Monday, 29 July 2013

Hambridge Road - Pot holes & hub caps

Hambridge Road Newbury, has had a long standing road surface problem. Pot holes have been repeatedly repaired but in between time cars have lost their hub caps at considerable cost alone.
Temporary repairs in Hambridge Road.

 These hub caps were revealed after contractors cut back the vegetation beside Hambridge Road.

The government has issued guidance to council's to 'do it right first time'. I have asked for a list of locations showing where the Council is due to repair pot holes on a permanent basis. I would like to monitor the success of permanent repairs. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Thatcham landscape saved from development.

Plans by a local landowner to build 90 new homes east of Tull Way in Thatcham, have been rejected by a government planning inspector.

In rejecting the housing development, the planning inspector said "the appeal site, being an arable field on the edge of the settlement, retains a rural quality that provides an attractively soft transition between the built-up part of Thatcham and the open countryside beyond, and continued, it would harm the character and appearance of this part of Thatcham, and so would conflict with the objectives of saved Policy HSG.1 of the Local Plan."

Nearby residents supported by Ward Councillor Keith Woodhams attended the planning hearing held at West Berkshire Council offices in Newbury, to raise their concerns over the impact the development would have on the town's infrastructure, wild life and outstanding views across the countryside.

We are delighted with the inspector's decision. Local residents worked really hard to prevent this development going ahead on a greenfield site. I was also delighted to present a 424 signature petition on their behalf to the council Executive in June last year and I feel this added weight to the inspector's decision.

(Excerpts taken from a press release)

Campaign for more speed enforecement on Bowling Green Road continues............

For those of us who live around the Bowling Green Road area, we have known for years that  vehicles exceed the 30 mph limit on that road. But instead of getting on with the job of providing additional speed enforcement, the administration at West Berkshire Council have delayed taking action and gone for another vehicle speed survey instead!

I have provided the council with photographs of crashed cars taken from the garden centre roundabout to the pedestrian refuge outside the Regency Park Hotel. I am proactive whilst the council is reactive!

Let us hope that it does not take a death on these roads to get the council motivated to take action.

Not so much a pedestrian refuge, more a vehicle pinch point. This is where vehicles brake hard when they find they are going too fast to negotiate the narrow road and slight bend.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Abandoned - The drain covers that no one wanted!

I heard a rumour that Northfield Road was due to be resurfaced (many months ago) until the contractor found that gas pipes and electricity cables were dangerously close to the road surface. Had the digger dragged up the pipes and cables, then there could have been a fair wiz and a bang!

This was obviously a case for abandoning the dangerously protruding drain covers near the junction with Sagecroft Road, risking damage to car suspension and tracking and toppling cyclists off their bikes, especially in the dark. This is the worst neglect of road safety I have witnessed in some years. 

What has happened to the supervision of road resufacing that allows this to happen?

                                      Northfield Road looking south with Sagecroft Road on the left.

Sharp edges from this drain cover.
View from the corner of Sagecroft Road
Raised drain left to catch someone out!

Keep Greenham Control Tower for Community Use!

This is our second visit to Greenham Common, inviting visitors to sign the petition to retain the control tower for community use. 

Just seconds before runners set off for the 5km timed 'Newbury Park Run', held at Greenham Common, I take the opportunity to address around 300 with the latest news, with the aid of a megaphone!! 

'Ladies and gentlemen, we are back......... to thank all those who have signed the petition to retain the control tower for community use. You will be interested to hear too that former USAF staff who worked at the base when it was fully operational, have been taking a very keen interest in the future of the control tower as well. I am pleased to tell you that since we last met, we now have over 1,000 signatures on the petition and if there is anyone who wishes to add their signature, we will be pleased to see you after the race'!

Cllr Roger Hunneman and me collecting yet more signatures for the petition, after runners recover from the 5km run.

........and later I got a call to say that the control tower was open for a quick visit!

From the top..what a view looking back towards the south west.............

the south east view........


.......and finally inside where the controllers used to stand and talk to the landing aircraft!

Whitelands Park Primary School - Road Safety

I presented a 541 signature petition on behalf of parents to Council in December 2011, asking for an urgent package of road safety measures to be introduced outside Whitelands Park Primary School, following a near miss between a pupil and a car whilst crossing the road to the school. 

The petition demanded parking restrictions, a 20 mph speed limit and aCrossing Patrol Officer (CPO) or 'lollipop person' to assist children crossing the road to school. Nearly 18 months later West Berkshire Council have so far only managed to paint yellow parking restriction lines outside the school!

At entry and exit times, large numbers of parents with pushchairs and children in tow are confronted by lorries, buses, vans and cars as they try and cross the busy road outside the school. 

Parents are so concerned about the risk to their children crossing the road to the school, that they invited me to see the situation first hand. I am not able to show you the chaos outside the school but I can assure you that I held my breath every time a vehicle came towards the parents and children crossing the road. It is absolutely heart stopping. Parents continue to report near misses.

How long will it take West Berkshire Council to get these road safety measures implemented before someone is seriously injured or killed outside the school?