Poynton regeneration scheme

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Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Roger Geffen » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:59 am

This 14-minute video shows a regeneration scheme in Poynton, on the outer fringes of the Manchester conurbation, where East Cheshire Council has transformed a major road junction (first 6 mins) into a continental-style 'shared space', using quality design to make drivers feel that they are entering a space where pedestrians are free to cross the roads and drivers must look out for them.

Shared space isn't everyone's cup of tea. Groups representing blind and partially-sighted people voice concerns about the loss of kerblines, which they say are essential for their ability to find their way safely along pavements. Some cyclists are also sceptical, saying that cyclists should have dedicated space - not be expected to share space - when traffic volumes are this high.

We will need to see what the statistics say about whether this has helped encourage more people to walk and cycle in this area (including blind and partially sighted pedestrians) and improved cyclists' and pedestrians' safety. However, from the video, it certainly looks impressive - and surely it is at any rate a vast improvement on what was there before!

It will be interesting to see what you make of it - particularly if you live nearby or cycle in the area.

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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Geriatrix » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:39 pm

Already posted here viewtopic.php?f=6&t=72679 but not much comment so far.
I like the idea but the video posted was clearly done by the proponents so I'm not sure how well the scheme can be judged from that.
It would be nice to see some before/after figures on journey time through the town, and also get wider opinions from the partially sited, particularly those with guide dogs.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby thepositron » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:09 pm

I live about a couple of miles from this junction and use it frequently both as a cyclist and a motorist. In summary :it's brilliant.

For the first time ever in my experience in Britain, motorists actually consider other road users. There are no formal crossings, no traffic lights and yet the traffic normally just flows and pedestrians NEVER have to wait to cross the road (and this at what was one of the worst junctions in the area). I would say that 90% of the time as a motorist I don't really have to stop: I just drive up and through the junction slowly as does everyone else. Previously you always queued at the lights. As a cyclist you never feel threatened, the carriageway is narrow enough for motorists not to try and overtake you: not only that you're moving as quickly as they are and just take your place naturally. It's a revelation if you've never experienced anything like it.

It's such a breath of fresh air and shows what can be done. The cost of it though must have been huge. I've no idea who paid, but can't believe that the local authority did. If it was funded centrally as an experiment then it's worked: but this country just can't afford to roll out schemes like this on a large scale.

My only concern is that it might have diverted traffic onto other local roads. I was speaking to a local traffic planner a few weeks ago who said they haven't done a traffic count since it was finished and are concerned that one of the reasons it works is that traffic found other routes during the very long construction period and may not have returned.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby gadgetmind » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:31 pm

Feedback on the Poynton forum is mostly positive and the traffic statistics show there are just as many vehicles passing through but they are going slower and there are fewer accidents.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Richard Mann » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:17 pm

I'd be interested to hear whether it works for less-assertive cyclists.

The only bikes I spotted were (1) on a rear rack, (2) a bunch of roadies and (3) a guy cutting across from the pavement (13:57; blink and you'll miss it).
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Kay231 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:15 am

This Poynton junction is bad news for many users including cyclists. This road is a major link between Macclesfield and Stockport and is therefore extremely busy for most of the day. Large trucks are frequent users and the roundabouts are difficult for them to negotiate without driving over the 'paving'. I have been forced off the road designated areas on two occasions whilst on my bike (SMDSY syndrome?)
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby thepositron » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:48 am

To Kay 231. I'm sorry your experience is so different from mine. I agree with you that the lorries don't "go round" the roundabouts but over. They have no choice and it was designed that way. I don't think that in itself is any danger to cyclists. My view is that all users are far more considerate than before and personally I've never experienced anything but a reasonable and courteous approach. I'm sure that things will get better still over time. At the moment there are quite a few drivers (the very elderly in particular) who are somewhat bemused by the junction at first. To be fair no one in this country has ever seen anything like it. In my experience, though, people have generally got used to it very quickly and things can only get even better. What we had before was an absolute nightmare of course.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby tomb353 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:01 pm

Not sure why it would get better over time, surely as motorist become more familiar with it speeds may go up?
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Geriatrix » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:54 am

tomb353 wrote:Not sure why it would get better over time, surely as motorist become more familiar with it speeds may go up?

Who knows what the longer term effect will be when people become more accustomed to the system, but it certainly needs more time to bed down before any conclusions can be drawn. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians may get bolder with more time so it will be interesting to measure safety and opinion in a year or so.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Steady rider » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:10 pm

It seems that the 2 ovelapping roundabout design could help to leave drivers not sure, slowing them in the process.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby meic » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:20 pm

I dont see how you can use the statistics from just one junction to show anything.
A randomly occurring event would seriously skew figures depending on whether it happens before or after the regeneration.
Also as said, it is hard to say if it being in isolation in a country where this is novel will affect it positively or negatively.

That said, I am glad to see it being tried but quite a few others are needed before it provides a good indication as to if they work or not.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby [XAP]Bob » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Journey times and a "several accidents a year" are both stats which can be seen to provide a trend, particularly after a full year.

Hopefully we'll see a noticable drop in the accident rate, and a decrease in maximum travelling speed, but a decrease in journey times as well...
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby lindow_man » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:39 am

I have ridden through there a few times since it was set up and my reaction was that it didn't feel comfortable as you don't know what anyone is going to do. Maybe this is the intention so as to make all road users more aware and so everyone has to slow down to walking pace. Overall I couldn't say whether it is better or worse for cyclists - just different.

However, my experience of driving through there is completely different - on the couple of occasions I have done this the junction was just causing massive delays - I had to queue for over 20 min last time just to get through, then the road was clear beyond the junction - made me late for an appointment. I always make sure to go a different way now. If other people are doing this also it will no doubt reduce the traffic flow through Poynton, but if all it achieves is to divert traffic elsewhere by creating a bottleneck is this what it was intended to do?
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Mark1978 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:32 pm

Don't like it. The last thing you need when cycling is for car drivers to not really understand what's going on or where you are going.
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Re: Poynton regeneration scheme

Postby Geriatrix » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:21 pm

Mark1978 wrote:Don't like it. The last thing you need when cycling is for car drivers to not really understand what's going on or where you are going.

That depends. Uncertainty can paradoxically improve safety because drivers are more attentive. In the 1960's for example when Sweden changed from driving on the left like us, to driving on the right like the rest of the continent, chaos was expected but the opposite happened. Their accident and casualty rate dropped, until drivers got used to the new system and accidents returned to pre-change levels.
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