This committee meets every three months and is responsible for all environmental issues in the Town including seats, bus shelters, lighting, litter, road signs, allotments and traffic issues.
At the present time it is actively investigating alternative parking solutions and the enforcement of existing parking regulations.
West Street Improvements
The shortage of contractors in this area has meant that the improvements at the Jacklyns Lane junction have been delayed yet again. It is unlikely that they will commence before mid-spring but the good news is that the service road on Pound Hill will be re-surfaced as part of the work.
There is one major change to the plan, which was publicly displayed this time last year, and that is the provision of a Zebra crossing in Jacklyns Lane. The bus stop, currently outside Shapla has been re-located further up West Street and has been positioned in such a way as not to lose three parking spaces. Changes to the drainage will also be undertaken as well as one or two other detailed alterations. The revised plans can be viewed in the Library, the Coop and the Town Council Notice Boards and below.
We will keep you informed regarding the proposed start date of the works and in the meantime we are pressing HCC to undertake emergency road repairs to West Street and Jacklyns Lane which were cancelled earlier this year in anticipation of the major work being done this summer.
At present vehicles can approach and park informally very close to the Co‑op store entrance creating problems for pedestrians passing or entering the store. The design incorporates a footway in front of the store and provides four formal parking spaces at the kerb.
The radius of the corner will be reduced in order to decrease the speed of traffic entering Jacklyn’s Lane from West Street. This should make it easier for pedestrians to cross Jacklyn’s Lane near the junction.
The western (school side) footway of Jacklyn’s Lane will be reduced to a minimum of 2.5m to enable the eastern (town side) narrow footway to be widened making easier and safer for pedestrians.
A build out on the northern side of West Street, outside Shapla, adjacent to the junction will reduce the width of West Street making it easier for pedestrians to cross. This requires the bus stop to be moved eastwards, up the hill.
The uncontrolled crossing of Jacklyn’s Lane will become a zebra crossing and moved nearer to the school entrance to make it more convenient for Perins School pupils to use. The location provides adequate visibility splay for pedestrians and drivers, a shorter crossing distance for pedestrians, and suitable footway width.
Concern has been expressed about localised flooding at the junction. There will be the opportunity to make any necessary repairs to any damage to the carrier drains during the works.
High quality materials will be used which will harmonise with the surrounding area and additional trees are proposed to be planted on the south side of West Street. Suitable species will be selected as part of the detailed design. The existing Yew tree on the south west corner of the junction will be protected during the works and its surroundings enhanced.
Riverside Footpath Repairs
Regular users of the riverside path will be relieved that we have managed to cap the gusher. The work was delayed because HCC could not undertake the work as it was the landowner’s responsibility. However, the landowner of this stretch of the path, by the Memorial Gardens, could not be established from a search of the Land Registry. As no land owner came forward we had no alternative but to step in and take responsibility.
Our proposals for the repair were nearly thwarted by the Environment Agency who insisted on approving them and this would have delayed the remedial work until the spring of 2015. This was unacceptable to us and it was finally agreed that emergency repairs were essential and these could be done without approval. The emergency work undertaken should provide a long term solution and the footpath has now been fully restored and is once again open to the public.
Please report any holes or other problems with the path to the Town Council who undertake minor maintenance of the path.
Broad Street Paving
You will have noticed the increasing amounts of tarmac appearing between the paving slabs in Broad Street. This has been done as a temporary measure as Hampshire County Council (HCC) is unable to match the existing slabs with anything currently available. Following discussions with HCC it has been agreed that all vehicle accesses in Broad Street will be laid with ‘cobbles’ as has been done outside the Horse and Groom. This should release sufficient slabs to infill in other areas to replace the missing and damaged slabs.
Bollards in Broad Street continue to be knocked down and it is essential that when these are re-instated they are set in concrete or they continue to be uprooted. Concrete does not sit well with the existing slabs so all future bollard replacements will be set in concrete a little below pavement level and will finished off with a coloured artificial surfacing to match the existing slabs.
Whilst the lights in Jacklyns Lane on the north side of the railway bridge have been replaced they still await the ‘cosmetic’ additions to make them heritage style. This will be done in the next few weeks together with the four non-heritage lights in the churchyard..
Stratton Bates Lighting
Residents in the vicinity of Stratton Bates have brought it our attention that the Car Park and surrounding is extremely dark and requires a public light. Upon inspection of the site we feel that a light overlooking the car park would illuminate the area and this light has now been installed which the Town Council paid for. The light will now be taken into HCC's inventory and be maintained by them in the future.
Faster Broadband Computer Connectivity
Central and local government are investing in higher broadband speeds where market forces alone will not achieve the required results. The details of how this is being done in Hampshire can be found at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/broadband. On that web site, the County Council is encouraging people to register their support for the scheme because “evidence of high demand will help the programme funding go further, increasing the number of locations we are able to reach with the limited funding available.” If you are concerned about the speed of your computer connection, you should join the campaign.
