Lords Golf Club is now The Rayleigh Club Golf Resort and they are thinking big:
“It’s not just a new name. The Rayleigh Club, formerly Lord’s Golf Club, is a new Golf Resort that promises new experiences. Recently acquired by a city investment group, members and guests at The Rayleigh Club can now expect the best service as well as enjoying the finest facilities for miles around. We’re on a journey to become one of Britain’s premier golf resorts and we’d like you to come with us.”
“A health and spa club is soon to be built which will house a state of the art gymnasium, swimming pool, sauna, spa and Jacuzzi and much more.”
Regular readers will know that we have been pushing for a pedestrian crossing in Hullbridge Road , opposite Lubards Farm. Over 200 people signed a petition in a very short time.
There was a local highways panel meeting last week, where all the councillors present were supportive of having a crossing. Trouble is , the County Council had carried out a survey on February 12th, and the results didn’t meet up with the usual council standards for a crossing.
In an 12 hour period , a staggering 10063 vehicles went past this point. That’s one every 4 seconds! And the traffic flow was pretty constant during that period , with a peak between 4 and 5 pm.
However only seven pedestrians crossed the road during those 12 hours.
The view of the councillors present was that people didn’t cross here because it wasn’t safe to do so without a pedestrian crossing. Also the weather was cold and icy and it took an average of 5 seconds to cross the road. Or to put it another way, the survey showed that Rayleigh people are sensible…!
So what to do next? We agreed to keep the funding in place for a crossing. We will also see if we can get a temporary crossing installed, leave it there for a month, and then do another survey. It’s good that Conservatives like Mark Francois, Stephen Castle and Tracy Chapman are working with us on this, and we can bounce ideas off each other. The local highways panel is really starting to work.
Have you ever been at a football match when the referee makes a big mistake, or a manager gets his tactics embarrassingly wrong? The crowd start singing “You don’t know what you’re doing”. We have a pretty similar situation now with Watery Lane.
The District Council are planning 500 houses near Watery Lane. Even though some opposition councillors voted against this , at least we were given the promise that Watery Lane would be improved. But that promise seems to be going out the window! As Hullbridge Green Councillor Michael Hoy points out here the County Council officially aren’t interested in improving Watery Lane!
In their response to the District Council proposals the County Council have said here :
Paragraph 3.178 should be amended to note that highway improvements would focus on the strategic network, which includes the junction of Hullbridge Road/ Watery Lane. Watery Lane is not part of the strategic network and the reference to improvements should be deleted.
Now you can argue about whether Watery Lane is a country lane, or part of the strategic road network. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that when it’s closed, it causes big problems. So with 500 houses coming it needs improving.
Michael Hoy sums things up pretty well:
“To us it is amazing that anyone from the County Council could state that improvements to Watery Lane should be deleted from the Allocations Document. Everyone who has lived with this road being closed for 3 months would disagree with the assessment that it is not strategic.
This is yet another example of how out of touch Essex County Council are with this part of Essex, they seem to believe that everyone to the south of Chelmsford is unimportant and would appear to have great trouble even locating us on a map, let alone in person.
It took 3 months of relentless campaigning and bad publicity before we got any action out of the County Council on Watery Lane and even then it was only to do the standard maintenance work that they had apparently been neglecting for the previous 9 months. They are now saying that even with a further 500 houses to be built in “Hullbridge” no work is needed on Watery Lane as it is not part of the Strategic Network. We will obviously be opposing this view forcibly with the Council.”
And if you haven’t heard fans chanting “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing!” this is what it sounds like:
Reported by Paula harbrow at 17:12 today
Sent to Essex County Council and Rochford District Council 2 minutes later
By the green grassy area there was a no ball games street sign, it was broken years ago and I have tried every avenue trying to get it replace including Rockford district council, local parish council, local conservative and labour representatives with no avail , it might not be important to some but you don’t live here, it does help stop football balls being kicked into our property here in Keswick ave.
The AA write about Watery Lane on their own blog here.
We are urging drivers to heed road closure signs on a flooded road in Hullbridge, Essex, called… Watery Lane.
In the last six days, we have attended 14 cars, including two this morning, that have come to grief after ignoring the warning signs.
