Overnight Road Closures on A429 Bourton to Northleach – Extended To 18 October 2018

UPDATE: Overnight road closure extended to Thursday 18 October.

A further stretch of the popular A429 between Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach is being resurfaced overnight from 5th October as part of Gloucestershire County Council’s £150m investment into the county’s roads. The busy A-road has reached the end of its life expectancy and needs urgent repairing. The road will be closed overnight from Friday 5th October to Wednesday 17th October. To help keep disruption to a minimum, work will take place between 7pm and 7am (excluding weekends). A diversion suitable for all type of vehicles will be in place.

The scheme follows on from the recent resurfacing on the A429 between Cirencester and Northleach. Highways crews will be resurfacing over 18,820m² of road with approximately 2,400 tonnes of material.

Details on the diversion routes are on https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershire-county-council-news/news-september-2018/resurfacing-means-smoother-arrival-into-bourton-on-the-water/

Update On The Old A40 Following Last Week’s Town Council Meeting

Gloucestershire Highways came to the Town Council meeting last Wednesday to present plans and costings for repairing the Old A40. Danny Taylor the Local Highways Manager and Cllr Mark Darlow-Joy, Highways Contracts Manager at Gloucestershire County Council gave the Town Council and attending residents an update. The following notes are from the unsigned draft minutes taken on the night.

Notes from the Town Council meeting on 19 September

Mark deals with capital repairs to the road network and gave background information on the landslip. This road has been monitored for years but a number of new cracks appeared and there was further movement. Although they didn’t want to close it, Highways believed that was the safest thing to do so they could establish what the issues were. Instruments and bore holes were inserted into the ground around the landslip to monitor movement. These were checked monthly over the course of a year to determine the failure line and the impact of seasonal weather. Although failure lines can go up to 30 metres into the ground, it was established that the failure on the closed section is quite shallow. They believe that if it does slip further it would be only a shallow section affected. They considered rebuilding the supporting wall but this would have cost a very large amount. Initial figures to fully repair and reopen the road were estimated to be around £500k. The scheme would have been set against other busier and higher priority roads, Highways would not have been able to justify the cost and the road would not have been opened in the near future.

Having looked at all the options available, Highways are proposing the following in order to reopen the road. The proposed scheme would see a single lane track from near the top of the hill, running for about 150m down to the failed section. This would have hatched road markings to narrow the existing carriageway width down to a single running lane with passing places to manage traffic through the landslip area. At the existing area where the landslip has occurred they would install new timber post and rail fence line to form a barrier from passing vehicles. Coming down the hill the right-hand lane by the woods would be the lane that is opened. Highways propose to use the long single-track access and secure fencing as a traffic calming feature along with signage and bollards to reduce speeds. This will give vehicles plenty of time to slow down as they approach the affected area. A 17-metre-long section of the road will need to be dug out to rebuild the drainage pipes so water is removed rather than lubricating the ground which could accelerate the slippage. This is not a long-term permanent solution but it is a temporary one which will enable to road to be reopened. There would be a weight limit on vehicles implemented.

The total scheme will cost £58K and some of this has already been allocated. So far £10K has already been spent on the site with the investigations and safety measures and £6K has been spent on this design which leaves £42K to find. Danny Taylor has £5K from his minor works budget, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has committed £6K this year and £6K next year from his Highways Local budget plus £5k from his Community Fund. This leaves £20K outstanding. Northleach Town Council were asked if they contribute half of this, £10K then Highways will community match fund the rest. Using all these sources of funding, the Old A40 could be reopened by the end of March. Although this affects several neighbouring parishes they do not raise Precepts which would enable them to contribute tax payer’s money to the scheme.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson thanked Danny and Mark for coming up with alternatives and a design which is achievable. The recent survey Paul did saw 152 people agree in principle to the road being reopened and 26 said no.

Residents spoke of some of the problems that were being experienced on the closed road which include fly tipping, unofficial camping and car racing. The alternative routes are looking becoming busier affecting residents on the junction of the traffic lights, along the Saltway and through Hampnett. Residents higher up the road are finding it very inconvenient to access Northleach easily. Residents heard from a business owner wanting to convert Old Hills Barn into a health and wellness business and explained that the social and economic benefit to Northleach could be substantial in terms of job creation and new activities.

Councillors explained that large requests for funds like this need to be considered carefully. Supporting the road repair was not budgeted for this year so if Councillors agree to support the reopening, they will need to review the Council’s finances and consider the different options for funding the repairs.

The following actions were agreed: The Finance Committee meet on 9th October and will review the figures for this year and consider the Council’s options. Following this, an Extraordinary Meeting will be called (proposed date 15th October) to make a decision as Highways need a response in the next month.

Updates after the Meeting

Following the meeting, the Town Council were approached by Stowell Park Estate. They have
offered £5K to support the reopening of the Old A40 and this will be discussed at the Extraordinary meeting.