Winchester City Council (WCC) have been approached with a recommendation that parking in the Town Centre should be consistent at two hours in Broad Street, West Street, Station Road and The Dean. Currently we have a situation where West Street and Station Road are restricted to a one hour period. This should avoid the current confusion. WCC has accepted our recommendation but it will not come into effect until the necessary Traffic Orders have been made.
Traffic orders require the approval of WCC's Cabinet Committee and to gain approval will need to be sponsored by a City Councillor. Councillor Ernie Jeffs has agreed to promote the town's case.
Roads - Potholes everywhere
Go to www.fixmystreet.com for the easiest way to report them and get them fixed.
The Soke Bridge
Despite numerous approaches to Hampshire County Council (HCC) over the last 12 months they appear to have done nothing to address the traffic problems at The Soke. The Traffic Management Report promised for February, when the traffic light proposal was rejected, has still not appeared and despite re-assurances there is little evidence to suggest it will be forthcoming in the immediate future. Some suggestions have been made by the Town Council in an attempt to mitigate the nuisance to residents and damage to property, in the short term, which is almost entirely created by the volume of heavy goods vehicles going to and from Alresford Salads at The Nythe on the Bighton Road.
In the short term we are asking for a response to the suggestions below with regard to dates, viability and the likely success:
- The installationof a bollard outside No 2 The Soke to protect that building and the Bridge.
- Hi-Vis signage to be installed on the bridge that will maximise visibility.
- Height/width/length detectors to be installed to prevent large vehicles co-occupying the restricted part of the highway.
- The immediate production of the Traffic Management Report now seven months overdue.
In addition hopefully with the support of our District Councillors, Winchester City Council will be requested to investigate and take action on all alleged breaches of planning consent regarding hours of deliveries, volume of traffic, and business classification. They will also be asked why Alresford Salads pays agricultural rather than commercial rates for what is in reality an import/export business.
Finally we will request the Environment Agency to check and give us assurance that the river and Alresford Pond are not being polluted by Alresford Salads business.
Clearance of Public Footpaths
We have received numerous complaints in respect of public footpaths being obstructed by over hanging vegetation from resident’s gardens. We would ask, that where properties abut public footpaths residents ensure that it is not blocking pedestrian passageway. It is the responsibility of the householder to ensure that any growth which overhangs a public footpath is cut back regularly to ensure safe passage of pedestrians or passers-by.
Heritage SignageAdditional tourist information signs have been provided in the town for the 2014 season. These are finger signs with embossed 25mm letters on a dark background. The signs are designed to enable visitors to find their way around the Town and Millennium Trail and have been positioned outside the Old Fire Station, at Mill Hill. The Dean, and the lower car park at Perins.
We are in the process of seeking HCC’s endorsement to the SLR (the lit speed limit sign) being used in Sun Lane in addition to other areas of the town. HCC have now agreed that Sun Lane is unsuitable for large vehicles and a sign to that effect has been erected at the junction with East Street.
New Footpath at Grange Road
We have agreed to the provision of a new footpath across Stratton Bates Recreation ground, adjacent to Grange Road, to provide an alternative to the uneven path on the north side of the road. HCC has agreed in principle that the funding for this should come from developers' highway contributions. We are also looking into the possibility of providing a similar path adjacent to Rosebery Road.
Blocked Gullies in Pound HillThe gullies in Pound Hill flood whenever it rains heavily and we have continually chased HCC to clear the blocked drains in Pound Hill. We are happy to report that this work has now been completed and it is hoped that this will prevent flooding in this area. Please report any blocked gullies to the office and we will follow this up with HCC.
Dog Waste Bins
It is now possible for dog waste to be disposed of in normal waste bins and during the course of 2014 the dedicated dog waste bins will be phased out. Advisory signs will be posted on ordinary waste bins and additional waste bins will be provided when the red bins are removed. This should bring a considerable saving to the Council and hopefully prevent dog owners hanging unwanted plastic bags in hedges.
Old Pinglestone Road
We are trying hard to balance the conflicting needs of recognising the traditional right of way of this ancient route and protecting the natural habitat. In order to ensure that it cannot be claimed in the future that ‘the ancient highway has not been used’, arrangements are made for a pony and trap to make the journey along the Old Road during the Alresford Watercress Festival.
The last thing we want to see is a concrete ramp from the end of The Dean into the river which could attract off-roaders. What we do want to do is to ensure that the historic right of passage is maintained but only for horses and carriages. To this end the Town Council has been negotiating with Hampshire County Council and the land owners to establish a formal entry and egress from the river a few metres to the west of the bottom of The Dean.
This has been agreed by all parties but the work is not near the top of the highway improvement priority list. An alternative may well be for us to get the land owners to undertake the work as part of the improvement to the river environment but all such work will have to be agreed by the Environment Agency and Natural England.