Crossing blunder a ‘waste of money’

Dorset Echo: DANGEROUS: One of the traffic islands installed by Dorset County Council on Preston Road DANGEROUS: One of the traffic islands installed by Dorset County Council on Preston Road

COUNCIL chiefs have come under fire again for a road project after a blunder saw a crossing point put in the wrong place.

A year after Dorset County Council was criticised for wasting money painting a roundabout at Overcombe Corner in Weymouth twice as big as it should have been, the authority has been blasted for spending more than £15,000 installing two crossing islands across Preston Road – including one in the wrong location.

Residents said buses and lorries had to slow down to negotiate a crossing point on the bend as it had been placed too far from the centre. After three days it was removed, and then reinstalled in the correct position on Thursday.

John Liles of Preston Road said: “What a waste of money. You’d think they would have learnt their lesson after the roundabout saga.”

He added: “It was obvious the crossing was lopsided when it was first put in as it was way over towards the other side and buses were having to slow right down to get past. It went after three days and has been put back in a more central position.”

Mr Liles said he didn’t object to the Preston Road scheme on the whole but he didn’t think it would achieve its objective of slowing traffic down.

Work on the crossings just before and after the Melstock Avenue turning began on March 17, as part of a range of improvements identified for the Weymouth Relief Road project.

Chris Hubbard, of Oakbury Drive, was surprised to see workmen installing the islands before removing one of them again, and added: “Whether the islands were necessary was open to debate, but the highways department thought so.

“Apparently the problem was that one of the islands was badly sited.”

John Brooks, also of Oakbury Drive said: “It is going to cause an accident at some stage despite being reinstalled – cars come swerving round the bend.”

County councillor for the area David Mannings said ‘credit must be given’ to DCC for fixing the issue swiftly.

He added: “I know it has cost money to install the crossing islands and to reinstall one of them when it wasn’t in exactly the right location, but an accident could have happened and this has prevented that.”

Other works carried out as part of the Preston Road improvement scheme include a mini roundabout at Overcombe Corner which was painted twice as big as it should have been in April 2013 and was branded a ‘dangerous waste of money’.

Dominic Fitzgerald, project engineer at Dorset Highways, said one of the pedestrian crossings was removed due to uneven lane widths.

He added: “The islands were laid out on site aligned to the white line and surfacing joint, but this did not correspond correctly with the design dimensions resulting in an offset with uneven lane widths.

“To correct this, the island was removed and has now been reinstated as designed.”

The total cost allocated to the project was £15,000, but that the removal and reinstatement work of the island added another £1,000 given the extra labour time involved, DCC said.

Mr Fitzgerald said the project would still come in under budget.

He added: “Two weeks were allowed for construction but the speed of the technology used has significantly reduced this, reducing traffic delays and disruption to the public.”

Comments (18)

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9:26am Sat 29 Mar 14

Caption Sensible says...

So in other words; we actually did a good job...

Cretins!
So in other words; we actually did a good job... Cretins! Caption Sensible
  • Score: 4

9:48am Sat 29 Mar 14

MrTomSmith says...

Yes David Mannings giving out Credit, I wonder if his 57 Vote Winning Margin will be enough lol
Yes David Mannings giving out Credit, I wonder if his 57 Vote Winning Margin will be enough lol MrTomSmith
  • Score: 5

10:25am Sat 29 Mar 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

Why should there be an objective of slowing traffic down?
If the traffic is 'known' to be too fast then a gang of revenue raisers would have been sited along Preston Road with speed cameras but fortunately they are as rare as hens teeth along this stretch of road which tends to suggest that their presence would not have been cost effective.
If the road is narrow at this point it seems that installing the crossing was the wrong decision. A DCC official told me that they had to spend the money or they would lose it, it is part of the funding from the bypass. The bypass and improvements to Littlemoor Road have meant that there are no longer the continuous streams of vehicles going along Preston Road that there used to be.
Why should there be an objective of slowing traffic down? If the traffic is 'known' to be too fast then a gang of revenue raisers would have been sited along Preston Road with speed cameras but fortunately they are as rare as hens teeth along this stretch of road which tends to suggest that their presence would not have been cost effective. If the road is narrow at this point it seems that installing the crossing was the wrong decision. A DCC official told me that they had to spend the money or they would lose it, it is part of the funding from the bypass. The bypass and improvements to Littlemoor Road have meant that there are no longer the continuous streams of vehicles going along Preston Road that there used to be. IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 7

