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Councillor tests traffic times in Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

Andrew Lansley with his van

Andrew Lansley with his van

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TEN journeys. Five routes. Two vehicles. One man.

With St Margaret's Road three-week traffic light switch-off kicking off today, Councillor Andrew Lansley, will embark on his crusade to discover just how commuters winding their way by car through Cheltenham will be affected by the traffic trial.

For the next five days, Mr Lansley (Lib Dem, St Paul's) will take to the wheel to drive five routes across town.

And to add another dimension to his own experiment, he will be alternating the journeys he makes between his Volkswagen Polo and Citroen Relay white van.

His routes will start from his home opposite the University of Gloucestershire's Francis Close Hall campus, to the institution's Park campus, where he works as a lecturer.

The stopwatch will run from the moment his key turns in the ignition, and stop only once he's reached his destination, in his quest to assess how congested the journey is.

"I hope to have a better understanding on the impact that the switch-off will have on traffic and also to see if there is a difference," he said.

"I'm not looking to replicate the statistical data that will be used to assess efficiency, just to experience for myself the problems faced by drivers using the road and how it impacts on using the roads of St Paul's."

Mr Lansley will set off between 8.30am and 9am today and tomorrow, between 9am and 9.30am on Wednesday and Thursday, and 9.30am and 10am on Friday.

As well as tracking his progress in the Echo, Andrew will use Facebook and Twitter to log his experiment, illustrating his findings with screenshots of Google Earth and maps as he compares the estimated times with the real length he spends in the vehicles.

"The journey usually takes between six and 11 minutes, depending on traffic and the lights," he said.

"At the moment I can't tell if it's going to be worse or better, or make no difference whatsoever – it could go wrong, or it could have a positive effect."

Mr Lansley has admitted he would prefer Cheltenham to be a cycling town although he recognised many made their way to work by car.

He added: "I can't blame them for using St Paul's as a rat-run to avoid the sets of lights that halt traffic trying to drive through the town.

"It makes sense to this trial from the point of view of those it will affect the most."

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  • tishwash  |  November 14 2012, 5:28PM

    " I have seen a few people today take a risk and cross by the Hotel where lights used to be. Will it take a accident to take place before this scheme ends and lights go back." At the end of the day, why should it ? what are we to do, place a crossing every metre of the road 'just in case' ? If someone decides to take a chance and cross the road at an unsuitable crossing point and have an accident, it is THEIR fault, I'd take them to court if they damaged my car :)

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  • charlie2times  |  November 13 2012, 11:07PM

    yes

  • whiteangeluk  |  November 13 2012, 5:09PM

    I have noticed they have taken away the lights by the Hotel, that links most of St Pauls residents as mostly come down what used to be Dunalley street, than would cross over the lights into Henrietta Street and into town. They now have to walk a few yards to the lights outside the Brewery to cross safety into town. I have seen a few people today take a risk and cross by the Hotel where lights used to be. Will it take a accident to take place before this scheme ends and lights go back. I don't feel that many cars if any go up St Pauls road to avoid St Margret's Road. It's all well and good but has anybody thought of the people that travel not by car but by foot. As this scheme is placing residents at risk. But as long as some can get from A 2 B quicker. Yet traffic lights were placed there to protect people crossing not for the purpose of speeding up traffic. After all if this can't be sorted what will happen when they decide to take away boots corner and change the whole traffic system.

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  • safeandnice  |  November 13 2012, 12:22PM

    The problem is they havent just turned off the traffic lights and parked a cone in the centre of the road to use as a pseudo mini roundabout. Theyve closed off parts of the road. It's not really a fair test. but what would be?

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  • Takeaway22  |  November 13 2012, 12:08PM

    by andrewlansley - As with you, I believe this has run its course. Thanks for the answers but wasn't looking for the answers to be a further edition of War and Peace though. I think we will have to agree to disagree on one topic area. When I go to work, I will hold my hand up and admit I do not work every single minute that I am employed to work. I will have a natter with colleagues; I will have a joke and laugh with them in 'work' time; so I am guilty as charged guv. You, my friend, by your own admission are totally focused at all times which I must congratulate you on this if this is true and correct. As for your comment '...you think people go to their place of work and do nothing?' - Now you are being silly. Some of your quotes:' * I think I've said it before - and I will remind you now - that you are out of your depth on these threads.' * 'I've always answered your questions and corrected your mistakes. If not, then I'm always happy to answer your questions and correct your mistakes.' * 'I'm sure your foot must be knackered from all the time you spend kicking yourself following the utter shambles that is your record of posting on this forum - especially the humbling you receive when someone highlights the fallacy of your drivel.' Really, is this the type of character and arrogance that the town should expect from a councilor and university lecturer? What does that say about that person? Yes, I have made mistakes. I admit to that. Who hasn't? But, somehow I feel that my honesty and integrity has also been in the forefront too. An example is as previously quoted, I am not working at ALL times when at work. Who, on this forum, or even outside this forum, would say that they take no time out whatsoever in work time?.... apart from you? I'm getting bored of this now. Until next time...it's been fun :) '

