Beannchar, the Irish name of Bangor

Beannchar, the Irish name of Bangor, comes from the Old Norse for ‘horned bay’. From being a Neolithic settlement to the establishment of the monastic settlement and beyond the shores of Bangor Bay, Bangor had a long history of settlement. Its location in a sheltered bay so close to the Irish Sea established it as a fishing port and harbour. A tower and tower house were built in 1636 as a custom house down at the docks. These are still present today and house a tourist information centre. The sandy beaches at Bangor Bay and nearby Ballyholme Bay later established it as a holiday resort for families to escape the industrialisation of Belfast. The Bangor to Belfast rail line is still one of the busiest lines in Northern Ireland today.My aim is to attempt to delimit the CBD of Bangor.There were many reasons for me to choose Bangor. One reason being that it was big enough to be able to find the CBD. In towns such as Groomsport it wouldn’t be possible to find the CBD. Also Bangor was close, and had easy access to the town centre. Another reason being that I have good knowledge of Bangor and that made it easy for me to get to the count points.HypothesisI am going to look at several areas for my hypothesis. The subtitles being “land use/function” “building height” “pedestrian density” and “vehicle density.” And explaining how and why it changes between the outskirts and CBD.Land use/functionThe land use between Ballyholme road and high street was very dramatic and instantaneous. It went from entirely residential to virtually all commercial use. Once you enter high street it is obvious you are in the CBD. All the land use inside the CBD would be commercial and outside would be residential areas. This is because property developers wouldn’t be able to afford the land in the CBD as it is much more sought after and so if much higher priced.Building HeightAnother noticeable change between the CBD and outskirts would be the height of the buildings. On Ballyholme road it was mainly 2 storey houses. Then as you entered the CBD (High Street and Main Street) there were usually at least 3 storeys to each building. The main reason for this is because land prices in the CBD are so high, it is cheaper for the companies to build upwards rather than outwards.Pedestrian DensityOn Ballyholme road there was two pedestrian counts. The number of pedestrians that passed both points, added together equals a total of 5 pedestrians. Then the total of pedestrians on high street counted was 21, and on main street 110. You can see how contrasting the outskirts and CBD are. The main reason for such high results would be that all the shops would be in the CBD hence why so many people would be around the same area.Vehicle densityLike the pedestrian counts the vehicle counts in the CBD were also much higher compared to the outskirts of the CBD. On Ballyholme road there were a total of 20 vehicles recorded, on High Street a total of 79 vehicles, and on Main Street a total of 124 vehicles. One reason for the higher vehicle counts may be that main street is a lot wider than the likes of residential areas like Ballyholme road and so would be able to keep large amounts of traffic moving reasonably fast.Theory of CBDThis is a brief reference to some of the characteristics of a CBD, basically telling you about things that may indicate an area may be a CBD. Things such as a low residential population, multi storey development, high concentration of offices and high concentration of retailing, are all indicators than an area may be a CBD.AnalysisHypothesis one: As you move away from the C.B.D does the function of buildings change.My transect started on Ballyholme road, then went down High Street then up Main Street. Ballyholme road is all residential and all the houses were more or less the same size.Then as I went onto High Street it went from completely residential to predominately commercial use. High Street was mostly convenience and specialist shops, with some buildings being used for entertainment and clothing.Then Main Street was mostly professional services and clothing/shoe shops, with some major shopping units such as flagship. Many of the upstairs parts of buildings on Main Street were unknown, but are probably used for storage or as an office for the shop.InterpretationBallyholme Road is mainly residential. One reason for this is that, historically it has always been a residential area and is still a desirable area to live in for many reasons, e.g., close to town centre, nearby beach etc.High Streets buildings are all commercial usage. Reasons for this being, there would be a concentration of potential customers that are visiting other shops; also property developers couldn’t afford the land in the C.B.D as the prices are much higher hence why there are no residential buildings within the C.B.D.Main Street is all commercial/specialist usage. Reasons for banks/building societies setting up here would be that they need to be near public transport as banks are something everyone needs access to. Reasons for shops would be, wide streets for deliveries, concentration of potential customers, pretty much the same reasons as High Street.Sub conclusionFrom my transect graphs I would say that Lower main street is definitely included in the C.B.D, and probably upper main street as well.AnalysisHypothesis two: As you move away from the C.B.D does the pedestrian density increase?With the isoline map I was trying to prove that pedestrian density would be a lot greater in the C.B.D than outside it. Main Street in particular had the highest density with most of it within the “71+” range. Then as you move out of the C.B.D it changes drastically. On the map, even by the time you’ve got high street the range has gone from 71+ on Main Street to 25-50. Seacliffe Road was the complete opposite to Main Street; even