Meeting to Discuss Rural Lanes in Hulme Walfield and Somerford Booths

Notes from meeting with Mr J Carruthers VTC Consultancy to discuss the Rural Lanes in Hulme Walfield and Somerford Booths.

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Present; Mr J Carruthers, Cllr M Wakerley, Cllr G Booth, Cllr G Silman, Cllr P Amies, Cllr T Richardson, Mr David Nutty, Ms Sarah Hambrook, Mr David Brewster, Mr Ian Davenport, Mr and Mrs Webberley, Mr and Mrs Arnold and the Clerk. ( Cllr J Wray arrived at 7.45pm)

Date; 21st June 2018 at 7.00 pm

Venue; Weslow mere Fisheries

The Chairman opened the meeting and thanked everybody for their attendance. The members present introduced themselves and gave a brief history of where they lived and their concerns. Cllr M Wakerley – Hall Green Lane, Cllr G Booth – Wornish Nook, Cllr G Silman – Smithy Lane , Cllr P Amies – Westlow Mere Lane , Cllr T Richardson – Giantswood Lane , Mr David Nutty – Giantswood Lane , Ms Sarah Hambrook – Giantswood Lane , Mr David Brewster – Smithy Lane , Mr Ian Davenport – Giantswood Lane , Mr and Mrs Webberley – Smithy Lane , Mr and Mrs Arnold – Smithy Lane.

A Traffic Survey had been completed in five different locations in November 2017 and this was a follow up meeting to devise some actions. It was requested the report would go on the website.

JC thought the finishing on the Smart M6 would assist the situation, but members present felt there would be little difference, it was the implementation of the Congleton Link Road which was needed.

GB thought the main issues across the Parish were volume of traffic, speed of traffic and the lack of courteous drivers travelling along the rural single-track roads. It was agreed that the volume could not be changed, and the other issues needed to be the priority in the Parish. The two lanes which would be focused on first would be Smithy Lane and Mill Lane.

The possible solutions were discussed;

Please Drive Carefully signs – these could be on cortex boards and made by the PC (alternative messages were discussed) .

Speed stickers on car bumpers of local people – “please drive courteously through the village we live here”

Use of Speed Guns on the lanes especially Giantswood Lane – involve the local PCSO

Speed camera on Smithy Lane – SLOW warning sign

It was agreed we need to change driver’s behaviour and communicate this by different methods and see which is successful. A pop-up café was suggested as a way of stopping drivers to communicate with them – volunteers needed.

CPRE had launched a ‘Quiet Lanes’ policy which could be used. It involved a gated entrance and flowers upon approach. This needed investigation if it needed planning permission and the approval of CE Highways.

Boundary signs asking to ‘Please drive carefully’ through the parishes.

JC was questioned what was meant by a single-track lane and if they could make it one way.

GS wished to put verge markers along the grass verges, but this meant having knowledge of who owned the verges. This would work if it was in the ownership of the property owners and not CE highways. This was currently being investigated by the PC. The thought of doing this and then installing correct passing places would encourage drivers not to take risks. They would have to drive slowly as they could not mount the verges and would have to be considerate to wait until they reached a passing place. There then could be signs installed on the passing places saying, ‘be courteous to other drivers’ or ‘no dumping of rubbish’. Some people thought this would encourage rubbish being left.

It was agreed the Parish logo should be used and always be consistence. The signs could be changed to give different messages.

The passing places needed to be improved and we needed to know how much money the PC would contribute to the project. The verges needed re instating and the in the winter a way of avoiding the muddy edges returning.

Cllr JW suggested contacting Chris Hodgson from Highways CE for advice.

There were no Give Way signs on Hall Green Lane.

Audit of signs – Ian Davenport offered to travel the Parish and take photographs of missing signs, signs that were lost in the hedge rows and signs that needed cleaning.

GB said there were many things we needed to consider., Cyclists, the wildlife, the community and the horse riders. JC said the cyclist route that went through the Parish may offer some support.

JC carried out a broad test with the people present on how poor they thought Smithy Lane and Mill Lane were out of 10. The results were Smithy Lane – 84% and Mill Lane – 86%. He said he would revisit this figure later.

Planters and Tractor tyres being filled with flowers; this was thought this would give a village feeling and encourage drivers to slow down. Daffodil planting was also encouraged.

It was agreed that there would be a walk of both lanes to review the issues.

There would then be an action plan would then be devised for short/medium/long term solutions.

Promote Safe and Considerate driving – logo to be used.

Meeting closed at 9.00 pm