16 September 2020
BCP Green Party Councillors Chris Rigby and Simon Bull have commented on the Council's use of Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs). These are legal documents which impose traffic and parking restrictions on a trial basis. ETROs are used to see if a scheme will work in practice and can stay in force for up to a maximum of 18 months while the effects are monitored and assessed.
They have allowed neighbourhood ‘people-first’ schemes such as the temporary widening (pictured) of the pavement in Wimborne Road in Winton at the height of lockdown.
Chris says: “There's been a lot of talk on both sides, personally I'm happy to see these be trialled. Ones that work I hope will be kept, and those which don't can be removed.
“This conversation is happening 20 years too late in my opinion, and we've all got far too used to car dominated roads.
“I remember being walked to school until I was about 11, then walking on my own, knocking for my mates on the way and finally being trusted to walk my siblings to their school before going to mine. Whilst this might not work for everyone, the more who can walk, cycle or scoot alleviates congestion for those who can't, making the roads better and safer for everyone whilst reducing pollution.
“As a kid I played in the street, football, kerby, and the odd waterfight were my favourites, the shout of "CAAAAR" instantly stopping any game, and it was fairly rare. We expected them and they expected us on the road. I'm only 36 it is amazing how much has changed.
“It might be a wild dream, but I'd love to see a return to roads being shared, cars not being the go to, and space being shared by all. It's got to be worth a shot right?”
Simon comments: "This conurbation has high traffic congestion with the resultant lower air quality affecting the health of residents, that leads to greater demand on the NHS, lower life expectancy.
"I see the ETROs, active travel scheme, as part of the bigger picture, part of working towards solutions. Adjusting the use of a very small part of the road network to make it safer for road users whether cyclists, scooter users, motorised vehicle drivers or pedestrians. I have had large numbers of emails from residents in support of these measures particularly where they have seen the difference their implementation can make.
"You get a real understanding of what effect such measures have only once they have been implemented. There is consultation, it is built in. Consultation that, rather than judging on preconceived ideas and hearsay, reacts to what actually happens, say when a cut through is closed off and traffic is kept on main roads rather than racing through residential streets. It is easy to act quickly and withdraw or adjust schemes that don’t work.
"This is one of few positive ideas the government, a Conservative one, has put forward."