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Doi To Push On With Douglas Prom Work


Lisenchuk
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The Promenade needs digging out and proper foundations putting in, it is recovered land and has no real foundations. After a while the concrete slabs settled on their soft footings and we ended up with a varity of levels. If you want a cheap 2tart it up" solution just keep putting a fresh coat of tarmac down, but the problem will not go away with a propert job done. I saw the plans a couple of years ago and it looked very good, improved parking, safer traffic seperation and the tram running on the promenade walk way on a single track with a passing place.

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maybe when they've got that all done they can get back to sorting out roundabouts, and making the approach lanes meet the standard practice of left lane for left or straight ahead (1st and 2nd exit), and right lane for right turn (3rd exit).

Having done nearly 1400 miles in the last couple of weeks on unfamilair roads, it strikes home when you get to Fort North and you get stuck in the right lane for straight ahead yet have to carve up anyone in the 'left turn lane' to get into the outer ring of the roundabout to go off at 2nd exit whilst leaving the inner ring clear for anyone taking the 3rd exit.

 

/bangs head against wall

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The DOI already operates a system where the DOI is the customer and the DOI has to tender for the work to its own department in the room next door, so having to put it out to tender already exists for projects like this. The last thing we need to is some fly by night bunch of Micks coming over with millions of tons of tarmac, imagine the amount of driveways in Douglas that would get done at the same time.

A decent tendering process would suss that lot out very quickly. There would be certain restrictions on those allowed to apply for each tender e.g. company turnover, experience etc. etc.

 

You can't just do these things for the lowest price. It is a combination of quality, price, experience and references that need to be assessed IMO.

 

ETA: Anyhoo - going by the state of our roads - what quality and value for money on or off the TT course have the DOI provided over the years? I rather a bunch of Micks than a bunch of Dicks

 

There are already very strict tendering processes in place that are overseen by independent persons. As for not taking the lowest price I agree but in reality just about every single government funded works goes to the lowest price, its up to the supervisors then to ensure that the works are carried out to the standard of workmanship required.

 

I was told on good authority that the prom is mostly asphalt laid on concrete slabs, these slabs are the problem because in many cases they have cracked or their structural integrity has been compromised by later excavations through them.

 

I dont know what the are planning on putting down for the new surface but I would hope it is going to be the same concrete slab and asphalt or tarmac overlay. It has lasted a long time so would likely last a long time again. The only trouble with this is the cost and as we pay a huge amount more than other places in the UK for ready mixed concrete I dont know what we can do about that.

 

I was shocked the other week when I had 2m3 of concrete delivered to my house for a shed base and it cost me 168 quid a m3, looking on the web a similar mix in the UK is about 120 quid a m3 (both prices including VAT) Anyone know why it is so expensive on the island?

That would be about £55 more per cube than I paid for Ready Mix 5 years ago.

As for why its so expensive here,I guess its The Isle Of Man,Where You Can....What other reason do you need.

Edited by Lisenchuk
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The Promenade needs digging out and proper foundations putting in, it is recovered land and has no real foundations. After a while the concrete slabs settled on their soft footings and we ended up with a varity of levels. If you want a cheap 2tart it up" solution just keep putting a fresh coat of tarmac down, but the problem will not go away with a propert job done. I saw the plans a couple of years ago and it looked very good, improved parking, safer traffic seperation and the tram running on the promenade walk way on a single track with a passing place.

 

this is the scheme budgeted somewhere between 150 and 200 million. do you think they'll go for it?

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One of the biggest bug bears that I've got with regards new roads etc, is the speed that they're dug up again to put a pipe/whatever through and thereby creating problems for the future.

Personally, I'd have small inspection tunnels that went across the prom road at certain areas, that allowed the various utility pipes and wires etc to be accessible and able to make room for any other pipework to go across, without the need to dig up the road again.

 

In this case, I'd put it out for a large tarmac company from across to do it, as the savings will be far better and will likely be done in a quarter of the time and some of the money will pay for wages that will be spent on bed/food and drink over here.

 

Thoughts on this?

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One of the biggest bug bears that I've got with regards new roads etc, is the speed that they're dug up again to put a pipe/whatever through and thereby creating problems for the future.

