Several weeks ago the grit bin in Linton Drive was damaged but no action taken to repair it.
Unlike most parts of Hampshire grit bins in Andover are owned, filled and maintained by Hampshire County Council. Andover Town Councillor Len Gates has referred the matter to the county councillor for the area (Zilliah Brooks) who is waiting for a response from council highways officers.
Cllr Gates said “the county’s failure to deal with this is indicative of the overall decline in service supplied to the public. All this despite holding massive cash reserves. Its time the county council started delivering the services tax payers expect and pay for. if it is unwilling or unable to do so these responsibilities should be passed over to someone else.”
We look forward to the highways department’s response.
Following our previous report (see here) we are pleased to report that Hampshire County Council has agreed to review the speed limit along the whole length of Newbury Road north of Enham Arch. This change of heart follows emails from Len Gates and county councillor Tim Rolt asking them to reconsider their previous decision to review the limit only on the stretch between Knights Enham and Enham Alamein.
Highways officers are currently looking at plans to install a pedestrian crossing on Newbury Road linking Roman Way and King Arthur’s Way. This will increase pedestrian traffic in the area and across the road making our proposed 40 mph limit much more appropriate. We haven’t been advised on the likely timescale for the crossing yet but the speed limit review to be put forward for the 2016/17 Traffic Management Programme will now include this section of the A343 and consider the reduction of the 50mph speed limit in this area to 40mph.
Len and Tim advised Roman Way residents of these latest plans at Monday’s residents’ meeting at St Paul’s Church where the news was greeted with approval. Residents also asked for a review of footpaths in the area especially near the King Arthurs Way roundabout. We will be following this up with highways officers.
Alamein Focus team are grateful for the support of county councillor Rolt on the campaign. Councillors and campaigners have put aside party politics and worked together with mutual respect to achieve improvements for the local community without the immature point scoring and claiming credit for everything which has recently dominated local newspapers and websites.
As previously reported the Alamein Focus team contacted highways officers to lobby for a review of the speed limit between Enham Arch and Enham Alamein village (see here for details). I have now had a reply from the county highways department which includes the following positive comments. As you can see they have agreed to consider a reduction of the speed limit between Knights Enham and Enham Alamein
“I note the points that you raise about the speed limits, particularly regarding the speed limit between Knights Enham and Enham Alamein. Whilst this section has little development, junctions or other road features to justify a lower speed limit, there is a shared use footway/cycleway. As you note there are several changes of speed limit between Andover and Enham Alamein that reflect the changing nature of the area as you proceed from the ring road towards the outskirts of Andover and enter Enham Alamein village. The speed limits as they are currently set do represent the nature of the area and are in accordance with the criteria as well as County Council policy, however there may be a better consistency of travel speed in reviewing the current derestricted section for a 50mph speed limit.”
“A speed limit review to consider a reduction to 50mph as described above has been included on my list of sites to be considered for a future Traffic Management Programme. The 2015/16 Traffic Management Programme has been agreed and is fully committed in terms of both resource and funding. Regrettably, the County Council is unable to progress all requests it receives to investigate traffic management measures, and priority is given where measures would reduce traffic casualties. Other changes that do not directly support the County Council’s casualty reduction programme in this way, but nevertheless support a community’s desire for traffic management measures, may be considered further subject to the resources available, the prevailing service priorities, Transport aims and objectives and whether the request meets our criteria for the particular measure required. Those matters that considered the highest priority when assessed are put forward for the programme that is agreed by County Council Members annually.”
While it is disappointing that the highways department is not willing to consider a review of the whole length of the road this first step is very positive. I have referred this response to county councillor Tim Rolt who agrees the limits along the road need a review and has offered to take the matter further with highways officers. I have asked they look again specifically at the speed limit between Enham Arch and the Smannell Road roundabout.
I will be following this matter up with Cllr Rolt, highways officers and parish councillors over the next few weeks.
