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B4507 Safety Meeting Minutes - Wednesday, 29th November 2017

on Mon, 11/12/2017 - 5:34pm

Minutes of the public B4507 Meeting held on

Wednesday 29th November 2017 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm

19:30 Meeting Open.

Present:  19 people.  Representatives from Childrey, Kingston Lisle and Fawler, Sparsholt and Westcot and West Challow Parish Councils.

DC & CC Yvonne Constance acted as Chair of the Meeting.

Introduction by DC & CC Constance:

Discussion regarding a speed restriction on the B4507 has been around a long time.  Currently there is no speed restriction so the national speed limit of up to 60mph applies.

A group of residents, backed by the Parish Council would have to present a case to County Council.  The CC are responsible for the speed restrictions on all roads in County.  The Parish Councils would have to agree to share the costs and the Parish Councils could increase their precept to cover this.

There is going to be a 8,000 dwelling housing project along the eastern edge of Swindon which will mean extra traffic along the B4507 as commuters to Harwell and Milton Park will use it as a ‘rat run’ across country.

5/6 yrs ago villagers group “Western Vale Villagers Consortium” hired a traffic monitoring system and the vehicle count was 320 vehicles an hour heading towards Harwell.  There is also another 1,000 houses to be built in Shrivenham.

The meeting then opened for comments:

Norman Downie agreed that speed is an issue but the CC are responsible fot the state of verges along the roads.  There have been two incidents caused by the edges slipping in and loose gravel on the road.  Also the narrowing of the road and numerous potholes causes drivers to drive in the middle of the road.

YC responded that maintenance of the roads is constantly on the CC agenda and that they are doing larger patches to make them last longer.  YC will report the verges again.

Ian Barnes agreed that there should be a reduced speed limit especially around the Britchcombe Farm caravan site.  People & families have to walk in the road with no footpath or any warning signs.  Only a matter of time before there is an accident around the caravan site.  The accident statistics for the B4507 have been requested by IB through a F.O.I. but no response has yet been received.  It was thought that there had been 4 Fatalities in 10 years.

The junction are also dangerous and a cyclist was killed due to the road signs not being clear and the white lines worn away.

Warning signs are often concealed by trees and dirty.

Nick Price videoed a B & Q Lorry driving along the B4507, hitting the overhanging trees are throwing debris into the road and mostly driving in the middle of the road.  The road is too narrow for lorries.

It was commented that there would be no one around to enforce the limits so it would not make any difference.

The CC reduced the speed along the A417 to 50mph but this is a very busy road.

12 years ago a school girl got off a bus and was hit off and killed by another vehicle.

NP witnessed a traffic incident along the B4507 and 3 fire engines, 2 ambulance, the air ambulance & police were all called which is a massive use of resources.

YC stated that the CC will not commit to larger projects as they have no funding.

Costs were discussed:

YC A consultation costing around £3,000 - £5,000 minimum cost would be the first thing that is required.  To erect a 50 mph sign at the beginning and end of the restriction would be £2,000 each and every 10th of a mile a repeater sign costing £1,000 would be required.  The costs are justified because they are detailed spec and fitted by experts.

Childrey PC had previously commented that the road is so naturally bendy and narrow that the traffic has to slow down.  Also that 50mph may be too high and drivers will see 50mph and think it’s safe to drive at 50mph which is too fast for the majority of the road.  40 mph was suggested but is not enforceable as the road would not meet the criteria, usually used for residential roads.  Slow down signs on the bends and hazards etc. and road markers might be a more effective option.

Uffington have just purchased an electric sign costing £3,900 but there must be an electricity supply.  Without an electricity supply it would cost £15,000 to be solar powered

‘Accident Blackspot’ signs were suggested – YC to investigate.

ND stated that in Cambridgeshire, the CC in conjunction with the villages have rented a mobile flashing speed awareness sign which tells you the speed that you are doing.  YC to investigate whether this could be hired or purchased.  The reason that this may not work is that currently the speed on the road is the national speed limit.

Ashbury has a 30mph limit through the village but this is due to the risk of life.

The consultation will establish why there are accidents and what would work.

The National Trust who look after the White Horse should be contacted as they may contribute.

Cycling events are often held along the B4507 and hold up drivers causing them overtake.  Events should be scheduled so not more than one at a time.

Horse riders also use the B4507.

Reducing the speed limit to 50 mph and erecting mobile/ moveable flashing signs in hotspots was thought to be the best idea and ND will find out more about it and circulate a report by email.

There are moveable cameras that record speed and take photos, the police write to the car owners and visit the offenders after three letters and may issue an endorsement.  This speed survey would cost around £4,000/£5,000 but this could be shared between villages.  It takes 3/4 people record speed and photograph. 

CC need to cut back trees and foliage that is level with edge of road, especially around Eastmanton Lane and the Childrey dip.

Britchcombe Farm should put a path in, YC to investigate if this would require planning permission and a “warning pedestrians” flashing sign.  Local Enterprise Partnership may help fund Britchcombe Farm.  YC to investigate if planning conditions were imposed on Britchcombe Farm.

Iain Brown stated that there had been an increase in traffic since the Challow Station bridge was closed.  Drivers found alternative routes and have stuck to them as the shortest route is B4507.  Difficult to get a speed reduction but should try to get it down to 50mph as people sticking to speed limit will slow down other users.  If Wiltshire 50mph so should Oxfordshire.

YC feels that car shares are the way forward due to no buses.

YC will speak to Lee Turner who is the “Area Operations Manager”.

20:30 Meeting Close.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk