Backford and District Parish Council
Cllr Simon Eardley - report
13 July 2021
Rake Lane / Little Rake Lane junction
- I’m grateful to colleagues who were able to join the site visit with CWaC officer, Stuart Bateman, on 28 May 2021 to look at this site. I felt it was a useful meeting and he was responsive to the points raised. I was originally told that the planned safety improvements at this location would be completed by the end of May (but this was not correct) and then by the end of June. At the end of June, as the work hadn’t been actioned, I chased up further and I am now pleased that the signage element of the previously advised plans below will be actioned on 13 July. By the time of reading this note, hopefully the work will be complete!
- A reminder of the other proposed improvements which are regarded as a ‘first stage’ is below. I also note that the road edge deterioration specifically on the bend has been filled with some robust looking tarmac (which isn’t the prettiest job) which will hopefully help:
- Additional bend warning and advisory 20 mph signs nearer to the bend
- Additional flexible chevron signs on the opposite side of Little Rake Lane to the existing signs – to include repair of long-term damages chevron sign
- Additional SLOW road markings
- No overtaking white lines through the bend – these are now not being done following further internal CWaC discussions
- Reduce the speed limit from 60 mph to 50mph from the 40 mph limit near Rake Hall to the A41.
- We will continue to monitor the situation here, particularly once these improvements are implemented. One additional option might be the introduction of a VAS (vehicle activated sign) on the approach to the bend, on a suitable location that doesn’t interfere with residential amenity. I would be happy to support something like this in due course from my Member Budget but it would also require some PC funding perhaps and I’d make the case to CWaC for them to contribute too. We can discuss this in due course.
Grass cutting in the parish
- This remains an ongoing concern. I am pleased that within the last week or so work has been undertaken in the village itself on the village green area. Regrettably it was necessary to chase for the follow up strimming around street furniture etc to be done but this has also been completed. This matter was raised several times since our last meeting with CWaC officers and I will continue to do so in the future as required.
- Equally, the ongoing issue of the state of the central reservation in particular on the A41 has been raised several times by me with CWaC officers. This has also been cut in recent days but I have emphasised how this must improve going forward, primarily for safety reasons. I note there remain problems with soil deposits and weeds generally and have asked for this to be attended to also.
- Speeding surveys. Part of the proposed junction improvements for Rake Lane / Little Rake Lane include implementing already planned speed reductions as above. The request to undertake survey work on Chorlton Lane remains logged with CWaC and we await a timeframe for this. Kay Parry is now our main contact on highways matters at CWaC.
- Some edging repair works have been undertaken along Rake Lane as previously requested, towards the A41 end of the road. There are other areas that still require attention and I am in touch with officers on these (particularly the stretch near the ‘bank’ before the entrance to Collinge Farm).
- The condition of several road surfaces remains an issue (Chorlton Lane and Rake Lane in particular) but despite logging these with CWaC for attention, I am advised that the problem areas doing currently meet the intervention criteria. I appreciate this is very frustrating but I’ll keep areas under review.
- Whitby Lane (land near the PROW). This has been a challenging area in recent months, not least owing to the works being undertaken to implement the planning permission granted at this location. I raised on several occasions the issue of soil deposits on the road towards the Strawberry roundabout which was unacceptable for a long period. I am pleased to see that this has improved. Following the last PC meeting I also send an image from Google maps of the ‘corner’ of this location before the recent works to CWaC Planning Enforcement for their reference, following concerns expressed about this area. We await further developments in due course.
- There remain problems on the ‘Pump Farm’ route owing to flooding but as of 14/06/21 the position was as follows in terms of remedying the challenges at this location (from the PROW officer). I’ll continue to monitor this.
I met the landowner on site a while ago and we discussed the issue along with some potential resolutions. Mr. Littler called me on Friday afternoon and left a voicemail to say that they’ve done some exploratory work and identified a potential pipe in the adjacent field. They didn’t have chance to explore the pipe further, but he reckoned that the following morning the water level along Byway had dropped considerably, so we may going in the right direction. I’ve got to call him back this morning to arrange a date to go and see him with their contractor to see where this pipe goes to / from.
- Route off Rake Lane through towards Chorlton-by-Backford village (that runs alongside ‘Medcote’). This is in a poor condition at the start of the route at the Rake Lane end and then when it goes off to the left towards the village, is very overgrown. This was logged with CWaC on 13/06/21 and the following reply was received:
From what I know of this particular path, I’m assuming that the overgrowth is affecting that section that’s enclosed between the two boundaries as opposed to the open bit through the field. If this is the case then I can confirm that the former section between the two boundaries is on our schedule and therefore will be completed by our contractor in due course.
- At the meeting on 11 May I noted that I said I’d agree to fund some litter picking kit from my Member Budget for use within the parish (retained somewhere within it). I’m very happy to do this but haven’t received the formal request from CWaC and am beginning to be under ‘pressure’ to allocate funds elsewhere so will be pleased to expedite as soon as possible. Please let me know if there are any problems with this. I have agreed to support a project at St Oswald’s Church (£750.00) and have funds reserved for any speeding survey works that might need a contribution from my resources.