Avebury Parish Council
Minutes of the Transport Group Committee of Avebury Parish Council held at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF at 8:15pm on Thursday 19th November 2015.
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.
Time Start: 20:17
[The Clerk advised that a minimum of three Parish Councillors should be at the meeting as per the Transport Group Committee’s Terms of Reference. Members decided to continue with the meeting as an exception].
- Transport Group members present: Dr Mike Bedford (Chairman of the Group and Vice-Chairman APC), Moya Brannon, Rob Macaire, Angela Norman, Stephen Stacey and Andrew Williamson (member and Chairman of APC). Members of the public present: none In attendance: Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) and Liz Moore (Clerk).
- Apologies for absence: Dave Brotheridge, Tim Lewis, Paul Ryder-Morris and Peter Wilson.
- Declarations of interest: none
- Acceptance of minutes of 9th June 2015: the minutes were unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Macaire and seconded by Dr Bedford.
- Actions from minutes: not covered / refer to main agenda.
- Update on 30 mph limit in Avebury on A4361: AW reported that further to APC’s proposal being supported by CATG the engineers report had not taken the AWHS Transport Strategy into consideration and its recommendation of a 30 mph limit on the Swindon road. As a result of that error the proposal did not comply with WC policy to warrant a 30 mph limit as not enough properties fronted the road. AW explained that a policy decision within WC needed to be taken to incorporate AWHS Transport Strategy into Highways policy. AW said a meeting would be taking place shortly between Dr MB, AW, (both representing APC), SS (WHS Officer) and the Chairman of Highways, Councillor Philip Whitehead. MB questioned how other villages managed to get works agreed and SS assured her she had recently had an internal meeting on implementing the AWHS Strategy and that the document would not be disregarded. MB asked what the next steps in the process would be and timescales for project start date. SS explained CATG would be asked to review the report and said that it would then be reconsidered. She also said that the A4 projects (below) would go to CATG for consideration on 17 December. AW added that some design work would need to be done and he was not sure himself on the timescales. SS offered to attend the CATG meeting and request an agenda item so that she could explain the AWHS Transport Strategy to the meeting and CATG Chairman, Councillor James Shepherd.
- CATG proposals for Beckhampton: Dr MB explained the Parish’s priorities for Beckhampton as per the draft document: Area Board Issue 4245: Speeding traffic at Beckhampton and West Kennett (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). MB asked if the splitter islands would be grassed and SS confirmed they should be grassed as opposed to an urban look. SS asked if anyone knew the purpose of the metal post that had appeared on the highway beside Beckhampton roundabout and reported that even the Head of Planning did not know what it was for. Members had no information so SS said she would investigate further. In discussion members considered whether to ask for no lights on the roundabout. SS said as an alternative, different lights could be sourced but a review would need to take place and if this happened WC should consult with APC on the design. Dr MB invited RM to introduce the Parish’s priorities for West Kennett.
- CATG proposals for West Kennett: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). RM stated all the residents at West Kennett were in favour of the project however it was hampered by not knowing the costs [and that was why a village meeting had not been arranged]. RM asked SS for her feedback on the priorities and she advised they were fine. AW reported there was a new Clerk for the CATG and the reports would need to be sent to that person two weeks prior to the CATG meeting. Action: AW to circulate the final draft document for CATG to Transport Group members. (Further to ACP Council meeting on 1 December) AW to email the new Clerk with the proposals and ask for an agenda item for SS. A draft letter written by RM was tabled seeking sponsorship from organisations (see appendix 2). Members agreed they would like to start the process of consulting local businesses for funding by word of mouth initially.
- Progress of proposals for Avebury Trusloe including parking and consideration of extension of 30 mph limit on A4361: AW reported they were currently waiting for a reply from the private landowner in order to progress with the parking proposal. Dr MB said the Beckhampton proposal linked to the extension of 30 mph limit on A4361 as it would create a 40mph speed limit from Beckampton roundabout to Avebury Trusloe. Further action deferred.
- Footpaths: report by Tim Lewis deferred to next meeting as TL was not present. SS said she would like TL’s details to give to her colleague Beth Thomas who was working with rights of way on an access strategy. AW to email SS. MB highlighted the lack of signage on many of the paths around village in particular the Windmill Hill area.
- WH Transport Strategy including signage audit: Signage Audit and Redesign: SS explained this was not a top priority for WC however if the methodology was put in place it could be done by volunteers. SS agreed to talk to the Highways Officer to obtain some proforma documentation. AW invited SS to provide information on WC’s priorities. SS explained she was currently working on some large projects including:
- Research with Historic England to look at the damage to the monuments on the B4003 Avenue road.
- A ‘Setting Study’ to look at how infrastructure projects affected the Stonehenge setting.
In discussion members noted that buses continued to use the Avenue as a shortcut even though they were not supposed to but it was noted this was not illegal. Mr Stacey said width and weight restriction signage should be considered and MB suggested a ‘quiet lane’ sign as per the signs in situ at Woodborough. SS said the use of signage would come up for wider discussion however highways expectation was that advisory signs did not work. On the one hand members felt this could be challenged and was a defeatist attitude, on the other hand they were not in agreement with a lot of signage and therefore the solution would need to be thought through carefully. SS said the project would need a lot of local support to progress. Members would wait to receive the methodology/proforma documents from SS.
SS added that another priority project for WC was: c. Protecting byways and collecting evidence with the Ridgeway Partnership and other organisations on the issue of four by four vehicles damaging the Ridgeway. SS stated APC could offer support by writing a letter to WC.
B4003 West Kennett Avenue Closure:
SS said there would need to be local support for B4003 West Kennett Avenue Closure. Some members strongly disagreed with the proposal for closing the Avenue, others were in favour. Further discussion deferred.
Mr Stacey asked SS for her views on Green Street. SS stated WC must allow reasonable accesses for the public, but at the same time promote tranquillity and therefore a balance needed to be achieved. AW stated approximately £2,000 was available from APC for a signage audit and that GPS and photography would need to be used to carry out the audit. AW added the volunteers would need a programme for removing the signs. SS reported that the new AWHS boundary sign was similar to the Stonehenge sign, that the background colour of the sign was light blue and no additional signage would be used.
- Process for moving projects forward: the proposed extension of 30mph speed limit on A4361 Avebury to Swindon road on hold until after APC’s meeting with Councillor Whitehead (Chairman of Highways). [Members questioned whether they should have a standalone document for the A4 and it was agreed Dr MB and AW should seek advice from Councillor Whitehead at their meeting]. The proposed scheme to improve the A4 at Beckhampton and West Kennett to go to CATG for consideration at 17 December meeting. If WC agreed to the designs (+ rough costing by Highways) the projects would then go to CATG March meeting for decision as to whether CATG would help support a bid to the Substantive Highways Scheme Fund.
- Any other business:
- The Clerk reported Mr Brotheridge had asked her to inform the meeting that he had independently reported to WC that the chevron sign on the bend from Swindon to Avebury (near the NT Manor entrance) had fallen down.
- Date of next meeting: 7pm on Friday 8th January 2016.
- The meeting closed at 21:37