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Cllr Ben Evans UpdatesCouncilNews

Ben Evans – Highways Update

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Hi everyone. Two updates on Highways (a bit long I’m afraid!).

BROCKWORTH LANE:

I met with GCC last week to discuss this. The headline is that the road WILL be shut for 6 months…the major concession is that they will “walk through” the school busses each morning and afternoon. The feedback I got from GCC is exactly the same that Brockworth Parish Council got from the developers in their meeting last week, which is summarised in the Brockworth 1st report below.

POTHOLES:

If you encounter a pothole report it at the link below. GCC have a strict response time depending on the size and location of the hole (if people want that detail let me know!). So report it ASAP and then if nothing is done we can take it up with them for not sticking to their own standards. https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-rights-of-way/roads/report-it/

Brockworth First

15 May at 13:55
Road Closure Brtockworth/Churchdown Impact statement.

I have tried to gain information as requested. Please read all of this, unfortunately, due to it being written in factual terms, hence it is lengthy. This has been formulated by an open debate and hopefully brings clarity to the situation even if still causes concern.
Meeting at the site May 13th representation of Linden Homes, Brandwells construction, Highways, myself , the following questions were asked, with facts and answers given:

Q Why was the 7 month consent given for the closure of the road, being it is a main artery, resident find this an unjustifiable inconvenience.

A All involved are acutely conscious of the negative impact of a road closure to any community, especially given the timeframe. This has been granted due to the complexity of the framework and magnitude of the work scope, numerous new services and utilities required, new hub roundabout and spur connection, all to be implemented while preserving existing supply to many houses, seven months was deemed challenging. The overseeing body who control and monitor all aspects of the strategic plan including engineering, safety and risk assessment have to evaluate and sign off all landmark plan achievement as they are achieved, this work frame was deemed a minimum of 7 months.

Q The road is presently open, how long will the road remain open.

A The road has been opened this week due to an internal issue with the developer and controlling body, this should be resolved this week, it is predicted the road will be closed Monday 20th May 2019.

Q The road has been presented as closed for many weeks yet traffic has passed, this is confusing and the closed status is unclear.

A The status is closed, signage has been placed but some traffic has been allowed through due to ignoring the signs and would create havoc to push back. We are conscious this does not give a clear picture but we have tried to accommodate the public to minimise the disruption to date. The increase in traffic, increase in speeds and the danger to driver and workforce is becoming more evident. The type of work to be undertaken next will instigate the full closure to all cars. From Monday, if the internal issue is resolved a barrier will be in place to enforce this.

Q Does this affect the school bus.

A The site/developer met with Churchdown schools and is conscious that the children are currently participating in exams. They offered to walk the bus through and accommodate any call forward emergency service during possible access periods agreed by all parties, this is the only exception to the closure but will not be possible every day. This will also mean a possible loss of start time to the work force during the pass times.

Q Can traffic lights be placed on one side of the road to allow the traffic to free flow under control.

A The next phase includes deep excavation, this will be undertaken off spur utilities, trenches require to be excavated in the middle of the road in two phases and would negate this being a realistic option. Once dug, the spur off sections run without the possibility of obtaining legal and safe passing space without running traffic on low depth existing services and into verges.

Q When does the roundabout planned work commence.

A The roundabout work will commence late July/August although preliminary work is underway with the spur. The main body of the work can only be accomplished once all other utilities, service works required have been achieved. We are already looking at the possibility of achieving one side of the roundabout road to be completed, with a view to allow traffic to flow while the other side installation is completed. This is not guaranteed however, it is an objective.

Q Can you add additional manpower, shifts,

A The construction has to be accomplished within the boundaries and guidelines of the overseeing body, health and safety, company policies and community noise etc. The deep excavation and planned work will be more robust than that to date and more bodies, or shifts will not accomplish a fast time solution. Recently noise concerns were already raised by residents in the Mill lane area during some brief extended working hours for work there, deemed unacceptable by residents..

Q Are there any clear benefits to the community

A Some long term benefits include: Safety will be greatly improved on both the access/exit to and from Brockworth. Traffic will need to slow down off the lane and will enter a newly formed street condition with lights, the national speed limit applied to these conditions, safe pedestrian walkway, the same speed calming should apply from Court Road. The area at the bottom of Brockworth Court suffers from insufficient drainage causing significant flood water during heavy rain conditions. The improved roads and modern drainage methodology implemented will be greatly improved and should stop this.

Q Construction traffic has been seen using the church/allotment road

A A statement will be issued to all construction traffic to avoid this road where possible.

Q Are you receptive to giving progress reports, information on a regular basis.

A We are more than happy to fully cooperate with a free flowing information process. We will furnish progress reports and regular updates including an examination of progress to the current planning. .

General: Although the inconvenience is evident and everyone understands this, these facts were abundantly clear.

The site construction director not only showed me the site plans, he gave clear concise explanations to everyone of the work objectives, work definition, timescales and strategic challenges he faced. The construction team and developer want to minimise the disruption and work with everyone to have clear information. Highways wants the road open as soon as possible and welcomes clarity, they will also be receptive to the information process.

Personally I wanted to challenge everything and to find some reasons to not only bring the work forward, have reasonable grounds to say they were not co-operating yet they were the opposite, the meeting was not rushed or steered to hide anything, it was completely open.

I understand the school run is a stress trigger, there are around 40 days of school runs during this process until the roundabout is underway. This may yield free flow during early September term time, but I stress that this is a goal not a given. I use this road regularly, some of you use it daily so it is infuriating but I am reasonably confident that in talking with you guys, the majority of you know the work was never going to be easy or accomplished under road open conditions, I fully understand this. For the school run, I am informed Badgeworth through to Chosen when it was closed was the usual mayhem but no more than normal.

I am informed that Hucclecote has adjusted and increased through access traffic light flow and this may ease the congestion.

I will obtain more information and report regularly if this helps give clear definition to scope and achievement.

Safety warning: Investigating many forums, it is a grey area yet commonly noted, Driving through signage of a closed road could negate insurance, incur liability, and be deemed driving without due care and attention.