.

I have now counted, measured and reviewed and I think that, along the whole length of Green Street, something in the order of 5 or 6 spaces will be gained under the published scheme. I work that out as follows: losses of about 4 spaces in the transfer from west to east in the Grove Road / Grenfell Road section; 1 space on the corner of Park Street / Green Street; gains of about 6 spaces going north from Springfield Terrace, and another 5 spaces alongside my boundary, south of Park Street.

In drawing up the scheme you will realise that there has to be a judgment made between the overall need and individual cases of difficultly. In the scheme as it operates at present (before any changes) I know that there are thought to be both “winners” and “losers”, and I realise that in the proposed changes there will again be that perception. Some people may no longer be able to park directly outside their front door; others will gain that possibility; some will consider that a gain; others may consider cars parking closer to their property a loss! [A personal note here – there will be, as a result of the changes, more noise outside my property, with five spaces being placed alongside my boundary hedge. I am happy to think that that change is for the good of the whole community, and therefore I will learn to live with it!]

In the end I am glad that it is the Council which takes that final decision, because I would not want to be burdened with the responsibility of judging between those different perceptions of winners and losers.

Finally I want to comment on the hard work undertaken by community members. I think we are fortunate to have so many dedicated and committed volunteers giving time, energy and talent to the well-being of the whole. School governors, trustees of local charities, neighbourhood watch schemes, website design and maintenance, distribution of community newsletter, engagement with travel issues, revitalising Castle Green – that is just a short list of what is contributed freely by local residents. It would be a tragedy if all their efforts were to be met with discouragement and opposition. I expect there to be differences of opinion, and I trust that we can always find ways of airing views, and agreeing to disagree.

This scheme in Green Street is understood to be a pilot scheme, - that could be reproduced elsewhere in this area, or indeed elsewhere in the county, but before that happens there will need to be feedback from residents affected. If this staggered parking scheme fails to deliver, then you will be entitled to say “I told you so!” I personally believe that many will say that it has been a positive change. Whatever our feelings, I do believe that it deserves a fair chance."


Posted at 11:14 AM     Top  

Tue - April 4, 2006

Community Travel Plan Update - April 2006


We try to keep you all up to date on developments, and it’s a regret of all St James representatives on the CTP Steering group that there are often infuriatingly long gaps between brief moments of activity – and too often we only have negative things to report!

Four things to report since our last mail-out to all homes in January: Herefordshire Council has asked the Community Association to bid for the £30k they seem to have recently misplaced for funding the junction. Cllr Wilcox, Cabinet Member for Transport had asked the City Council for this money, and they in turn have asked us to apply for it. We have declined to do this for the reasons outlined below in the letter from our chairman, Rev Paul Towner to the Council….

"... the CA executive met the other day, and had a long talk around the subject of the travel plan, and where we have got to’…….’in particular we looked at the strange position we were being asked to consider - that of applying, in effect, on behalf of the County Council to the City Council for funds. The CA executive decided that it was not prepared to be placed in this position.
 
Highways funding is a County Council role (for which they receive income from a variety of sources), we remain convinced that the £30,000 application to the City is a political move at least as much as a financial one, and for that reason we cannot possibly get involved ..."

Further exciting (?) news is that the staggered parking pilot initiative for Green Street is still on board, despite lots of hiccups, and should start soon!

The second survey of households, delayed for three years pending successful implementation of measures that would demonstrate popular and practical ways of slowing traffic and make cycling safer and more logical, will now take place in June this year (we trust!).

And lastly, the C/A has been invited by Council to organise a consultation of retailers and residents of St Owens Street, to progress many people’s desire to be able to cycle legally up into the city centre. This consultations will happen at a public meeting on June 16th, 6 - 8pm at the Town Hall – put it in your diary and come and support YOUR demand for safe accessible cycling in Hereford. Bring friends and family! More info at www.cyclehereford.com and www.jaba.org.uk or ring 352559.


Posted at 04:43 PM     Top  

Wed - February 15, 2006

Community Travel Plan Update - February 2006


Unfortunately, not a lot is happening, a situation that has gone on for far too long. The staggered parking scheme is now on hold because the Council made a mistake with the Traffic Orders which we spotted just before Jarvis were due to start work. We are still waiting for Council Officers to contact us about sorting this out. There is a meeting of the Steering Group on 24 February, when we have been promised a decision on the junction. This will announced here and also in JABA.


Posted at 11:53 PM     Top  

Fri - January 6, 2006

Community Travel Plan Update - January 2006


All homes and businesses in the St James and Bartonsham area will be leafleted in the next few days with an update on the progress of the first phase of the Community Travel Plan (pop over to our sister site www.communitytravelplan.org for the full story). Download a copy here (CTPUpdateMasterJan06.pdf) or read more for the full text of the flyer ...

