Minutes of the 27th March 2018 Transport Group Committee
Avebury Parish Council
Held at 7:30pm on Tuesday 27 March 2018 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.
Present – M R Bedford (Chairman), A Williamson, S Stacey, A Norman, R Macaire, H Miah (Stonehenge and Avebury WHS partnership officer), Helen Ramsay (Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton PC – new member). Attending as observers: Sarah Nichols and Jill Turner (Fyfield and W Overton PC).
- Apologies for absence
- Tim Lewis, Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) and Liz Moore (APC clerk); Lyn Bennett-Nutt (Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton PC – new member)
- Welcome to new members
- Helen Ramsay and Lyn Bennett-Nutt
- Declarations of interest
- Acceptance of minutes of 19th February 2018
- Matters arising from the minutes
- none that are not on the agenda
- Footpaths including:
- Update from Tim Lewis on signage and wayposts
- Report delivered. Noted that there is a move to standardise signpost quality at a higher level and across the whole WHS including Stonehenge.
- Dog fouling update
- Warden will do another round. Notices will be posted in UKN. A suggestion to place dog waste bags in and around footpath 22 met ambivalently from an aesthetic viewpoint. Agreed that the issue was one for Avebury PC, which has been discussing it, and not for the Transport Group.
- Update from Tim Lewis on signage and wayposts
- Output from the exhibition and next steps
- 50 Post-It notes were left at the exhibition and many constructive suggestions were made. Key points from a summary record, which will be available on the Transport Group page of the Parish Council website, were presented by S. Stacey.
- No focal consensus. Speeding and parking main issues.
- A4 Scheme at Beckhampton
- Speed limits #1 issue
- A4 Scheme at West Kennett
- As for Beckhampton – speed and the lack of safe pedestrian passage along and across the road.
- The Avenue
- Garnered most comments. Consensus was that something should be done as the destruction of the verges is increasing. Status quo is not sustainable. Countermeasures suggested included a weight/width restriction on the Avenue, which would prohibit its use by HGVs and PSVs, or a trial period during which it would be closed completely. Concerns were raised about the impact of any restriction for farm vehicles, emergency vehicles, and general commuters. Noted that closure of the Avenue was an unexpected consequence of current thinking about ways to slow traffic speeds at West Kennett, which would require removal of the central turn lane on the A4.
- Green Street
- Signage and use of the street by non-resident and non-farm vehicles. Satellite navigation mistakenly routing Marlborough-bound traffic down Green Street was identified as a problem
- High Street
- Conditions of use of the National Trust car park were not adequately highlighted
- Attracted the most comments after the Avenue: connected footpaths, better signage and safety especially for A4361 for pedestrians, and dog fouling.
- Other issues raised
- Village website should have somewhere to report problems like parking on High Street. Support for a cycling lane between Avebury and W Monkton. Most comments on A4 W Kennett and the avenue with the next most significant being footpaths. Significant reference to satellite navigation systems bringing HGVs through Avebury. Truck companies have an alternate GPS scheme and perhaps the Transport Group should investigate how we might ask for sat navigation to be adjusted to discourage trucks coming through Avebury.
- Discussion: AW reported that he had been in touch with Steve Hind who had confirmed that the order has gone in for Atkins to begin work on more detailed plans for the Beckhampton Roundabout project. Discussion in the meeting focussed mostly on W Kennett A4 proposals requiring the Avenue to close so that the A4 can be modified to slow traffic. Wiltshire Highways have informed us that without Avenue closure the road reconstruction, footpaths, crossing sites and ultimate speed limit in W Kennett that is integral to the WHS transport strategy will not be possible. Sarah Nichols and Jill Turner emphasised concerns in Fyfield and West Overton regarding emergency vehicle access if the A4 were closed, which perhaps could be addressed by a TRO restricting all but emergency vehicles and farm traffic. Given the context of the Avenue in the overall WHS transport strategy, SN and JT suggested that the Transport Group’s exhibition should be taken around to outlying parish councils to explain the consequences of the Avenue remaining open. They reported that there is interest in introducing speed limit along the A4 to the Bell public house, which might allow extension of the proposals for West Kennett.Noted that none of the APC councillors had contributed to the notes that have been collected. The APC meeting on 3 April would allow them to comment. A synopsis could then be drawn up so that at the annual village meeting (24 April) there is an action-oriented report for wider discussion.
Helen Ramsay drew attention to requests from Lyn Bennett-Nutt and it was noted that many of the issues raised were addressed in the ongoing review of the exhibition and others will be brought up at future meetings. The points mentioned by Lyn Bennett-Nutt were:
- Road safety, speed limits, road surfaces leading into Avebury i.e. Winterbourne Monkton & Berwick Bassett.
- Cycle paths & footpaths as the National Trust & English Heritage want to reduce the number of vehicles coming into Avebury.
- Buses connecting with each other and access with a regular service to & from Marlborough where our medical clinics are.
- Investigate how we may influence routes for HGVs recommended by GPS used by trucks.
- Investigate how we might get data on speed and weight of traffic using the Avenue.
- Investigate if the NT have any counts of Avenue use and for historical visitor numbers.
- Investigate potential for showing exhibition to surrounding Parish Councils, possibly in May at a central location such as the Kennett Vale Hall (Jill, Helen and Sarah would advise)
Invite APC to approve the preparation of an action-oriented report following the council’s meeting on 3 April and to find agenda time for discussion at the annual village meeting (23 April).
- Any other business
- Date of next meeting
- Not set – will be set after next Parish Council Meeting (Tues 3rd April)
Meeting adjourned 21:20