Residents of King Arthur’s Way and Roman Way have reacted angrily to the newly introduced double yellow lines on several local roads. Many have contacted us complaining of no consultation and no notice being given on the plans. The plans were approved last year by Alamein’s conservative councillors. Full details of the plans and the council officer’s report on local consultation and the decision making can be seen on the Test Valley website here
We were particularly concerned by local comments that the decision to introduce yellow lines on King Arthur’s Way was made by or for local Liberal Democrats. The following letter of clarification has been sent to King Arthur’s Way residents. We will also be contacting Roman Way residents.
Many of you have contacted us in the last twenty four hours regarding the recently introduced double yellow lines on King Arthur’s Way. These are outside Knights Enham School, in Launcelot Close, and at the junction of King Arthur’s Way and Stuart Court.
There has been some suggestion that these were introduced at the prompting of or by local Liberal Democrats. This is not true. The restrictions were introduced by Test Valley Borough Council following “consultations” carried out in June of last year on a range of parking restrictions for the whole of Alamein ward. Two public meetings were held and 250 letters sent out. Full details can be seen in the attached council report.
Given that there are about 900 homes in the King Arthur’s Way area it is likely most of you didn’t get a letter. This is confirmed by the fact that only two comments were received on the plans for King Arthur’s Way.
The decision to introduce the parking restrictions was made in July 2014 by your conservative borough councillors Phil North and Janet Whiteley. The third conservative councillor Alex Brook didn’t attend the meeting but later signed off on his colleagues’ decisions. All of this is clearly recorded in the attached report.
Local Liberal Democrats had no input in the decision making and made no comment on it until November when we lobbied TVBC to take action on road safety outside Roman Way School. We campaigned then and still want to see a controlled crossing outside the school. We were advised of the decision to introduce yellow lines outside the school and that these would be introduced in February. We supported these as a first step to improving road safety at Roman Way School. We did not endorse any of the other parking restrictions.
The problem here is that your local councillors have signed off on a package of parking restrictions without bothering to adequately consult with you, or inform you on the plans or decisions. Many of you will have recently received an eight page colour newsletter from them. There is no mention of the yellow lines they have approved. This is a disgraceful failure on their part for which they owe everyone an apology.
We hope to speak to as many of you as possible about the way these new yellow lines were introduced and will raise your concerns with the council. If you have any comments in the meantime please contact us.
During on of our regular checks on local footpaths the Alamein Focus team found a “new trolley park.” The photos show supermarket trolleys abandoned along the footpath between Smannell Road and Augustus Walk.
We have reported this to Test Valley Environmental Services and look forward to seeing them removed.
If you see any abandoned trolleys or fly tripped litter you can report it to TVBC either
- online here
- by using the council’s text service – text ‘love’ to 60060 followed by your message.
- by email to [email protected]
- or telephone to 01264 368000.
Following several complaints received via our Focus reply slips Len Gates contacted Aster Property about poor grounds maintenance on King Arthur’s Way.
Bushes had been left uncut and overgrowing footpaths and steps or were badly cut with cuttings left in and around the hedges. Some tidying was carried out before Christmas and Aster will be reducing the sizes of some hedges later this year.
Pictures show work already carried out between Camelot Close and the footbridge across King Arthurs Way. If you know of any areas needing tidying up let your Focus team know.
Steps from Camelot Close in November
Steps from Camelot Close today
The bridge today
We are pleased to report that following a meeting between local campaigners and council officers improvements to road signage will be carried out on the approach to Roman Way School.
Roman Way School approach in November 2014
The meeting was held in November and reported here on the Alamein Focus team website. Among the traffic calming measures suggested by Len Gates and the campaign team was a review of existing road signs and additional signs on the road. The Focus team had previously surveyed the roads and signs outside both Roman Way and Knights Enham Schools. Photos and details were submitted to officers and discussed at the meeting.
A specific issue requested was the repositioning of the existing school sign on the approach from Newbury Road to ensure it was visible to drivers exiting the A343 King Arthurs’ Way roundabout. Details of the discussions and agreed improvements were reported in our Roman Way Focus of November.
