Thursday, 20 April 2017

AI’s traffic consultant “cannot” give a reason why...

... his traffic count for the B3174 Exeter Road - to support Aggregate Industries' application to quarry Straitgate Farm - bore no relation to reality.

Apparently in January 2016, Aggregate Industries' consultants performed a one week Automatic Traffic Count on the B3174 outside Little Straitgate. No one locally noticed it, which is surprising given the interest in the matter, given that many of us use that road every day, given that just two months previously various members of the public alerted us to an ATC just a short way further down the road.
So, are AI’s B3174 traffic count figures fictitious? We ask the question because we have the results of the ATC commissioned by Highways England, performed 13-26 November 2015. Their results bear NO relation to AI's numbers.
Readers may remember that AI’s DM Mason had previously tried to tell us:
The B3174 Exeter Road carries 4,272 vehicles per day [5-Day Av 24 hour flow] 9.11
But it was nonsense. In reality, Highways England had commissioned an ATC for this road a couple of months earlier that had counted 6,634 in week 1 and 6,936 in week 2.

AI’s consultant was subsequently asked by DCC to comment on this and a number of other issues. His response is here. On the subject of the count, he writes:
It is clear that the traffic count undertaken on my company’s behalf on the B3174 Exeter Road during January, 2016 may be considered somewhat anomalous. I cannot give a reason for this anomalous count. However, I am content to use the data from the two counts undertaken in November, 2016 [sic] for Highways England as the basis for calculating the impacts of the proposed development at Straitgate Farm.
So that’s ok then? Mr Mason is content to now use the real information provided by objectors, to replace his count, provided from where? Thin air? How many times in this debacle over Straitgate Farm has this now happened, that the correct information has had to come from objectors? 

It means that, for a planning application involving over 107,000 HGV movements, AI won't have even supplied their own accurate traffic count for the road that would be most affected.

Of course, almost 18 months on from Highways England's counts, the traffic on the B3174 may now be even higher. Who knows? Certainly not AI or DM Mason.

And then local people are meant to trust the conclusions from AI’s traffic consultant, when he says - for a development putting up to 200 HGV movements per day on Ottery’s busiest road:
This Transport Assessment concludes that the proposed development is acceptable in highway terms. 10.21
If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable.