Thursday, February 5

Waterloovile pedestrian access

Over the years, access to Waterlooville by pedestrians and cyclists approaching via the Hambledon Road route have gradually eroded. Havant council are largely to blame by putting car drivers first and neglecting the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. This is typified by the retail park that now spreads across the main route for all pedestrians and cyclists that want to enter Waterlooville via the dual carriageway underpass.

Before the dual carriageway was built, we had a public road (Hambledon Road) that ran straight into Waterlooville, but the council through its incompetence decided to sell the land to private investors a number of years ago and the dual carriageway/bypass was built for motor vehicle traffic.

In this photo I have drawn the path of the original Hambledon Road, which was long and straight for most of its length. The kink in the red line indicates the steep hill the old road climbed to get into Waterlooville.

To the right of the old road there were fields and a hedgerow once defined the border between road and fields. So basically Halfords and other retail units on that side are where the fields were located.

What can be seen from the photo is the horrendous situation we have today for pedestrians and cyclists. Remember what you see is the main highway into Waterlooville for anyone that wants to cycle or walk. Car drivers have their own dual carriageway and the cars can park here as well. Pedestrians have to negotiate about 7 'junctions' in the car park all within a few metres of each other.

Here we can see the new Zebra crossing markings being abused by a typical driver. There are about 7 of these crossings and vehicles regularly stop across the cycle and pedestrian path.

If a pedestrian or cyclist did this in the middle of a busy road, they would get a lot of abusive language aimed at them from arrogant drivers.

Note that another van is also stopped on a Zebra crossing further up.

On the day that these photos were taken, about 5 vehicles (within a 5 minute period) abused the highway code by stopping on the Zebra crossings. More vehicles stopped on the path than they did before the markings went down!

The highway code 192 states:

"In queuing traffic, you should keep the crossing clear"

Also 191 states:

"You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines."

Clearly we have queueing traffic here and the code is being abused.


Steve said...

I believe that the car park is on private land so the Highway code may not apply in this case. The omission of Belicia Beacons on the Zebra crossing could also confirm this. Though in honesty you're taking your life into your own hands when crossing as a pedestrian in that car park.

What is really annoying to us is the steps between the Retail Estate and the main Precinct. It's tough enough with a double-buggy, quite how disabled folks managed I couldn't say. I bet they have to drive.

Anyway we walk to the town, it's only 20 minute, the only reason to drive is when collecting something that doesn't fit in the pushchair due to weight or dimension.

TheVille said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the comments. Yeah, it is private land. When Wadham Stringer car dealers were demolished and the retail park expanded, the path had no posts in the centre and cars actually drove up and down the path.

At that stage the council had some influence over the planning. From what I can remember the original plans at the borough offices had the zebra crossing markings. It has taken them a number of years to actually paint them!

The council planners should never have let the commercial developers get away with such poor provision for cyclists and walkers.

People in disability buggies have to cross the dual carriage way at the crossing and go into Waterlooville via the path up to the fire station and doctors surgery. Well they could until they messed the round about up.

BTW nice blog about chickens!
I have thought about keeping chickens myself.

Steve said...

That's a long way for someone in a wheelchair to go if they want to go to the Church from the Retail Estate! You can go through the industrial estate up to the Roundabout by the Heroes (whilst avoiding all the broken glass) but it's a climb.

Chooks are good fun. Certainly has saved a lot of trips to the shops to buy eggs (which then leads to buying other things like a bottle of wine whilst you are there). Can't recommend it enough. Two or three hens don't take much looking after. It's surprising when you ask around how many people keep chooks in their suburban gardens.

TheVille said...

Doesn't it take a few years to get a return on your initial investment (based on free range/organic shop prices of eggs)?

I was looking at those Omlet chicken runs and they are quite expensive.

Do you find the local cats or foxes are a problem?

Steve said...

I don't let mine Freerange without supervision, so foxes aren't a problem. A friend lost a Chook to a fox recently but she let them freerange alone.

Apparently Chooks will see a cat off - though I've not seen a cat in our garden for many years.

You can never make any money with a small flock of hens. Though we do track every penny spent. Current projections are 2.5 years to break-even - which is nice to know.

Our hens are pets too - and give life to an otherwise dull garden.

And the taste of home-laid eggs is out of this world - a real eye, er, tastebud opener.

I can't answer whether Hens are for you - but if you have some spare time for them, and don't mind the initial investment then eventually you'd get your money back + have some friendly pets. Just mind for the Waterlooville Clay that chooks turn to mud in the winter (which does end up ponging).

There are other houses available at probably a cheaper cost, but it wasn't for us as we wanted the low maintenance route.

The Omlet web forums are worth reviewing if this is something you want to do.