The Community Travel Plan is now nearing the end of its first phase and we believe that the steering group* has been successful in delivering results through working in partnership with Herefordshire Council. We hope you agree. We all want to make our streets safer and more pleasant for everyone to use, particularly children, and the community travel plan is one way of helping to achieve this.

Achieved so far:

√ pedestrian crossing in St Owens Street
√ staggered parking on Green Street starting this month
√ greater awareness of travel choices √ Increased desire for safer cycling
√ greater speed awareness in our area
√ regularly updated website - www.communitytravelplan.org

There have been mixed feelings about the proposed new design for the junction outside the shop at Harold Street, but we believed it had majority support which is why we pushed Herefordshire Council to proceed. Unfortunately they have again delayed the decision whether or not to proceed, claiming the scheme is over budget, and we are now advised that a decision will be made in February, although it now appears that if approved, it will then join a shortlist of many other schemes in the County. If ultimately successful, the work will done during the school summer holidays of 2006.

The junction is just one part of the original idea, which covered the length of Green Street, suggesting a better use of the other junction spaces, particularly with Mill Street, and a more pedestrian friendly treatment of the street itself. You will be consulted early next year about an idea to create phase 2 which will look for external funding to realise this vision and possibly extend it to include other streets and 'gates' to establish entering a calmed area. You will also be asked how you think things have progressed so far.

There will be an update in the next edition of JABA (March 2006) and a Travel Survey by Easter 2006 for you to air your views on the process. In the meantime, please join the debate and let us have your comments on our website www.communitytravelplan.org. There is free internet access at the Riverside Centre (WRVS) every Thursday, 9am - 3pm.

*The steering group comprises residents, Rev P Towner, our Ward Councillors, St James School Head, Riverside Centre Manager, Council Officers and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation.

Posted at 07:42 PM     Top  

Tue - November 22, 2005

Mind games force drivers to slow down - the future for St James?


Researchers say that removing white lines and painting roads different colours can trick motorists into safety, Juliette Jowit, transport editor of The Observer reports. First came the dreaded speed hump and other obstacles to make drivers slow down. Now local authorities are to be allowed to use more subtle and psychological tricks to get motorists to take their foot off the accelerator. A major report for the Department for Transport reveals that 'psychological' traffic calming works. Painting the road different colours, taking out white lines or planting things in the way of sight-lines on corners can be used to make roads look narrower, or bumpy or windy. Drivers then feel less safe and drive more slowly - a principle adopted most radically in one town in the Netherlands which abolished all signs and road markings. Read the full article here or download the .pdf (52k): MindGames.pdf

Picture courtesy of Hamilton-Baillie Associates


Posted at 10:27 PM     Top  

Tue - October 18, 2005

Community Travel Plan featured on BBC website


The Community Travel Plan is now featured on the BBC Action Network website. Please have a look and register your support for the scheme at www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/G1311. There are also links to other cycle and pedestrian campaigns from there.


Posted at 03:57 PM     Top  

Tue - October 11, 2005

Boost your confidence with free cycling lessons


Herefordshire Council is offering free cycling lessons to adults in a bid to encourage more cycling. One-to-one sessions, which normally cost £20, are available from professional instructors for a limited period. If you're thinking of buying a bike before training, then pre-purchase advice is also available. For details and booking contact your local instructor on 07969 694707 or go to the Council web page here.


Posted at 10:29 PM     Top  

Sun - July 31, 2005

St James School Travel Plan Update


Herefordshire Council School Travel Adviser reports that “The School Travel Plan was updated in March 2004 and a grant was awarded to the school by the DfES which the school used to purchase new lockers for all pupils." Read more ...

"A follow-up survey of pupil travel patterns was conducted in January 2005 which showed that the school had achieved its targets for walking to school (67%) but had not achieved targets for cycling to school (14%) as only 2% of children currently cycle. Total car use is still too high at 31% and there is little car-sharing with other families. The school will be asked to do repeat surveys in Jan/Feb every year as part of the monitoring procedure for the Travel Plan.

However, it is encouraging that the majority of children do walk to school, despite the demise of the walking bus. The school is doing what it can to encourage cycling and we will be working with them on an ongoing basis to try and reduce the number of cars accessing the site.

As far as the engineering programme for Safer Routes to Schools is concerned, this is also ongoing and further works are planned for roadway re-redesign. I know that Officers are working with the Community on these proposals. St James School needs a School Travel Plan Committee to meet regularly to discuss progress.”

Posted at 09:19 AM     Top  

Wed - July 20, 2005

Stickers still available; they're free!


There are plenty of free stickers still available. Make sure you're showing your support of the informal 20mph speed limit by putting one in your car and one in your window at home. Available in the local shops or contact Mo Burns tel Hereford 352559.


