A Conversation for Coventry Ring Road, West Midlands, UK

God and luck

Post 1


I have a theory that God is far too busy preventing road accidents to have any time left for anything else. When you look at how people drive and what the roads are like...I know Coventry Ringroad and its true what the article says. I've just reminded myself of that movie with the angels wandering about waking up air-traffic controllers etc....Nicholas Cage was in it....it should have shown them all stopping road accidents.

God and luck

Post 2

Cheerful Dragon

I grew up in Coventry and have driven round its ring-road more times than I care to think about. The problem with the ring-road is that nobody knows how to use it properly (and that includes the local police). Everybody treats it as a straight dual-carriageway and pays no attention to the road markings or direction signs. As far as I'm aware, drivers should stay in the right-hand lane until just before their junction. If everybody followed this simple scheme there would be fewer people getting in your way as you try to join or leave the ring-road. However, there would be a solid line of traffic in the right-hand lane! Ho hum, it seemed like a good idea when it was first thought of.

I guess that another problem is that the ring-road wasn't designed for the amount of traffic it now has to cope with, but that's true of most roads designed and built in the 50s and 60s.

City Planning? You Jest, Surely.

Post 3


You would have thought that having your city obliterated in the Second World War would leave town planners filled with glee at the prospect of a blank sheet to work with.

Not so with Coventry City Planning Dept. They saw that they had the opportunity to recreate an entire transport infrastructure based upon the works of M.C. Escher.

There's lots I like about Coventry, mainly the pubs, but there's a whole lot more I hate, and the ring road is but a drop in the ocean.

City Planning? You Jest, Surely.

Post 4

Cheerful Dragon

I grew up in Coventry and there are worse places to live, although the area I grew up in (Radford) is not as nice as it was when I grew up there. Part of that is because of the increase in the number of cars since I grew up, which makes the streets look pokey and crowded. Most of the streets and houses were built in the 1930s, when there was little traffic, so wide streets weren't needed. The area is now a learner driver's nightmare! smiley - sadface

Having said that, at least I was able to walk to work when I lived in Coventry. I used to work for GEC Telecom. at Ford St., just outside the town centre. It was 2 - 3 miles from home and I could walk there in 3/4 hour (roughly). I now live in Redditch, and walking anywhere is impossible (except from home to the town centre). And if I didn't want to walk to work, there was a half-way decent bus service. The bus service in Redditch is nothing to write home about, although I understand that the bus service in Coventry has gone downhill since privatisation.

City Planning? You Jest, Surely.

Post 5

Researcher 105689 aka Mamo

Coventry bus service....
A time table that is a strange mathematical contortion of what is given to the public, and buses driven by demons too strange to fit in to Hell.

City Planning? You Jest, Surely.

Post 6


bus service?
sorry but in coventry those 2 words never appear in the same sentence.
there are buses. they operate. there is no service, or they'd apologise for not turning up for 3/4's of a pissing hour when you need to get to an eye test in time.
but like the murphy's, i'm not bitter.

City Planning? You Jest, Surely.

Post 7

Cheerful Dragon

Ah, yes. The Coventry bus service. When I was at school or working in Coventry and used the bus service, there was a local bus every 10 minutes or so during the rush hour. Even outside the rush hour they were fairly frequent. Then somebody decided that nobody used the busses after 5.30pm-ish, and the interval between busses went up to 20 - 30 minutes. This was some time in the mid-80s. I started to walk to work because, amongst other reasons, by the time the bus arrived I could be half-way home!smiley - sadface

My mother still lived in Coventry until a couple of years ago. By the time she left, there was no bus service in Radford on a Sunday. The Saturday bus service, which was pretty good while I was living at home, had also deteriorated. It was a self-perpetuating problem. 'People don't use the busses, so we won't provide a decent service. Oh, look! People aren't using the busses!'smiley - sadface

City Planning? You Jest, Surely.

Post 8


In Norwich, I heard it said that Hermann Goering survived the war, came to Britain under an assumed name (never think of looking for him here)and got a job as a town planner. This was to get his revenge and cause more damage to Norwich than the Luftwaffe ever managed when they visited in 1942...

Perhaps the same could be said of Coventry.

On the issue of road safety, I think the reason why some roads have low accident rates, when just by looking at them you would think that they OUGHT to attract more accidents than they do, is because you ARE able to look at them and realise at a glance how bloody dangerous they are. (Does this make sense?)

Once you've noticed where the danger points are, if you're a regular traveller you will slow down, behave more carefully, the adrenalin flows as you look out and think "no marked pedestrian crossing point, so people cross as and where they think - how bloody dangerous is THAT at a busy junction?", and you compensate for it.

The accidents are had by people who are perhaps driving that way for the first time, who aren't as familiar with the flashpoints?

If we're nominating Britain's Worst Potential Accident Blackspot, my choice is the junction of Broom Lane and Stockport Road in Manchester.

Here (crazily) at the junction of South Manchester's busiest road and a very busy feeder road, there is no pedestrian crossing point. there are no barriers at the corners to channel pedestriians towards the best possible crossing point. The road narrows and funnels busy traffic into a choke point at the intersection. Broom Lane also curves around, so that visibility up the road is limited. The pavement at one side narrows and dissappears so that a person on foot can turn left into Broom Lane, but fifty yards up they run out of pavement (this is not apparent when turning the corner) and are effectively on the roadway. So they have to cross to the other side where there is too much pavement - here it's fifteen feet wide and could easily be narrowed to create more road space. Right on the very junction is a motor repairers and a furniture removal firm, so vehicles are continually reversing onto the road, or attempting to. All this on the corner of the busiest road in Manchester! This is a patently dangerous junction, yet nobody ever gets hurt here... anyone know worse?

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