Bourton road crossing gets moving!

A call for a safer road crossing in Bourton on the Water is now coming to fruition.

Paul Hodgkinson and Ginie Moss at Shire Hall

Two Bourton on the Water residents, Ginie and Patrick Moss, gathered 1100 names on a petition that called for the installation of a 24/7 crossing facility on Station Road in the village.

Ginie Moss, a teacher at the Cotswold School, delivered the petition to Gloucestershire County Council in May this year with Cllr Paul Hodgkinson.

Now, Gloucestershire County Council have told residents that they are currently working on some advance design work for a signalised crossing on Station Road as  it has ‘scored well in assessment for funding.’

The installation of the crossing cannot be confirmed until funding has been approved for the next financial year.  However, this is fantastic progress and the application for this much-needed crossing would not have got this far without the tenacity of Mr and Mrs Moss and without all those who signed the petition.

Paul thanked Ginie and Patrick for their hard work on the issue, “A huge congratulations should go to them for their persistence in pushing the Council to act.  I will continue to support this in whichever way I can – after all, this is about road safety for school children, elderly residents and parents.”

Road safety campaign group meet authorities

Residents and councilors who formed an action group to campaign for lower traffic speed have now met with police and Highways to lobby for their list of requests.

The action group, the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), held a public meeting in Andoversford last month at which 50 residents voiced their concerns over road safety.

The group was set up to combat the excessive speeds of some motorists on the A436 and surrounding villages.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairman of the group, “We’ve now met with the authorities and have lobbied them to take action. The police have committed to one major speed check along the road before Christmas. They have also conducted a check in Andoversford village where parents have been worried about speeding cars near the school. Another check is planned in November near to the Cowley crossroads on the A436.”

“This is all good news but we want to ensure this is an ongoing operation by the police. I would like to mirror the good work that’s been done along the nearby A435 where accidents have dropped by three quarters in 4 years. That’s been achieved through year in year out enforcement of the speed limit. That’s where we want to get to.”

The group has also met officers from Gloucestershire Highways today who have committed to the following:

  • Cleaning signs along the A436 and cutting back vegetation where appropriate – by Christmas (this work has already started)
  • Putting up signs to flag to drivers that groups of houses are coming up – signs for Hampen have been ordered and will be erected on the A436 in the next few months as this has been a speeding hotspot for local residents
  • Speed data – data from 6 sites along the A436 will be collected on the speed of traffic. This will then be used to assess whether a reduction in speed limit at various points along the road can be justified
  • Andoversford – ’20 is plenty’ temporary signs have been put up in the area around the school to alert drivers to the hazards there and to protect children. Highways are also looking into whether a ‘school safety zone’ is viable (this would include yellow flashing lights at key school times and roadmarkings near to the school)
  • Potential closure of the road through Andoversford – Highways and the parish council are exploring whether closing the rat run through the village – forcing traffic to use the A436 to reach the A40 – is practical. More news on this will follow.

Cllr Hodgkinson thanked Highways for the actions they’ve taken so far but added a word of caution, “We want to have a constructive relationship with Highways, but we must see some more concrete actions on their part to answer the concerns so forcefully expressed by residents. This is clearly a long term campaign!”

Also attending the meeting with Highways today were Simon Redmond (Chair of Andoversford PC) and Robin Finch (Chair of Shipton PC).

Call to keep our verges safe

Have you noticed how some of our verges and pavements have become overgrown this year?

Paul ducks under overhanging branches along one pavement which has hardly any tarmac visible!

Residents of villages north of Cirencester have complained about this and letters in the local papers back up how people feel about the issue. Some have taken matters into their own hands by organising clear ups.

Now, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson is backing your calls to keep our local environment safe, “This is a question of pride in our area. The County Council have a new policy of only cutting back verges twice a year due to cuts from Shire Hall. However, we all know how overgrown it has become this year. That impacts on visibility – making it dangerous in some places for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

“Some pavements are virtually covered over with grass and this is a direct result of the County Council’s new policy of cutting verges only twice a year.”

“The County Council has £100 million in reserves – I call on it to spend a small proportion of that money on some of our pavements, roads and verges. It’s not rocket science to invest in making the Cotswolds a clean and tidy place for us all to benefit from.”

“Those verges which – if overgrown – limit visibility to such an extent that safety is compromised should be cut more often. Others, which aren’t in that category should be left to provide flowers and wildlife with a natural haven.”