Posted at 06:49 PM     Top  

Tue - July 5, 2005

St James CE Primary School Travel Plan


Now available as .pdf download.


Posted at 09:44 PM     Top  

Tue - May 31, 2005

New Hereford Walking and Cycling Guide available


An excellent new pocket guide to walking and cycling in Hereford has been launched by Herefordshire Council just in time for the summer.

The user-friendly Hereford mini map, produced by Herefordshire Council, contains a fully updated map of the City, showing traffic-free and quieter routes together with information on facilities for walkers and cyclists. Hereford is a very compact city, with a significant pedestrianised area at its heart, and walking and cycling are often the quickest and easiest ways to get around. The guide is aimed at encouraging residents, workers and commuters who may travel across the City Centre in their car to get on their bike or walk.

The map has been produced in an extremely portable ‘Z Card’ format, to aid use ‘on the move’ and to encourage users to keep the guide handy. Copies will be available from mid May from local Tourist Information Offices, main Council reception desks, cycle shops and other locations throughout the City.

Posted at 10:30 AM     Top  

Sat - May 28, 2005

Background and aims


The St James and Bartonsham area has a village atmosphere with a Church, School (with 205 primary school age children), public house and approximately 645 households (homeowners and rented). In addition, there are a high proportion of bed-sits. A private housing development is currently being built on the former General Hospital site for approx 90 dwellings (the School is next to this site). We also have small shops, home offices, artisan workshops, a Territorial Army Centre, the County Records Office and the Riverside Centre for Community Learning (WRVS) with an adjacent private nursery/child centre.

The area's architecture is predominately Victorian with narrow streets, and falls partly within the City Conservation Area. We occupy part of Central Ward in the city of Hereford, the second most deprived area in the city. We are a ten minute walk to the city centre and adjacent to the busy A438 inner ring road on one side and the River Wye on the other.

The overwhelming view of the residents is that it is like living in a village here, hence the Community Asociation strapline 'a village in the city'. It is friendly and inclusive, with many people knowing each other. This 'feeling' is borne out in the 2003 Community Travel Plan and life style survey.

A community travel plan for St James and Bartonsham 2001 - 2004

During consultation for a Home Zone in June 2001, the need for a community association emerged. People felt that a community association would be in a good position to campaign on local issues, in particular traffic issues. Once formed, the association applied and succeeded in getting funding from the then DETR for five days consultancy to develop a travel plan for St James Primary School. The plan was developed and launched on the 6 th December 2002 . The plan identified the need for a 20 mph zone with traffic calming, the redesign of critical junctions and more crossing refuges over the busy A438.

A steering group, which included representatives from the school and the community association, as well as councillors and local authority officers was set up to guide the project. The decision was made that as most of the children at the school lived within the community, then the wider community should also be involved in the plan. The objectives were to raise awareness of the issues around sustainable and responsible travel through consensus, reduce volume and speed of local traffic and encourage greater cycling, walking and use of public transport.

In December 2002, the Community Association (CA) applied to the Social, Economic and Environmental Development (SEED) programme for funding for a Community Travel Plan. The CA and Steering group received a grant of £16,660. Dr Adrian Davis, consultant was appointed as Project Manager. The first step, after a public launch of the project in June 2003, was to undertake a detailed ‘quality of life' and travel survey of all 645 households and local businesses, to establish how people were travelling, what their main concerns were and to promote walking, cycling and public transport.

During the autumn, a series of community forums further sought the detailed opinions of residents of all ages, - including 16-18 year olds. A second public meeting in November 2003, reported back the results of the process to date. The Travel Plan website was also launched at this time to help keep people up to date with events and act as a forum for comments and information links to other useful transport sites.

In addition, households who showed keenest interest in changing their travel behaviour in the survey were invited to participate in an individualised marketing pilot to see if they could reduce their car dependency and increase cycling or walking over a six month period from March 2004. The residents were asked to fill in short questionnaires on personal travel habits at the start of pilot and again at the finish in September 2004. 22 individuals kindly took part.

In spring 2004, the steering group engaged transport consultant, Ben Hamilton-Baillie to draw up ideas for calming traffic through the area. His proposals for slowing traffic at the central ‘hub' of the area by Bartonsham shop went to every household in the area and were presented at the third public meeting on June 19 th 04, for comment.

Also, by June, our locally designed 20mph advisory entry signs to the area and the Travel Information Notice Board were up and covered cycle racks installed at the school. Residents were taking advantage of free adult cycle training and plans for a new pedestrian crossing over St Owen's Street by Grove Road/Turner St , were well advanced, in response to strong local demand, especially from many school parents.

Also key to traffic calming the area, an appropriate means of slowing traffic approaching the central junction is needed. After extensive consideration, staggering the parking in Green Street was chosen as the best option to trial. Residents were consulted in September 2004, and 78% supported the proposal in principal. The original proposed design has now been amended in response to some concerns. If acceptable, then a six month trial will go ahead in the New Year. This trial is of course reversible if the majority of Green Street residents judge it not to work at the end of the trail period.

