Residents gassed by deadly Nitrogen Dioxide fumes

Discussion in 'Central Ipswich' started by dan5, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    Messages:
    2,119
    Ipswich residents (and visitors/tourists are no different) are being subjected to unnecessary levels of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide by poor local authority policy and traffic planning.

    I am quite in favour of the original "The Link" route but this was shelved for a preference to using The Saints. This has resulted in two primary routes to the Ipswich Waterfront. The first is The Saints which utilises some "public domain" outside the church... and crossing the gyratory heads towards the dead-end ugly entrance to the waterfront. Although most people head straight over Stoke Bridge down to Stoke etc.

    The second is Fore Street which dangerously fails the targets of the AQMA and regularly exceeds this. Partly due to being on the Star Lane gyratory and partly due to the route being used by heavy polluting buses.

    Suffolk County Council has better ideas... installed a new pedestrian light crossing near Dance East to avoid the ugly end of the waterfront which is off-putting... barely 50 metres away from the one at the end of the road (Bridge Street). It has closed the cut through bottom end of Foundation Street for pedestrian usage (outside Quay Place). They had also previously installed a new set of traffic lights on Star Lane near to Lower Brook Street. According to Ipswich Society they are also about to install a new set of lights in the southern section of the Star Lane gyratory (yes another!) - not to mention the set outside the Star Lane gyratory outside the University to link the campus up! This new set to be outside Premier Inn apparently. This is 50 metres from the zebra crossing and 125 metres from the Fore Street lights near the Lord Nelson pub.

    Crossings

    pedestriancrossings-starlane-gyratory.png
    Okay, the University of Suffolk crossing isn't part of the gyratory but all westbound traffic entering the gyratory other than from the North has to go past that first.

    What could have been

    starlanegyratory-thelink.pngIf the proper planning went ahead with The Link from Turret Lane, we wouldn't need the two red circled crossings (could retain the Dance East crossing to continue The Link path south or remove that and keep the west-most College Street one). The awful white-filled rectangle would likely be re-purposed as public realm space between the two churches, Turret Lane would be pedestrianised and across Star Lane gyratory would be a very wide toucan crossing. This would allow a large number of people to cross at one time.

    None of the gyratory is perfect, the St Peters Street crossing is an awful location but removing this would result in a lot of deaths - people would be too lazy to go Turret Lane crossing - and would be needed to get to that church. I suppose you could always make it trigger less frequently.

    Rewind (almost) 10 years...

    When people were complaining about the university lights... Evening Star ran with this...

    No removal of a pedestrian crossing just increasing the number of them and sneaking in large ASL boxes. You could argue that the Wine Rack and Premier Inn requires all this... but each North and South section of the gyratory is only about half a mile in length but endless amount of crossings.

    Rewind further...

    Plans for an Ipswich Waterfront were speculated at the time the gyratory was built although far from advanced stages (you could argue it still isn't in advance stages... of completion!) so when they planned the large dual carriageway ring road around the town centre, planners didn't remotely care about the wasteland of the old wet dock. No one had any business to be down there, it would get traffic around town... and doing this far away from peoples lungs was a good solution.

    Then they had other ideas over the years... such as expensive flats, a university and well, that is about it. This requires a safe route for pedestrians who never needed to go down there (before people arrived by car!), a bit annoying that they purposely built a dual carriageway dividing the town from the old wet dock (with a modern twist of axis switching the town centre) and Martin sums this up brilliant in his Ipswich Star comment... "And then we add in all the extra pedestrian crossings, is it safer in the long run to cross a busy road with just a centre island and no lights or to wait for the green man to show whilst getting a lung full of pollution?"

    The problem with AQMA is the values are averaged. Most people crossing Star Lane gyratory will do so in the day when it is busy (perhaps not rush hour) and that equals high pollution... with increased stationary traffic and start-stopping this will be exceeding the legal limits imposed, although unlike the borough who monitors the problem (and SCC who does the roads!) your lungs are unable to get an average based upon night readings etc. I am not a doctor but someone crossing the gyratory once a day every day for a few years are likely to greatly increase their chances of developing nasty illnesses in the future. So not good to live there!

    Luckily enough (for the council) the AQMA measuring happens in Fore Street and not College St or Key Street too.
     

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