Both the suggestions to move the sign and a request for extra “slow” signs were taken up by highways officers and have now been approved by the county council highways department. The sign has been moved and the extra road markings will be painted in February at the same time as painting double yellow lines to prohibit parking at the school entrance. This was another measure agreed at our meeting.
The Alamein Focus team will continue to monitor road safety in the area and report back on improvements as they happen.
2008 Lib Dem councillors Robin Hughes and Len Gates campaigned for and got a 30 mph limit through Enham village..
Alamein Focus team are calling for a reduction in the speed limit along Newbury Road from Enham arch through to Enham Alamein. The current speed limit varies between 30 mph and 50 mph along this stretch of road. Enham Alamein parish council also want speed restrictions south of the village. The current 30 mph limit in Enham Alamein village was introduced after a successful campaign by Lib Dem councillors Len Gates and Robin Hughes.
Len Gates has contacted police and county councillors to get their support for the initiative and has written to highways officers asking for a review of the speed limits along this stretch of road. Andover Town Councillor Barbara Carpenter supports the campaign. “Reducing speeds would reduce noise and air pollution for residents of Roman Way, King Arthur’s Way and Lilywhite Crescent” she said. Fellow Town Councillor, Kevin Hughes, added “Many parents and children cross Newbury Road from Roman Way to Knights Enham Schools. A lower speed limit would make the journey to school safer for all of them.”
The Lib Dem proposal are to replace the existing 40 mph (Greenwich Way to King Arthur’s Way), 50 mph (King Arthur’s Way to Knights Enham) and 60 mph (Knights Enham to Enham Alamein) with simpler, safer limits of 30 mph (Enham Arch to Smannell Road) and 40 mph (Smannell Road to Enham Alamein).
The Alamein Lib Dem team have already succeeded in persuading the borough council to review traffic calming measures on Smannell Road and on Viking Way outside Roman Way School.
Enham arch photo by http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Andover Focus team has been advised that the Enham arch will be closed for two nights this month for repair works.
The road closure order is active from Thursday 22 January until works to cut back vegetation and repair brickwork on the bridge are completed.
It is expected that the work will take place overnight on Thursday 22nd from 22:00 to 06:00am Friday and again on Friday 23rd January from 22:00 to 06:00am Saturday.
During the closure traffic will be diverted via Newbury Road, Saxon Way and Redon Way to the Folly roundabout and then back to the Enham arch roundabout. The diversion will be clearly signposted along the entire route.
Len Gates has written to the head of planning to ask why Andover Town Council was not consulted on the planning application for 350 new homes at Augusta Park. The application site is bordered on two sides by Andover Town parish and all traffic to the site will have to access it either by Smannell Road or Walworth Road both roads are in Andover Town. “When I read the planning officer’s report on the application I wondered why there was no comment from Andover Town Council” he said. “The extra traffic will have an adverse effect on roads in Alamein and St Mary’s wards and especially on Enham Arch and the Enham Arch roundabout but the elected representatives for these areas were not asked to comment.” Barbara Carpenter, town councillor for Alamein ward said “the new developments at Augusta Park have already increased traffic along Smannell Road adding a further 300+ car movements a day without proper consultation is unacceptable.”
The full text of the request to TVBC’s head of planning is as follows.
I have been looking at the above application and applied to speak on it at tomorrow’s northern planning committee meeting. I understand the application has now been withdrawn until a later date.
I noticed there is no comment from Andover Town Council. Although the application site is in Smannell parish it is bounded on two sides by Andover parish and one of the most contentious issues is the extra traffic it will generate on roads in Alamein and St Mary’s wards. Under the circumstances I would expect some comment from the town council but when I spoke to town councillors they advised me ATC was not consulted.
This to me appears contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of planning guidance regulations. If my memory serves me correctly for similar applications in the past all parishes affected were asked for comments and in some cases spoke at NAP.
Given that the application is currently withdrawn pending resubmission would it be possible to request comment from Andover Town Council please.
Len and Barbara are awaiting a response from Test Valley planners and in the meantime will be ensuring local concerns about this development are conveyed to the planning department and planning committees. The application is expected to be considered by Test Valley’s Northern Area Planning Committee in February.