Agreement to finally allow cycle access to the city centre, are also a long standing demand of local people of all ages. Infrastructure designs for easier cycling access along St Owen Street are currently being considered by Herefordshire Council.

A second survey of households, (deferred from 2004 to allow more time for the process to develop) will now take place in 2005 to assess the effectiveness of the community travel plan. Although the SEED funding is only for one year, as its name implies, it has been the catalyst for what is in reality, a long term process that is actively engaged in monitoring and working to encourage travel behaviour change in the community.

During the travel planning process so far, the steering group, - representing Herefordshire Council, St James School, St James and Bartonsham Community Association, The Riverside Centre (WRVS), and St James Church has worked and is continuing to work with, Hereford City Cycle Forum, ‘Living Streets Initiative' Transport 2000, the Slower Speeds Initiative, local businesses, representatives of disability groups and organisations, representatives of youth groups, Community First; The Cathedral School, Castle St Residents Association, The Community Associations of Moor Farm and St Nicholas and most importantly, for the residents of St James and Bartonsham.

Posted at 09:17 PM     Top  

School Travel


St James CE Primary School Travel Plan Review March 2004

Traffic Management
The school is still working closely with Herefordshire Council through membership of the local Community Travel Plan Steering Group. Traffic management measures are currently being discussed.

A school walking bus will be trialled during the Summer Term 2004. This follows meetings with Ann Mann and David Holmes (Road Safety Officers) and Judith Whately (Green Transport Officer), School Governors and parents. Ann Mann is currently undertaking a risk assessment of the proposed route.

Reaching new parents
This is an ongoing initiative.

Public Events
The school takes part in Walk to School weeks.

Preparing Year 6 pupils for transfer to secondary schools
We continue to encourage our pupils to lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes healthy eating and regular exercise. We continue to liaise with Aylestone High School.

Curriculum Links
The Headteacher regularly review curriculum links.

Access to Travel Plan
The Travel Plan is readily available to staff, parents, pupils and Governors. Copies of the plan will be distributed to parents of our new intake 2004.

Staff
Some members of staff now cycle or walk to school.

Community Focus
Our admissions Policy acknowledges that St James School serves the local community.
Cycle racks were installed on school premises Summer 2003.
Cycle training was introduced for children from Year 4 and 5 during the Summer term 2003.

Mode of travel to and from school May 2002

Option Number of children %
Walk 111 69
Car 42 26
Cycle 7 4
Other 1 1

Mode of travel to and from school March 2004

Option Number of children %
Walk 120 58
Car 74 36
Cycle 12 6
Other 0 0

(NB. The 2004 survey was conducted with the whole school, ages 4 – 11. The 2002 survey did not include the 30 youngest children in school (Reception class). It is noticeable that in Years 4, 5 & 6 a far higher percentage of children walk to school than is the case in Years R, 1, 2 & 3.)

Targets 2005 – 2009

Mode of travel to and from school
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Walk 60% 65% 70% 75% 75%
Car 30% 23% 15% 15% 15%
Cycle 10% 12% 15% 15% 15%
Other 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Date of this review: March 2004
Date of next review: March 2005

Posted at 09:14 PM     Top  

Community Travel Plan Summary



INTRODUCTION

In June 2001, when considering the data gained from a public consultation exercise and Home Zone presentation, St James and Bartonsham residents committed themselves to a project that sought to create a safer environment and more travel choice for the whole community. One of the most important issues highlighted, and reinforced at subsequent public meetings, was that of road traffic.

In 2002 St James CE Primary School in Vicarage Road developed a school travel plan. The Community Association was a joint lead partner. The Community Association then set up a steering group to the development of a Community Travel Plan to build on the work started by the school. A Community Travel Plan is a new idea in the UK but is similar to a school or workplace travel plan in that it seeks to reduce solo car use and promote alternative travel forms. The project is a partnership between St. James and Bartonsham Community Association, Herefordshire Council and some other local organisations including St James Primary School and WRVS – the Riverside Centre for Community Learning.

PROJECT AIMS

The project aims are to:

•  Reduce car usage, by encouraging greater awareness of alternative forms of travel

•  Increase demand for safer walking and cycling environments

•  Achieve a degree of consensus around key issues, measures, and approaches to solving transport and travel problems in this area of Hereford .

OBJECTIVES

The partnership wants to develop a model of best practice for the area, where priority is given to walking and cycling, thus creating a high quality living/working/playing street environment that will protect our diverse and vibrant community from the domination of motor traffic. This involves changing the culture of the locality towards accepting the desirability for:

•  the right of children to be able to walk and cycle safely to school, and for parents to be confident enough to encourage this valuable daily opportunity to exercise and socialise.

