I am pleased to report that work on the upgrade of Smannell Road is going to schedule and contractors plan to re-open the road on 19 June. The closure has caused great inconvenience to local residents (see previous stories on this website) and I hope the contractors keep to this time table.
The road has been closed to allow contractors to build roundabouts for the new East Anton development in safety. The diversion via Upper Enham and Little London has delayed and inconvenienced drivers and led to damage on the alternative routes. I will be working with Smannell parish council and the highways department to ensure that these roads are made good.
Local residents are questioning why so much work is being carried out along Smannell Road. A number of different contractors are involved laying fibre optic cables, building additional roundabouts and eventually traffic signals at Tescos.
In addition work is being carried out to improve drainage along the road and on the adjacent open space which has been prone to flooding in the past. As a result a number of the existing trees have been removed to facilitate this work. Council officers have worked with the contractor to avoid loss of as many trees as possible and have recorded the number, size and species of all trees removed. Several of the trees removed have been damaged in the past by vandals/mower damage, this would have reduce their lifespan.
Once the drainage work is completed a comprehensive re-planting scheme will be organised at this site to replace those trees removed. If you have any queries about the works please contact me.
I have had a number of complaints from residents about East Anton construction traffic using Icknield Way north to Newbury Road.
The council’s planning legal agreement (section 106) is quite clear that all construction traffic must access the site via Smannell Road not Icknield Way nor Viking Way.
I have reported a number of lorries who have ignored this agreement to both the highways department and the site manager. Any lorry driver ignoring the agreed route will be ordered off site and not allowed to return.
If you see construction traffic using the wrong route please note their registration number and let me know via the Report a Problem link on this page. I will then take it up with the relevant authorities.
I am pleased to report that trees overhanging and blocking the footpath on Smannell Road near the junction of Newbury Road have now been cut back. The trees were so overgrown that residents were forced to step in the road to get past.
Many residents have spoken to me about this and I requested action. TVBC council contractors immediately cut back the trees including some which were not their responsibility. The path is now once again clear.
If there are any other similar obstructions on footpaths in the area please let me know.
Yet again Smannell Road is being dug up to provide services for the East Anton MDA. The latest works involving digging along the northside as far as the church and then across the road and along the southside round to Enham Arch. This is to lay fibre optic cables out to the MDA to provide phone and telecommunications links.
Local residents have contacted me concerned about the disruption and the closure of footpaths without notice. I have spoken to the contractors and ask that they minimise inconvenience to local residents. The quality of their work is good and they are repairing the grass verges as they go along by lifting turf, replacing it and rolling the surface afterwards. Much better that the disgraceful state in which previous contractors left the area. They expect to be finished the work in the next two weeks.
What a pity all the contractors can’t work to this standard and what a pity they can’t all work together instead of continually digging up the same piece of road.
The next works will be to install mini roundabouts at the junctions of Roman Way and Cricketers Way with Smannell Road.
Following representations from me and county councillor Robin Hughes the developers of the East Anton MDA are to improve the signs on the Smannell Road closure diversion. Many residents have contacted us complaining about poor signage and the long time of the closure and the effect this is having on residents and local businesses.
Additional signs will be placed along Newbury Road and clearer, less ambiguous signs between Little London and Smannell. Robin is also pressing the develpers and Hampshire Highways to ensure the closure is for as short a time as possible so that the road can be re-opened as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. The closure has caused great inconvenience to local residents and businesses and should only continue for road safety reasons not for the convenience of the road contractors.
Pot holes in Florence Court have finally been repaired by Hampshire Highways. The holes, typical of so many around Alamein ward, have been there for several months. Persistent chasing has finally got some action but it has taken several months.
The county council claims to have a pothole busting team which takes urgent action to repair dangerous potholes. In this case the delay was unacceptable. The roads around Andover are in an appalling state and what repairs that do take place are too late and often less than acceptable to residents. The time has come for the Tory county council to come clean and admit there is a problem with the quality of local roads and do something about it.
Alamein Liberal Democrats have been surveying residents’ opinions on traffic calming in Viking Way. All homes in Edgar, Danegeld, Moot and Olaf Closes were contacted to seek their views on a 20 mph speed limit and additional signage to control traffic in the area.
Residents overwhelming backed Lib Dem calls for speed restrictions in the area. The results of the survey have been reported to Testway Housing and council highway officers for further consideration.
Similar surveys will be carried out in other parts of Alamein over the next few months. If you know of an area where 20 mph limits are needed or you would like one of our free “20 is plenty” stickers for your dustbin please let me know.
Many residents have contacted me regarding the proposed closure of Smannell Road between Icknield Way and Smannell. Concerns have been expressed about increased traffic through Smannell and Little London, traffic using unsuitable local roads as alternatives, possible accidents outside the school, damage to the roads during the diversion and delays for emergency vehicles reaching Smannell.
The road will be closed for up to three months from 23 March while road works are carried out at East Anton. This involves widening the road and installing new roundabouts.
The decision to do so is made by the developers in consultation with the highway authorities. There is no statutory requirement for local consultation. I, Phil Duke on behalf of the parish council and Robin Hughes as county councillor have all made very strong representations to Hampshire Highways on this but the have advised us there is no alternative to the closure.
In way of mitigation the highways department have said
HCC and the police have agreed the necessary work of widening Smannell Road can only be carried out safely with the road closed
The developer has spoken to local farmers to ensure they maximise the lorry traffic they generate before the closure takes place, so they can minimise it during the closure.
The Contractor is required to provide large notices at each end of the closure a minimum of one week before the closure. Further signs will also be placed en route to discourage drivers from taking “shortcuts” along unsuitable roads.
The route will be surveyed before and after the closure and any damage to roads will be re-instated.
The emergency services and the school will be notified so that they can take appropriate actions.
Smannell and Enham Alamein parish councils will be formally notified but this is for information only.
Finally they emphasise this is a matter for the highways authority alone and there is no alternative route. I and your other councillors will, of course, monitor the closure and diversion closely and take immediate action should any problems occur.
The Contractors for the developer of the East Anton Major Development Area will soon start highway improvement works on Smannell Road. This work includes the construction of roundabouts at the junctions of Smannell Road with Cricketers Way and Roman Way. In addition a new cycleway will be provided in the area.
Following the roundabout completion the contractor will then start work to widen Smannell Road through the development site and on to Smannell. To carry these works out safely, the road will need to be closed to through traffic. Discussions are to take place shortly on a suitable diversion route. More details on dates of closure and the diversion route will follow.
If you have any queries or comments on these works please contact me.