Bus Re-routing Consultation

UPDATE the Traffic Regulation Orders for the below changes are now available to comment on send comments to traffic.orders@stoke.gov.uk  quoting reference: DF/NM/TRO20/2012, by the 31st day of March 2012.

http://www.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/download/asset/?asset_id=236030

The dates for a public exhibition on the proposals for Hanley have been revealed, it will be held in the East West Centre Offices in Charles Street (opposite the bus station) on

Tuesday 14 February from 10am to 2pm,

Wednesday 15 February from 12 noon to 4pm

Thursday 16 February from 3pm to 7pm

Officers will be there to answer any questions and explain the proposals in more detail.

The City Centre Bus Rerouting Project Team said “This will be the biggest change to the way the City Centre works in 30 years but we think we have got the balance between the need for new bus routes and bus stops, the public realm and pedestrian improvements, and the management of traffic and parking, about right.”

My Questions to the Council were

Does Marsh Street North need to be a bus lane, making it two-way to all traffic will remove the need for through traffic to negotiate Weaver Street and Lower Foundry Street which due to narrow nature could be a cause of conflict between drivers, this could be reviewed when the ring-road is completed.

The reduction in car access and on street parking maybe seen as improving the environment with increased pedestrianisation but will the Extra Buses be counter productive to this? Can Stafford Street cope with 2 way Bus traffic the Bus Stops will have to be well spaced to ensure no bottlenecks with buses unable. and what of the shopping environment? better or worse then at present? will need good design to create illusion of space.

Removing buses from Town Road will make it more difficult for bus users to access Hanley Health centre, its already quite a climb, but when you consider the climb from Stafford Street. Will the Council may need to consider subsidising a bus service to health centre. Removal of bus stops will of course reduce visits to those shops in that area, and no word on if Town Road will be pedestrianised to entice shoppers back.

I was very pleased to receive the below reply from City Council Transport Team,

Councils Reply

Dear Ian

Thank you for your queries and your continuing interest in the City Centre traffic management changes for the new bus station.  Your positive comments on this matter in various forums are appreciated.

We looked at making Marsh Street North two-way from Waterloo Road to Trinity Street but decided that the additional traffic that would then make the right turn at the traffic signals at Trinity Street, as well as the extra traffic that could be attracted to the route, could overload the junction.  It is also unnecessary for the rerouting of the bus services.  When the last leg of Potteries Way is constructed, it is likely that Marsh Street North could be made two-way but that could still be some years away.  We also looked at completely closing the route through Foundry Street altogether and forcing through traffic to go around Potteries Way but concluded that the diversion was so long we should leave a route using Hope Street, as now, but with a simplification of the Foundry Street/Lower Foundry Street/Weaver Street/Trinity Street area by creating a one-way system.  That has to be anti-clockwise due to the routing of bus services up Trinity Street to the stops in Stafford Street.  The 9 buses an hour in Marsh Street North that will turn right into Etruria Road can be accommodated at the traffic signals without difficulty and it means that those buses, which are well used, will have a boarding stop in Stafford Street.

Stafford Street north of Trinity Street will have very little traffic other than buses and taxis (hackney carriages) for much of the day under the proposals.  We have planned for 45 buses an hour going north (outbound) and 35 an hour going south (inbound).  There will also be around 30 taxis an hour going south.  Current traffic movements are all northbound and our latest traffic count show that on average during the 12 hours from 7am to 7pm there are 122 cars, 21 vans, 6 HGVs and 43 buses in this part of Stafford Street.  Under the proposals, all the cars will be removed and the other vehicles will be concentrated in the hours before 10am when there are fewer pedestrians about.  The alternative routes for inbound buses from the north are limited to the existing route via Town Road and Old Hall Street, which would compromise the desire to pedestrianise Old Hall Street and would prevent changes in Town Road to provide more parking and to reopen the through route into Meigh Street, or to use Potteries Way with the consequent loss of setting down stops for bus passengers in the City Centre.  We will provide a single setting down stop for inbound services in the vicinity of Lamb Street and three outbound stops on the west side of the road which will be located so as to allow buses to pass stationary buses to get to the appropriate stop.  While this will add slightly to the activity in the area, there are no alternative locations for stops that will be as convenient for passengers.

The transfer of the current setting down stops in Town Road to Stafford Street will, as you say, add to some people’s walking route in the City Centre and mean that the walk for some people will be uphill as well, depending on where they are walking to.  We did look at pedestrianising Town Road but concluded, at least in the short-medium term that replacing the redundant bus stops on Town Road with disabled parking bays and a new taxi rank and increasing parking on the side streets by transferring the disabled bays, would be better to ensure that activity will remain at a high level in the area.  As explained earlier, leaving buses on Town Road would compromise other objectives, particularly in Old Hall Street.  It is unlikely, given the current economic climate, that the Council will be in a position to provide or subsidise any form of bus service to a particular location in the City Centre unless there is a significant demand or the service can be operated at minimal cost.  Hanley Health Centre is already served by an hourly bus service (route 37), so will remain accessible by bus with the possibility of changing buses in Stafford Street as well as in the new bus station.

I trust you will find this response helpful.  Please let me know if you need any further clarification.  I would add that we are expecting to hold a public exhibition of the proposals in mid-February but the details are not yet finalised.  Further information will be available on the Council’s website next week.

Regards
City Centre Bus Rerouting Project Team
Technical Services | City Renewal
City of Stoke-on-Trent
Civic Centre  Glebe Street   Stoke-on-Trent   ST4 1HH

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