Friday, 26 September 2008

Curate's egg of a meeting

Yesterday about 20 or so residents of Sparhawk and Southgate Streets made the effort to come to a meeting I had arranged with senior representatives of both the Police and Borough Council engineering staff in the council chamber.

The bad news we heard was that government guidance, which the Borough Council has to adhere to because we operate highways on behalf of the County Council, does not permit 20 mph speed limits unless average speeds are already not much higher (24 mph). This is partly because the police will not enforce these limits, something they confirmed at the meeting.

Do you find this as bizarre and unacceptable as I do?

Both parties have now made it absolutely clear to us all that the only way to get such a limit is to slow speeds by other methods first; so at least residents may now believe the unbelievable information I have always told them! The situation can be reviewed in a year’s time, and although I shall not give up the fight it would seem that unless other measures can reduce speeds I and residents will not win.

Some good came out of the meeting though. The police will now designate the Southgate corridor a special area of priority for 30 mph enforcement, by overt and covert methods. They have been carrying out similar work elsewhere in the town, as you can see from today’s Bury Free Press report.

Also, the Borough Council Senior Assistant Engineer will draw up and cost plans for further traffic calming. This would take the form of extending the insides of the two main bends so as to force drivers to slow down, coupled with appropriate road markings. There will be local consultation about this in due course, but this will take time - and be subject to funding!


Florries Mum said...

I valiantly left work on time for a change, raced home, and got to the meeting place at 6.20pm to find the doors locked! I tried texting BB to let me in to no avail-probably the building is ringed so no mobiles work, hung around outside for thirty minutes then gave up. I wanted to hear what was said, and give my opinion, and show support for you in organising the meeting, but if no accomodation is made to people who cannot get there on time through no fault of their own then I cannot do any of these things. I feel disenfranchised.

Paul F said...

What a disaster FM!

I arranged for the doors to be left open, and am surprised that they were locked as soon as that, especially as I didn't remember them being locked when I left after 7pm.

They are very heavy doors and even a councillor was recently fooled into thinking they were locked when they weren't. BB said you weren't going to be able to make it at all, so I didn't double check them.

We can certainly make mobile calls from the chamber.

I hate to think of you languishing outside after making all that effort, and then not even being able to walk home with BB, who must have been 15 minutes after you.

Rest assured he contributed substantially, but I don't suppose that helps you.

Thank you for your attempt at supporting us all.