Monday, February 05, 2007

Pedestrian Heart from above

I see from the Darlington Future website that my Tory friends are complaining about the latest phase of the works. As they correctly surmise, new areas have been opened to speed up progress.

I thought a bird's eye view might give a better clue as to what's going on, so I took these snaps from the clock tower.

The first picture shows the scene around Binns. A large area has been finished now, and inside the barriers work is well on the way. The second picture shows the foundation work to the water feature.

The next two pictures shows the large area which has been opened up to the north of Post House Wynd, and foundation work completed. By proceeding in this way, it allows the paviers to make more rapid progress, taking perhaps months off the completion date. That will be good for the overall cost of the scheme, and good for town centre businesses. I'm sure they want to see the work completed as soon as possible too. The only people to be disappointed? - the Tories of course, but characteristically they only want what is bad for the town centre to boost their flagging chancxes in May.

Frankly, their's is a shameful position.


miketually said...

Photo 3: is that a car in the bus/taxi lane? There's a bike just in shot in the same photo :)

Where the boards have been taken down, the town centre's looking really good now; in Blackwellgate and Northgate it's very easy to imagine how the whole area will be once finished.

It's easy to foget just what fantastic buildings we have in the town centre, because we're so focussed on what's going on on the ground floor. The third photo in particular shows just how spectacular Barclays Bank's building is. Those Quakers knew a thing or two about buildings.

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks, Mike.

The formal description of some of what you can see from these photos is as follows (from "Towntalk").

"On West Row workers are progressing well and are close to completing the steps down from High Row. Workers in this area are also preparing the roadway so that more granite setts can soon start to be laid.

Work is also taking place on Blackwellgate where workers are beginning to install the rising bollards and static bollards, that when in place, will help control traffic flow into the town centre.
Workers are also preparing Northgate where these rising bollards are also soon to be installed.

Along High Row, workers are concentrating on installing the granite for the final planter that is to be placed in this area. Once complete, the planters will be filled with soil in preparation for the flowers and trees that will soon be placed in there.

Workers are also continuing to pave the roadway at the north end of High Row.

From Sunday 4 February, bus stop I, outside Darlington Building Society, was moved temporarily so that workers can begin to remove the steps, install a new bus shelter and pave this section of the scheme. The bus stop will move from Tubwell Row to Priestgate.
Stop I is used by services 22 to Minors Crescent and 23 to Skerne Park. Work is expected to take approximately three to four weeks.
Posters alerting people to the changes will be displayed at bus stop I, on town centre buses, in the Town Hall and in other main Council buildings."

Prebend Row isn't a bus/taxi only lane, but can be used by cars too (this has always been the case).

You're right - the High Eow buildings are spectacular, not only from the clock tower, but I think from Northgate as you walk towards Woolworths. I remember the first time I came to Darlington back in the 1980's - I parked in Commercial Street and walked along Northgate - there was a real "wow" factor as I saw that vista on a busy Saturday. It changed my southern belief of what Darlington was goimg to be like, and I've been hooked on the place ever since.