Lorry park for Andover?

Lorry park

Andover Lib Dem councillors are calling for a purpose built lorry park for Andover. I and St Mary’s councillor Mike McGarry have tabled the following motion to next month’s borough council meeting

Council notes the increase in the overnight parking of heavy commercial vehicles in Andover’s town car parks and on residential roads in and around Andover.
Council believes the parking of commercial vehicles in public car parks and on residential streets is unsatisfactory for the drivers of these vehicles and unacceptable to local residents.
Council therefore resolves to investigate the establishment of a purpose built lorry park in the Andover area.”

Andover is an important centre for the distribution industry and needs adequate facilities for lorry parking. It is unacceptable that lorries are parked in residential areas and public car parks because there is nowhere else for them to go.

Mike McGarry added “This is an issue I have raised on a number of occasions at planning meetings. There are plenty of possible sites that could be used. The council must take action to deal with this problem and find a suitable site.”

Tell us what you think – does Andover need a lorry park?

New recycling centre for Andover

Robin Hughes at the new site

Andover’s new Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) located in Scott Close, on the Walworth Industrial Estate, will open to the public at 8:00am on Wednesday 3 December 2008. The existing Household Waste Recycling Centre at Shepherds Spring Lane will close permanently at 4:00pm on Tuesday 2 December 2008. Diversion signs will be in use to redirect users from the old HWRC to the new site once it is up and running. The new centre’s opening hours will remain the same as those of the existing facility.

County Councillor Robin Hughes said, “After several years of waiting, a bigger and better Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) for Andover will open in early December. I congratulate the contractors and the county officers for completing this new facility ahead of schedule. Local residents will no longer have to put up with cars parked nose to tail back from the site and on to New Street and beyond.”

 The new  £1.2million Household Waste Recycling Centre incorporates a split-level layout, providing an upper area dedicated entirely to customers. Twelve containers for recycling and disposal, plus increased space for other recycling amenities such as a sales area and bottle bank. There is a separate access for lorries to the lower area to carry out bin servicing. This removes the need to temporarily close the site to the public during bin changeovers, so queuing times will be significantly reduced.   Extra parking spaces have been provided to improve customer access and has been designed to prevent cars queuing on the road outside the entrance in busier periods.

Speed restriction on Newbury Road

Knights Enham School

Test Valley Borough Council is to introduce a temporary 30 mph speed limit on the northbound carriageway of Newbury Road to allow for works in connection with access to Knights Enham School.

The limit will apply to the northbound carriageway only from a point 20 metres north of its junction with King Arthur’s Way to a point 350 metres further north. A 30mph limit will apply from Monday 20th October 2008 for a period of 6 months or until completion of the works whichever is sooner. It is expected that the limit will only be required for 4 months.

Litter on Greenwich Way


Working locally I am able to keep an eye on flytipping and litter in and around Alamein ward. The above picture shows some of the problems I regularly encounter. In this case the end of Greenwich Way is being used as an unofficial lorry park and takeway litter, discarded meals ands drink cans are left here afterwards.

I have contacted council officers to request the area be cleaned up as soon as possible. I am also supporting my fellow councillor Mike McGarry’s campaign to get a proper lorry pasrk in Andover with adequate facilities for drivers. Once such a park is established three is no need for drivers to park up on other roads and leave the sort of litter I found here when they leave.

Smannell Road Excavations update


Residents will by now know that the funfair planned for this weekend has been cancelled again. The main reason for the cancellation was the weather making the site too water logged for the fair to open. However, only a small fair could have moved on to the site because of ongoing works by Southern Water. This work also contributed to the condition of the grounds. It is hoped that the fair can be re-scheduled for October.

I raised local concerns about Southern Water’s access to the Smannell Road open space at Wednesday’s council meeting. They have the power under government legislation to go on to the land and lay pipes but should advise Test Valley before doing so. On this occasion they did not do so. The current work is to rectify problems with the previous work carried out in April.

Once completed all work must be checked by Test Valley to ensure the land has been re-instated to the previous standard. The previous work was not completed to an acceptable standard and this has been communicated to Southern Water. Council officers will now check the site weekly to ensure the work is done properly. The council will also be seeking compensation for officer time related to the work, costs to rectify substandard work and any potential loss of income for the funfair.

