onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


Archive for Hullbridge

Schools Holidays Petition … And Flood Prevention Funds

green reed

The “A Green Read” website , run by Councillor Michael Hoy, has had a lot of new stuff recently, including

Hullbridge Woman to have her petition debated in Parliament.

Donna Thresher started her Government e-petition back in March 2013 with the simple statement.
“Stop Holiday companies charging extra in school holidays”
The petition is a response to the belief that holiday companies are profiteering during school holidays charging excessive prices far above those that would be dictated by normal supply and demand….
…Lib Dem MP John Hemming has proposed the e-petition for debate in Westminster Hall for 24 February 2014 after the e-petition went viral due to Paul Cookson linking it to his Facebook Group Holiday Price Increase.

Essex County Council releases £1m of emergency funding for flooded roads
Essex County Council have at last listened to the concerns of residents and have at last decided to act on the flooded roads of the County. Below is the press release allocating £1 Million to tackle road flooding in the County….
….. Within Rochford District the one road needing flood alleviation methods that immediately springs to mind is Watery Lane in Rawreth. Some schemes have been put forward including installing a drainage system on the field to the South of the to prevent it draining onto the road as it currently does (and is allowed to do quite legally) and I will be pushing for watery Lane to be put into the top 5 as we all know it floods every year not just in this one.

“Hullbridge Memories” Is Back

Noddy and Big Ears

Noddy and Big Ears

The website “Hullbridge Memories” is back:

“Hello we are back and hopefully you will get some enjoyment reliving memories.
Regretably I had to take the site down as I had found images from the site had been copied and were being sold on Ebay. At long last I have found a way to watermark images in batches so I will be gradually bringing back the images and hopefully adding new ones in the days ahead.”


There’s lots of stuff there – starting off with a mammoth tusk from 12000 BC…..

The Hullbridge Road Ditch

hullbridge rd ditch 2

hullbridge rd ditch 4

Earlier this week we wrote about the ditch alongside Hullbridge Road. County Highways have advised that this is one of two sections of ditch that Highways are actually responsible for in Rochford District, the other being along London Road opposite Vernon Avenue.

They seem to have overlooked this, following their last reorganisation – but the right people are now aware of this, and hopefully clearance and maintenance work will now be carried out.

Hullbridge Road Ditch

hullbridge rd ditch 4

hullbridge rd ditch 2

We are trying to get the ditch along Hullbridge Road cleared of branches and debris…the ‘official’ method could be slow but let’s see how we get on…


We hear there are major flooding problems right now in Watery Lane, Church Road Rawreth, Old London Road and London Road Rawreth

Lubbards Farm Petition Update

Hullbridge Road, next to Lubards Farm

Hullbridge Road, next to Lubards Farm

Many thanks to Tracey at Gladwells Pet and Country Store for sending the first forms back to us. That’s 44 names to get us started.

Time To Fight Again For A Crossing – Please Sign Our Petition

Hullbridge Road  in sunshine

Here’s very some disappointing news.

Last summer the County Council agreed to have a pedestrian crossing in Hullbridge Road opposite Lubards Farm. It was ‘signed off’ by the the councillor who was in charge of highways at that time.

However since then a new councillor has taken over, Rodney Bass, and he has rejected the crossing on the grounds that there isn’t a pavement on both sides of the road. :(

But we also get the feeling that the officers advising him in County Hall in Chelmsford, who hadn’t been to the local highways panel that discussed this, didn’t have a clue as to what activities happen at Lubards Farm or why people wanted a crossing.

We are not giving up. We are starting another petition and will battle once more to get a crossing – it will be discussed at the next Local Highways Panel on January 14th.Any help with the petition will be gratefully received.

BREAKING NEWS : Beeches Road / Watery Lane Closure Put Back Till Next July

We have received the following email today from the Structures Manager at County Highways:

Earlier today I was in a meeting with Cllr Bass, Cllr Hoy and Paul Bird regarding the commencement of the works to Beeches Bridge in Beeches Road and Watery Lane. A sub contract order has been placed on Jackson’s Ltd for them to commence on site on the 14th October 2013 with a estimated completion date of just before Christmas 2013.
Cllr Hoy is very concerned about the affect this work will have on school children trying to gain access to the local secondary school which is located close to the diversion route due to the higher volume of traffic that will be using this route. He is especially concerned that the children will be undertaking exams in November and will miss the start of the morning exams. The other concern was to do with the downturn in trade the closure will cause.
Councillor Bass has therefore instructed that the scheme is postponed until the beginning of July 2014.
The road closure signs will be taken down and replaced with signs stating that the scheme has been postponed until July 2014. Also on Thursday we will be leafleting the local residencies again informing them of the scheme postponement…
…Once Beeches Bridge has been strengthened the weight restriction will be removed and immediately placed on Hannover Bridge which carries Watery Lane and is located near the Hullbridge junction; this should stop HGV’s continuing to use Beeches Rd/Watery Lane as a rat run.

So one road closure is delayed until next summer, and the other is cancelled. Credit to Cllr Michael Hoy for a very effective intervention – and to the much-maligned Cllr Rodney Bass for listening and responding.

Another Watery Lane/ Beeches Road Closure After Christmas !


It looks like being a miserable autumn and new year for drivers and businesses who use Rawreth Lane, Watery Lane and Beeches Road !

