Market Street choked with fumes
Posted by Peter Tillotson
It should be pointed out that the monitoring device for the whole of Hebden Bridge (as far as I understand) is that grey box outside the Co-Op and the vent into the machine is positioned exactly opposite where the exhaust pipe outlet of the small bus is. It is no wonder the reading is so high when if you have ever walked past one of those buses, some of which are quite aged, you will yourself have had a good whiff of the exhaust! Moreover as long as a bus is stopped at the bus stop, any large lorry spewing fumes just behind it will also affect the reading. I would like to suggest Mr Ramsdale takes a look for himself and perhaps repositions the monitoring device more appropriately or moves the bus stop and compares the readings (or replace the old buses and ban the oversized lorries)
Posted by Dave
Regarding large lorries, I wrote (in a Meldrew moment) to both the local MP and the council about my concern that a huge number of lorries, particularly with overseas number plates, use Hebden Bridge as an alternative to the M62 when heading for the M6 north. Their response was "...we don't activly promote it, so we're not responsible and aren't going to do anything about it."
Well that told me.
Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
I assume you paraphrase their response, Dave. What exactly do you think the local council could have done to prevent big wagons using the A646 instead of the M62? Barbed wire checkpoint at Littleborough?
The problem is in the size of wagons in proportion to routes known as trunk routes. I followed a huge artic south from Whitby one bright December afternoon, only to see him completely fail to manage the S-bend at the Hole of Horcum - the contours of the road meant his drive wheels simply lifted off the road part-way round the curve. He couldn't do it. I had to scoot round the outside to get past this stranded behemoth. How he managed a 3-point turn in a beat that size I have no idea, but someone must have got him out of it. The point is, that is the main route south from Whitby. Apart from the coast route to Scarborough (even worse) or going east to the A19 before heading south, what should goods drivers do?
The A646 is a trunk route. Until someone gets sensible and puts freight back onto the rail network, we're going to have big things trundling through town.
Posted by Nigel Yorke
Actually the A646 is no longer a Trunk Road. Mid last year it was de-trunked (if that's the phrase). There was much complaint by the Freight Haulers Associate but it got though. With-out de-trunking much of the proposed Traffic Flow improvements that are currently underway would never have got though. But even so there is still little you can do to actually stop lorries using the road. Personally I think large lorries should be banned from driving though Hebden Bridge but then you would get Business people complaining. And as it always seems, Businesses trump residents.
Posted by Oscar
I think most drivers will agree the A646 is congested. We can try to be selective about the traffic we subjectively want. Commuters, perhaps, would like a lorry and tourist free road. Businesses need both tourist traffic and the lorries that supply their goods to sell. Environmentalists will have a totally different perspective.
Rev Tony, barbed wire no, but a checkpoint to show your Yorkshire Passport might be an idea. At least it would keep Dave's 'Foreign Lorries' out. I know the S-bend at the base of the Hole of Horcum very well and have passed many a lorry in my MR2, downhill, towards the S-Bend, 2nd gear, high revs, brake, back end twitch, steer, rear slide, foot down, revs up, left slide, over steer, compensate, over the bridge, correct, right slide, foot full down, wheel spin, up the hill and away
Apparently a Trunk Road is "a major road usually connecting one or more cities, ports, airports, etc. - which is the recommended route for long-distance and freight traffic."
I'm guessing that all it takes to discourage freight using the A646 as a shortcut is a single weak point; a height restriction due to a low bridge, a weight restriction due to a weak bridge, a speed restriction due to roadworks/ schools/ villages a width restriction due to, well, a narrow bit. It might encourage through traffic to use another route. However, we still need lorries, foreign and otherwise, to deliver goods to our local independent shops, restaurants and pubs.
Posted by Dave
I may have mislead things by siting forgein trucks as the enemy. This was not meant for one second as a zenophobic statement "...bloody foreigners, driving through our town...etc", but more an illustration of unnecessary imcremental traffic.
Lorries heading to deliver to the upper Calder Valley are naturally entitled to do so. Trucks heading from Poland to Preston are a little more frustrating. I used to commute on the the M62 myself, and know what a nightmare it can be, but surely the answer is not for trucks to disembark at Hull or come off the M1 and head up through Calderdale to reach the North West?
Having said that, I haven't a bloody clue what the answer is!! Low bridges would hinder local deliveries and buses, weak bridges probably aren't recommended. At least the powers that be are supporting us, if un-knowingly, by constantly digging up the A646 are putting in temporary traffic lights.
I don't think any sensible resident wants a "lorry free road", but surely using town such as Hebden Bridge as a route for long-distance and freight traffic needs re-examining?
Posted by Sally
In response to Peter Tillotsons observation about the bus stop and the placing of the monitoring site, I would say that the monitoring equipment has probably been placed in the best spot as it measures the pollutant levels at hopefully the worst spot on Market Street.
As Peter rightly points out the monitoring equipment is right next to a bus stop, where people spend time waiting outside more than anywhere else on the street and are exposed to the fumes on the road giving a worst case scenario on Market Street.
At the end of the day the concentration measured are what we are breathing at that spot and if there are health implications the problem should be highlighted.
I think I would more concerned had the monitor been placed at a spot where it would give unrealistically low results and there would no problem and no need to address the pollutant levels. Well done Calderdale!
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