In addition, a CrowdFunder has been set up to try and raise a further £5K. Please note that this was not set up by Northleach with Eastington Town Council.

Kind regards

Cat Crompton
Town Clerk

Total Road Closure A429 Fosseway at Stow From 17 September

There will be a FULL road closure on the A429 Fosse Way at Stow on the Wold from Monday 17th September through until Wednesday 26th September. Although this road closure is outside our Parish, it could affect a number of you who commute and shop around Stow.

The closure is to allow contractors to install a new foul sewer into the existing main foul sewer within the A429. The road will be closed 24/7 as the excavation will be 2–3m deep and has to cross the A429 to the middle of the opposite carriageway. The actual connection will be taking place from Fourways Cottage (adjacent the Unicorn car park) across the Northbound carriageway to midway in the Southbound carriageway.

Gloucestershire County Council will also be taking advantage of the road closure to undertake additional carriageway works, so as to minimise any future disruptions and road closures.

Please find below details of the road closure documents and diversions:

 

For  further information please call Highways Amey on 08000 514 514

Temporary Road Closure, A40 London Road Andoversford

Please be advised of the following temporary road closure:

A40 London Road, Andoversford & Dowdeswell

This road will be closed between 24th August 2018 and 14th September 2018, to allow contractors, working on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council, to carry out carriageway resurfacing. Works will be carried out overnight, between 19:00 and 07:00 hours.

 

 

 

Message from Northleach Community Speed Watch Team

To date, Northleach has maintained a pretty good safety record, and it is the intention of the Town Council, the Community Speed Watch volunteers and the majority of residents to keep it that way.

In September last year, Gloucestershire Highways placed speed strips across the roads to three of the entrances to the town for a period of seven days. These strips recorded the speeds of all vehicles passing over them. Thankfully the majority of motorists were recorded as being at or below the 30mph limit.

Unfortunately, during that one week alone, of the 33,250 vehicle movements in and out of town almost 1,300 of these movements showed that a few drivers feel that our 30mph limit did not apply to them. Had those drivers been caught by the police, most if not all would have been fined £100 and received points on their driving licence. One motorist would have recieved a driving ban! It is apparent that motorists entering Northleach appear to slow down after they have passed the 30mph signs when they should have slowed down to 30mph or less before they pass them.

Northleach now has a number of local volunteers who have been trained in the use of speed detection devices. Their intention is to educate drivers that the speed limit is in place throughout town, and change driving behaviour to encourage people to stick to the 30mph limit consistently. Note however, that persistent offenders exceeding the town’s 30mph speed limit, or individual excessive speeds recorded will be reported to Gloucestershire Police, who will deal with the matter accordingly.

Remember, our local Speed Watch volunteers are not there to persecute the motorist but to remind both visiting and local drivers that they are entering a 30mph zone and try to maintain good safety record of Northleach. After all, it’s our children, elderly and pets that cross the town’s roads.

If you would like to become a Community Speed Watch volunteer, please contact the Clerk.

Winter Weather Information

We are fielding a lot of enquiries due to the winter weather so please find below some additional information.

Road clearance – Highways clear the main route through Northleach only. They do not do the side streets and most of these are usually cleared by the local snow plough operator as directed by Highways. Here is the link to the Glos Highways gritting routes map: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/winter.

Gritting – Highways will grit the main route only when the weather conditions indicate icy conditions. Highways are responsible for the road network and during adverse winter weather Gloucestershire Highways’ resources are focused on keeping the strategic carriageway network running, with priority being given to bus routes, schools, and routes with emergency services such as hospitals, doctors, fire and ambulance. In addition the snow warden has spread grit (when available) on the priority areas. In addition residents are able to help themselves to grit from the bins across town. However grit has run low over the last week.

Locally – The Town Council try to assist by ordering salt stocks, checking on the grit bins and trying to refill them when empty if there is stock available. This week due to the severe conditions the grit stock ran out and we were not able to replenish till yesterday as Highways were also out of bagged stock. Please find a copy of our grit bin locations (please note there have been some new bins including ones at the bottom of Nostle, in the Churchyard as you come up from the Post Office and Meadow Lane). Please let us know if you have ideas for other bin locations and we will investigate. They have all been filled but most have run empty again. The snow warden is refilling them today but again salt stocks are low and they may not all be filled. Please continue to let us know if your local one is empty.

Gritting on pavements and footpaths – Highways will grit  some of the footpaths if they have the resource. Please help yourself to grit if you want to use it on public land like roads and pavements. Please do NOT use it on your private drives as you can be prosecuted for that.

Can I clear pavements? This is a really common question, and the simple answer is that you can. This government website has further advice:  www.gov.uk/clear-snow-road-path-cycleway.

Please check on neighbours who may not wish to venture out in the snow or icy conditions.

Cotswold District Council also offers winter advice on their website: www.cotswold.gov.uk/residents/get-ready-for-winter/.

Kind regards,
Cat Crompton, Town Clerk