Saturday, November 04, 2006

Down Town

A few pictures taken this lunchtime of the Pedestrian Heart scheme which you won't see on the Conservatives' website...

(1) The new steps emerging below Binns

(2) Saturday working to get the job done. This will be one the new planters on the High Row.

(3) Blackwellgate, looking towards Skinnergate.

(4) One of the new benches on Blackwellgate.

(5) A busy Northgate, looking towards the King's Head.


Anonymous said...

It's a couple of weeks since I went to town. It's looking very good. I'm really impressed with how the town centre is working out. Although I will never vote Labour again, this is a good thing the council has done.

ian holme said...

Hi Nick,
I was in the town centre myself this weekend and two things sprung to mind;

The chinese granite used for the road is very light in colour and the surface is already badly stained by with oil from the many busses using the area. This is already an eyesore and will only get worse. Does your streetscene iniative have extra resources to steam clean these areas every couple of weeks to keep on top of the problem?

Secondly, one of your pictures shows a new bench of "interesting " design outside Binns.
I will check the regs but I beleive Part M of Building Regs require a tactile surface around obstructions on a pavement.(for the benefit of the partially sited and blind)
From your photo, no such surface exists around this obstruction.



Darlington Councillor said...

Well, thanks for that Anonymous. Maybe you'll come back to the fold by next May....

Last I heard, Ian, we've tested a number of cleaning machines on the granite to see which gives the best results. Clearly at the moment, whilst some of the town centre's a building site, it may not look at its best, but we have had a renewed emphasis on keeping affected areas clean recently.

The point you make about tactile paving around static objects is interesting - as far as I'm aware we have used tactile paving extensively in the Borough to delineate crossing points only. I'll get back to you when I get a definitive answer.

Mike said...

I noticed some graffiti on one of the benches in Northgate this morning. Sad :(

In picture 5, I assume that's a contraflow for bikes to enter the area? Great news if it is. When will bike new parking facilities begin to appear?

The areas that have been opened up look great. As each street becomes completely opened up, you can get a really idea of what the centre will look like.

On the subject of tactile surfaces around the benches, will there need to be something similar at the top of the steps?

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks, Mike.

I'll pass on your comments about the graffiti and ensure that it gets cleaned off.

I'm fairly sure that the circular area in picture 5 is where a rising bollard will go, (to keep out illegal vehicles) but I could be a million miles out. One of the principles behind the Council's approach to cycling in the town centre is that there is enough room for cyclists and pedestrians to safely share road space without doing each other damage - I'm sure that this is the case at this location.

I'm still awaiting an answer about tactile surfaces around street furniture, although as far as I'm aware, we have only ever used it in Darlington to indicate where footpaths end and crossing points begin. I'll post further on this when I know more.