10:28am Sat 29 Mar 14

Sigurd Hoberth says...

The unaccountable public sector. Enjoy the decline.
The unaccountable public sector. Enjoy the decline. Sigurd Hoberth
  • Score: 12

11:12am Sat 29 Mar 14

dorsetbeachcomber says...

The traffic islands are definitely NOT a waste of money. Despite Mr Liles' personal opinion there is plenty of evidence nationally that traffic islands and similar measures DO help to reduce speed. In any case the primary objective is to allow local pedestrians to cross the busy road more easily. Perhaps Mr Liles never crosses the road himself. I do, several times a week, and find it safer now.
The money came from the Weymouth Relief Road surplus and had to be spent in specific ways, so it's not additional expenditure.
Of course many residents of Preston Road and around always get in their cars and don't have the experience of trying to cross the road on foot.
The traffic islands are definitely NOT a waste of money. Despite Mr Liles' personal opinion there is plenty of evidence nationally that traffic islands and similar measures DO help to reduce speed. In any case the primary objective is to allow local pedestrians to cross the busy road more easily. Perhaps Mr Liles never crosses the road himself. I do, several times a week, and find it safer now. The money came from the Weymouth Relief Road surplus and had to be spent in specific ways, so it's not additional expenditure. Of course many residents of Preston Road and around always get in their cars and don't have the experience of trying to cross the road on foot. dorsetbeachcomber
  • Score: 8

12:22pm Sat 29 Mar 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

dorsetbeachcomber says...there is plenty of evidence nationally that traffic islands and similar measures DO help to reduce speed. Reduce speed to what level?
Perhaps you are looking forward to the return of the man with a red flag marching along in front of vehicles.
What matters is inappropriate speed for the road conditions at the time.
Are you suggesting that vehicles are going along Preston Road too fast?
dorsetbeachcomber says...there is plenty of evidence nationally that traffic islands and similar measures DO help to reduce speed. Reduce speed to what level? Perhaps you are looking forward to the return of the man with a red flag marching along in front of vehicles. What matters is inappropriate speed for the road conditions at the time. Are you suggesting that vehicles are going along Preston Road too fast? IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Sat 29 Mar 14

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

Yes, jdut like you guys, I've never made a mistake in my life.
Yes, jdut like you guys, I've never made a mistake in my life. TenBobDylanThomasHardy
  • Score: 1

12:44pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Jezebella says...

Who ever is responsible for this messup should lose their job. It's not rocket science to work out where a crossing should go so that it's safe or pedestrians and traffic yet once again the council are wasting our money, by messing up a simple task. In the private sector people lose their jobs for silly mistakes that cost money - the same should apply for the public sector too.
Who ever is responsible for this messup should lose their job. It's not rocket science to work out where a crossing should go so that it's safe or pedestrians and traffic yet once again the council are wasting our money, by messing up a simple task. In the private sector people lose their jobs for silly mistakes that cost money - the same should apply for the public sector too. Jezebella
  • Score: 6

12:50pm Sat 29 Mar 14

The Muffler says...

How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000.

Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object!
How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000. Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object! The Muffler
  • Score: 4

1:41pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Sigurd Hoberth says...

The Muffler wrote:
How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000.

Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object!
You got it!! NO accountability.

