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Archive for Highways & Parking

Tonight’s Council Meeting

It was reasonably lively but without any bad temper. Here’s a few points:

Council Chairman June Lumley was admirably frugal tonight. Most Council Chairman request a buffet with wine for councillors on the night of the December meeting. June didn’t do this, but did arrange refreshments to the public who attended the Civic Carol Service on Sunday, which raised about £245 for charity.

Green Party Leader Michael Hoy made the best point of the evening. The decision to offer free parking on 3 Saturday afternoons before Christmas was taken as “an urgent item” which couldn’t be challenged. Michael asked why the decision was taken so late in the year that it had to be an urgent item. “Didn’t the Council know Christmas was coming?” The answer given was that the council didn’t know it could afford this until quite late in the year. John Mason and Chris Black followed this up later with some forensic questioning , which revealed that the council knew in June it had about £60,000 available – the cost of 3 free Saturday afternoons was about £9,000. Chris Black asked for an earlier decision next year, which might allow an extra free afternoon, either earlier in December or just after Xmas.

UKIP leader John Hayter had a go at the adoption of the “Development Management Plan”: This is basically a new version of the council’s “Bible” of planning policies. Not the zoning of land for development, but all the other policies. Things like the design of new developments, housing density, infilling of gardens, phone masts, what is allowed in the Green Belt, green tourism, playing pitches and other leisure and recreational uses…. John criticised the document because of all the new development proposed in the district, but John Mason, Chris Black, and Michael Hoy pointed out that he was criticising the wrong document for that.

The Tories best part of the night was a report showing that the council’s financial situation was improving.

Ron Oatham made it clear his opinion of central government when John Mason asked whether a certain financial amount “was being lost back to central government, or worse?” Ron immediately called out “Could anything BE worse?”

Chris Black asked how many planning enforcement cases were currently ongoing – the answer was 362, just four less than last year. He asked what could be done to reduce this figure quicker, and was told they would soon have three members of staff again, instead of the current two.

County Council Rejects Lib Dem Proposal To Roll Out LED Lighting

lighting

Essex County Council today rejected a bid to allocate funding for low-energy streetlights. At a meeting of the full council, the Liberal Democrat Group moved a motion calling on the council to allocate funds for LED roll-out in next year’s budget.

Moving the motion, Cllr Stephen Robinson (Chelmsford North) pointed out that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition Government have created the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to help the UK economy become greener and stronger.

Cllr Robinson said, “The GIB has £3.8 billion to support the roll-out of projects like low-energy LED streetlights. I am disappointed that the Conservative majority on the council would not agree to a plan for a roll-out of LED lights.

“Moving to LED lights would save Essex taxpayers MORE money than switching off most streetlights during the night.

“I am especially puzzled that they are willing to spend £1 million on a pilot of LED lights but will not set aside any money to take the pilot forwards if it is successful.”

Seconding the motion, Cllr David Kendall (Brentwood South) pointed to figures from the Police in Brentwood, showing that crime has risen during the “lights off” period. Cllr Kendall also pointed out that the AA are now saying that lights should be left on in roads where the speed limit is 40mph or higher, because of the dangers to pedestrians.

Councillors were also concerned that the £1 million for the pilot is being taken away from the budgets of the Local Highways Panel.

The Coalition’s Planned Road Improvements

roads1

The Gov.uk has an interactive map of the coalition’s proposed road improvements – you can find it here.

The two projects closest to us are:

roads2

and

roads3

The M25 is scheduled to be 4 lanes throughout by the end of this year….

Be Warned – Dartford Crossing Closed Overnight This Weekend, One Direction At A Time

From the Echo today:

THE DARTFORD Crossing will be closed overnight this weekend.

On Saturday night the northbound tunnels will be closed and on Sunday night the QEII bridge will be fully closed, with signed diversions in place via the Blackwall Tunnel.

Dart Charge project director Nigel Gray said: “This weekend will see the start of massive changes at the Dartford Crossing and by Monday morning we will have southbound traffic able to use the Crossing barrier-free.

“We will be closing the Crossing overnight, in one direction at a time, to minimise the disruption while we change the road layout. I advise drivers to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.”

Erwan Huerre of Connect Plus which is carrying out the work, said: “Road users will see the benefit on southbound journeys early on, however work on the northbound carriageway, approaching the Dartford Tunnels, will take longer to complete.

“In the short term, road users will still need to drive through the old payment plaza, which will remain temporarily to manage traffic flows and maintain safety in the tunnels.

“The main works are due to be completed by spring 2015, which is when the full benefits of Dart Charge will be felt.”

The Crossing will be closed, between junction 2 (for the A2) and junction 31 (for the A1306), to northbound traffic between 11.30pm on Saturday 29 and 6am in the morning of Sunday 30 November.

It will then be closed to southbound traffic between 11.30pm on Sunday 30 November and 5.30am in the morning of Monday 1 December.

A diversion route will be in place via the A2, A102 Blackwall Tunnel and A13.

