image 1 image 2 image 3 image 4 image 5 image 6 image 7 image 8 image 9 image 10 image 11

Whilst the Parish Council have a good relationship with the County Highway Office based at Dunball and always receive prompt replies to requests, the same cannot be said of the Traffic Management Section based at County Hall. 

When items are referred to that section at County Hall for attention, it is quite normal not to receive a reply and for the request to be ignored.

The Parish Council become frustrated to continually have to tell local residents that they are still waiting for information about requests and sending reminders have little effect. A number of issues are outlined in this item so that residents are aware of the frustrations of dealing with the County Council. 

The Parish Council sent a strong letter of complaint to the County Council's Portfolio Holder for Roads and Transport with details of the numerous issues. The email was forwarded by his PA to a Director within seconds of it being sent. The issues were "investigated" and the outcomes are highlighted in red.

Several residents in the eastern part of the village requested a "No through Road" sign to be provided for Chilpitts to prevent drivers not familiar with the road layout from getting into difficulty due to a lack of turning facilities. The Parish Council submitted a request for signs to be provided on 6th August 2019 and the Area Office at Dunball promptly forwarded the request on to County Hall on 8th August 2019. Over a year later, no reply has been received and no action has been taken. County Hall were unable to find the request which had been forwarded by the Dunball Office. No further information has subsequently been received. However the new Traffic Engineer, Aileen Fletcher took up the case in February 2021 and a "No Through Road" sign appeared at the junction of School Lane and Chilpitts in April 2021. Thank you Aileen!

More recently an issue with the weight restriction signs at the Causeway has been forwarded by the Area Office at Dunball to County Hall for attention. No reply has been received from County Hall and no action has been taken.

The signs were disturbed by the contractor constructing a bell mouth entrance to the haul road on behalf of National Grid. They were reinstated at different heights and facing the wrong way which makes enforcement of the weight restriction impossible and residents have noticed an increase in HGVs passing through the village. The signs have been turned to face the correct way but remain at different heights.

This sign along the Causeway lost its triangular bend sign during the winter. The sign was on the grass verge and now covered in vegetation. No action has been forthcoming to replace or repair the sign - and e mails are ignored. One element of success - this sign has been repaired!

The flood prevention section at County Hall were investigating a long outstanding drainage issue at Crancombe Lane earlier in the year and quite understandably work ceased at the start of lock down. However this inspection cover at the edge of the carriageway has been left in this position exposing an open drain for over five months. The inspection cover was subsequently reinstated but there still seems to be an issue with the culvert. The Area Highways Manager has recently advised that the drainage issues at this location are currently being investigated by their Flood Risk Management Team.  It is understood there are issues with the outfall from the chamber across private land and the ditch to which this discharges. The temporary signs and barriers are in place for safety purposes.
The ditch at the rear of the houses in Horton Way has been cleared and water is able to flow reasonably well again. Some sections of the protected hedge which is the responsibility of the various property owners are neglected and badly in need of maintenance whereas other sections are well kept and regularly trimmed. Water does flow along the north western side of the road however and seems to come from a blocked ditch in a field. This will be investigated.

More recently, the Parish Council received notice of a temporary road closure at Vicarage Road in September. The alternative route involves vehicles having to be driven the wrong way along Church Street (a one way street) and emerging onto the B3141 at a location where visibilty is restricted. It demonstrates a lack of local knowledge by people working at County Hall and not surprisingly three e-mails to the section dealing with temporary road closures to correct this error were ignored. Copies of the ignored e-mails were forwarded to the Director as requested - but nothing further has been heard about the matter. Fortunately, the temporary road closure did not last as long as advertised!

The Parish Council were not satisfied at the response to their complaints regarding the poor performance of the highway section working at County Hall and agreed to take the matter up with the Leader of the County Council with the copies to the appropriate Portfolio Holder and the local County Councillor, Mark Healey. A response is awaited.