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Bridge Gate

From Will O

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

What can we do about the frequent disregard of the pedestrian area of Bridge Gate? It's mainly the shopkeepers along there, plus taxis and occasional lost tourists. I can't see why it needs to be a loading area in the evening either as there's car parks at both ends. It's just not safe at present.

From Sam Wilkinson

Thursday, 14 March 2013

I completely agree with vehicle access being unecessary. I walk my dog down Bridge Gate at around 6am every morning and some days there are delivery vans driving down at a ridiculous speed.

On a few occassions I have pointed out that it is a pedestrianised zone and they should be more careful if they insist on driving down it, which has been met with comments like 'nobody is about at this time'.

I walk my dog on an extendable lead down Bridge Gate when it is quiet that early in the morning - if I hadn't acted quickly on previous occassions he would have been run over.

From Dave R

Monday, 18 March 2013

Oh is it supposed to be a pedestrianised area then?

I really can't see how they could have made it work as access/loading but then pedestrian only, unless they put those rise and fall operated bollards as in many other town centres.

From Phil M

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

I think Dave has hit the nail on the head that the thing it needs is bollards that are down for a period in the morning and in the evening when deliveries are allowed. For the rest of the time, the bollards are up and people cannot use it as a cut through. Seems far too simple really..

From Chris Sawer

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

There is a bollard slot outside the Shoulder of Mutton, and I believe the Town Council has the bollard and padlock. A couple of years ago it used to be put in place during daylight hours but this seems to have stopped. Perhaps one of the current town councillors could find out what happened to it?

From Julie C

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

There is now nobody to lock the bollards in each day and take them out - this was the answer given at the Ward Forum last night - anybody offering to do it?

From Dave R

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

I can't quite believe there is 'no one available to place the bollards'.
Don't we have any local council services available to do this?
Oh sorry they all go home at 5.00 is not good enough!

Maybe if it's a traffic enforcement issue then a parking officer or a PCSO could incorporate it in their role.

Otherwise, if the sole reason is that there is no one available I would suggest that far from asking for volunteers our Town Council find someone who is available.

It is a pity that Mr Fekri is no longer resident, it would have seemed easy peasy for him to pop round daily as part of his duties.

More seriously, maybe one of the pubs: The Shoulder or White Swan could be asked if they could do it?

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Something Sweet and Watergate Tearooms may have the answer, by placing small but highly visible advertising stands in the roadway. They're no problem to pedestrians while giving a clear 'no go' signal to drivers. And they're easy to shift in an emergency - no need to look for someone with a key.

Perhaps one or two businesses towards the Shoulder end could copy?

From Dave R

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

I would beg to differ that the signs are no problem Graham.

In identifying them as obstacles you have admitted that they are objects that obstruct. In that case they should not be there.

Imagine that a visually impaired person may fall over them, because: They are not supposed to be there. They may obstruct progress of a wheelchair or pram, because: They are not supposed to be there.

So to propose the placing of billboards, however small is encouraging a potential hazard. Back to the drawing board.

From Julie C

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dave - who do you think works for the council now? Do you mean Calderdale, or Hebden Royd by the way? When we had a community warden, Jason, he did the bollards - there are no employees hanging around waiting to go home because there are none. The person on the Customer First desk in the Town Hall will be there for two days a week giving information, and help with council services. Can't have that person running out to do the bollards. I reckon it is volunteers or nothing.

From Josephine Hartley

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

When I read the first two posts on this thread I thought it was 'tongue in cheek' but now I see it has become a serious discussion. Is it really such a problem in the whole scheme of things or is it sooo Hebden Bridge?

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dave R - What's a bollard if not an obstruction as defined by you? I'm sure the visually impaired and wheelchair users cope with much worse. I do rather get the impression that you're asking for someone else to wave a magic wand over this one.

From Dave R

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Goodness me, what a barrage of criticism for suggesting that it is surely it is someone, somewhere's responsibility to keep a pedestrianised area for pedestrians. Otherwise why bother making it so?

a) I would expect that whoever decided it should be so pedestrianised would be responsible for organising any 'policing' or managing of it.

b) A bollard is a deliberate obstruction, clearly placed to prevent access by vehicles. Pedestrians should have access. Unlike a hotch potch of notice boards of varying heights and widths that are easily fallen over, blown over or kicked over. They are temporary and unsafe obstructions that are also usually illegal. - Maybe you have 20/20 vision Graham so this doesn't occur to be a problem to you, but it is to many.

c) I am passing the buck - firmly back to the council for managing this, why wouldn't I?

Or are you all suggesting that if the council decide say - to stop emptying litter bins shall we all take responsibility for this as well?

