Since the road - and crucially the junction-capacity - will be no worse (almost certainly improved) at such speeds, journey times for drivers will be better. Movement will be smoother, with less acceleration and braking which should lead to lower emissions and better fuel economy. Crucially, the traffic will be less threatening, which will mean that the environment for pedestrians (and cyclists) will be improved and may even lead to improved take-up of these transport modes. The original BEVEL proposal was drawn up on the assumption that a link would be made between Low Hill and Grove Street, in effect completing an inner curcuit of the city centre.
We understand that after some doubt on the matter, that this has been found acceptable to the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
We take it as fundamental that traffic speed should be moderated, not only for safety sake, but also to maximise road capacity. We depart from the norms of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) specifically in order to meet this aim.
We do not propose measures such as speed-humps or raised platforms at junctions to manage speed, since these would not be suitable for high-speed emergency vehicles, which must frequently use Edge Lane. Hence, we rely on limiting lane-width - and in the case of the S2+ option, on the inhibiting presence of parked vehicles.
It is a happy circumstance that the narrower lane widths which we propose quite deliberately to this end, allow us to fit a high-capacity road into spaces that both schemes will tend to reduce traffic speeds that standardised D2 arrangement could not fit.
Edge Lane West does not exist in isolation. Here we draw particular attention to a number of neighbouring traffic management schemes, proposed, or which will have to be amended.
As a matter of intention, we do not aim for a traffic speed of 50 kph (30 mph), but rather would hope to see peak hour speeds closer to 30 kph (approx. 19 mph), which we believe will have advantages for all.
We can actually suggest two possible strategies for configuring the road. Both require acquisition of small amounts of land fronting the adjoining properties but they do not require the demolition of any buildings. We can label these here below:
NS4 - SINGLE CARRIAGEWAY (4 LANES)
The total width required for carriageway, cycleways and footpaths is the same for both schemes. it would be possible to install one scheme initially, and change to the other at a later date without the need for further (or wasted) land acquisition. Both schemes will tend to reduce traffic speeds, but should result in improved journey times particularly in peak conditions. (To the extent that there is some occasional speeding particularly in off-peak hours, the tendency to encourage drivers to moderate their speeds, may lead to some minor increase in travel time for those drivers.)
S2+ - SINGLE: CARRIAGEWAY WITH
TWO THROUGH LANES PLUS
ADDITIONAL LANES WHICH VARY ALONG THE RUN.
Some changes to the traffic management system in this will be required by any Edge Lane scheme.