For my course work i will look to explore the extent of the problem of congestion in Hexham. Also i will look to investigate what should be done to help reduce this problem.
The things in which i will be looking into to examine the problems of congestion will be things such as counting the amount of cars in carparks and counting the amount of traffic on the roads for 10 minutes. i will also do a questionare and mapping traffic hazards.
here are four possible solutions which i feel will help reduce the amount of traffic congestion in hexham : pedestrianise the market place, introduce a one way system through the town centre, create new parking areas nearer the town centre and introduce a park and ride scheme at the tyne green which will allow people to park there cars at the tyne green and then a bus will transport them to the town centre. Finally i propose that we leave things as they are.
It is important to reduce congestion so that we can reduce the amount of pollution which will create an enviromental hazard which will lead to health problems. Also it will reduce the amount of traffic related road accidents and it will make the roads safer.
Also i will be looking into the background information of heham. Hexham has old narrow roads, There are also more services to attract more people which encourages more cars. e.g the co-op and safeways. During the last 20-30 years there has been a huge increase in the amount of traffic on the roads. There has been an increase of traffic due to newer and more efficiant road net works, more cars due to more people driving and people commuting to different towns, villages and city’s to work.
People have a better income, which means they have more money to spend on transport. People live further from work and therefore they need a car to get them there. Also people have become lazy and don’t feel the need 2 walk anywhere anymore, people have become dependant on cars and other forms of transport. The wide spread problem of people using there own individual transport is that public transport is coming into decline. I think that to get around this increasing problem we could lower the price of public transport, increase road tax and increase the prices of cars to encourage people to use public transport also we could make them see that the congestion is creating pollution which is affecting peoples health.
Apart from hexham traffic congestion occurs in towns such as carlisle. In Carlisle they have introduced one way roads and various other alternative solutions to the prevention of road congestion such as ways I have mentioned above. Also Newcastle have terrible road congestion especially in the mornings when people are going to the town for work and at night when they are coming home. Such roads that both towns have congestion on is the A69 which suffers from congestion almost every day.
ANYLISIS OF TRAFFIC FLOW SURVEY
In hexham most of the busy roads are situated on the outskirts of hexham and towards the town centre. This is because all of the traffic coming from neighbouring towns, villages and cities and going to or coming from major roads such as the A69. also cars, lorry’s and vans go to the town centre and to places such as the hospital for appointment or to housing estates or industrial estates.
When I collected my traffic flow data it was a Friday at 9:30. I was situated on the alemouth road. At this time of the day most people were either going to work or taking there children to school. I feel these results are typical for hexham as this time of the day and I know that from my own knowledge. Although I only have data for one Friday any other day might be different for example Sunday people might not travel to hexham as they might stay in for the day of rest and there might be more people on Saturday as there might be people doing there weekly shopping. The busiest road in hexham is the alemouth road (between the bridge and the round about)
The traffic was counted for 10 minutes and these were the results. There were 275 cars and vans and only 16 buses and lorrys. All together there were 291 vehicels during this 10 minute period.. There’s so much traffic on the road in this part of hexham as this road leads straight into hexham from the A69 which is the busiest road which goes from carlisle to Newcastle and is a juel carrage way and it is the quikest road for traffic to travel to neighbouring towns and villages. Also the time being 9:30am is when there would be a rush to get to work. Finally the alemouth road is one of the main entences and it leads traffic to the town centre, large car parks, housing estates and industrial estates. As a result of all this traffic I have come to the conclusion that there is a great problem of traffic congestion.
The second busiest road in hexham is the battle hill road. This road produced 191 veichels in 10 minutes as it is the main road leading into the town centre and it goes towards haydon bridge and cralisle. This road also leads to the hospital and the co-op and safeways and being 9:30 there would be a build up of traffic congestion and it takes a long atime to clear..i have witnessed the congestion here as I get the school bus through this road in the mornings and the congestion is bad.
The quietest road in hexham is along fore street. After 10 minutes of counting it was found that there was only 3 lorrys and nothing else and these lorrys would of only been talking stocks to shops. This road is pedestrianised and so I wouldn’t expect there to be any traffic along this road. And so I come to this conclusion that there is no traffic congestion along this road as there is no traffic to congest.
The second quietest road in hexham is hallstile bank as there were only 23 cars/vans and there were no lorrys or buses. There is so little traffic here as it is a one way road leading down to robbs and safeways and to alemouth road and then to the A69. the road is narrow and so not many people would like to drive down it. And so this road is also not congested as there is hardly any traffic to congest.
I feel these results are typical for hexham and you would find similar results in other small town. Although again I can not say these results are entirely satisfactory as they don’t tell me what the traffic would be like on a Saturday or Sunday or at any other time of the day and so they might not be “typical”. Although from these results I can see a pretty clear picture of the state of the congestion in hexham is like, the smaller roads show evidence of very little congestion and where one way roads have been enforced or pedesrianated roads are there is very little congestion whereas where the busy roads are there is great problems of congestion as this is where a large percentage of traffic is situated and so the roads are logically busy.
ANALYSIS OF CAR PARK SURVEY.
In hexham there is approximatly 13 car-parks. These car-parks are mainly situated around the cbd (town centre) and in the outskirts of the town centre. Most of the smaller carparks are situated in the town centre. For example the market place a priestpopple is very expensive ground to buy and so a car park there would be highly expensive also there is hardly any land left for new carparks to be built. The larger car-parks are normally found on the outskirts of the town as the land is very cheap and so it would be much cheaper to build large car-parks.
The smaller car parks are very crowded for example the train station can hold 35 parked cars but there are 47 parked cars and so this shows that the car park is congested. Also priestpopple has 13 spaces but there are 14 cars actually parked, the car-parks are in the state they are as they are close to the shops just convenient for people who want to go and do shopping or go to work.. the car-parks are to small and contain to many cars and so get congested. Also the time is 9:30 and cars are parked for work.
This will cause traffic congestion as cars will start to park illegally on double yellow lines, street corners and on dangerous parts of the roads.. cars have to stop for these parked cars and so there is traffic congestion. The large car parks are pretty much empty on the out-skirts of hexham. For example only125 car park spaces at the tyne green but only 17 parked cars and then next to that at the mark there are 318 spaces but only 134 parked cars which shows that half of the car park is not being used. This is because it is a long way from the town centre and many people are to lazy to park there car on the out-skirts and walk to the town centre. Even on a busy Friday the car parks are still empty.
These car parks were built so that cars having to park illegally have somewhere to park in the large overflows on the outskirts of hexham. They are having to park here due to an increasement of cars because of people getting well paid jobs and cars being more available and more efficient and so everyone owns one also the population of people and cars is growing also there is more services to attract more people and tourism is another thing which attracts people to the town. Also there are a lot more people who can commute to work and live in the country and so they have to occupy parking spaces in the town centre. These overflow car parks are to reduce the amounts of congestion in parking and to stop people having to park on double yellow lines.
These results may be typical for hexham as Friday at 9:30 is a busy part of the day but we don’t know what it is like at anyother time of year of day. During the summer that might be an increasment of tourists and so the figures might be different also on a sat there might be more people having to park and on a Sunday there might be less people and so these results are not entirely typical for hexham but they do show that nogestion in parking can effect the congestion in traffic.