From Molly Sunderland

Thursday, 21 March 2013

My sentiments exactly Josephine - how did we manage to get around Hebden Bridge safely before the pedestrianised areas of St. Georges Square and Bridge Gate were created - pushing babies in prams with toddlers at our side and also coping with the traffic? I think we might possibly have used our eyes and ears! Oh, yes, of course - and our common sense!

From Dave R

Thursday, 21 March 2013

In addition: Julie, I see there are 18 local councillors so I am not sure what you mean by who do I think 'works' for the council?

I think it is possibly the responsibility of our Town Council to discuss this issue, those because those who were concerned enough to raise the issue, are part of the community our council are here to represent.

Meanwhile, I shall drop an email to one of them and ask who they think should be in charge of bollard control. Or indeed if they see a need for a pedestrian area to be a free for all.

I shall also ponder whether they too may see it as just toooooo Hebden Bridge to be bothered about.

From Andrew B

Thursday, 21 March 2013

I agree fully with Dave on this matter. The pedestrianisation of Bridge Gate cost the tax payer an absolute fortune (I was going to try and find out how much but I don't want to know how much was wasted, for the rules to be ignored!)

For the visually impaired, a bollard/bollards at the start of a pedestrian zone is in no way similar to signs littered across the street in no particular order/ recognisable pattern. People are familiar with bollards and know that they may be there, signs are obstructions and cause accidents because they are not expected and there is no way to predict their presence.

It seems to me that the bollards were in place initially, on a scheme that was, as was intended, a pedestrianised zone. These days however, there are very few employees of the council left to carry out these duties, but we, as Dave rightly says, all have a right to express our views, and to have them heard without fear of being shouted down by those who do not agree. One can only assume these people would rather the area was accessible for vehicles regardless of the safety of others.

From Jenny B

Thursday, 21 March 2013

I can't say this has been a problem for me, because as Molly says I simply use my eyes as well as visual clues to keep my children safe. But, isn't the issue that this is a pedestrian zone? One which involved huge ammounts of debating over several years, and cost a lot of rate payers money. Which surely means it was intended to be traffic free doesn't it? Therefore, why would or should I need to ensure my children are not at risk of being hit by a car or bike when walking through? Instead of harking back to the good old days as criticism of a valid complaint, maybe we should be asking why this zone isn't kept car free and let councillors argue over who should pay to keep it so? Or do people think we should scrap the scheme and let cars through willy-nilly?

From Tim B

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Linking in to the adjacent thread, how about making the 20mph zone of Hebden shared space? I'd retain the existing pedestrianisation though.

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 21 March 2013

I'm as keen as anyone to see Bridge Gate resume pedestrian-only status, but in the absence of bollards I don't see why well-meaning business owners should get the tut-tut treatment for doing their bit to keep vehicles out.

It would be interesting to have the opinion of a visually impaired person. I find it hard to believe that any would make their way unscathed to Bridge Gate, only to come to grief there on a flimsy sign. I think they're made of more intelligent stuff than that but I'm open to correction.

I assume closure of Bridge Gate lapsed after the floods, when allowances had to be made to get refurbishment work done quickly. I agree with Dave R that effort should be made to reinstate an opening/closing routine, but maybe bollards are no longer the best solution. For example, how do emergency vehicles cope with a locked bollard? (How did they before? I have no idea.)

Unless they've done it already, it might be useful for the Town Council to ask the emergency services for advice on a workable system. In the meantime, I'd argue that ad hoc advertising stands are better than nothing.

From Eleanor Land

Thursday, 21 March 2013

What part of "Pedestrian zone" do these drivers not understand.

My daughter had to pull my grandson out of the path of an idiot driving through this street at speed. The council should make sure the bollards are put in place because it is obviously beyond the intelligence of some drivers to act responsibly and abide by the rules. I hope anyone breaking them gets a hefty fine.

From Gideon Foster

Friday, 22 March 2013

Graham , what you are suggesting sounds far too much like common sense to gain any traction to me!

Will, unfortunately I would imagine the reason it is "mainly shopkeepers" transgressing the rules here is that they require access to their premises just as they have done long before it was decided by the great and the good that the area should be pedestrianised as part of the grand re-design of the Hebden Bridge traffic system which did actually work perfectly well beforehand!

The only vehicular access is down Bridge Gate itself, which is one reason why the scheme was badly flawed in the first place , together with the 20mph limit and numerous obstacles to the flow of traffic on the main road resulting in complete gridloc. The end result is a pleasant mix of traffic fumes and smoke from chimneys, whose owners seem to misunderstand the concept of a smokeless zone, so all in all a complete success!

