Head to head: Stone ring road
Two guest bloggers go head to head over one of the most controversial issues in the town at the minute – the changes to the Christchurch Way ring road. Thanks to David and Dan for their guest posts – have your say by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page, on the Little Bit of Stone Facebook page or on Twitter.
“It’s easier, more logical and more straightforward”
Perhaps I am just lucky or is that I have a good memory of what traffic was like in Stone before the changes. The current road layout in Stone is easier than it was, is more logical than it was and is more straightforward to understand than it was. I do accept that is easier for someone heading for the Lichfield Road and admittedly more difficult if Walton bound, but nevertheless workable. I travel through the town at least once a day and to date have never had a problem (no doubt I will now!).
What does frustrate me is being delayed in traffic through poor road discipline. For example drivers from Granville Square stopping at the top of Christchurch Way – why? It is not a “stop” junction. The idea is that cars should filter in as they progress down the bypass not wait at the top for a gap in traffic. The other irritant are those who pull out of Morrison’s, trying to get into the right hand lane when there is no gap for their vehicle – simple Highway Code ethics, they must wait and leave the left-hand lane free to move. In an ideal world, two lanes taking people away from the supermarket would be perfection, but we have to live in a real world.
I do however appreciate the difficulties for the Festival Committee as it has disrupted the parade – for this reason it should have been made a movable structure so allowance made for such events. The great people of Stone should recognise that their traffic problems are nothing in comparison with other towns in the country where it can take you much longer to pass through. Perhaps the best solution for all those of us able would be to take up cycling or use our feet, leaving the roads for those deserving and with no option. Time to focus on other more deserving issues in society.
“The new system is ill-thought-out and unconsidered”
The new ring road system is a blind alley that Staffordshire County Council have gone down. Once problems arose, without stopping to consider if they should turn back, they have carried on frittering away our money, making ill-thought-out changes to fix unconsidered faults. Was a thorough analysis of the original system carried out, including consulting the residents of Stone? Did they consider all of the knock-on effects from altering the system? I think we need answers to these questions.
The resulting public outcry over the changes – especially the motorists who are stuck on Morrisons car park – show that this due diligence wasn’t performed. Granted the old system had its faults. But as the saying goes, ‘The best solution is the least worst’. If the council could justify their decisions in altering the original system then it would go some way in answering the critics, but so far they haven’t been able to give a reasonable ‘excuse’ for their actions.
They have made the situation yet worse by acting hastily on alterations. The new siting of the pedestrian crossing has forced pedestrians to walk further and cross the road on a blind corner that most motorists take at a speed too high to stop in time for the Mill Street crossing.
Considering Stone is a market town and has been struggling recently with foot trade, the council should be doing all it can to make pedestrians’ lives easier. It won’t take long until somebody is knocked down on Mill Street crossing, I fear. God forbid it but will it take something serious for the council to wake up and smell the coffee?