The Blackwall tunnel has a height restriction of 4m northbound, 4.7m southbound and is classed as ‘ADR Category E’ for hazardous goods.

Any vehicles above these height restrictions or carrying dangerous goods will be diverted via the western section of the M25

Free Parking For Three Saturdays

Market Car Park 2 78009. crop

As usual, the District Council is offering free parking in its car parks on December 6, 13 and 20.
Let’s hope people make use of it, and that our town centre traders do well…

Rawreth Parish Council’s Response In Full

240px-Rawreth_sign

“RE: Planning Application 14/00627/OUT
Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd
Land North of London Road, and South of Rawreth Lane and West of Rawreth Industrial
Estate, Rawreth Lane, Rawreth Essex

Further to your letter, enclosing a copy of the submitted plans and applications in respect
of the proposals detailed above, Council have the following comments and observations to make.
The Council still have very grave concerns about the effect that developing the land will
have on an area that already suffers from flooding. Whilst Council note that balancing
ponds, basins and swails have been accounted for, the Parish of Rawreth is very unique
in that it suffers from fluvial, tidal and surface water flooding and the Council does not
feel that adequate notice has been taken of these factors and the correct information
gathered and analysed. The Parish has suffered from the “one in a hundred years”
event three times within eighteen months, however the advice given to the Developer
from the Environment Agency asks them to work on the one in a hundred years scenario
only, this is proven to be ineffective, vast areas of the Parish are cut off for days when
these events happen, properties flood, roads are impassable and lives are devastated
through loss and fear of it happening again.

The Council would like to re-emphasise that the Rawreth Brook is influenced by tidal flow
and this is a major contributory factor to flooding in the Parish.

The Council would also like to re-emphasise that in addition to water from the immediate
area draining into Rawreth Brook, water from Bowers Gifford also drains into it via the
Benfleet Brook, a very significant factor that has been overlooked.

The Council are concerned that all the technical work is being done upstream of the site,
but none is planned for downstream, Council believe this is because it is assumed there
is no adverse effect downstream which is totally unacceptable and incorrect

The Council also considers that the roads and infrastructure in the Rawreth area are
completely inadequate to accommodate this proposed development as they are already full to capacity .

The A127, A1245, A129 London Road, Rawreth Lane and Watery Lane
just cannot take any more traffic and the proposed development will increase traffic to a
completely unsustainable level. On numerous occasions this year and last year incidents
within and on the outskirts of the Parish have brought traffic to a standstill for hours along
London Road, Rawreth Lane, Watery Lane/Beeches Road and the Hullbridge Road. It
took some residents 1 1⁄4 hours to proceed along Rawreth Lane and into Hullbridge –
a distance of 1 1⁄2 miles. We strongly recommend that an independent Traffic Survey
and assessment should be done before any approval of this scheme. Without a long
term solution to existing transport needs then this and any new developments are
unsustainable.

Council considers access to the site to be inadequate too, the access point is to and
from Rawreth Lane, a road already over congested. Failure to improve the infrastructure
at the access point and on surrounding roads will only add to the problems already
experienced, the overall traffic flow to and from the development means congested
roads will not improve and existing residents will only be inconvenienced more which
Council doesn’t consider acceptable. It is assumed by Countryside that most traffic will
exit via London Road and that is where they will spend money to “improve” traffic flow
there will be very little improvement to Rawreth Lane, or the Rawreth Lane Hullbridge
Road junction. There appears to be too much reliance on the Hullbridge Development
financing any improvement on Rawreth Lane.

Below is a copy of a traffic survey undertaken by Rawreth Parish Council in 2010, this
survey is woefully out of date as traffic has increased since it was taken, but it still gives
an idea of the traffic volumes that use Rawreth Lane and Beeches Road on a daily basis.

Rawreth Parish Council – Traffic Survey 25th March 2010.
Location Beeches Road, held between the hours of 7am and 7pm.

WESTBOUND EASTBOUND
7-9 AM 732 333
9-11 AM 250 322
11-12 PM 130 147
12- 1 PM 131 140
1-2 PM 128 150
2-3 PM 118 195
3-4 PM 120 247
4-5 PM 131 384
5-6 PM 171 595
6-7 PM 111 335
2022 2848

The odd statistic from the figures show eastbound traffic is running at about 220 vehicles
per hour whilst westbound is averaging at only about 170 vehicles per hour . This may
be because of the congestion on Rawreth lane encourages more cars going east .
There were considerable numbers of overweight vehicles mainly large transit type with
double wheels or long wheelbase.

Rawreth Parish Council – Traffic Survey 25th March 2010.
Location Rawreth Lane, Recreation car park, held between the hours of 7am and
7pm.

