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Use Alternative Crossing

7 Dec

I may have mentioned, from time to time, the troubles and tribulations caused to this wonderful town by the presence of the A63 sometimes known as Castle Street and universally regarded as a pain in the fundament. Well now Highways England which is responsible for all this decided to upgrade a pedestrian crossing and work commenced in October … and here we are at the end of the first week of December with no crossing, no upgrade, no work being done, no workers on site, nada, rien, zip!. Questions are asked by Councillors as to just what on earth is going on here (not a lot, clearly). Highways England are the folk who have promised to improve this road but have yet to submit planning applications (“We’re working on it”, they say and have been saying for years) and if it takes this long for them to upgrade a crossing (come to think of it how do you upgrade a crossing?) then I shudder to think how long any improvements to the actual road will take. 
Just a little footnote here. This crossing is the most direct route to the Marina and Fruit Market area where many of next year’s City of Culture events are happening. That all kicks off in a little over three weeks. Just sayin’ is all.

You’re going the wrong way

22 Feb
Another helpful sign, this one on Castle Street.

As the town’s traffic problems continue in the usual manner, (somehow Fridays are block-up-the-town days, verb sap to any visitors from out of town) a councillor was reported in the local rag as saying that there things were only going to get worse. It was he said “unrealistic” to expect more roads to be built to ease congestion. The council, he said, couldn’t afford a survey into how to improve things, indeed the council cannot even afford to submit a planning application for a Park-and-Ride scheme. Brave, plain speaking you might think especially as the local council elections are coming up in May, but then the voters of this town would vote for a smelly dead dog with a red rosette rather change their ways.

For sale: One vote; never been used.

21 Feb
EU flags on Castle Street, Hull

To assuage the snarling, swivel-eyed, hoopleheaded little englanders otherwise known as the Conservative Party the utterly pointless prime minister has called a completely unnecessary referendum, in June, on whether the UK stays in the EU. I, like I suspect vast swathes of the country, couldn’t give a monkey’s arse one way or the other. I don’t think it’ll make a great deal of difference either in or out. So, on the principle (if you can call it that) of doing the opposite of what the Government wants me to do I’m going to vote for out … but let me be clear I am not unreasonable and I am open to persuasion for a reasonable fee (cash only). Good grief there’s going to be months and months of this boring euro-twaddle … if I hear the word ‘Brexit’ again I don’t think I can answer for the consequences!

Burnett House, try again

28 Sep

Four years ago I posted about this property, Burnett House on Castle Street. Back then I mentioned how the place had been renovated by the Council but was still standing empty. Well the place has been re-renovated (is that a word? well it is now) and instead of being just office space it now has permission to be either retail/restaurant or office plus there are now no fewer than seven apartments on the upper floors. I came across some estate agent bumf on this property describing it as being “located in a lively area, already boasting a well established evening entertainment scene”, surely they can’t mean the dead and dying old town, can they? Also the building has “superb road connections” that is to say it sits next to the A63 dual carriage way, the busiest road in town which is due to be overhauled in the next few years (possibly decades?). 
It is however nice to see the hideous tatty propaganda hoardings come down but the building still seems to be sitting empty though ….

Bring out your dead

15 Jun

I mentioned so time ago that the old burial ground of Holy Trinity church on Castle Street stood in the way of proposed improvements and that a large portion of it would have to cleared. People were asked to make contact with the authorities if their ancestors were interred in here. Anyhow some work has started, all hidden behind a whopping high fence. However they forgot about the bit where the old wall stands so it’s possible to hold a camera over and take a sneaky peek. They’ve cleared the gravestones and some kind of drill is in place. Clearly this has done irreparable damage to the place. At least the trees are still standing, hopefully the bat roost is undisturbed.
Now all this might be deemed fit and proper; clearing ground for development and so on, if the proposed road scheme were just itching to start. But, and this comes as absolutely no surprise, there is still no planning application in place and the Highways Agency now claims there are environmental issues it has to overcome. The start date is pushed back to 2020 or even later … or never. I let you draw your own conclusion about the announcement of this further delay coming just after the recent election. You get the feeling we’ll all be dead in our graves before this is started.

PS. I should add that all the exhumed bones will be reburied in an unspoilt part of the graveyard. And this from the local paper is advice to anyone who thinks their ancestors may be buried there to call the project team on 0113 2836805 or email A63castlestreet.hull@highways.gsi.gov.uk

Plan B? There’s not even a Plan A!

5 Apr
Fish Street from Sewer Lane via Castle Street
*Sigh* With the inevitability of night following day the scheme to upgrade, improve or whatever you want to call it, the festering sore that is Castle Street has run into the docile buffers of bureaucratic inertia. Back in 2013 I posted that money was being made ready for this work and the earliest it could start was 2015 and as is my way I cautioned there might be delays. I hate to say I told you so but … here we are two years later and those who should have submitted plans, the Government’s Highways Agency, have yet to do so and don’t look likely to act any time soon. (Surely the rumour that they cannot make a decision during the election run-up is a vile canard, perhaps not) So start dates are being pushed further back, 2018? 2020? Who knows when? Meanwhile the Council, for once not guilty of any misdemeanour and desperate to put some kind of bridge (iconic or otherwise) across the never ending stream of motorised madness in time for the City of Culture in 2017, is going quietly bonkers and talking about coming up with a plan B …. 

Expect Delays

27 Nov

I may have mention once or twice the problem that is Castle Street and that money had been agreed for a grand plan to alleviate some of the mess that is caused by funnelling a motorway into a inner-city dual carriageway. By now the detailed plans should be available, well it is well known that “should” butters no parsnips. These plans will not now be available until next Springtime (when birds do sing hey ding a ding, ding). I’m all for measuring twice and cutting once but to keep on putting things back will mean the actual work will neatly coincide with that other Hull problem the 2017 City of Culture. (One of themes I have heard is to be “Roots and Routes” so maybe it’s all part of fiendish plan.) Drivers and that includes visitors to the cultural delights will be advised to take alternative routes, that is shorthand for find your own way through the infernal gridlock, matey, you’re on your own! You have been warned.