Avebury Parish Council
Minutes of the Transport Group Committee of Avebury Parish Council held at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF at 8pm on Monday 18th January 2016.
In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, AONB for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, DfT for Department of Transport and WC for Wiltshire Council.
Time Start: 20:03
- Transport Group members present: Dr Mike Bedford (Chairman of the Group and Vice-Chairman APC), Mike Daniel, Tim Lewis, Rob Macaire, Angela Norman and Andrew Williamson (member and Chairman of APC). Members of the public present: none. In attendance: Liz Moore (Clerk).
- Apologies for absence: Stephen Stacey.
- Declarations of interest: none
- Acceptance of minutes of 19th November 2015: the minutes were unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Williamson and seconded by Mr Daniel.
- Actions from minutes: Dr MB and AW to follow up with SS for the proforma required for the signage audit.
- Report from Dr MB and AW on 5 January 2016 meeting with WC’s Cabinet Member for Highways Cllr Philip Whitehead and Highways Engineer Dave Thomas. The Chairman asked members for their feedback on the notes from the meeting on 5 January 2016 at County Hall including the discussion on the four elements from the Transport Strategy contained in the notes dated 14 January 2016 (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1).
- RM questioned the tone of the meeting and reflected that there seemed to be a lot of negative responses from WC.
The Chairman said that the meeting was not unduly negative; while some suggestions had been resisted, WC had made some positive suggestions as well. He explained that a lot of the smaller projects were going to be more expensive than originally perceived and there was a question mark as to whether legislation or DfT guidance would be used to give the go ahead for a project. He said that on a positive note that meant implementation of the proposals would require negotiations by the Parish Council.
- MD said he was annoyed by the suggestion a 40 or 50 mph buffer zone north of a new 30mph limit on A4361 would not work and that a no overtaking policy on Swindon Road had to be dangerous to be implemented.
The Chairman explained if the new 30 mph limit on the A4361 didn’t improve safety then the Parish Council could still request additional works at a later date. He added that WC was not unsympathetic to the need for the major works on the A4 at Beckhampton and West Kennett but that budgets were very tight.
AW reported WC had limited capacity to draft a design with a costing for works on the A4 as they only had one person working on Highways locally. But at the CATG meeting on 17 December it had been resolved that CATG would ask WC to get consultants Atkins to quote a price to draw up plans and provide costs. CATG anticipated that their fee was likely to be in the region of at least £5,000. Members noted the next CATG meeting would be taking place on 17 March.
AW introduced WC’s suggestion of implementing informal pedestrian crossings within the Parish. Members expressed a lot of support for the idea and were keen on having several crossing points across the Parish including in the middle of the village. AW explained crossings would need to be distinct to the AWHS and use for example a chalk or neutral colour. Members noted that to drive the project forward SS would need to get all the partners together to agree a scheme.
- Report from AW on CATG meeting 17 December 2015: already covered under item 6. AN asked for clarification on purpose of CATG within the structure of WC. AW explained there were 18 Area Boards with budgets in Wiltshire, Marlborough Area Board being one of them. CATG was a sub group (consisting of 4 WC Councillors) that dealt with low budget Highways issues. CATG had had larger budgets in earlier years which had, for example, enabled it to fund the £11,000 cost of the pavement extension near Avebury Trusloe bus shelters, but funding was much reduced now. He added CATG was the gate-keeper to bigger funding sources such as the Highways Substantive Fund and could move projects towards those sources.
- Decision: members noted a copy of the meeting notes of 5 January had been sent to APC members for consideration at next Council meeting on 2 February and that after that meeting Dr MB and AW would request another meeting with WC. Transport Group members endorsed this process, approving the recommendations set out in the paper. Proposed by RM, seconded MD and carried unanimously.
- Footpaths: the Chairman invited TL to introduce his proposals for improving the footpaths in Avebury and see report (appendix 2). A map of the Parish footpaths was also tabled. TL reported the footpaths were generally in good condition except those use by 4×4 vehicles or tractors and listed several observations contained in the report. TL said that since his report issues on route AVEB15 had been addressed and stiles were now in place at both ends of the path. Members noted TL had only walked the footpaths in Avebury and not the whole of the AWHS. In discussion members expressed concern that considerable damage had been recently done to a byway near Adam and Eve stones by 4×4 vehicles and noted the police were now involved as landowners’ fences had also been damaged. Action: AW advised Beth Thomas at WC was currently producing a footpath plan and Transport Group should point TL in her direction. TL added there was a need for consistent policy to replace all footpath signage. It was noted TL could find no reference that signs should be made of oak and strongly recommended the use of synthetic signs. TL to draw up a list and email the Clerk.
- Signage Audit: members noted they were waiting for pro-forma from SS.
- Parking in Avebury Trusloe: AW reported WC had received a positive reply from the private land owners and they had agreed to attend a meeting. AW added the Parish Council had carried out a site visit to Avebury Trusloe on Saturday 16 January and had also looked at the possibility of car parking provision in the area outside 1-5 Trusloe Cottages.
- Any other business: none
- Date of next meeting: provisional date: 7pm on 7 or 8 March at the Social Centre
- The meeting closed at 21:11
- Notes from meeting with Cllr Philip Whitehead, Dave Thomas, Sarah Simmonds, Andrew Williamson and Mike Bedford on 5 January 2016 at County Hall.
- Footpaths: report by Tim Lewis dated 7 July 2015.
[The AWHS Transport Strategy was also viewed by members at the meeting].