Census traffic delays: views please! - stevied
Been thinking about this for two days now, and not sure whether my anger was justified.

Yesterday, I set off for work early and relaxed, to be confronted by a massive queue on the road I get to work on (I only work 4 miles away and it was blocked all the way along!). So, I turned round muttering the usual, went back through town, down the bypass and onto my alternative route. Blocked again.

Was it a bad RTA? Was it a flood? No, it was a census. Whatever that means. I finally got to the head of the queue where there were loads of numpties with clipboards, they asked me to stop but I said "I am really late for work, I am really low on petrol, and I don't want to answer your pointless inane queries" and unsurprisingly was waved on.

Is this bad conduct on my behalf, or should these censuses i) be done at quieter periods or ii) not done at all and the money spent on something worthwhile?

If I had been on my way to the airport or something, I would have gone mental.
Census traffic delays: views please! - Altea Ego
"I am really late for work, I am really low on petrol, and I don't want to answer your pointless inane queries"

Nice one.

Another one that works is "Ask me anything and I am going to tell you lies"

Friend of mine tried that one and the cencus taker said "I am a temp, I dont care, and I am very slow - where have you just come from"

Trouble with a cencus is that its finding out whats going on during - rush hour!


------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Census traffic delays: views please! - stevied
Sounds like a temp with a GSOH!
Census traffic delays: views please! - catsdad
Must be the season for them I came on one last week and, seeing the jam ahead, turned off down a local rat-run. Lots of other drivers did the same. The rat run is only of use if you're going in one of three drections the census point was "blocking" so the traffic avoiding it was going to significantly understate the numbers for that route. Given that, and the fact that surveys are so infrequent, you have to wonder how useful the data they get is.
Census traffic delays: views please! - Round The Bend
Stopped by one this evening. Luckily no big deal. Just a couple of mins hold up waiting for some chap to hand me a questionnaire.
_______
IanS
Census traffic delays: views please! - Stuartli
I seem to recall one recently that caused massive jams over a wide area, yet the police did little or nothing to stop the census.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Census traffic delays: views please! - midlifecrisis
"I seem to recall one recently that caused massive jams over a wide area, yet the police did little or nothing to stop the census."

Blimey! Something else that's our fault!. It's got nothing to do wth the Police and they (we) have absolutely no power to stop it. Do you blame the Police if you run out of baked beans!!!!!!
Census traffic delays: views please! - cockle {P}
If it's the census in our area you are referring to, back in July, when they had a census on the A127 one day, followed by one on the A130 the following day, then I have to jump to the police's defence. Essex Police officers who were at the census site were so worried by the congestion and disruption being caused they contacted the County Council and asked them to call it off but the council officers refused.
This particular census was carried out for 12 hours on the hottest day in July and resulted in queues of seven miles and delays of up to two hours, I personally know of three people who had to make up hours or who lost wages, my brother missed a business appointment and lost a contract and another friend missed a flight. A neighbour was stuck for an hour and a half in traffic with her small child with no water in the car for a journey which should have taken no more than 15 minutes.
What I found particularly galling was that although the knock on effect on surrounding areas was massive the local radio traffic news never once mentioned the cause being the census, they just referred to 'congestion caused by weight of traffic' all day during their bulletins despite several acquaintances ringing them to give them the real reason. Perhaps they were party to it as the council said it defeats the object if anyoene knows what's going on.
One chap was talking about taking the council to court, I don't know where he's got with that but I've heard no more, difficult to know where he'd get.

tinyurl.com/o5uhb
Census traffic delays: views please! - JH
Whenever I've been stopped (for a census!) it's been a policeman who waved me in.
JH
Census traffic delays: views please! - drbe
">> Blimey! Something else that's our fault!. It's got nothing to do
wth the Police and they (we) have absolutely no power to
stop it. Do you blame the Police if you run
out of baked beans!!!!!!


Calm down, dear!

It's only a post!
Census traffic delays: views please! - Manatee
A friend of ours did some part time work on traffic census, mainly justing counting and categorising vehicles - she is a pernickety sort of person and she had to give it up as she was so annoyed by most of the various people she was working with who were mostly arriving late, leaving early, and making a lot of the numbers up. The people responsible didn't seem to think this was important when she raised it.
Census traffic delays: views please! - Thommo
These census takers are nearly always backed up by the police, otherwise no one would stop for them.