Personally, I'd have small inspection tunnels that went across the prom road at certain areas, that allowed the various utility pipes and wires etc to be accessible and able to make room for any other pipework to go across, without the need to dig up the road again.

 

In this case, I'd put it out for a large tarmac company from across to do it, as the savings will be far better and will likely be done in a quarter of the time and some of the money will pay for wages that will be spent on bed/food and drink over here.

 

Thoughts on this?

Yes you raise some valid points here,especially the lack of foresight/planning regarding contractors digging up new road surfaces and reinstating them in a substandard way. It would be a better policy if the DOI did the digging up and repairs when contractors want to put new services in,and send them the bill.

Edited by Lisenchuk
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The Promenade needs digging out and proper foundations putting in, it is recovered land and has no real foundations. After a while the concrete slabs settled on their soft footings and we ended up with a varity of levels. If you want a cheap 2tart it up" solution just keep putting a fresh coat of tarmac down, but the problem will not go away with a propert job done. I saw the plans a couple of years ago and it looked very good, improved parking, safer traffic seperation and the tram running on the promenade walk way on a single track with a passing place.

 

this is the scheme budgeted somewhere between 150 and 200 million. do you think they'll go for it?

When I saw the plans the costings were around the 10 million mark over a number of years as it was planned as a staged project.
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Is it only me that is of the opinion that Douglas promenade is actually not that bad? Yeah OK I know it's a bit bumpy as you drive along it but to be fair there is a 30 mph speed limit & much of the time you're travelling much slower than that cos of traffic anyway. I really don't buy into this "shop window for the island bollocks" & making it into a bowling green just to impress visitors. If it can be simply done then fine, but when you're talking about tens or even hundreds of millions, well does it really matter? I drive along the prom every day & can't say I find it a problem, you could even say it's part of the character of the place - it doesn't really do any harm does it? I really don't see it as being a priority in times of austerity. Unless the real reason it's being done is job creation for one or two of the government's inner sanctum of "special" contractors who are otherwise finding things a bit quiet at the moment? I bet there'll be some DIGging in it somewhere along the line.

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The Promenade needs digging out and proper foundations putting in, it is recovered land and has no real foundations. After a while the concrete slabs settled on their soft footings and we ended up with a varity of levels. If you want a cheap 2tart it up" solution just keep putting a fresh coat of tarmac down, but the problem will not go away with a propert job done. I saw the plans a couple of years ago and it looked very good, improved parking, safer traffic seperation and the tram running on the promenade walk way on a single track with a passing place.

 

Why should it be single track? Double would work out far more cost effective in the long run because single track line needs more staff to control the passing places and oversee the staff exchange...plus it reduces the wear and tear on the track (you don't want to be digging it up every so often because the rails have worn down twice as quickly) and why on earth put it on the walkway?... instead move it over to the Land side of the prom in a reserved trackway and push cars out to the seaward side. If you're cramped for space then get rid of the parking bays....

Edited by StuartT
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IMO a single track would be fine. One horsetram only going up and down at any one time = costs cut dramatically, heritage retained, road and parking space freed up. The current running costs, and the small number of visitors/monies the horsetrams take, doesn't warrant anymore than that.

 

The possibility of mothballing the Laxey to Ramsey element of the electric trams should also be considered, leaving the Douglas-Laxey-mountain only IMO.

 

People should realise it's the 2010's not the 1950's, and outside TT we do not get the visitor numbers anymore, so far better to have some heritage left than it all go bust or dishevelled.

 

Do not underestimate how short of money we are about to become over the coming years, as this current recession/downturn is going to take many years to overcome. Better to make the right decisions now.

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One of the biggest bug bears that I've got with regards new roads etc, is the speed that they're dug up again to put a pipe/whatever through and thereby creating problems for the future.

Personally, I'd have small inspection tunnels that went across the prom road at certain areas, that allowed the various utility pipes and wires etc to be accessible and able to make room for any other pipework to go across, without the need to dig up the road again.

 

In this case, I'd put it out for a large tarmac company from across to do it, as the savings will be far better and will likely be done in a quarter of the time and some of the money will pay for wages that will be spent on bed/food and drink over here.

 

Thoughts on this?

