Laira chaos reflects a total lack of planning
AFTER two weeks of absolute misery and mayhem for motorists, Your Say (September 21) finally contained a response from the assistant director for Transport. In my view the reply was totally inadequate. However, one should not be surprised at the content. This same department was responsible for the traffic shambles when Drake Circus opened, and despite years of planning, which should have included traffic flow estimates and routing, it took three separate roadwork developments before the traffic settled down.
One bright idea was to bring all traffic from Mutley down to one of the busiest roundabouts at Charles Cross and then back up again, rather than using an existing underpass.
We then had the West End development, when we were once again promised a brave new world, and ended up with another farce, with elderly, disabled people shunning the area because they couldn't traverse the new design. Once again parts of the development had to be ripped up within days of opening, and to this day, it is still a difficult and at times, dangerous area for all pedestrians.
When the East End misery began, we could at least hope they might get it right third time, but unfortunately it was as if a group of aliens with absolutely no local knowledge, had designed the new layout, and after 18 months still the complaints rumble on, with regards to signage in Gdynia Way, and loss of business for Faraday Mills businesses.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Clive Perkins states it was not possible to complete this work simultaneously with the East End development. That was not being suggested by frustrated motorists, but it should have been done prior to, or immediately afterwards so that we did not have a period of relative calm, before going back into a shambolic traffic system again.
I totally refute the suggestion that it was impractical and of no value to have the workmen on site 24/7. Try telling that to businesses directly affected, as well as the thousands of working people, that still have a job, having to leave home much earlier than necessary.
Earlier this week I drove over the bridge at around 12noon. There was one roadworks vehicle present and one member of staff. Nothing else in sight. So even during office hours we are not getting a full response from the contractors, and this is exactly what was going on during the East End shambles with vast swathes of roadworks apparently abandoned.
Planning and organisation of such schemes requires a detailed level of skills and competence, linked to an ultimate determination to do the best for the ratepayers and public of Plymouth, as well as those simply visiting on business or leisure. Sadly such skills, commitment and attitude remain missing in one of the key departments in this city. Not good enough for the Drake Circus, West End, East End and now Laira Bridge redevelopment.