The Parish and County Councils have been working together to design improvements to the area at the heart of our community.
The junction of Station Road and The High Street (between The Coop and The Boot) is difficult to cross safely as it is quite wide, has restricted visibility and traffic can approach and turn quickly. By the time even a brisk walker has got half way across a car can be bearing down on them.
When some funding became available to be spent in the village this area was identified for some improvements. The Parish Council requested a Traffic Island to allow the junction to be crossed in two halves, although an alternative scheme is to build out the kerbs to narrow the crossing and slow turning traffic.
The County Council has now completed the ‘Safety Audit’ for both schemes and sadly the traffic island option would not allow larger vehicles (bin lorries and emergency vehicles) to turn safely.
It is therefore planned to proceed with the built out kerbs, as shown in the diagram.
A further part of the scheme is to improve the pavement outside the Coop food and pharmacy shops. It is quite a narrow pavement and slopes down to the road making it awkward for vulnerable groups (mobility scooters, pushchairs and prams). The kerbs are to be evened out and realigned to further slow traffic at this pinch point on The High Street.
The Parish Council has spent years planning for a crossing in this area – finally this funding can achieve it. The natural crossing point is from The Coop to the Building Society, however this is just not deemed safe due to visibility. The nearest it can go is shown on the map.
Changes around The Green are a sensitive subject, and rightly so. Village Greens are protected by some heavy weight legislation and work can easily need permission from the Secretary of State.
The Parish Council itself battles to protect the area as the centre of our community. A number of residents have raised concerns about any encroachment onto The Green and this must be taken seriously. With a number of footpaths already crossing The Green, there is a cumulative effect on the loss of grassed area which must be kept in mind and to a minimum.
However it must be remembered that there is currently no safe crossing point from Station Road to the Junior School or the playground. Or indeed from Pages Close and Glebe way to The Coop and Station Road.
To minimise the impact on The Green, only some tactile paving is planned on the pavement by The Green itself.
The final element of the package of works will actually return an area back to grass. Reducing the curve of the area used for parking along The Green will have very little effect on the number of cars that can park there, but will make getting in and out of those spaces easier and therefore more usable.
The Parish Council is keen to hear the views of our community on the proposed changes, both in support and also any concerns. There will be a formal consultation period shortly, but please do leave a comment or contact the Parish Office to let us hear your views.