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Accidents spark plan to look at reopening road as dual carriageway

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

By TINA CROWSON

consultation:   Stretch of road reserved for parking  near the Princess Theatre   Andy Styles  TQAS20130131D-002_X

consultation: Stretch of road reserved for parking near the Princess Theatre Andy Styles TQAS20130131D-002_X

Comments (7)

A STRETCH of Torquay seafront could be reopened as a dual carriageway amid safety fears for pedestrians.

The stretch between the Palm Court and the Pavilion was altered in June, 2011, as it was reported that traffic was flowing more smoothly.

One lane of the road had to be shut during work to Rock Walk. It was found traffic was not being held up by parking vehicles and it was decided to use the seaward side for parking.

However, there have been reports of near misses as pedestrians find crossing the one way/ two way road confusing. There had been four reported slight injury accidents and one slight injury accident involving a cyclist. But council officers say there had been accidents with the other layout as well.

Now transport chiefs have agreed to look at it again, and carry out consultation. The decision comes after Mayor Gordon Oliver asked for a review of the way that stretch of the seafront is working.

The current system reduced the number of on street parking spaces from 90 to 35, with disabled spaces and a coach dropping off point and parking bay. It cost £90,000 to introduce and reversing it would cost £45,000.

At the Mayor's request, officers also looked at the possibility of providing echelon parking, but it was said this could cost around £55,000.

The Princess Theatre had said it was reasonably happy with the current arrangement, but had concerns about the lack of a crossing near the theatre. However this would reduce the space available for parking.

The review has been requested because the developers of the former Palm Court Hotel are finalising the layout of the road in front of their Abbey Sands development.

If a decision was delayed there was a risk it could mean altering the developers' proposals at public expense. Officers said creating extra on street spaces, which are free at night, might hit car park revenue.

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7 comments

  • Timeferret  |  February 22 2013, 7:49PM

    Sorry but I always thought this was a dumb idea from the start. Firstly, who decided it was a good idea to cut the parking revenue from 90 spaces to 35? The one carrigeway is not really wide enough for the amount of heavy usage from double decker buses. Traveling from the harbourside towards Paignton is like driving on a motorway contaflow system and finally has anyone from the council tried to pull out from the seaward side into the uncoming traffic from the right. You need a rubber neck to twist it fully to the right to see a break in the traffic. Bad idea Torbay Council, get it back to what it was like before.

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  • Ch1mp  |  February 21 2013, 11:41PM

    Plenty more of the white directional arrows shown in the picture wouldn't cost much and could remind pedestrians saving a nasty injury or fatality or two.

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  • spindleshanks  |  February 21 2013, 7:34PM

    Sorry iomex - I meant leaving the two way traffic flow as it currently is and changing the parking arrangements on the seaward side which, if I am correct, already has traffic calming devices in situ. There should be a pelican crossing allowing pedestrians to cross from Rock Walk to the theatre/promenade which would have the added advantage of slowing traffic down.

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  • iomex  |  February 21 2013, 7:15PM

    "There had been four reported slight injury accidents and one slight injury accident involving a cyclist." Plus a nasty accident when I was following a car which struck a pedestrian at 35mph. I'm surprised she lived. It's not a confusing layout but current recommendations would suggest that such a road would require pedestrian guardrailing along the 'old' 'central reservation'. A crossing outside the theatre would make that part of the road much safer.

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  • iomex  |  February 21 2013, 7:11PM

    @spindleshanks The current classification and useage of Torbay Road prohibits such a parking arrangement. The road will need to be declassified and the speed limit may need to be reduced unless traffic calming measures are in place.

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  • spindleshanks  |  February 21 2013, 3:56PM

    The traffic flows far better now than when the road was dual carriage either side. You used to have to continually stop/start waiting for cars to reverse in to parking spaces. So the real question, (given that there have been accidents with both schemes operated), is the number of parking spaces available earning money for the council and local tax payer. Surely angled, "nose-in" parking bays would work, allowing more cars to be accommodated, more visitors to visit and more £'s to be going into the tills of businesses along the seafront.?

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  • Bleach  |  February 21 2013, 2:25PM

    Put up a couple of zebra crossings, then. Put in traffic calming measures. It's always about the damn car, isn't it.

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