From Peter Ford
Talking to a resident of Hebden Bridge for well over 6o years we got onto the topic of lack of parking spaces in the town.
He suggested turning the old rail sidings next to the staion into extra car park spaces. He remembered when the rail sidings were in use back in the 1950's and said that the area of land that they covered was much greater than the area which has already been turned into car parking.
The land in question is to the west of the current carpark.
Posted by Zilla Brown
I would like to speak on behalf of all undeveloped areas (corners) of land left in Hebden Bridge. Am I not allowed to just be? Can't I provide a space for a few birds and plants- maybe even animals- to live unmolested ? Do I have to expect to be ransacked for housing if remotley tenable? If I escape that fate I tremble to think that I can be sure to be targetted for the ubiquitous car and its parking requirements.
Seriously - the guys at the coal yard provide a good and useful service for the residents of Hebden and have done for years. Where would they go if they were turned off from the station yard to make room for more parking? Mytholroyd industrial units? How much would that cost? How green is that in terms of extended journeys for deliveries? Any parking gained would soon be jammed all day with yet more cars.It seems only grid lock will persuade people to live nearer work and shop using public transport. The situation in Yorkshire is becoming ludicrous. See the M62 the other day?
Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
I sympathise, Zilla, but I'm afraid it's not as easy as simply persuading folk to live nearer work and use public transport. Other places do provide car parking spaces. If Hebden Bridge becomes known as the place where you can never park, people will go elsewhere to shop.
In a rural area like this, there will always be those who simply cannot use public transport. The intelligent answer is to provide park-and-ride facilities, thus relieving town-centre congestion while also recognising that the car is here to stay, at least for the time being.
Posted by Joseph S
Rightly or wrongly Zilla, the parking at the station is now full to overbrimming every weekday morning. Lots of people make a conscious choice to use public transport (the train) to get to work. Unless we invest in additional parking somewhere, we will be forcing them back onto the roads where they'll clog up the traffic and pollute twice a day all the way to Manchester & Leeds. Sorry.
Posted by Zilla Brown
There are a lot of people I have seen who actually live in Hebden Bridge that drive to the station each morning when its quite easy to walk!
Posted by Kevin S
This morning more of market street has been double yellow lined on both sides losing around 8 more parking spaces.It seems to be a good idea for someone to suggest spaces are taken away but not to find more.
Posted by Andrew Hall
Just a bit more madness from those in charge of our traffic, Kevin.
The traffic flow in Market Street has always been self-regulating, with little chance of travelling at anything more than a crawl. As a correspondent to the HB Times recently said about the new 20mph limit - "20 mph? If only!". So what do the powers that be do? They remove car parking spaces, thereby increasing the potential speed of traffic, justifying their introduction of a 20mph zone in the first place! The outcome? Less parking spaces, no overall effect on traffic speed in Market Street, and a lot of money wasted on signs and road markings. Our money, incidentally.
And what of those areas where car parking and speed restrictions really are necessary? Well, Keighley Road continues to be impossible at times. You really shouldn't have to drive round a blind bend on the wrong side of the road with the prospect of a fully laden juggernaut coming the other way. And as for King Street / Bridge Lanes (ie from the Stubbing Wharf to the Fox and Goose), crossing the road is virtually impossible at times (the only crossing point with a central reservation is at the junction of Church Lane, and pedestrians sometimes fail to take cars emerging from Church Lane into account and vice versa). Many cars speed - it's not uncommon to see cars overtaking near the turning circle, or to gather speed to shoot up Heptonstall Road past the Fox. And all this on a road with a primary school adjacent (and many of whose pupils have to cross the main road), Hebden Bridge's largest sheltered accomodation complex for elderly and disabled people, and which is soon to have 58 extra houses, with access directly onto King Street.
So areas where there are few safety issues have precedence over areas where there are real and genuine concerns? Yes, that sounds like our traffic gurus!
Posted by Jim Band
Never did get round to reading your superior traffic and parking proposals for Hebden Bridge Andrew. Why don't you publish them here for us all to peer review them?
