Consultation starts for safer road crossing in Bourton

After an 1100 name petition and support from Bourton’s parish council and new County Councillor, a controlled pedestrian crossing in Bourton is set to be in place this year.

Ginie Moss and Paul Hodgkinson at the Station Road location.

Ginie Moss and Paul Hodgkinson at Station Road.

The crossing – in Station Road, Bourton-on-the-Water – was the brainchild of local teacher and resident Ginie Moss. She campaigned along with Cllr Paul Hodgkinson to call for a safer way for pedestrians to cross the busy road. They went to Shire Hall last May to present a petition to the County Council.

Now, Gloucestershire County Council is writing to consult residents on the proposed provision of the controlled crossing.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (GCC, Bourton and Northleach) said, “The proposal is to provide a puffin crossing on Station Road between Bridge House and 160 Roman Way. The proposal is supported by The Cotswold School and Parish Council. The crossing is intended to help people cross Station Road. This location is busy with pedestrians, particularly at the end of the school day.”

“It’s important that people feedback on this proposal so that it can be located in the best place to promote road safety.”

The crossing location is close to The Avenue footpath that links Station Road to High Street. This is a busy path along which are The Cotswold School, Leisure Centre and Bourton-on-the-Water Primary School.

Residents have been asked to comment on the proposals by Monday 17th June 2013.

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).

Good news about A435

The road between Cheltenham and Cirencester saw a drop off in traffic when the dual carriageway was opened to by pass villages in 1998.

Paul (left) with fellow A435 road safety campaigner Nigel Robbins

Despite this, the A435 saw regular serious and fatal accidents up until 2006.

However, fatal accident numbers have dropped in the last few years and police speed checks have also confirmed that average speeds are lower than previously.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has campaigned for greater road safety along the road for 6 years and is reassured that the campaign has helped the situation, “The ongoing road safety campaign which I kicked off in 2006 has involved residents, parish councils and the police. I’m sure that all our combined efforts have resulted in this.”

“At the end of the day this is about saving lives and preventing accidents. It gives us hope for our efforts on the A436 – a long campaign can reap rewards. We won’t stop just because the results are good – every effort could save another life.”

Road safety campaign group issues list of requests

Residents and councilors who formed an action group to campaign for lower traffic speed have now issued a list of requests.

The action group, called the North Cotswolds Rural area Against Speeding Harm (No Crash), is holding a public meeting on 5 September at which it will share its concerns with the authorities.

The group has been troubled by the excessive speeds of some motorists on the A436 and surrounding villages.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairing the meeting next month and has issued the list of requests, “The group has put together a number of suggestions which we believe are easily done and sensible solutions. We will be asking the police and Highways for their feedback at the meeting and we hope for a positive response so we can all work together to achieve these things.”

No Crash have called for lower speed limits along parts of the A436 along with better signage for hamlets to alert drivers to points on the road where people live. They are also calling for more visible and regular policing of the speed limits to help reinforce the road safety message.

The group consists of residents Peter Hellyar, Peter Ellis, Amanda Kitson, Robert Buck, Peter Davies and Frank Hemming along with Hugh Piggott from the National Star College and Simon Redmond, Andoversford Parish Council Chairman, Shipton Parish Council Chairman Robin Finch and Cotswold District Councillor Robin Hughes.

The meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5 September at the Andoversford Church Centre.

Star College adds its weight to road safety campaign

The National Star College based at Ullenwood has thrown its weight behind the new road safety campaign called ‘No Crash’.

Hugh Piggott (left), Simon Redmond (right, Andoversford Parish Council, Paul Hodgkinson (3rd right) plus Star College employees by the A436

The College is a provider of specialist further education, training and personal development for young people aged 16 to 25 with complex physical and mental disabilities. Its employees and students use the nearby A436 regularly and are increasingly concerned about the dangers which the busy road present.

Hugh Piggott works for the College and lives along the A436 between the Air Balloon and Seven Springs – he has seen the traffic along the road increase beyond recognition in the last 20 years, “Both the College and the Cotswold Hills Golf Club exit onto the A436 – the junction is very dangerous and it would be much safer if the speed limit were reduced to 40 from the current 50mph.”

“A large number of staff leave the College via the A436 at the Cowley junction and at peak times its very difficult to cross. I’m concerned for their welfare as its a blind corner. In fact, as you approach the junction you can’t see anything coming at you.”

Reducing the speed limit to 40mph would also make it eligible for the new Community Speed Watch initiative where residents are trained up to take speed readings.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley) supports a lower speed limit along the road, “There have been accidents along that stretch of road and the College and residents are interested in being part of the Community Speed Watch, but that only triggers in when there’s a 40mph limit. So, as part of No Crash we’re calling on the authorities to really look at helping to cut speed along the road.”

No Crash are meeting with the police, County Council and county councillors in early September to discuss their requests. The campaign group is cross-party and cross-parish.

Leckhampton Hill Road Safety Campaigners help with cut-backs

Local road safety campaign group S.A.F.E.R. (Salterley Action Force to Enhance our Roads) today worked with Gloucestershire County Council Highways Department to set up a real example of the ‘Big Community’ by bringing together a volunteer work force to cut back the excess foliage on the sharp bends in the 3/377 Leckhampton Hill road (formerly B4070) between Hartley Lane and Salterley Grange, in order to improve road-users’ visibility.

Paul (2nd right) with Ullenwood residents and Star College employees - all of whom gave their time to make the road safer for drivers.

In recent years, these bends saw numerous serious accidents, but thanks to a concerted effort by S.A.F.E.R., a number of key measures implemented by GCC Highways and a raised media profile in the Gloucestershire Echo, the last 12 months have seen a dramatic improvement.

Now, with the support of GCC Highways, the campaigners set to work to cut back the overhanging shrubbery, branches and dense undergrowth to give improved visibility across the bend and along the road from the Hartley lane junction in order that drivers can be more aware of on-coming traffic and take extra care.

“We are really pleased that the number of incidents has reduced so significantly over the last 12 months, – but we must strive to keep it that way” said Duncan McGaw, Coberley Parish Councillor and S.A.F.E.R. member. “And as we move into the winter months, we must remind drivers of the need for raised awareness and extra caution. We believe better lines-of-sight are key factors to a safer driving environment”. “S.A.F.E.R. volunteers can provide the labour to get the job done with Highways providing health and safety guidance as well as the necessary traffic management signage. A great co-operative effort!”

And Paul Hodgkinson, Cotswold District Councillor and part of S.A.F.E.R. added, “From the outset, this community has been determined to see improvements in safety on this road and the fact that it has been prepared to get physically involved to achieve it, speaks volumes. I hope that drivers using this road get the message they are sending out, respect it and keep their speeds down”.