In order not to attract attention from some jobsworh in a blue suit I comply with the census taker and give them the postcode for Lands End and John O'Groats and tell them I am travelling from one to the other on business.

This little act of anarchy makes me happy.
Census traffic delays: views please! - daveyjp
Such census are carried out for a reason. We spend ages moaning about the state of the roads, the congestion etc etc. When work is undertaken to ask us our thoughts we decide it's an opportunity to be awkward!

A census of this type is a very rare opportunity to tell those in officialdom what you actually think, why pass up the opportunity? I certainly don't.
Census traffic delays: views please! - stevied
Mmm..... I don't see how causing more congestion and tension really contributes. But, yes, I take some of your points. The thing is, and I freely admit this, I get very hot under the collar when some "jobsworth in a blue suit" as Thommo calls them gets all huffy and official on me because he has the back-up of a policeman standing nearby. Surely there is no law REQUIRING me to stop? And surely I have the right to get upset at being held up? As I said earlier, what if I was on my way to the airport? I miss my flight and pay however much just because some Johnny 3 stars with a clipboard wants to know what I'm up to and where I'm going? There must be a better way!

I did tell officialdom what I actually thought... I told them I thought I was going to explode because I was late for work and needed to put petrol in my car!!! : )

Lucky I didn't get a telling-off from the boys in blue, by the sound of it.
Census traffic delays: views please! - daveyjp
"There must be a better way!"

Unfortunately there isn't. If you need data from people using a particular road at a particular time you need to be there to ask them.
Census traffic delays: views please! - stevied
Davejp, what sort of info do they ask for? And yes, I know... if I'd stayed and answered I'd know! : )
Census traffic delays: views please! - tyro
My views (in response to original quesions)

Your conduct was quite reasonable and proper. (At least it was if you were pleasant and polite - though under the circumstances, I might not have been!)

These censuses (something in me wants to say 'censi') should not be done at all, and the money spent on something useful.
Census traffic delays: views please! - bell boy
These censuses (something in me wants to say 'censi') should not be done at all, and the money spent on something useful.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
yes 2 census workers laid end to end should fill some of our pot ridden road holes very nicely, they could be taken on and their heights and widths measured and then given their own holes to fill ............
no further comment from hopeless quangoes on this one from me........
Census traffic delays: views please! - daveyjp
'the money should be spent on something more useful'.

Without knowing what people want how does anyone decide what 'something useful' is?

No idea what this survey was about, but as it was done during rush hour it may have been to ascertain where commuting traffic came from and where it was going. Such information will be used for future road planning.


Census traffic delays: views please! - smokie
While not necessarily supporting badly planned census's (censii?), it's a bit strong having a bit of a go at the people doing them.

It's their job. Consider how would you like it if you got a similar response from someone when you were trying to do your own job

If you are stopped and choose to respond, I also don't see any point in telling them incorrect information. They won't care, or even be aware, and it's a waste of everyones time and money.
Census traffic delays: views please! - stevied
I was polite but firm with them. I don't see that that is unreasonable. If they can't take THAT then they shouldn't do it.

I don't, of course, advocate rudeness.

Censei.... isn't that a karate term?! : )
Census traffic delays: views please! - helicopter
I have been stopped a couple of times and given forms to fill in which go straight into the bin.

The term is Sensei for a martial arts master - see attached link

tinyurl.com/nctz5
Census traffic delays: views please! - stevied
The things you learn on here! It's sad that I heard the term on Phoenix Nights...... the episode where they do 'Karate Kid' the musical.
Census traffic delays: views please! - helicopter
Actually - I just found one of the forms in the car ( from May ) so shows how often the rubbish gets removed from my car.

The card says

All aspects of travel in the ****** area form part of a major data collection excercise being carried out on behalf of ******** County Council . The information gathered will assist the County Council in planning future needs throighout the ****** area .

Please answer these questions about the journey you were making when you were handed this card and send it in to the address overleaf.

The questions are -

Type of vehicle you were driving when given the card ( 8 tick boxes)
Number of occupants including driver
Exact address ( or town centre car park) you have just come from and reason for being there ( 9 tick box choices
Ditto you are going to now ( 9 tick box choices)

So this is what our council tax is being spent on.

It does not endear me to fill in a form when they double my journey time and cause chaos ( three mile queue ) .