though the two roads are connected the difference is very clear, as Seacliffe had a very little amount of people. The rings on the map aren’t completely circular, and tend to elongate down certain streets. For example my 10-25 line extends down Donaghadee Road and also Abbey Street. Also, the rings for the more dense areas are much smaller than the less dense area rings.InterpretationThere are many reasons for higher pedestrian counts in the C.B.D. The shops on Main Street would attract people to come and spend their money, and as their moving to/in between shops they would be counted on our pedestrian density counts. The isoline map also shows the rings to be elongated to car parks around Main Street. These would be the most popular car parks as they are the most convenient for shoppers. People moving from their car into town would then be counted on our pedestrian counts. Abbey Street had much higher counts than other areas that for away from the C.B.D A possible reason for this would be people commuting from other towns using public transport, coming to shop in Bangor would have to walk from the station into the town and this is possibly why counts on Abbey Street were higher than other areas outside the C.B.D. Major shopping unit, e.g. flagship, would also be attracting people has it has a wide variety of shops within a confined area. As so many different shoppers can go here counts outside the flagship would have a boost from people going to and from it. The amount of churches may attract people into the C.B.D. There are many churches on and around Main Street and most people would probably walk to their local church.Sub conclusionFrom the isoline map, I would say, that again lower main street and possibly upper main street would be in the C.B.D. Then other area’s such as abbey street and high street may be classed as the outer C.B.D.AnalysisHypothesis three: Do building heights decrease as you move away from the C.B.DBallyholme road, where my transect started, was mostly two and three storey houses.Then as I went onto High Street nearly every building was at least 3 storeys highThen onto Main street, which was the same as high street in general as every building had about 3 storeys. Some buildings had 4 storeys but not many.InterpretationThere are many reasons for buildings on Ballyholme only having two or three storeys. One reason is that historically it is a residential are, and still is and you don’t need more than two storeys in your house.Then the building heights as we move onto High Street get much higher. One reason for an increase in building heights here is that, when businesses want to expand and make their businesses bigger it is cheaper for them to build upwards and add storeys on rather than building outwards as land prices in the C.B.D would be very high. Also it may not be possible to build outwards in many cases as every bit of land tends to be bought in the C.B.D as it is so valuable to businesses.Main Street is practically the same as High Street (as stated in my analysis). Mainly three or four storey buildings. Again down to area and so expanding outwards isn’t possible, so they develop upwards.Sub conclusionFrom my transect graphs I would say that Lower main street is definitely included in the C.B.D, and probably upper main street as well.AnalysisHypothesis four – Do vehicle counts vary as you move away from the C.B.DBallyholme road – Ballyholme vehicle counts in total were fairly low, varying from 0-7 up at the Ballyholme park end to 8-30 at the high street end.High Street – On High street there was two vehicle counts taken, one at each end of high street. The first, at the ballyholme end had a recording of 8-30 then at the main street end, a recording of 31-60Main Street – On Main street there was about 5 readings taken, altogether the results stayed at the top end being 31-60 and 60+InterpretationBallyholme road – Ballyholme is mainly residential and so it wouldn’t have as many vehicles as the likes of High Street or Main Street as it simply doesn’t have any shops, which bring people to Main Street etc. And unless you live in the ballyholme area there wouldn’t be much reason to be using the ballyholme road.High Street – High street had middling counts of vehicles. Possible reasons for this may be, high street has mostly small, family owned businesses which deal in specific goods, so unless the shopper knows exactly what they want they wouldn’t tend to use high street thus lowering vehicle densities. Also, with deliveries being made to shops etc, and high street being fairly narrow, there is often slow moving traffic on high street so many people try to avoid high street as much as possible therefore decreasing vehicle densities. Another reason may be that there are no car parks on High Street, so anyone wanting to shop on high street would need to go somewhere else to park there cars, this would reduce vehicle densities.Main Street – Main Street had one of the highest vehicle density, out of all the roads we had count points on. Many of them being in the highest sector “61+”. The main reason for this probably being that this is where most people go when they’re in Bangor, as all the big companies are situated here so increasing vehicle densities. Also with the flagship being here, there is a frequently used car park; people leaving their cars off here would cause the vehicle densities rise. Also, because Main Street is in the centre of Bangor, anyone going from one end of Bangor to the other would tend to use Main Street.Sub ConclusionFrom the dot distribution map it is very clear that main street is part of the CBD. And also Abbey street would be included, as although it didn’t have as many count points, (only two) both were in the 61+ sector, meaning it had the overall highest average out of all the streets.

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