I am sure a sledgehammer is not needed to crack the nut here, just a little common sense. I would suggest of far more danger is the fact that there are now cars parked continuously round every bend up Keighley Road and along Fallingroyd due to the lack of parking in the town centre and that really is an accident waiting to happen!

From Dave R

Friday, 22 March 2013

Graham says, "I'm as keen as anyone to see Bridge Gate resume pedestrian-only status, but in the absence of bollards I don't see why well-meaning business owners should get the tut-tut treatment for doing their bit to keep vehicles out.

It would be interesting to have the opinion of a visually impaired person. I find it hard to believe that any would make their way unscathed to Bridge Gate, only to come to grief there on a flimsy sign. I think they're made of more intelligent stuff than that but I'm open to correction"

My mother has a visual impairment which means she has no peripheral vision. Coupled with the frailty one would expect of a 90 year old, I can assure you that any object that is obstructing a walkway is a hazard for her. her intelligence doesn't come into it. Her loss of sensory awareness does.

Rather than take this debate as a 'tut-tut view of traders 'doing their best to prevent traffic (whilst also getting free advertising) I would suggest that anyone who cannot see my point about obstruction may be interested in the following quote from the RNIB;

"It is essential for many people including blind and partially sighted people to have a clear route along a pavement. The proliferation of A-boards can make it difficult for blind and partially sighted people to negotiate the path. This can result in people walking into A-boards and injuring themselves, or inadvertently walking into the road whilst attempting to avoid an A-board. Sometimes A-boards are at different distances from the kerb on the same street; this increases the possibility of crashing into more than one A-board in a short space of time.

Falling over an A-board can be painful, and can adversely affect a person's confidence and mobility. RNIB supports a complete ban on A-boards. A complete ban will enable many people to walk along their local streets without fear of colliding with a heavy, painful sign.

One of RNIB's key goals for the next four years is ensuring more blind and partially sighted people are able to make journeys independently and safely. This includes making journeys on foot. RNIB therefore wants to ensure action is taken to reduce obstacles to blind and partially sighted people being able to use pavements safely"

To return to the point - It would therefore in my view, be safer to revert to the pedestrianised status intended.

From Phil M

Monday, 25 March 2013

Yep, the council really need to manage this properly and keep vehicles out of Bridge Gate for the designated times. Shop owners should organise their deliveries in the allocated times when access is allowed.. but in their defence, the muppets I see barrelling down the pedestrian zone never seem to stop and are just cutting through.

The pedestrianisation was the best thing that ever happened to the middle of Hebden and has given rise to the fantastic numbers of visitors we now enjoy (I can remember shuffling along the pavement of Bridge Gate, stepping into the constant stream of traffic to let prams pass - It was not fun!).

I also think the Council should allow the pubs on Bridge Gate (and the Hole as well) to put out benches and allow a little more al-fresco enjoyment.. getting a seat outside the shoulder when it's sunny is impossible..

From Jenny B

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Despite our councillors contributing to several threads in this forum, their lack of interest in this one suggests that they don't give a damn.

From Bob Leedham

Sunday, 14 April 2013

As the owner of Something Sweet on Bridge Gate, I was one of the shopkeepers putting A- Boards in the road to stop traffic racing up and down. Then, after the abuse to myself and members of staff from drivers who had to stop and move them, decided it was not worth the aggro. In our defence, we did not put them in the road till 10 am and moved them again at 4pm. Although this may not be the ideal solution, we have noticed a reduction in the amount of traffic during the restricted hours, and also in the speed at which vehicles come down Bridge Gate.

I don't know what the ideal solution is, if nobody is prepared to manually put up and take the barriers down, but it will be too late if somebody gets injured by a speeding car in our supposedly pedestrianised street.

Perhaps the council could take a leaf out of York council's book, as they seem to police their pedestrianised areas very efficiently?

Bob Leedham


From Graham Barker

Monday, 15 April 2013

If the offending vehicle displays a phone number or URL, make a complaint direct to the vehicle operator. I've done this once, and was contacted by a very pleasant and apologetic fleet manager who told me that the driver had been 'spoken to' and wouldn't use Bridge Gate as a short cut again. How much real effect it had I don't know, but responsible companies take complaints seriously so it's worth trying.

From Cllr Janet Battye

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Yes, it is important that pedestianisation of Bridge Gate works properly . . . and we need the bollard in place to do this . . . and someone to put the bollard there are remove it. I've just had an offer from a local Council worker that I'm going to follow up. He couldn't do it every day but I think that if it's done often enough, it will help to enforce it and break the habit of people thinking that they can drive up and down Bridge Gate during the day.

From Bob Leedham

Thursday, 2 May 2013

I wonder if the message is getting through. The bollard was in place at the square end of Bridge Gate. Don't know about today, been in hospital most of day. Let's hope it is up every day.