Traffic Action Group - Meeting 15th August 2006

Parish plan TRAFFIC ACTION GROUP

Meeting Tuesday 15th August 2006
Bishop Beveridge Club - 7.30 p.m.

Present:

J. Rodgers C. Gilchrist J. Hardy
M. White R. Woodhouse W. Woodhouse
V. Brown D. Smith D. Norton
J. Tindle R. Moorhouse I. Knowles C.Shepherd S. Hobbs 
T.Kershaw (County Council) M.Wilson (County Council - Speedwatch)
H.Fish

Mark opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. The Bishop Beveridge Club has been booked for the third Tuesday each month until further notice.

Brian Henman had volunteered to be involved in the group as representative of the Parish Council.

1. Apologies:

E. Rodgers. (Parish Council)
B. Henman (Parish Council)
L. Bell (Parish Council)
N. Ritchie (Community Police)
E. Dring
P. Haynes
G. Hobbs
S. Knowles
K. Pepper
M. Tansey
R. Brown

Speedwatch:

Following an article in Leicestershire Matters Mike Wilson, the representative for the Speedwatch scheme had agreed to come to the meeting, this had been arranged after the agenda had been issued.

Mike explained that he had been in post for three weeks and was researching the issue of speeding in the county, including working with action groups and looking at equipment that may be available for use, e.g. speed guns and roadside speed signs. Mike’s preference would be to get drivers to change their attitude to speeding, but he is prepared to try both methods.
Mike explained the background to the scheme. There are many schemes nationwide and there are slight differences in the way they work. His first remit is to identify eight areas in the county by the end of October, they need to have an action group and Barrow is a candidate, no promises at this stage.

The scheme involves the use of volunteers who will be trained by Leicestershire County Council. Volunteers will do any administration including taking vehicle numbers and the speed the vehicle is travelling. Volunteers must be aged over eighteen; there must be a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve. It will involve a minimum of one hour a week, a maximum of four, including a maximum of one and a half hours actually undertaking speed checks.

The group will identify the areas and the time of day for the checks. Mike will agree suitability.

The policy is not yet confirmed but is well in progress, the scheme is funded by Leicestershire County Council. Equipment will include protection, eg. High visibility jackets. Volunteers will work in pairs and at least one will need a mobile phone. Training will include how to deal with difficult drivers; nationally it has become clear that difficult drivers are not a big problem to volunteers.

Mike then asked if there were any question:

Q – Are there any figures available from the mobile van on Sileby Road?
A – Mike and Tony Kershaw will try to obtain these figures.

Leicestershire Constabulary and the County Council will support the scheme. Prior to volunteers starting Leicestershire Constabulary will check speeds to see if there are problems, they will also run further checks after the volunteer work. The volunteer work will run for six weeks and will be revisited after two months.

If there is a problem with speeding and following the scheme there is no reduction Mike would consider involving Leicestershire Constabulary and the Safety Camera partnership.

Q – Who decided humps were needed in the High Street?
A – Not really known, thought to be police, concerned with the alignment of the road and pedestrian use.

Q _ Many warning signs and signs that show vehicle speed are on approach roads, before the 30 mph signs. What is the legislation?
A – Mike will find out.

The feeling of the meeting was that data is needed on whether there is a real speeding issue. Mike felt there is a perceived problem.

Q – Will drivers slow down when they see the volunteers?
A – Experience shows that not all drivers will slow down but this is the reason that speed checks will be done before and after the volunteer work.

Mike asked the meeting whether the group is interested in participating in the scheme. The answer was a unanimous yes.

Q - Can volunteers cover more than one location?
A – Yes, but only one location at a time and safety will play a large role in where volunteers can work.

Q – Is the volunteer work publicised?
A – Currently under discussion.

Q – How long will Mike’s post exist?
A – Mike has a three year contract but the pilot has to be run and evaluated before clarification.

As there were no further questions Mark thanked Mike for the information and for his time. Mike left the meeting.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting:

The minutes for the meeting held on 11 July 2006 at the Community Centre were agreed.

3. Matters arising from minutes:

• David Norton had agreed to try to find out what 106 monies from the Willow Way Development have been identified for Barrow’s traffic problems. He had looked at the information held by the Parish Council and had produced a hand-out summarising the relevant points. The hand-out is attached at appendix 1.
David explained that money is ring-fenced for specific things and the County Council needs to ask for the 106 to be instigated within two years of the first occupancy or the agreement is invalid and the developer does not need to carry out any of the work.
Tony confirmed that the County Council had the matter in hand.