Why? , Well, County Councillor Michael Hoy received the following information today from the County Council, he’s kindly passed it on to us.

… Reconstruction of Hanover Bridge is expected to start on 6th January 2014.

Hanover Bridge carries a minor unclassified road, Watery Lane, over a stream in the village of Hullbridge (south of South Woodham Ferrers). The bridge was reassessed in 2010 and concluded that the structure is weak (capable of carrying 3 Tonnes only). As part of the Essex Highways maintenance programme, ECC has planned to carry out the reconstruction of the Hanover Bridge in January 2014. In order to facilitate the construction work and ensure the safety of the work force and the public, a full road closure will be applicable to all vehicular traffic. Pedestrian and cyclist access across the stream will be maintained via a designated footway at all time.

The Hanover Bridge reconstruction work is programmed to commence on Monday 6th January 2014 and is expected to last approximately 10 weeks. The diversion route for the road closure is shown in the attached drawing.

As you may already known, the reconstruction of the Beeches Bridge is expected to start on 14th October 2013 and last for 12 weeks. We anticipated to complete the Beeches Bridge work before Christmas and open the road for the Christmas and the New year period and then start the Hanover Bridge construction work. In any case, the road closure for Hanover Bridge will not be implemented until the road closure for the Beeches Bridge has been removed.

Michael is extremely unhappy about this and and we share his concerns . He writes on his blog tonight:

I have been talking with Essex Highways on this, pointing out the problems we all faced last year and earlier this year, when Watery Lane was closed for a number of days due to flooding, with the large tailbacks and delays we faced getting out of Hullbridge as well as the problems caused to local businesses…

….. Essex Highways have assured me that they will monitor traffic and will put in mitigating measures should the traffic becomes to heavy, but I have seen no plans for how this would be done and to what effect beyond a few statements about altering the traffic light phases. Effectively Essex Highways are ignoring me and ploughing on with the scheme having failed to asses the impact of closure.

…….To make things worse I have today received an email confirming that, after this 12 week closure, the road will be closed again for a further 10 weeks from the 6 January 2014 to repair another bridge. I find this totally unacceptable, Watery Lane will be closed for pretty much half a year causing chaos to this part of Essex and Essex Highways have failed to consider the implications to local residents or to consult with us.

Obviously I am not at all happy with this and I have requested a meeting with the Cabinet member for Highways and the Director of Essex Highways to sort this out as a matter of urgency. I will keep you advised.

Closure In Beeches Road For 12 Weeks?!

The following notice is due to appear  in the Castle Point, Rayleigh and Rochford Standard on the 26 September 2013.


The Essex County Council (Beeches Bridge, Beeches Road, Rawreth) (Temporary Prohibition of Traffic) Order 2013

Notice is hereby given that the Essex County Council intends, not less than seven days from the date of this notice, to make the above Order under section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Effect of the order:  To temporarily close that length of Beeches Bridge, Beeches Road, Rawreth in the District of Rochford, for a distance of approximately 70 metres either side of Beeches Bridge.

The closure is scheduled to commence on 5 October 2013 for 12 weeks or where appropriate signs are showing and weather permitting.

The closure is required for the safety of the public and workforce while re-decking work to Beeches Bridge is undertaken.

The alternative route will be via Beeches Road – Rawreth Lane – Hullbridge Road – Watery Lane and vice versa.

Access for pedestrians will be maintained at all times during the closure. There will also be access to the sewage treatment works from the west side of Beeches Road.

The Order will come into effect on 5 October 2013 and may continue in force for 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier.

Dated: 26 September 2013


We know that Rawreth Parish Council  are EXTREMELY concerned about this and are asking if help can  be given to the local businesses there. We very much share their concerns. The parish council know that local businesses have already suffered as a result of the prolonged road closure earlier in the year due to flooding. They have pointed out that many of the local, smaller, family owned businesses rely on passing trade generated through people using Watery Lane and Beeches Road and are now faced with another three month closure, meaning that for six months out of the last year they have had no passing trade and will suffer substantial losses.

Sorry To Depress You…

We understand that Watery Lane/Beeches Road will be closed for Bridge works from the 19th of August up until the 8th of November. :(

Perseverance Pays Off – Lubards Farm Crossing Gets Go-Ahead !


We’ve heard today that  the County Council has given the go-ahead  for a pedestrian crossing in Hullbridge Road at Lubards Farm!

This is something we’ve been campaigning for. Approval has been given and finance has been allocated. However  it still has to be designed. So don’t expect anything to arrive soon.

We’d like to thank:-

  • Everyone who signed the petition – and helped organise it – including two ladies called Jane and Jo.
  • all the other  councillors on the Highways Panel who supported us. Conservatives over a 12 month period and mostly Conservatives but also a Green and a UKIP at the very last meeting.
  • the council officers involved , for giving this careful consideration.

This wasn’t an easy thing to achieve (and we won’t open the champagne until it’s actually installed).  It didn’t meet normal criteria and we had to get the panel to make this their main spending item for last year. Incidentally this comes from a budget completely separate from highways maintenance.

But it proves that Local Highways Panels can work. It also shows that whatever political party you belong to , if you make a good effort as a ward councillor, you get listened to in Rochford.

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