Posted by Paul D
There are plans to provide additional parking on the old gasometer site on station road. But it will require payment, so I bet it's empty most days and people who can't be arsed to walk from Eaves to Mytholm will moan about it.
Posted by Andrew Hall
Jim, I'm touched by the fact you'd like to see my thoughts on the subject. Thanks for that.
Heptonstall Road, at its junction with the main road (ie outside the Fox and Goose) is effectively one way working. Why not then resite the lights on Heptonstall Road a little further up the hill, widen the footpath outside the Fox (which would. as a bonus. allow wheelchairs and prams to use the pavement and access the pub - something neither user group can do at present). Widening the pavement would also prevent cars tryinig to gather speed as they approach the steep hill up to Heptonstall. The reply from Calderdale (and I have it here) is that there's no evidence of a problem at this junction and anyhow, it would delay traffic too much. It's awfully sad that we need a death or serious injury to make them act.
Posted by Jim Band
You're absolutely right Andrew, these people are clearly half-witted idiots, unlike you're good self of course. It's frankly quite astonishing that those in ultimate authority cannot employ professionals and instead think it appropriate to ask people with clearly no intelligence or experience whatsoever to take responsibility for these issues.
The locations you mention are clearly the most appalling deathtraps, and that is of course reflected in the statistics for RTA'a in the area, isn't it?
Then again, perhaps by resolving the bottleneck which Market St was becoming, drivers will be less inclined to be frustrated by their lack of progress through the town, and then less likely to impatiently race away once beyond it.
I'm very pleased that you're 'touched' Andrew, and have no doubt you have loads more where they came from.
Posted by Jacob G
Your point, if there is one, is not well observed Jim. I think it is rather insulting to refer to the opinions of the general public - not consulted on the changes - as having no intelligence. Mr Hall has made some valid points and your derogatory sarcasm contributes nothing to the debate.
Posted by Andrew Hall
Do I detect a note of sarcasm in your answer, Jim? I hope not, because your first paragraph really is spot on, once you remove the 'tongue in cheek' element.
We spend far too much time and money on so-called 'experts', who, armed with a degree or other qualification, think that their assessment of a situation is so much better than people who actually live, breathe and work in that self same situation every single day. Yes, experts certainly have a part to play, but equally importantly, they need to take into account the views and concerns of local people (and not, as so often happens, just pay lip service to the consultation process).
So is the centre of Hebden Bridge so much more of an 'appaling death trap' than the King Street / Bridge Lanes area, that it needs a 20 mph zone throughout, regular pedestrian crossings throughout, and, curiously, an attempt to increase the speed of traffic on Market Street by removing parking spaces? Are the incidence of RTA's greater in the centre of Hebden Bridge and so much worse than in the streets on the periphery of the town?
Actually, I'm not sure that the removal of car parking space in Market Street will alleviate the problem of congestion. Just one or two cars on either side of the road will cause problems. Go down at 8.00am and see for yourself.
And yes, I know that the police can find no evidence for speeding on King Street. I wonder why that is. Could it possibly be that, when drivers see a policeman pointing a radar gun at them, they slow down? I'm sure other people than myself must have seen cars travelling along this road at speeds far in excess of 30mph. And when you see pensioners waiting at the crossing at the bottom of Church Lane, waiting for someone - anyone - to help them across, you have to ask yourself, could improvements be made? I'm sure that even Anthony Rae, with whom I've had a few differences of opinion, would agree with me on this one.
But I hope to goodness you are right and I am wrong on the situation in King Street / Bridge Lanes. It would give me no pleasure at all to say to you, or the experts, 'I told you so'.
Posted by Bill Smithson
I read in the HB Times that the police need to increase their spaces outside of the closed Police Station from one to two. I assume this is so they can consult their map, because if the police are in Hebden they must be lost.
Hebweb News: Hebden Royd propose new car park at former gasometer site. More info - August 2007
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