David explained that the Traffic Impact Assessment document held by the Parish Council is not yet finalised, it is not tied into the 106 (which is ‘written in stone’) but the two do interact.

The group thanked David for the information.

• Mark had sent the article for inclusion in the Barrow Voice at the appropriate time.

4. Sub Groups:

At the last meeting the group identified 4 issues to take forward
1. Speeding/Traffic calming
2. Parking
3. Congestion
4. Wheelchair and pushchair access/cyclists/pedestrians

The group felt it was still relevant to form sub groups. It was decided that at each meeting attendees would split into four groups and discuss how to take issues forward. The group would then come back together and feedback from each sub group will be given.

Attendees informed which sub group they were interested in. The details are at appendix 2, attached.

Some discussion took place, Caroline had some information about access for the disabled, particularly there is nowhere in the village with a raised kerb for access to public transport. Tony will take this forward and will report back to the group.

The group felt we should ascertain the schedule for the 106 and keep things moving.

Speeding – the group should look at areas not covered by the 106.

There is a perception that the amount of through traffic has increased. Signage has changed and this has had an impact.

Funding:

Judith had invited Hazel Fish to a meeting and she was able to attend. She had been elsewhere and arrived at this point. This had been arranged after the publication of the agenda.

Hazel gave some advice on the way the group could take issues forward:

• May be better to look at geographical areas of the village and not specific issues, e.g. The High Street improvement scheme. 
• Health centre, secondary school and shops are also used by residents of other villages; Barrow may be eligible for Market Town status.
• Parish Plan has not yet been responded to and the group needs to take the response into account when it is available, we need to take a holistic view as topics overlap.
• Rail transport is not included in the rural partnership and there are issues with wheelchair, pushchair access and access for the elderly and infirm.

Hazel explained that Andrew Summers will send the Highways response to the Parish Council.

Hazel then gave advice about funding. The Community Routes fund supports projects which come from Parish Plans, up to £2000 matched funding. Needs a business case detailing what funding is needed for. Need to get equal donations from elsewhere, e.g. local companies such as Astra Zeneca, Nottingham East Midlands Airport fund (may be available if on or within ten miles of a flight path), Crimebeat. Judith added that the Parish Council may donate up to £250; a request needs to be in writing and submitted a week before the next Parish Council meeting.

Woodhouse traffic Action group had used funding to purchase their own mobile speed camera. They had also done some work with Loughborough University. Liz Randall would be able to give some advice on how Woodhouse had raised funds and what actions they had taken. The group agreed that we will invite Liz to a future meeting but not the next meeting as we had been given a lot of information and need time to discuss the way forward.

Hazel advises that the group uses any partnership offered. One off grants may be available for starting a newsletter or buying a piece of equipment.

Hazel asked for a contacts list for the group.

Mark asked whether the funding toolkit on the internet would be of use, Hazel thought it could be but we would need to identify how much is needed.

The group will need to discuss and agree a business plan. It was agreed to include this on the agenda for the next meeting.

The room is costing £12 a month for hire.

Mark thanked Hazel for her advice and her time.

5. AOB:

• There was a discussion about the posters which had been welcomed at the last meeting. These are now in place but are not noticeable. The effectiveness was therefore questioned.
Wendy will ask Nigel whether there is anything he can do to make them visible.

• It was suggested that the group has a sub page on the Barrow website where details of the group, meetings and minutes can be displayed. Ian volunteered to act as content editor; he already has the appropriate access. 
Hazel gave some details about funding for training.
The meeting felt it was useful to have individual copies of the minutes and agendas.

• Judith has arranged that the Village Directory shows contact to the group is via Lesley at the Parish Council and not an individual member of the group. This will enable Lesley to vet contact to ensure only relevant issues come to the group.

• Hazel mentioned that Data Protection may be an issue and we should ensure that details held on individual members are only used for the purpose of the group.

• David, with his technical hat on, advised that the group needs to be realistic about what can and cannot be achieved. Funding could be an issue where we are trying to influence anything on the public highway.

• David will try to ascertain where the £42,000 in the 106 is to be spent on kerbing. He will also try to get more information about the Integrated Transport Scheme.

• Judith advised that the Parish Plan response will have details of who to contact on each issue.

• Hazel mentioned the Quality Business Partnership work with groups to improve quality of life and this may be a further source for fund raising.

6. Date and place of next meeting:

The next meeting will be at the Bishop Beveridge club on Tuesday 19 September 2006 at the usual time of 7.30 p.m.

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