Traffic Calming


[Picture of the M77 Motorway]WHY IS SHAWLANDS GETTING WORSE?

The answer could be to do with traffic calming.

The first question any sane person would ask would surely be: “Did the traffic need to be calmed?”, and the answer is a simple “no”.

But things are never that simple; the council had a plan, and the suggestion was that IF the plan came into existence, THEN traffic would indeed require to be “calmed”.

In my earlier post, “Shawlands is in Glasgow“, I tried to explain how Shawlands became such an important part of the city because of its location on the southbound A77.

The council’s plan was called the GSO or Glasgow South Orbital scheme and was about investing in roads. All very unpopular and highly charged politically — especially the proposed extension of the M77 through Pollok Park.

So, at the end of the 1990s, work began on the GSO scheme and generated a lot of press for “the Pollok Free State” of tree-dwelling hippies attempting to stop the road building.

Because the GSO was so controversial, it couldn’t be allowed to fail.

People had to be forced to use the new road at all costs. The traffic management centred around something called “the M77 Corridor scheme” which supported the GSO scheme.

[Satellite Picture of Camphill Cross]

The corridor scheme began by adding traffic lights and fences to all the junctions on the A77 to make the A77 a slow and congested route and making the M77 a more attractive proposition.

  • The plan was to change travel habits and get people onto the M77 and M8, over the Kingston Bridge and away from there, bypassing the city including Shawlands.

[Picture of A77 narrowing][Picture of narrow A77]The A77 was also cut down from a dual carriageway to a single road, with humps and narrowed side roads, wide bus lanes, new central refuge islands and right-turn bays. Each set of traffic lights in Shawlands was doubled.

However, drivers began to use Tantallon Road and other ‘back roads’ and ‘side roads’ to avoid the traffic lights and other new restrictions.

So the council developed the Tantallon Road Traffic Calming Scheme, funded as part of the M77 Corridor scheme under the EU grants.

This traffic calming scheme provided for speed humps. The Scottish Executive states “Road humps are the most effective traffic calming measure available for reducing speed. “ and each one costs approximately £10000.00! Legally, humps cannot be used for roads where the speed limit is over 30mph so they cannot be used across the A77 Kilmarnock Road. If the intention was to reduce the speed of vehicles on the residential side roads where there may be school children, then speed humps would be expected to be placed some way down the side road, perhaps at the junction with Deanston Drive or Tantallon Road. But locating the speed humps at every junction of side road with the A77 in Shawlands can only have one intention: to slow traffic on the A77; cars would always be travelling slower than 30mph at that point without the humps, because turning into a side road can only involve either deceleration from 40mph or accelerating from rest, depending on whether the turn is right or left from the A77. The humps make the turns much slower from the main road, creating congestion and making the M77 motorway more appealing. This is a clear misuse of speed humps, a breach of legislation and a waste of tax money.

Legally, humps must also travel across the road (from kerb to kerb) , yet there are speed humps in Shawlands that remain in the centre of Tantallon Road. These are definitely illegal, yet they have been causing motorists grief since May 2003 (cars, vans and lorries, in avoiding these ‘upturned brick canoes’, strike the bollards, kerb and fences). There is a lot of noise, and a weekly collection of wing mirrors and hubcaps. This junction has to be the most photographed in Glasgow for insurance claims and claims for damages from the council!

[Picture of Illegal Speed Hump 2] [Picture of Illegal Speed Hump 2]

 

If legal humps are unpopular with motorists because they damage the car and cause distress to the ill and injured, elderly and pregnant passengers and driver (see Clipped News Article -Speed Hump Hate), the illegal humps of Shawlands takes this misery to a new level.

In addition to speed humps being illegally used to manage traffic routes, the side roads were narrowed by widening the pavements. Now, although the aim was to control traffic flow, these changes had a big effect on the residents.

First of all, the refurbished Victorian area was becoming less authentic with these unsympathetic additions.

The building works themselves caused dirt and noise and restricted parking, and when complete, there were less car parking spaces available for people who lived in or used Shawlands.

