Stuck in the middle

A quick post to talk about some of the issues

debated at Council last night about the Kimbrose triangle shared space:

Cllr Mark Hobbs moved and I seconded the following motion

“The recent quays linkages scheme has seen some significant improvements to lower Southgate Street and Kimbrose Triangle encouraging increased pedestrian traffic. Concerns have been raised about the ‘shared surface’ aspect of the scheme and resulting danger to pedestrians. Safety is of utmost concern to this Council and the significant lack of crossing facilities on what remains a main road through our City is an issue that must be urgently addressed.

Therefore this Council:

  1. Is deeply concerned at the lack of pedestrian safety at Kimbrose Triangle
  1. Requests that the County Council Highways conducts an urgent and immediate investigation in pedestrian safety and vehicle speeds at this junction.
  1. Demands that the County Council Highways install a temporary pedestrian crossing to remove any risk to pedestrians and traffic calming measures to reduce speeds of vehicles.”
This was amended in its entirety by a joint motion from the Tory Administration and the Lib Dems which welcomes the linkages and asks the County Council to monitor the situation. Although we supported this approach as better than nothing we are very concerned that a serious accident will happen before any effective action is taken.
I spent a short time yesterday in the shared space and several things were obvious:
a. Traffic is treating the space as a road – speeds are relatively high and there are no visual cues that this is different from an ordinary road.
b. Pedestrians are crossing at 2 main points and treating those as a road crossing, stopping on what looks like the kerb. They do not generally share the space with vehicles.
c. Traffic is coming the wrong way down the one-way part of Southgate St, usually after an illegal right turn of Kimbrose Way (which is not signposted as ‘no right turn’)
d. Illegal parking by delivery vans causing visual obstuction.
e. Traffic using Kyneburgh Tower as a roundabout.
f.  No sensory indication to the visually impaired that they are in a shared space.
The original scheme included pavement ‘cushions’ at the main crossing points – these would indicate to traffic that the space is not a normal road – we have not been told why they were not included in the final scheme. It may be that that is the solution. Until investigations are complete this scheme, which should be making Gloucester a pleasant and safe place to visit is making it difficult and dangerous.
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