  • andrewlansley  |  November 12 2012, 11:31PM

    @Takeaway22 I'm not really sure how to respond to all that... What the heck! How about some old fashioned total deconstruction? "Does anyone else suspect andrewlansley and ProStPauls are/is the same person? Just a thought." Yes - it really is just a thought! ProStPauls is certainly not me, but it's fair to say I'm on their side and 100% supportive of their position. Using an alter-ego would very much defeat the purpose of conducting myself in a transparent manner and using my real details to directly address commentators on this forum. I assume you understand that? "Has anyone else noticed that a certain individual attempts to attack personally when questions are posed? As a Chinese proverb states: 'He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever'. So when someone attacks someone for asking questions, what does it say about them?" Is this aimed at me? If it is, I've always answered your questions and corrected your mistakes. If not, then I'm always happy to answer your questions and correct your mistakes. "andrewlansley - Thank you for answering your hours of work." You are welcome, I really hoped that would be the end of this exchange... "Do you agree that time 'in work' can, and invariabily differs from time 'working'? Just detail. I assume you understand that?" I do not agree. I understand the purpose of detail but not the context of your identified disjunction. For me, work is approached with the same attitude regardless of location. Are you saying that you think people go to their place of work and do nothing? Or are you suggesting that is what you do and applying these appalling standards to others? "PS The number of hours 'working' is a subject area that YOU introduced into this forum which nobody asked for, but thanks for the info anyway." *sigh* No it's not. It was a response to @Nibnobs statement: "Uni lecturers......easy life or what? no wonder you also find time to be a councillor!" to which I answered in the simplest possible terms. You have chosen to continue this discussion only to conclude incorrectly. I think I've said it before - and I will remind you now - that you are out of your depth on these threads. Some of us are just trying to help others and make whatever small positive impact they can on the world. A brief glimpse into your 'enlightening' commentary on other stories (and people) who use TiG reveals much about the character behind your pseudonym(s). I'm sure your foot must be knackered from all the time you spend kicking yourself following the utter shambles that is your record of posting on this forum - especially the humbling you receive when someone highlights the fallacy of your drivel. Conversely, I will offer up an olive branch and say that my door remains open to you. I really don't like having to do all this you know? If you actually took the time to come and meet me, have a cup of tea and see what kind of person I really am then you might realise I'm simply a hardworking husband and father who tries to work in the interests of the whole community. It's so easy for us all to be cynical when hiding behind a keyboard, but in the bigger world outside these forums there are people who might just be worth a little bit of trust. My email is cllr.andrew.lansley@cheltenham.gov.uk

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  • Hubert1841  |  November 12 2012, 10:39PM

    "TEN journeys. Five routes. Two vehicles. One man." Who writes these taglines? It sounds like a straight to DVD Steven Segal movie, rather than an current affairs/news report.

    |   3
  • Takeaway22  |  November 12 2012, 10:23PM

    Does anyone else suspect andrewlansley and ProStPauls are/is the same person? Just a thought. Has anyone else noticed that a certain individual attempts to attack personally when questions are posed? As a Chinese proverb states: 'He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever'. So when someone attacks someone for asking questions, what does it say about them? andrewlansley - Thank you for answering your hours of work. Do you agree that time 'in work' can, and invariabily differs from time 'working'? Just detail. I assume you understand that? PS The number of hours 'working' is a subject area that YOU introduced into this forum which nobody asked for, but thanks for the info anyway.

    |   -10
  • andrewlansley  |  November 12 2012, 9:20PM

    Hello all, Hope this is satisfactory! @tishwash The idea is not to assess the efficiency or replicate the actual data that is being sought from this trial - it is simply to experience a driver's perspective rather than simply that of a resident. You are correct, the temporary lights on St Paul's Road will have an impact on the findings and add to the traffic problems. I will update as I report each day this week. As for a cycle test of the route - I think this is a brilliant idea! Are you offering to report the change in your experience of this journey? I would be very happy to include your findings in my work as it adds another critical perspective. @Takeaway22 My hours last week? 71 hours spent "in" work, 20 hours spent working from home. This week it's a breeze - only 58... @ProStPauls - I agree. One of the irksome qualities of the TiG board is the minority of people who wish to turn the focus away from articles with the provocative, obtuse and inane. I can only guess at their motivation, but I always think these kind of stultifyingly ill-informed comments say more about the commentator than the article.

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  • tishwash  |  November 12 2012, 8:55PM

    The traffic lights on St Pauls will cause an impact on the traffic, so that's skewed CBC's analysis already.

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