[Picture of loss of parking space] [Picture of loss of car parking space] [Picture of widened pavements] [Picture of junction of Deanston and Skirving]

[Picture of Sunday PM Tantallon Road]The result is that people began to park on the humps and widened pavements, so the council had to tackle this new problem. The DfT (Department for Transport) have guide notes for councils on pavement parking that advocate raised kerbs (£30 per metre), fences (also £30 per metre) and bollards (about £100 each).

In summary:

  1. The council wanted people to use the new motorway,
  2. The main road was slowed-down,
  3. Traffic began to use residential roads,
  4. The council trying to slow down flow on side roads,
  5. Parking on pavements began,
  6. Bollards, fences and general ugliness ensued in an attempt to stop pavement parking.

So, as anyone can see, because speed was never an issue on these roads, it has not been a question of traffic calming at all, but traffic management or traffic control. There is a good argument for these measures being useful in a temporary sense — useful until traffic habits changed from using the direct A77 route north to the city to using the new M77. In which case, they had by now surely done their job and can be removed.

The origins seem, however, to have been forgotten and now the council is attacking problems that have resulted for attacking problems and so forth. Perhaps if the council realised that parking on pavements can solved by removing the restrictions instead of adding more restrictions, progress can be made. (see the work of Hans Monderman) .

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Litter of the law

I STAY IN SHAWLANDS GLASGOW IN A TRADITIONAL TENEMENT FLAT IN THE MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC CONTOL CHAOS, RUBBISH AND FILTH.

I needed some groceries, so I decided to walk to the shopping centre. It was a nice Tuesday evening for a stroll, so I took my camera.

Rubbish at the Back

[Picture of Lane filled with rubbish bags]The bins are collected each and every Monday morning, allegedly. Remember this is a Tuesday evening stroll — and what do I see down a lane? that’s right — uncollected rubbish. It seems that a bin lorry (woups, I mean a refuse collecting crew) had arrived early on Monday afternoon, the wheelie bins and bags were put in the lane, but then the lorry went away without the second part of the process being completed. Mind you, I wouldn’t like to go down that lane, even though a lot of small children play there, the lane is used by local dog-owners as a dog toilet.

Rubbish at the Front

[Picture of street litter][Picture of street litter]Turning the camera from the lane, looking down the pavement I was amazed to see rubbish on the pavement for the official uplift on Thursday afternoon. What on earth is going on? Have they changed the uplift day I wondered; this was NOT an isolated case.

  • I was recently told that the reason why people have to put furniture and other non-bin rubbish on the pavement for council uplift is because the council wants to encourage recycling! What a bizarre idea!

There is a school crossing nearby that just amazes me — because it is an incredible example of bizarre traffic management. There is always something worthwhile going on, so I just had to take a look on my way back from the shops.

Now remember that school children walk down the pavement and wait to cross Tantallon Road with the help of a crossing assistant. Remember too that this is still just Tuesday and rubbish uplift is on Thursdays — and note that official uplifts do not include refrigerators (they are special cases and have to be uplifted by the council for a fee). Here’s the picture…

[Picture of fridges at school crossing]

Please spend a few moments on this bizarre picture. Note the bin bags (which cannot be uplifted and should be in a wheelie bin) the fridge and freezer (which cannot be uplifted — and which are famous hazards to children playing) . Did you spot the wood sticking out onto the road? Did you notice where the low point is on the pavement — and just look where the council decided to put the drain! This drain is usually blocked too, so the area is often a large puddle around rubbish.

The council fencing means that children going to school are forced to find a path through this assault course!

Poor primary schoolchildren!

The whole damn place is getting worse.

Shawlands is in Glasgow

I LIVE IN SHAWLANDS IN GLASGOW.

Yes I do.

Really.

And I have a problem with that.

But it is not what you think. The problem is that where-I-live keeps vanishing!

Let me explain: go to yell.com and do a search: a “Pub” in “Glasgow” called “The Granary“. Here’s the results I got when I did this

1 results for “Pub” and “The Granary”Matches located in Glasgow or find your nearest
The Granary10, Kilmarnock Rd, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G41 3NH
Tel: 0141 649 0594

Did you notice that Yell have added the wordLanarkshire— they are saying that Glasgow is in Lanarkshire! Glasgow? Are they serious?

