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Archive for Highways & Parking

Now , This Is Interesting- An Inspector Goes Against County Highways Advice.

There’s been an interesting planning appeal in Fambridge, near the River Crouch. It concerns  a former shellfish packing station there in a very quiet country location. It is currently used for a business that repairs and refurbishes old damaged cars , and prepares them for export. Part of the buildings already had a general industrial use planning permission, the applicants wanted to use the rest of the site.

Officers recommended refusal on the following grounds – highways and noise nuisance:

fambridge 2

This was despite County Highways being happy about it:

fambridge 1

Councillors voted for refusal, and the applicants went to appeal. But the inspector agreed with the council on both points, and the appeal failed. It’s interesting to see what he wrote about County Highways advice:

fambridge 3

It often happens that councillors are concerned about the effect on highways of a planning application, even when County Highways officers think it is OK. You can expect councillors to mention this Fambridge planning application when a similar situation occurs again…!

Blame It On The Tunnel…

Apologies for no item tonight, blame it on the Dartford Tunnel…!

Rawreth Lane Traffic Lights Sensors

rawreth lane lights

We picked up recently on a complaint from a motorcyclist that his bike didn’t trigger the sensors at the traffic lights at the western end of Rawreth Lane. We’ve now had a reply from a helpful person at County Highways:

With regards to the traffic signals at the junction with A1245 Chelmsford Road/ Rawreth Lane.

I can confirm that a fault was raised and an engineer attended site on 27th June. Although no fault was found with the Rawreth Lane detection, the engineer did increase the sensitivity of the detectors which it is hoped will address the issue of motorcycles not being detected.

Big Spending On Big Roads In South Essex (Though Not Much In Rochford)

From the Echo:


WORK is set to begin on three major transport schemes in South Essex after the Government agreed to plough in £155.8m of funding.
A four-and-a-half mile stretch of the A13 between Pitsea and the Orsett Cock, in Thurrock, is to be widened to six lanes while the A127 will get an overhaul at four-pinch points.
Southend’s Victoria Avenue will also get a facelift, while transport in the town will get a £7million boost.

The A13 needs to be widened to 6 lanes largely because of the the new London Gateway container port.

The only improvement in our district is actually on the very edge – a planned £15 million pound improvement to the Fairglen interchange, which will be welcomed by many commuters. Though what impact will this have on the proposed employment land and traveller site that RDC are planning there?

A 12 Week Road Closure !

Beeches Bridge  in Beeches Road in Rawreth will be closed for much of the summer to allow  reconstruction work on the bridge.

  • From July 14th there will be temporary traffic signals.
  • On July 20th the signals will be removed to allow the London to Southend Bike Ride to pass unimpeded.
  • Then the road will be closed for 12 weeks, with only a temporary footbridge for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists.

And if you are not sure where Beeches Road is, it’s to the west of Watery Lane. So nobody will be able to drive directly along Watery Lane to Battlesbridge , this will force most of the Watery Lane traffic onto Rawreth Lane for 12 weeks.  :(

BREAKING NEWS: Free Saturday Afternoon Parking Is Saved

Market Car Park 2 78009. crop

 

At tonight’s’ Full Council meeting, free parking in council car parks on Saturday afternoons was SAVED.

Conservative cabinet member Mike Steptoe said that certain  contingency reserves were no longer needed, so there was no need to charge on Saturday afternoons…  at this time. When it came to a vote, it was overwhelmingly in favour of keeping Saturday afternoons free.

This is a great victory for everyone who campaigned against this . Don’t believe for a moment that  Saturday afternoons would have been saved without everyone’s efforts ! Pressure from opposing councillors and the public has paid off…

However , the increases in charges were still voted through.

Full write-up later when we get the minutes of the meeting.

A Slight Improvement…

watery junction

 

One of the items discussed at last week’s local highways panel was the junction of Watery Lane ,  Hullbridge Road and Lower Road. There have been five ‘personal injury collisions’  in the past five years – one of them being serious. Three of them involved turning right into Watery Lane; all of them were in the morning rush-hour.