•  the value of a safe, traffic calmed, socially inclusive living environment, which is no longer dominated by speeding vehicles.

•  opportunity to promote car share schemes, safe cycle routes into city; improved bus facilities and other more socially inclusive modes of travel.

•  opportunities to enhance visual/physical environment within an architecturally special part of Hereford - planting schemes/improved street design.

•  reduction in unnecessary motor traffic which should improve the economic environment for small businesses and home-workers, by increasing ease of access, and parking.

TRAVEL SURVEY RESULTS SUMMARY

In June 2003 a questionnaire addressing issues around travel choices and quality of life was hand delivered to households in St James and Bartonsham. Over half of the households returned a completed survey form (58%).

The survey revealed that walking comprised just over half of all trips in the previous week, while 1 in 5 trips were as the driver of a car on their own and nearly 1 in 7 with others. Almost 1 in 10 trips were made by bicycle. Among those who work 40% travel by car, 31% walk, 12% cycle, 10% work from home. Sixty four percent travelled under 2 miles to get to work.

Four key areas of concern were identified

Speed and safety : 52% of respondents ‘agree strongly' that St James and Bartonsham should have a 20 mph zone speed limit and a further 24% ‘agree', while 2% ‘strongly disagree' and 7% ‘disagree'.

Cycle facilities : When asked about ‘any specific things that would prompt you to change your travel behaviour' the wish for either more cycle routes, and cycle friendly infrastructure were voiced most often.

Information provision and dissemination: In total, 507 requests were received for information. Among these: 144 were for Hereford Bus Maps and local timetables; 138 for cycle route map of Hereford ; 99 for travel and fare information.

Bus Services : When asked about ‘any specific things that would prompt you to change your travel behaviour' the wish for improved bus services was most prominent. This included concerns about lack of information about bus services, frequency of services, lack of services after 4pm , and no Sunday service.

TARGETS

Specific targets have been developed as a result of the detailed consultation:.

To be achieved within 1 year (by February 2005)

•  Advisory 20mph signs (entrance signs, plus planters – identity for area –

•  Residents pledge to '20 mph is my limit' plus car sticker campaign

•  School walking bus

•  More child friendly (that is, school walking levels stable, cycling up by 10%)

To be achieved within 5 years (by February 2009)

•  At least 60% of trips among residents on foot and 15% by bicycle

•  Slower traffic (measured using speed-gun)

•  Less traffic (measured by counts)

•  Children playing safely on the streets

•  Avoiding accidents (less reported crashes)

•  More trees

•  Shared surface to make traffic slower

•  Improving signage to the area

•  One-way street on Park Street

ON-GOING CONSULTATION PROCESS

Consultation and communication are integral elements of the project in order to ensure that as many members of the local community as possible have had the opportunity to learn about and become engaged with the Community Travel Plan project. An important aspect of the project has therefore been to communicate with residents on a regular basis with information about results and progress. As well as a launch event there have been a range of public consultation meetings.

PROMOTIONAL MEASURES

In the short term, introducing promotional measures eg a residents pledge and Walking Buses for school children can be important in maintaining momentum and residents commitment. The residents questionnaire found that a significant minority of residents are interested in adult cycle training, or class maintenance classes, while many residents have requested and received Hereford Cycle Route maps, and/or bus timetables. In addition, cycle parking in the city centre, as identified in community forum meetings, could also help promote travel behaviour change. So there are some ‘soft' measures which take relatively little time or resources to implement:
• Cycle training and maintenance classes (from January to April 2004)
• Cycle parking in the city centre
• Cycle routes and maps displayed at cycle parking locations
• Introducing quality street furniture including seating and trees around the area
• Tailored travel information for St James and Bartonsham - pilot for County
• Enforcement of parking regulations
• Cycle parking at Riverside Centre at WRVS and Park Street
• A Walking Bus for St James Primary
• Working in partnership with Cathedral School to address congestion

Highway measures, nonetheless, are important in helping to support and maintain behaviour change programmes in the longer term, otherwise there can be a high risk of loss of belief in the project to deliver changes. Thus, some highway measures are included in the Community Travel Plan.

REVIEW AND MONITORING

A follow up travel survey will be undertaken in June 2005 to evaluate any changes in travel behaviour and gauge community feelings about infrastructure improvements, changes in impact of traffic, safer routes to school, improved communication and dialogue and satisfaction with the process and confidence in actions. The on-going Community Travel Plan will also require travel surveys in years to come in order to monitor progress and assess this against targets and objectives.

Further specific survey work is also likely to be helpful in identifying areas where other change is needed or where opportunities may arise, to facilitate dialogue with relevant Herefordshire Council staff among other organisations.

ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE!

