Councils: they couldnae run a bath

There are times when the local council does things that ruffle the burdz feathers.

A new pedestrian crossing was put in to assist children crossing a busy road to school.  This busy road already had two traffic islands to assist with crossing, both of them placed close to the two bus stops.

To prepare for the installation of said pedestrian crossing, the bus stops and traffic islands were removed.  The location for the pedestrian crossing was chosen and all the paraphernalia installed.  Yet, the location chosen is right between two junctions, one on either side of the busy road.  The space between both junctions is probably about 50 metres.  They are well used junctions and this is probably the most dangerous part of the road to have installed a crossing.  Drivers turn out of the junction and land right in front of the crossing.  A potential hazard rather than a sanctuary has been created.  Yet there was a safer 200 metre stretch of road without adjoining junctions that could have been used.

Have the bus stops and traffic islands now been reinstated?  No. Instead of two bus shelters we now have one, somewhere in the middle of where the two originally were.  It’s not such a big hardship for the burd necessitating a further 20 metre walk or occasional sprint to catch an approaching bus.  But it is a hardship for others using the bus stop from further away.  As a former neighbour in his 70s pointed out, he now has an extra 100metres to walk, which is a lot at his age, especially if he has shopping bags.  The removal of the second bus stop has created an inconvenience for older and disabled people and for parents with young children, where one need not have existed.  Yet, the council is supposed to be encouraging more of us to travel by public transport.

Neither traffic island has reappeared.  The only safe place to cross now is at the pedestrian lights which for the burd means walking an extra 200metres down one side of the road, crossing then walking 100m back up the other side to reach the bus stop.  Clearly for those with mobility issues this is impossible.  Yet, if the council had located the crossing equidistant between the two existing bus stops, more people would have used it, not just to catch the bus but to use other local services, including the park.   The children needing to use it to get to school would have had an extra 50m or so to walk but would be crossing in a much safer place with unobscured sight lines.

So, on the plus side, our local community has gained a pedestrian crossing.  Put in place at a cost of approximately £50,000.  The burd knows this because the cost was given during consultation on a local school closure.  The council said they would put it in to make it safe for children walking to their new school after their old one closed.  The local community insisted that parents would choose to send their children to another school situated much closer to the one being closed and which didn’t involve crossing a busy road.  The community was right, of course.  How many children attend the designated school across the road?  Eleven.

On the downside, the local community has lost a bus stop, and two traffic islands.  A busy road has been made more dangerous and a deterrent to using the bus has been created.  The location of the pedestrian crossing suits very few local residents and is certainly not convenient for the bus stop or for accessing other local services.  No one is using it.  It is already obsolete.

Councils.  Sometimes they couldnae run a bath.

Feel free to add or send your own examples.  I have a feeling this could turn into a series…


2 thoughts on “Councils: they couldnae run a bath

    • Ha! Thanks cynical Highlander. At least it shows that mine isn’t the only council that couldnae run a bath!

      I think officials more to blame here than councillors. For once.

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