I did notice however that motorcycle plod were taking the opportunity of checking tax discs as cars stopped to take the forms so they may have picked a few dodgere up at the same time..

Census traffic delays: views please! - daveyjp
You just don't get it do you? Think why they may be asking the questions, rather than berate them when they do.

It's inconvenient for one day, but if the results show say car parking in your part of the County is nearing capacity will you be the one moaning when they eventuially exceed capacity and you can't get anywhere to park?

if you don't complete the survey that's one less response to potentially influence a future decision.

"So this is what our council tax is being spent on."

Yes traffic management, which I think you will find is a legitimate part of your Council's remit.
Census traffic delays: views please! - local yokel
Still, look at it this way:

When all vehicles are compulsorarily fitted with GPS for road pricing then HMG will have the details of every journey you make, and the need for the sensus will go away.

Not that they would use the info for anything other than road-pricing, of course.
Census traffic delays: views please! - helicopter
Davey

I do get it and I don't like it - An expensive and unnecessary exercise causing traffic chaos to sort out something which is not a problem .

Its like the timewasters who try and phone survey me at home saying it will only take a few minutes and then taking ages .I just tell them that the fee for my time is charged at £200 per hour and ask them who do I send the bill too - that usually gets rid of them.

If I want to give them my details I will approach them - I regularly phone up the traffic management section of the County Council if I see a particular problem such as traffic lights out of synch or similar and potholes in the road. I have found that the problems have been dealt with effectively within a couple of days.

My form was number 14863 so let the other 14862 ( at least ) have their say if they like . I have better things to do with my time.

Census traffic delays: views please! - JH
"if the results show say car parking in your part of the County is nearing capacity" or... you could look at the car parks. Or the income they're generating. Without stopping anyone.
JH
Census traffic delays: views please! - madf
We had a census like that 5 years ago on the main road (if you can call it that) from Biddulph to Stoke on Trent.

After 5 years they then rebuilt part of the road and added a roundabout. There was no increase in road capacity and in fact if you attempt to reach the local Stoke on Trent By Pass (the A500) the fatsest way is covered with speed humps to prevent traffic using it because the logical route has still not been built because of a planning dispute between central government and the local council.. - I forget the details as it is iirc over 15 years old.

The speed humps were added before the roundabout was built - and had to be remodelled three times becasue the first two attempts resulted in so many crashes....

The rebuilt roundabout is cambered incorrectly and is a virtual death trap in the wet ( already one fatality on the approach road) and I have seen one L driver motorcyclist come off on the wet. .. and the said approach road speed limit has been reduced to 30mph .. but is still a very twisty and narrow road.

If the rest of the country carries out its road planning in the same way heaven help us all.. and i think we could save lots of money by getting rid of the traffic surveys cos all that is need is a wire across the road to count the number of passing vehicles (and to approach roads to give a pattern by time and allow traffic modelling to take place.).

Given that most local traffic planning seems to work on the basis of repeating all the mistakes everyone else has made and learning nothing from anyone else, I consider the whole exercise just job creation. Surely that is how most councils work?







madf
Census traffic delays: views please! - mare
It's inconvenient for one day, but if the results show say
car parking in your part of the County is nearing capacity
will you be the one moaning when they eventuially exceed capacity
and you can't get anywhere to park?


Davey's right. How can decision makers make the decisions without understanding where the traffic comes form and where it's going. And of course they have to do at the busiest time, to get the most information.
Census traffic delays: views please! - Collos25
I do not aee many new roads in the UK but I'll bet there are lots of reports,UK infrastructure is falling to pieces you would not mind being stopped if something came of it come to sunny Dresden and see how it should be done.
Census traffic delays: views please! - Andy P
I've only been through one census recently, at the end of the Runcorn expressway. All they did was hand out a questionairre.

When I got around to filling it in, I pondered for a few seconds. Why didn't they just get one of their camera vans, record the registrations of the cars passing, then send a questionaire through the post or send you to a website to input the info. No queues, no agro...
Census traffic delays: views please! - madf
"Why didn't they just get one of their camera vans, record the registrations of the cars passing, then send a questionaire through the post or send you to a website to input the info. No queues, no agro..."

I suspect that use of Automated Number Plate Recognition is illegal under the Data Protection Act..


madf
 

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