As of October 2004 a number of recommendations have been or are to be implemented. These include:
• Community Noticeboard outside the shop
• Tailored travel information for residents of the new Nelson Street housing development
• Free cycle maintenance classes for children and adults
• Free adult cycle training programme
• Establishment of a Walking Bus at St James Primary School
• Orders placed for a pedestrian crossing on St Owens Street
• Collaboration with the Cathedral School in developing their Travel Plan
• Establishment of cycle racks at the Riverside Centre (formerly WRVS)
• Establishment of a website www.communitytravelplan.com
Advisory 20 mph speed limit signs
• Nelson Street/Harold Street junction –implementation due in Spring 2005. To include new cycle racks outside shop.

Contact point: Mo Burns, Secretary, St James and Bartonsham Community Association 01432 352 559

Posted at 08:35 PM     Top  

Community Forums 2003


Summary Report on St James and Bartonsham Community Forums

September/October 2003

Following a survey of St James and Bartonsham residents carried out in June 2003, which sought information around travel choices and quality of life, it was decided that it would be useful to examine some of the issues arising from the questionnaire, via a more in-depth, qualitative process. A series of Community Forums were convened in September/October 2003, comprising a cross-section of residents who had completed the survey and who were then invited to participate. Three sessions were held in consecutive weeks and the same group of residents were invited to attend all three sessions.

Holding reconvened discussion groups provided the opportunity for residents to develop their own ideas and increase their understanding of the issues. Two representatives from the Council attended one of the sessions allowing residents to question them about plans for the area and the options available. The residents were encouraged to achieve a consensus if possible, and to develop a statement of what they would like to see happen in the area, based on their discussions.

In addition, a one-off discussion session was held with those residents who were expected to have particular issues around accessibility and road/pavement conditions. This session comprised both elderly and disabled residents.

Process

Twelve residents attended the initial discussion session. By the final group, this number had dropped to seven, but this should be considered a good turn-out. Residents represented a cross-section of ages, and length of time in the area, and were drawn from a variety of streets within St James. Six attended the elderly/disabled residents group. The sessions took place on September 20 th and 26 th and October 4 th .

Main findings

First session

The first session focused on the four main areas of concern arising from the residents' survey. The aim here was to understand in greater depth the problems faced by residents, in particular how these problems are felt to affect them personally and the quality of life in St James, and to explore some of their initial wishes for change.

The four issues discussed were:

•  Wish for lower speed limit

•  Desire for greater provision for cyclists

•  Call for improved public transport provision

•  Request for greater information about transport options

Lower speed limit

Of the four issues, this was the greatest area of concern with all residents feeling that the roads are too narrow for a 30mph limit to be safe, particularly when there are children in the area; it was suggested that parents are often too worried to let their children walk to school. In addition, speeding cars were felt to create an unpleasant and polluted environment in which residents are less likely to be out and about. Participants also expressed the hope that if speeding could be controlled it would reduce the likelihood of people using the area as a cut-through to get into town; currently this usage is felt to significantly increase the levels of traffic in the area, and is resented by residents.

The participants felt that imposing a 20mph zone would provide the ideal solution, but they recognised that physical measures would be required to force drivers to slow down, and to bring home the message that fast driving in the area would not be tolerated. A number of measures were discussed, including introducing ramps/speed bumps, chicanes, markings on the road such as changing the colour of the tarmac or including signs for bicycles, getting rid of the demarcation between the pavement and the road and creating a more pleasant and pedestrian-friendly environment with trees, benches and children's play-areas.

Cycling

This issue was discussed only briefly at this stage but considerable frustration was expressed about the lack of action on introducing a contra-flow at the top of St Owen St which currently means that there is no quick and easy way for cyclists to get into town. There was also some dismay that the cycle paths around town currently do not join up, making it difficult to use the paths especially with children. Support was given for the idea of more bike racks in town, as current provision is not felt to meet demand

Public transport provision

Currently the lack of a bus service after 4.00pm and on Sundays is felt to restrict usage of the bus. For example, it means that residents do not use the bus to go out at night, to get to and from work, to go to church or to use Hereford leisure facilities at the weekend. Several ideas were discussed including the provision of a free bus service that travels a designated circuit. To optimise the utility of such a service it was felt that it would need to be regular, reliable and easy to use; ideally such a service would run, say every 20 minutes, without a timetable so that residents could simply wait for the next bus to come along. The group participants recognised that residents would need to be encouraged to make full use of such a service, and that articles in the newspaper or community newsletter could help to encourage people on to the bus. There was also some discussion of whether such a service would need to be a conventional bus or whether it could be provided by an alternative form of transport such as a minibus or even a narrow tram or something similar that could run on alternative power (besides petrol) and could perhaps use the cycle paths to avoid being held up in traffic.