Yes you raise some valid points here,especially the lack of foresight/planning regarding contractors digging up new road surfaces and reinstating them in a substandard way. It would be a better policy if the DOI did the digging up and repairs when contractors want to put new services in,and send them the bill.

Why not get most of the young people who have never had a job off the dole and run it as a winter work scheme,I'm sure they would pick up how to do the job if shown by a few older people,it would give them a long term work experience,and save paying for doing nothing,they would be paying tax and insurance instead.

Because at the moment there is nothing coming from government to solve the problems of youth unemployment,so why not give it a try.

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IMO a single track would be fine. One horsetram only going up and down at any one time = costs cut dramatically, heritage retained, road and parking space freed up. The current running costs, and the small number of visitors/monies the horsetrams take, doesn't warrant anymore than that.

 

The possibility of mothballing the Laxey to Ramsey element of the electric trams should also be considered, leaving the Douglas-Laxey-mountain only IMO.

 

People should realise it's the 2010's not the 1950's, and outside TT we do not get the visitor numbers anymore, so far better to have some heritage left than it all go bust or dishevelled.

 

Do not underestimate how short of money we are about to become over the coming years, as this current recession/downturn is going to take many years to overcome. Better to make the right decisions now.

 

As I have pointed out the running costs increase with a single track line - which is the main part of the cost of a heritage system (suprised that people don't think money to pay peoples wages who choose not to work in an office or a pub is not money well spent - it all helps to keep the island's economy moving), and should the choice be to develop the system as an electric street tramway linking in to the MER to attempt to aleviate road traffic then there's far more costs involved to reinstate the second track than there would be if it was laid at the same time. Given that the materials already exist for a second track (if they're 'transplanatable' to the new location for the tramway) then it seems stupid to turn it into a single track system just because some 'know it all' thinks that half the track actually means half the costs which it doesn't. You also failed to recognise that single track means increased wear and tear which means even more costs to repair and replace the tracks given that they're a street tramway.

 

As I've also pointed out railway tourism has been in more recent years type of tourism which has come closer to rivalling the TT for the number of visitors (who end up spending far more per head than your average TT visitor given that they tend to buy more memorabilia, stay in hotels rather than camp, eat out more often), now given that the Horsetrams are also approaching their centernary and are unique in the British Isles (? possibly even the world) in being an original horse drawn street tramway still running along much the same route as it did when first laid (with a small extension to reach Derby Castle from Burnt Mill Hill), they have the potential to be a big draw if marketted properly. So the chances are that the traffic receipts will increase if the 150th Anniversary is sold properly and there will be substantially more visitors wanting a ride.

 

With regards to the mothballing of the Laxey to Ramsey line that was tried before in the years when the Island had zero economy (as the tourist trade was on its last legs and the finance sector was not established) and it lost more money to the MER than keeping the Ramsey line open. In addition a major amount of trackwork has already been done on the Laxey Ramsey section so given that you often talk about government wastage don't you think it's a bit foolhardy to suggest wasting the money spent on the track improvements on the section North of Ramsey - it would just be sat there deteriorating and the money spent would be wasted whereas at least it could be making money by operating traffic.

 

As I've argued before the way to make the railway pay is to pull the competing bus services (and instead feed the lines with a minibus service taking a passenger vitually door to door rather than just to the nearest bus stop). It seems crazy to have two routes owned by the same department competing with each other. As the railway has the historical value and should be retained naturally the bus route should go. If you have a residents ticket then it's a lot more cost effective to use the railways and tramways as it is to use the buses.

 

I do not underestimate the amount of money that we're short of given that I've fallen foul of government cuts myself, but at the end of the day if you were taking the attitude you are suggesting then ultimately you'd be letting elderly people die rather than eke out their existance, or scrapping any form of education not necessary for anyone working in the finance sector, cutting all major facilities (including the Villa Marina, NSC, most of the healthcare and social services), not spending money on roads as well as the railways or any other aspect of our heritage or transport system. So in short we'd become like the Channel Islands - very little real heritage left,no railways, with only the super rich able to get property (and young people renting for life) and in addition lacking any sense of identity or history. Not the kind of place most of us would want to live....

Edited by StuartT
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