Easterly Westerly
7 – 8am – 460 7 – 8 am – 800
8 – 9 – 565 8 – 9 – 910
9 – 10 – 515 9 – 10 – 605
10 – 11 – 457 10 – 11 – 496
11 – 12 – 518 11 – 12 – 520
12 – 1 – 460 12 – 1 – 515
1 – 2 – 550 1 – 2 – 495
2 – 3 – 607 2 – 3 – 526
3-4 740 3 – 4 – 555
4 – 5 – 821 4 – 5 – 594
5 – 6 – 801 5 – 6 – 665
6 – 7pm – 685 6 – 7pm – 536
Total 7179 7217

Council also considers the provision for a primary school to be unnecessary given that
the Parish School of St Nicholas could easily be extended to accommodate any future
need. Council feel that the space allocated for a school would be better utilised as a
Doctors surgery as the existing surgeries in the area will not cope with a development of
this size.

The Council are extremely concerned that inadequate risk assessments and calculations
have been undertaken with regards to flooding, and the effect of flooding on the Parish
and surrounding area that together with the lack of assessment with regards to increased
traffic movement and flow leaves the Council in no doubt that there will be extreme lack
of infrastructure to support this development.
Yours sincerely
Hayley Bloomfield
Clerk to Rawreth Parish Council ”

No Birthday Cake Now For Pothole In Eastview Drive

mortimer pothole

 

Last month we mentioned a big pothole in Eastview Drive, Rayleigh   and how we’ve been trying to get it fixed.  Bruce was told last night at Rayleigh Town Council that there will be repairs done there on the 27th and 28th (with the road being closed)

Town Centre Study

The County Council was conducting a traffic survey in Rayleigh Town Centre  until 7pm yesterday and will be doing one tomorrow  from 12noon to 4pm.  This is to measure traffic turning movements and pedestrian crossings to create  a proper computer model that can used to examine how to improve traffic flow around the town centre.
You will see black boxes padlocked to the base of lamp columns with cameras on the columns.

Watery Lane Open Tomorrow For The Rush Hour??

watery junction

 

Rawreth Parish Council have received the following advice today:

Having spoken to the engineers at the bridge today (Wed)  they hope to open the road later today at rush hour provided the re-surfacing is finished and the signs for ‘lack of road markings’ are available.
In any case, it should be open tomorrow for the next fortnight during morning and evening rush hours, ie: shut during the day between 0930 and 1630 hours whilst they continue to finish the job.
However, we are seeing conflicting rumours on Facebook, so we are not 100% sure about this!

 

Highways And Potholes

There was a lot of discussion at the Local Highways Panel last week about the frequency and quality potholes – even though the panel is not supposed to touch maintenance issues.

Chris Black took the opportunity to mention the big pothole at the junction of Mortimer Road and Eastview Drive, that Bruce Smart had reported it in January, and that the Smart household would be baking a cake to celebrate its first birthday. This caused people there to pay attention, and hopefully we will have a cake to celebrate the repair, rather than the birthday.

mortimer pothole

In the meantime, the following roads in  Downhall and Rawreth Ward are on the list for thorough repairing:

 

Bedloes Avenue

Deepdene Avenue

Hambro Parade

Kings Farm

Manns Way

 

 

 

No Reduction in Speed Limit – Traffic Is Going Too Fast

old london road

 

This is a hard one to understand…

Old London Road in Rawreth is a road where the national speed limit of 60 mph applies.  It goes between London Road and Church Road, which are both 40 mph zones, so that you can only drive at 60 mph for about half a minute!  But going at this speed isn’t a good idea, as this is a country lane with lots of cars on Sunday mornings , plus heavy lorries and horseriders. Local residents have asked for the speed limit to be reduced to 40 mph , which seems sensible, especially as we now have umpteen football pitches along here.

Rawreth Parish Council has asked repeatedly asked for this, but been turned down by County Highways. However on Thursday Chris Black tried again at the Local Highways Panel again, without success. County Highways basically advise that they won’t reduce the speed limit here because 1) there aren’t enough houses along the road (sports pitches don’t count) and 2) according to the last survey , vehicles are going too fast….

No “negative impact on safety and capacity” !

If you haven’t looked at Countryside’s masterplan for “North of London Road” , you can find it on their website here.

You can also find their opinion on the traffic situation here. Key sentences:

The Local Highway Authority, Essex County Council, has confirmed that with improvement works, traffic from the development of 550 new homes can be accommodated on the local road network without having a negative impact on safety and capacity.
——
We have carried out a Transport Assessment that considers firstly the current operation of key junctions on London Road and Rawreth Lane, and secondly their future operation should the development go ahead, taking into account both a natural background increase in traffic, and traffic associated with other proposed developments in the area, to provide a robust assessments of effects.
——-
The Transport Assessment recognises that there is existing queuing on London Road and at the Rawreth Lane/Hullbridge Road mini-roundabout, and it identifies a range of highway measures that could improve traffic flows and reduce queuing in these areas. Not all of the improvements identified in the Transport Assessment would be needed as a result of the traffic generation from the development. We would either implement appropriate highway improvements, or contribute financially to allow the Highway Authority to implement appropriate improvements, with the actual works selected from the range of possible improvements identified in the Transport Assessment, following further discussion with the Highway Authority and District Council.

We think residents will have their own views on this… We will obviously be examining this very very carefully.

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500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

The Core Strategy

This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

Reporting A Problem

If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

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To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

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