So County Highways engineers proposed some modest improvements which have now been agreed:

  • Refresh all the roads markings as they had become worn or damaged
  • Add an ‘informal domed island’ at the Give Way marking in Watery Lane to improve the visibility of the turning point of the junction and deter road users from cutting across the junction
  • Reposition the black-and white chevrons signs to improve sight lines and declutter the junction
  • Consider installing a short section of kerbing and reinstate the grass verge to maker the edge of the highway more obvious
  • Cut back vegetation to 3 metres away from the carriageway to improve visibility and allow the chevrons sign to be repositioned
  • Remove part of the hatch lining to highlight the turning point from Lower Road into Watery Lane.

Total cost of this is £6,500 and should make the junction a bit safer. Though it’s a pity you have to have an accident analysis to get road markings repainted…

 

 

 

Bus Stop Stays Where It Is !

bus plan 0

It was agreed today at the Local Highways Panel that the bus stop in Hullbridge Road will stay where it is.

A sensible decision at last on this.

Rangers Replaced

For a few years now, the County Council has had teams of ‘rangers’ to do work such as cutting back vegetation on highways. Not simple grass cutting, but dealing with the sort of foliage that covers up road signs.
The County and the District Council are now launching a new scheme whereby the District Council takes over the ranger’s work. This was discussed today at the Local Highways Panel. The County will give the District extra funding for this, and hopefully this will give a more responsive service. It should stop road signs being covered up by greenery, as in London Road in Rayleigh!
This work is , in theory, separate from the normal cutting of grass verges. But we can see the successors to the rangers doing some cutting of grass verges by special request when the normal grasscutting programme isn’t adequate.
However it’s going to take a while to get this new scheme running, so don’t hold your breath waiting!

Let’s Be Careful Out There….

Meet some of the luckiest people alive…. and remember to check both ways before crossing the street….

County Highways Recommend Bus Stop Stays Where It Is !

bus plan 0

We have the Local Highways Panel next Thursday, and County Highways officers are now recommending that the bus stop opposite Hambro Parade stays where it is! As we reported last October most councillors on the panel – Conservative and UKIP, as it happens – had voted to move it down to the junction with Ferndale Road, with a cost of up to £75,000.

The report says:

- The ECC Road Safety Team did not support the scheme going ahead
- There was a councillor objection in the local press – that was Ron Oatham!
- Rawreth Parish Council objected
- A Road safety audit ‘identified many points of safety/design for both the proposed bus stop and proposed layby location’
- “Consulation with Stategy and Engagement and Passenger Transportwho both were not in favour… Congestion will not be removed”
- Diverting BT infrastructure at the layby would be expensive
- insufficient space to safely install the bus bay.

So hopefully on Thursday the panel will decide to drop the idea and leave the bus stop where it is!

Crunch Vote On Car Parking On July 1st !

Chris Stanley collecting names for the petition to keep free Staturday afternoon car parking.

Chris Stanley collecting names for a petition to keep free Saturday afternoon car parking.

We have the final vote on car parking charges at an extraordinary council meeting on July 1st. There’s a very good chance that we can win the vote to keep free car parking on Saturday afternoons. Though probably the other increases in charges will go through.

You can find the agenda here.

The officers report is signed by Shaun Scrutton as Head of Planning and Transportation , rather than someone on the finance side of things. Here’s some extracts:

DISCUSSION – SATURDAY AFTERNOON CHARGES
5.1 The proposal to reintroduce charges on Saturday afternoons resulted in the
greatest number of objections to the proposed Parking Order, with the
concerns primarily focussing on the car parks in Rayleigh.
5.2 Of most concern to objectors was the possible impact of Saturday afternoon
charges on trading in the town centres and that being the case, Members will
need to determine whether this element of the proposed Parking Order should
be retained

10 RECOMMENDATION
10.1 It is proposed that Council RESOLVES
(1) To agree the revisions to the tariff change for Blue Badge holders, and
the introduction of a one hour concession beyond the expiry time
printed on their ticket.
(2) Determine whether to introduce car parking charges on Saturday
afternoons.
EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL – 1 July 2014 Item 4
4.4
(3) To agree all the remaining proposed changes to the Parking Order
including the tariff revisions and adjustment to the charging period in
Old Ship Lane, Rochford.

Interestingly, the officers’ recommendation is to agree to all the increases and changes proposed EXCEPT for charging on Saturday afternoons. The recommendation on this is merely to make a decision…. so there is no pressure from council officers to start charging on Saturday afternoons.

It would be good to have some people in the public gallery for this one… could be an interesting night. The meeting starts at 7:30 pm at the Civic Suite in Rayleigh.

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Daily Reporting by Chris Black

With support from:
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