Transport information

Residents expressed a desire for cycle information/maps to be easier to obtain and ideally wanted to see cycle path maps mounted on boards besides the cycle racks in town. No one was quite sure how to go about getting bus timetables and suggestions were made that they should be available at the local shop and be placed on the community notice board. Participants expressed considerable surprise that bus timetables might be available on the internet; a number felt this would be very useful but agreed that it would not occur to them to look for local timetables on the web.

Summary

Overall this session was very productive and helped to provide a clear picture of where residents' concerns are focused. The participants worked together well to discuss their wishes for the future and considered a number of suggestions for possible solutions or measures they would like to see put in place. In particular the session revealed that there is a strong desire for change in the area and that residents are genuinely willing to work with the Council on this issue as long as they feel that their concerns and desires are being recognised and given due consideration.

Second and third sessions

Richard Ball, Lead Planner Transportation and Mairead Lane, Senior Project Engineer from Herefordshire Council kindly attended this session. They answered questions and gave their opinion on the feasibility of some of the participants' ideas for the area.

Slowing the speed limit in the area comprised the bulk of the discussion. The cost of individual road humps or of area-wide schemes (Tupsley was given as an example) suggested that such measures for St James might not be feasible within the Council budget as it currently stands. The forum participants were very disappointed by this; they found it difficult to understand how the costs could amount to so much, and in addition would have liked the Council to have put forward some alternative ideas for sources of funding or traffic-calming schemes.

In addition, the explanation that eligibility for traffic-calming measures within the Council budget depends on a comparison of accident rates between those areas applying, angered participants as they understood this to mean that the Council would only act after accidents had occurred. To a number of participants, this represented a degree of inflexibility around the issue which suggested that the Council are neither engaging with the needs of the area, nor thinking creatively about what could be achieved in St James, outside of the traditional model of imposing traffic-calming through engineering measures.

Overall, the participants were disappointed by what they perceived to be an unwillingness on the part of the Council to suggest or consider any scheme that would bring about change across the whole of the St James area. Although the Council representatives made encouraging noises about smaller measures which they suggested were more likely to be successful (discussed below), the participants were clearly looking for ‘bigger ideas' that would meet their desires for the area, and were suspicious of what they saw as piecemeal or conciliatory suggestions from the Council.

Having said that, participants still welcomed some of the smaller suggestions from the Council, as offering at least an initial step in the right direction. These included the possibility of a pedestrian crossing across St Owens St at the bottom of Grove Road and erecting ‘Welcome' signs at the entrance to St James to make it clear to drivers that they are entering a different kind of area. Residents also felt that there was encouraging news from the Council on some of the other points they had raised in the previous session. A feasibility study and costs assessment of the cycle contra-flow system around St Owens St is programmed for this year, which could mean implementation in the financial year of 2004-5. Funding for additional cycle racks was also said to be available, and mounting cycle maps on boards is planned for the near-future. Ideally though, residents wanted reassurance that these measures would be part of a larger scheme.

On extending the bus service, the news was more mixed. A free bus service might be difficult to provide, within rules governing Council subsidisation. However, the Council said that they might be prepared to be involved in bidding for funding from central government to subsidise buses in urban areas. The Council has just been involved in such a bid to obtain funding for the South Wye area, where they supported a community group who were calling for a bus service there. While the deadline for the next financial year has passed, it might be possible to look at putting something together in time for next September. Initially thought would need to be given to the route that such a bus might take, and an estimation made of the number of people that would use it.


Conclusions reached by residents (final session)

Residents came to the third session to a certain extent disappointed by much of what they had heard from the Council the previous week. In particular they had hoped to hear some innovative ideas, such as examples of traffic-calming schemes from elsewhere in the country or Europe , they wanted suggestions of where they could go for funding, and they had hoped for some long-term commitment from the Council to improving things in the area.

Although encouraged by the positive steps towards smaller measures, such as a pedestrian crossing across St Owens St and budget available for improved cycling provision, the participants were very anxious that they should not simply accept ‘half-way' measures from the Council. Their concern was that if some of these schemes were put in place then the Council would believe that they had done enough to ‘placate' the residents and that no other changes would be made. They felt that they would rather have no changes at all, than feel that they were being ‘fobbed off' with small, and ultimately unsatisfactory, measures. The residents called for a long-term vision for the area, which would involve the Council committing to making changes and really improving the area for residents over the next 5-10 years. And they looked to the Council to provide ideas about where money could be sourced to fund such a scheme.

In return, residents felt that they would need to measure the extent of public support, perhaps through another questionnaire planned for next May/June, and suggested that it might be useful for a group of residents to visit other areas where similar schemes have been put in place, to see what has been achieved and how. They suggested that Green Street could perhaps provide an initial site for changes to be made, and that putting measures in place in just one street would demonstrate the differences that could be made and might thus help to ensure widespread support.

