Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Fault 4: Adverse sloping footway (example 1).

This is a significant and totally unnecessary risk for Cheshire County Council to place on an able bodied pedestrian let alone a disabled or elderly pedestrian.

The original planned and approved roadway design has a 1.8 metre wide footway separated from the road by a 2 metre wide verge. With a very slight cross fall to the road for drainage purposes.

The cross section drawing below illustrates typical footway construction adjacent to a carriageway. The carriageway is on the right. The boundary to private property is on the left. Note the slight fall to the road for surface water drainage purposes.

On their finished but unapproved roadway the footway has been sloped to accommodate a vehicular crossing which is not only in breach of normal road design guidance it is also in breach of their own Pedestrian Access & Mobility Code of Practice:

'Crossovers are locations where the kerb has been lowered to allow vehicular access over the footway. If footway width is less than 3m, the slope of the vehicle crossover should extend to the back of the footway.'

The footway is less than 3 mtrs but Cheshire County Council have sloped the vehicle crossing to the front of the footway. Leaving no flat and safe surface for pedestrians to walk on.

Footway - the pedestrian part of the highway adjacent, or close, to the carriageway.
General guidelines:
  • Minimum footway of 2000mm width, free of obstructions.
  • Footways to be provided on both sides of the carriageway.
  • Footways and footpaths to be firm, even, level and slip-resistant even when wet.
  • Joints should be closed and flush to prevent the trapping of canes or small wheels.
  • For further guidance on footway requirements refer to the Cheshire County Council Design Aid document (section1). However, criteria described in this document supersede criteria in the County Council Design Guide.
Design Bulletin 32 also states that a minimum width of 900 mm should be carried through past drives etc. to allow wheelchairs / prams to pass and avoid the ramps to dropped kerbs;

In addition, Cheshire County Councils own design aid states that the outer edge of the footway must present a smooth flowing alignment. It is not acceptable to undulate the footway outer edge to accommodate private drives. The crossfall should be towards towards the edge of the carriageway. The maximum gradient of a footway should not exceed 1 in 12.

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