Glasgow is not what it once was, but it is still BIG (in fact it is presently the fourth largest city in the entire UK). And it is NOT in Lanarkshire!

A century ago Glasgow was the second city of the British Empire after London — and as The British Empire was the biggest empire in history, so Glasgow was once the second city of the planet! Glasgow is and always has been the Biggest City in Scotland. It has always been its own burgh with its own council and four cathedrals. To put things into perspective, Glasgow has Five Football teams and a national stadium at Hampden (near Shawlands and NOT in Lanarkshire). The entire residential population of the city of Inverness could be comfortably seated inside any one of these stadia! How dare they lose all the regions within Glasgow, and how dare they diminish this historically great city in such a way!

Hey, look — I got a leaflet from the tourist board, from which I quote:

“By road or Rail Lanarkshire is less than an hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh”[PDF of Lanarkshire leaflet]

It takes me an hour to drive to Lanarkshire. Glasgow is Glasgow. And “The Granary” is in “Shawlands, Glasgow” — NOT “Glasgow, Lanarkshire”!

  • But Shawlands does not exist as far as Yell and The Yellow Pages are concerned.

This is unbelievable. Things might be getting worse, but how bad is it when where-you-live can get lost?

This is a Major Disadvantage

Imagine you wanted to search on yell for a Pizza in Glasgow — is that unreasonable?

The results cover a staggering area of over 100 square miles! On the first page are restaurants in the City Centre, the West End, Cumbernauld, and even East Kilbride! Yell is Useless!

The Problem is Getting Worse

The trouble is that Yell do not seem to be the only people who use this (probably American) software — you might have noticed that some of the Google map links also add “Lanarkshire” — we also have all sorts of problems getting deliveries for things bought on-line. Often the web forms automatically add “Lanarkshire” and subtract “Shawlands”!

Shawlands is a well-known and Important Part of Glasgow

OK, just in case you are thinking that Shawlands is a tiny or insignificant place. Well that is very wrong indeed:

There are main roads in and out of Glasgow, and one of the longest and most central is the A77. From Cowcaddens at the North of the City Centre, the A77 is Renfield Street, then Jamaica Street, bridging the Clyde as Bridge Street, and continuing southward as Pollokshaws Road, through Eglinton Toll/ St Andrew’s Cross, to Shawlands Cross where it becomes Kilmarnock Road. On crossing the boundary from Glasgow to East Renfrewshire at Giffnock, it becomes Fenwick Road then Ayr Road then Fenwick Road again at Malletsheugh and over the moor as it travels into East Ayrshire and onwards.

Naturally, towns and villages have sprung up along the A77. It was the main route for Glaswegians driving to the beaches at Ayr, Girvan, Saltcoats and Troon as well as England.

Most of these are suburban conurbations of Glasgow — but they were mainly residential/ dormitory areas, and so Shawlands holds incredible importance as being the first city-like area — with restaurants, pubs, clubs and flats. Shawlands has two rail routes, and is close to the two main motorways, the National Football stadium, the Victoria Infirmary, and Langside College.

Further south have traditionally been designated “Dry Areas” where pubs and alcohol have been forbidden, so people have traditionally come from miles around to shop, work and have a night-out in Shawlands. It can also be considered as a stepping stone to the city centre (which is only 3 miles away).

Shawlands connects with the largest public park in Scotland, and has many parks and green spaces of its own. As a result, Shawlands is one of the best known areas of Glasgow. Especially known for it’s restaurants and nightclubs. It is also one of the most desirable areas to live for the broadest cross section of people and families, which is reflected in the house prices and rental market.

Summary

Shawlands is a bustling area of Glasgow, and Glasgow is the biggest and most populace place in the entire country. Lanarkshire is full of sheep and grass and is miles away by motorway. Lanarkshire is a “day out”. Glasgow is NOT in Lanarkshire. Is that clear?

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