Local AA patrol and flood rescue team member Allen Childs says: “The clue’s in the name, Watery Lane. It’s closed for safety reasons but unfortunately some drivers think they know better and have got stuck, even though they see other cars in trouble.
“The road is a popular short cut and some have admitted they were just blindly following their sat-nav….”
Watery Lane is shown to have a ‘drainage problem’ (that’s true!!!!) and the response is “No Further Action” !
The text below explains that “No Further Action” can mean an amazingly different number of things:
No further action
This has been assessed as requiring no further action at this time. Reasons can include:
We have assessed the reported problem and it does not currently meet our minimum assessment criteria for action. We routinely inspect all routes and this issue will be monitored as part of these inspections.
The area of concern is the responsibility of another organisation, local council, or land owner. We will contact them and ask that they report directly to you, if you have provided us with contact details.
On visiting the site, the Highways Inspector has removed the hazard or the hazard had already been removed before the site was visited, so no problem was found or identified.
We have previously been made aware of the problem and are already preparing to take the necessary action as part of a large maintenance scheme.
A routine inspection is due shortly and any problems present will be identified at that time.
We just hope that what they mean is that there is going to be ‘a large maintenance scheme’.
These pictures were taken today, Sunday 3 February, and show how deep the water is in Watery Lane. The road is not passable by car and Essex Fire Service have said the following in response to their rescue of 5 motorists last night.
Firefighters had to rescue five adults from three vehicles after motorists ignored flood water and drove through getting themselves stranded.
ECFRS’ swift water rescue team helped the occupants to dry land before leaving the scene at 19:24 hrs.
Crews continue to stress the dangers of driving into flood water but these, and warning signs at the scene, continued to be ignored at this notorious flood blackspot.
The County Council say they will repair the collapsed drainage culvert in the summer….
Other highways stuff discussed yesterday included:
Watery Lane – this is almost beyond parody now. We had one business-owner who explained how Watery Lane has been officially closed for flooding for the last 34 working days. Currently the water is 18 inches deep. Sometimes lorries will come through the water when it isn’t too deep, other time they have to drive a van out to collect the stuff from the lorry somewhere down the road. Apparently the collapsed culvert which is causing the immediate problem can’t be repaired by County Highways until the summer
Tescos at London Road Rayleigh – we agreed to spend £7000 on bollards on the grass verge to prevent vehicles parking.
Spa Road , Hockley – County Councillor Bonnie Hart said there was ‘utter chaos’ near Sainsbury’s, and we agree to spend £20,000 on railings
The three entrance points to Barling – we agreed to spend £30,000 on ‘village gateways’, to make it extra clear to drives they were entering a 30 mph zone through the village.
Old London Road , Rawreth. We decided NOT to sopend money on signage stating there might be pedestrians in the road. However Chris Black did get the officers to look once again at lowering the speed limit here.
Popes Walk , Rayleigh We refused a request to remove cobble stones because of anti-social behaviour.
Cycleways and Bus Shelters . We decided not to spend any money on new cycleways or replacement bus shelters.
The Local Highways Panel today allocated £150,000 today for a light-controlled crossing in Hullbridge Road, by Lubards Farm !
Only five councillors turned up today (there should have been nine) but all of those present supported this. So let’s give a thank-you to Councillors Gill Lucas-Gill, Keith Hudson, Mike Steptoe and Bonnie Hart. The petition certainly helped a bit.
On the positive side, visibility won’t be a problem – there will be enough of a sight splay.
But we are ONLY HALF-WAY there – this decision has to be signed off by the County Portfolio Holder, Cllr Derrick Louis. And this may not happen because the figures on the number of vehicles on the road, and especially the number of pedestrians crossing here, may not be high enough. This is where the evidence from the petition is going to be very useful – because people will avoid crossing the road until there is a crossing.
The other policy issue is that there is no footway yet on one side of the road. Anyway, we won’t be sitting back- we will do what we can to get the crossing…
We”ll write about the other highways discussions today in a separate post….
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The Roads That Need Repairing
The County Council admitted in July that over 200 roads in our district need repairing! They say they will fix them by May 2013.
here to see the list.
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.
Rochford District Council carries out grass cutting on behalf of the County Council.
If you see a grass verge that badly needs cutting, you can report it
The Core Strategy
This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here
click here. (2.5mb)