I have also been given assurances that the East Anton developers and their sub-contractors will not access the Smannell Road open space without full consultation with the council and your local councillors to ensure disruption and inconvenience to local residents is minimised.

Damaged Street Signs – latest

Swallowfields sign

In July I reported a damaged street name sign in Swallowfields to discover that the lead time for repairs is six weeks and that because of staff shortages work was often taking even longer. I raised this with the Cabinet member responsible at yesterday’s council meeting and got the following response.

 A six week lead time is typical because signs are ordered in bulk on a six week cycle. Approximately 35 signs are repaired and 80 replaced every year at a cost of £3000 pa (£85 per sign) for repairs and £10,000 pa (£125 per sign) for replacement.

Council officers are required to survey damaged signs before further damage is done and pro-actively repair signs where possible. Doing so saves the council £40 a time and prevents the area looking run down. Because of staff shortages this service has not been provided for several months. Now that extra staff have been recruited it is hoped the service will return to normal once the backlog of work is cleared.

For the future I would advise residents to report all damaged signs as soon as possible so that repairs can be undertaken before the signs  are damaged beyond repair.

Damage should be reported to Test Valley Borough Council on 01264 368000 or direct to me.

East Anton MDA latest

The decision on the outline planning application for land at East Anton was issued today (Wednesday 13 August). The development includes 2,500 dwellings, an area for employment purposes, schools, local centres, playing fields, parkland, public open space, sports hall, community centre, community worker, structural landscaping and associated infrastructure.

Financial contributions from the developers towards off site infrastructure provision, including the highways improvements, exceed £13 million and forty percent of the dwellings will be affordable.

This is probably the largest application for development the Borough has ever dealt with. Discussions with local councillors, including me and county councillor Robin Hughes, and the developers/landowners started in the late 1990s and the process has involved officers from both the County and Borough Councils.

This is just the first stage of permission and development. A further reserved matters application will be submitted before the end of this week as the developers, Taylor Wimpey, hope to make a start on site in November this year.

Although the development is now to go ahead despite strong local opposition there is still opportunity to ensure local people have an input in how the development proceeds, what traffic controls are in place and what planning gain there is for exisiting communities.

I am currently working with officers to ensure the promised landscaping between the new development and Woodhouse is planted this year rather than waiting for a further year before any planting takes place.

Both Robin and I will continue to monitor progress and negotiate for the best possible deals for both new and exisiting residients.

New bus shelter for Cricketers Way

Rhodes Square bus shelter

During the installation of raised kerbs for local bus stops the bus shelter at Rhodes Square was damaged and removed. Thanks to pressure from local councillors it has now been replaced.

This bus stop is very exposed and it is unacceptable to expect passengers to wait there without a shelter. Although it has taken a long time to replace the shelter I am grateful to highways officers for pushing this project to the top of the agenda and to county councillor Robin Hughes for his help in ensuring the job was finished as soon as possible.

Half hearted speed controls outside our schools

Twenty is Plenty

Hampshire County Council have agreed in principle to 20 mph speed limits outside schools. But the limits are not legally enforcable and the council expects the schools to pay for the signs.

The “20 is plenty” campaign launched by Hampshire County Council this week has been condemned by Liberal Democrats as ineffective. County Councillor Adam Carew who sits on Hampshire County Council’s environment policy review group and is a school governor said “Although we welcome the 20 is Plenty campaign as a very positive idea in principle, the scheme lacks teeth ! ”

The 20 mph being offered outside Hampshire Schools is purely voluntary and can be flouted by the very minority who cause the safety problems. This is not good enough. What schools need is a compulsory speed limit that can be enforced if required. To make matters worse the Conservative run council seems to be forcing schools to pay for the signs themselves or find private sponsors. Each sign costs £200 plus installation charges if required. If the County are really committed to this campaign and getting speeds reduced outside our schools they should offer the signs free of charge.

Repairs to Newbury Road footbridge

On Newbury Road Footbridge

New safety railings have been installed on the approaches to Newbury Road footbridge. The old wooden railings were rotten and dangerous. Hampshire Highways contractors immediately began work to replace them after the problem was reported to me and county councillor Robin Hughes by a concerned local resident. Action has also been taken to clear fly-tipped rubbish and curt back grass in the area.

The old railings posed a serious danger to residents particularly school children using the bridge. The broken railings and rubbish also gave a rundown appearance to area. I am pleased to see council officers acted promptly to resolve the problems.