Residents' vision for the future comprised the following aspects:

•  A zone that is free of through-traffic, and accessible only to residents

•  Where traffic is slowed down

•  Where children can walk about and ride home from school safely

•  Where there is a clear entrance to the area

A Home Zone was suggested by those who had come across such schemes elsewhere. The participants were interrogated further in order to identify exactly what they imagined a scheme such as a Home Zone might include. The measures they would like to see were:


•  Pedestrian priority

•  Reduction in traffic speed

•  Benches, trees

•  More pooper-scoop/dog pooh bins

•  Parking systems – such as chevron parking, and parking for residents only

•  Measures to make cycling safer

•  Signage at the entrance to the area/gateway style measures

•  Children's play area

•  Cycle racks

•  Litter bins

•  Pedestrian crossing

•  Better public transport

While these measures could be achieved outside of a Home Zone scheme, giving a label to the overall programme provided considerable reassurance to residents, as it suggests that there is an ultimate state of affairs that is being worked towards. Without such a label, fears could again be raised that not all of the improvements would be put in place and that the initiative/funding/commitment could peter out along the way. Residents were looking for reassurance that their long-term vision would be achieved.

In addition participants were asked to identify what benefits they felt such a scheme would bring to the area, and they came up with the following list:

•  Greater safety

•  Greater peace and quiet

•  People out and about more – the street becomes a community space

•  More children playing outside

•  People would stop to chat – leading to a better community spirit

•  Less stress and frustration generally in people's lives – and people would feel better about where they live

•  Better communication between residents

•  People using their bikes more, families especially could go out together

•  Kids riding bikes to school which would cut down on traffic

•  House prices would go up – which means so would Council Tax (surely an attractive benefit to the Council)

•  Would make the area prettier

•  Residents' health would improve

•  Less crime

Overall, residents seemed to find the sessions useful in giving them the opportunity to articulate the problems they are facing. In particular they enjoyed meeting others in the area and working together on deciding what they would like to see happen there. Although they were disappointed by some of the aspects of their meeting with the Council representatives, they were encouraged to see that there is some interest in the area, and a preparedness to listen to their needs. Certainly the participants were sufficiently encouraged to feel that it is worth putting forward their long-term vision for the area, and they seem prepared to put time and energy into working towards this as long as they feel that their wishes will be taken seriously by the Council and provided that they see that the Council is committed to delivering a programme of improvements to St James rather than simply piecemeal measures.

Elderly/disabled residents session

All residents were very positive about living in the St James area, in particular praising its convenience and its combination of country and city life. However they identified a number of problems which they wished to discuss during the session.

Like the other residents, the volume and speed of traffic were identified as the major issues in the area. Participants felt that reducing the speed limit was certainly a good idea. Particular concern centred on the Harold St/Green St crossroads, where, in the mornings chaos can be caused by the presence of cars, bikes and pedestrians on their way to school, in combination with buses passing through, dairy lorries going to the farm, and vans parked on the corner delivering to the shop. Participants suggested that the shop might be asked to arrange deliveries outside of 8.30-9.15 a.m. or that the delivery lorries could be asked to park further down the road.

Parking also emerged as a significant problem. To some extent it was felt that this could be eased by enforcement of the double yellow line restrictions. But there was also recognition that there are not sufficient parking spaces, and a call was made either for parking permits to be restricted to one per household, with second cars being made to park elsewhere, or for parking restrictions to cover the 24 hour period. Residents also reported that parked cars in Park St made it difficult to turn out of Hampton Street , and they wondered whether cars could be prevented from parking opposite the end of the road.

The poor surface of the pavements was reported to be particularly bad in Park St and down one side of Hampton Street, making it dangerous for prams, electric scooters and those elderly residents who are slightly unsure on their legs. Although the dropped kerbs and tactile paving were praised by some, others complained that the depth of the tactile paving back into the pavement meant that the pavement sloped away at an angle which could make walking difficult. Other problems with the pavements included overhanging bushes, and insufficient dog pooh bins.

Widespread support was expressed for a pedestrian crossing – ideally these residents would like to see this sited at the end of St James' Rd. The local Post Office is clearly sorely missed; in order to accommodate the additional post, residents called for the post box on Mill St to be made into a proper pillar box. Finally although the restricted bus service was touched on as an issue, it was not clear whether extending the hours of the service would make a significant difference to this group's likelihood to use it.

Overall residents expressed a desire to see the St James area become quieter and less polluted which would allow them to walk more happily around the area, park their cars more easily and mean that children could play in the street. Those participating in this session were obviously very encouraged to feel that their wishes for the area are being taken into account, and their opinions given serious consideration. They seemed to leave the discussion feeling positive about the process and about their potential to affect things at a local level.

Posted at 08:33 PM     Top  


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