Next time contracts come up for tender and things are bought by various depts., go try and find out who put in what and how much everything cost exactly, I did. You won't get far soon as you start asking questions. They don't like it when you do that.
[quote][p][bold]The Muffler[/bold] wrote: How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000. Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object![/p][/quote]You got it!! NO accountability. Next time contracts come up for tender and things are bought by various depts., go try and find out who put in what and how much everything cost exactly, I did. You won't get far soon as you start asking questions. They don't like it when you do that. Sigurd Hoberth
  • Score: 3

2:39pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Kingtuttut says...

Just islands in the stream, that is all we are. Kenny and Dolly rock!!!
Just islands in the stream, that is all we are. Kenny and Dolly rock!!! Kingtuttut
  • Score: -3

5:19pm Sat 29 Mar 14

dorsetspeed says...

The Muffler wrote:
How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000.

Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object!
Exactly. £15 grand would add a reasonable kitchen extension to a property. It is absolutely mind boggling the amount of money spent on such things, is there anyone in the council who has the faintest touch on reality and the slightest interest in value for money?
[quote][p][bold]The Muffler[/bold] wrote: How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000. Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object![/p][/quote]Exactly. £15 grand would add a reasonable kitchen extension to a property. It is absolutely mind boggling the amount of money spent on such things, is there anyone in the council who has the faintest touch on reality and the slightest interest in value for money? dorsetspeed
  • Score: 6

6:27pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Phaedrus says...

At least moving the island to the correct place did not require another committee meeting.
At least moving the island to the correct place did not require another committee meeting. Phaedrus
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Sigurd Hoberth says...

dorsetspeed wrote:
The Muffler wrote:
How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000.

Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object!
Exactly. £15 grand would add a reasonable kitchen extension to a property. It is absolutely mind boggling the amount of money spent on such things, is there anyone in the council who has the faintest touch on reality and the slightest interest in value for money?
Yeah shame we don;t have a local paper that does a bit of digging....
[quote][p][bold]dorsetspeed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Muffler[/bold] wrote: How on earth do two small traffic islands consisting of a few kerbs, a small quantity of concrete, 4 bollards and some white lines cost £15,000. Oh I forgot it's out of the Public Purse, so the money is no object![/p][/quote]Exactly. £15 grand would add a reasonable kitchen extension to a property. It is absolutely mind boggling the amount of money spent on such things, is there anyone in the council who has the faintest touch on reality and the slightest interest in value for money?[/p][/quote]Yeah shame we don;t have a local paper that does a bit of digging.... Sigurd Hoberth
  • Score: 6

10:39pm Sat 29 Mar 14

wurzelbasher says...

Wastage of public money is what we have come to expect from our councils. Departmental budgets should be done away with and funds should be drawn from a central point.
Wastage of public money is what we have come to expect from our councils. Departmental budgets should be done away with and funds should be drawn from a central point. wurzelbasher
  • Score: 3

2:33am Sun 30 Mar 14

EtaoinShrdlu says...

Has Mr Piles got anything to do with this?

And as usual, follow the brown envelopes.
Has Mr Piles got anything to do with this? And as usual, follow the brown envelopes. EtaoinShrdlu
  • Score: -2

2:34pm Sun 30 Mar 14

siratb says...

15 grand is probably the total cost, including all the design and admin. Anyway anything to reduce speed on Preston road, hopefully lorries will take the bypass rather than thunder through Preston.
15 grand is probably the total cost, including all the design and admin. Anyway anything to reduce speed on Preston road, hopefully lorries will take the bypass rather than thunder through Preston. siratb
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Sun 30 Mar 14

IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE says...

siratb says...hopefully lorries will take the bypass rather than thunder through Preston.
They don't have much choice of a route if they are coming from the east of Preston, even the eastern end of Littlemoor Road is part of Preston!
siratb says...hopefully lorries will take the bypass rather than thunder through Preston. They don't have much choice of a route if they are coming from the east of Preston, even the eastern end of Littlemoor Road is part of Preston! IDONTKNOWIFITISTRRUE
  • Score: 0

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