Craig Warhurst and I as County Councillors for Redditch South were pleased to fund new VAS signs on Birchfield Road and Feckenham Road working with Borough councillors and the local Safer Neighbourhood policing team.
This follows the installation of the new play park off Birchfield Road. Craig and I are also looking at further measures at this location and hope to report back soon.
The sign will measure the speed of oncoming vehicles and flash a reminder notice if they are exceeding the speed limit, which is 30mph for this section of the road.
The cost to the taxpayer for installing these signs is around £3,000 per fitting. Craig and I as local County Councillors have access to a small budget each year to support a range of localised highways interventions, including these VAS signs. They are largely effective in reducing average speeds for a given area, but over time need to be moved around as people get used to seeing them and no longer pay attention to them.
I am pleased to confirm that Worcestershire’s local bus network will benefit from nearly £1.5m in additional funding, announced by government recently.
This new funding will contribute towards our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), establishing our new Enhanced Partnership (EP), and could even help us with Demand Responsive Transport solutions (DRT).
Details of the breakdown in the funding stream will be announced on official County Council channels in due course. I wanted to share the headline immediately as I know buses are an important issue to many people across Worcestershire.
At yesterday’s Worcestershire County Council meeting (18/05/2023) a motion by Greens and Independents asked me to carry out a number of actions relating to roads outside schools. I advised as follows:
1) I have already asked for the website to be updated to provide better guidance for the implementation of a ‘School Street’, which necessarily needs to be led by the schools, parents and communities.
2) Wherever a yellow zig-zig requires an updated Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) we will lay it. This has to be matched by a district-level commitment to enforcement however, otherwise we can lay all the TROs we like and it won’t solve anything. Only by working together can we make progress.
3) There is currently no known mechanism to make these flashing signs mandatory during school times only. Wherever we need to reduce a speed limits on a permanent basis for safety we will do so. I pointed out that speeding at school pick up and drop off times isn’t usually a problem as the area is so heavily congested (leading to people parking on zig-zags for instance!). Speed reduction requests can be made by a County Councillor.
Having addressed each point it was clear that there was nothing left for the Cabinet to decide, and so the motion was rendered effectively pointless – and was therefore rejected.
I popped by Mickleton Close in Oakenshaw today where a long-running issue with a drain is now drawing to a close. Works are underway to replace a connection from the gully to the fowl system, which was defective. The new connection will be easier to maintain and clear if it becomes blocked. It is hoped the works will be completed by Monday 22 May 2023.
Many thanks to Mr Y, local resident, who reported an issue with the drain years ago. The gully was cleared, but that did not fix the problem. It has taken a long time to get to this point, requiring my intervention as County Councillor – but that’s what we are elected to do. When issues get stuck – it’s our job to unblock them (pardon the pun!).
Even though it has taken a long time, I am glad we are nearly there now, and look forward to visiting again soon to check on the reinstatement works.
Footways are an essential part of our infrastructure that enable people to walk safely from one place to another. However, over time, footways can become damaged and develop surface defects such as cracks, potholes, and uneven surfaces. These defects can make footways unsafe and potentially hazardous for pedestrians, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
To address these issues, local authorities often undertake footway repairs to fix surface defects and ensure the safety of pedestrians. According to the Department for Transport guidance on footway maintenance, local authorities should regularly inspect footways and prioritise repairs based on the severity of the defects and the level of footway usage. These repairs can range from simple patching to more extensive resurfacing work, depending on the severity and extent of the damage.
However, resurfacing footways in full can be a costly and time-consuming process. It requires significant resources, including labour, materials, and equipment, and can cause disruption to traffic and pedestrians in the area. Therefore, local authorities need to carefully consider the cost and benefits of resurfacing footways in full, especially when there are many footways to repair.
In the case of Patch Lane and Paddock Lane, the local authority has undertaken some repairs to fix the steps and other surface defects. While these repairs may not look great, they have achieved the primary goal of making the footways safe for people to use. Moreover, these repairs were done at a reasonable cost to taxpayers.
However, the local authority acknowledges that a longer-term approach is needed for these streets. Officers are looking at what they can do to resurface these streets in the future, but this will be a significant challenge given the large number of footways in the area. Therefore, careful consideration is required to ensure that the resources are used efficiently and effectively to provide a safe and usable footway network for everyone, in line with the Department for Transport guidance on footway maintenance.
I wanted to let you know that Tennyson Road in Headless Cross is scheduled for resurfacing works from 24/07/2023 until 31/07/2023. This is scheduled during the school holidays to minimise disruption.
There will be a full road closure in place, although access to and from properties will be possible. In the weeks before the works are carried out signs will be placed out on the side of the road. There will also be a letter drop to all residents in the road.
The date of the works is subject to change due to weather and conditions. This is normal for all highways works, which requires reasonably dry weather.
This is a resurfacing job, and will require the surface to be planed off as it’s an old concrete road, bitumen layer put down and tarmac on top. The good news is I have asked and confirmed that the double yellow lines at the top of the road with the junction with Feckenham Road will be reinstated as part of these works.
If you have any questions or problems please let me know.
Tom Baker-Price (Conservative, Headless Cross & Oakenshaw ward) were a bit ‘stumped’ when we encountered a traffic cone placed atop of a tree stump in Clent Avenue, Headless Cross, whilst out campaigning for Tom for the upcoming local Borough Council elections on Thursday 4th May. Tom is up for election this year, so we were keen to chat with residents about their issues and concerns.
It appears that a local resident has ‘branched’ out into health and safety, and placed the cone there to help prevent vehicles striking the tree stump when parking up on the edge of the pavement.
Clearly, we can’t just ‘leaf’ it there, so I have ‘logged’ the issue with the County Council who should come out and remove the stump. Sadly, however, they won’t be able to stop me using tree puns – it’s rooted in me😆