Monday, 21 August 2017

Yellow lines to stay after trial hailed success

THE experimental traffic scheme in Wargrave is to be made permanent.

THE experimental traffic scheme in Wargrave is to be made permanent.

Wokingham Borough Council has decided to keep the yellow lines it painted on one side of High Street in 2011 after removing eight parking bays to create gaps for passing traffic.

The move was designed to improve the safety of pedestrians but upset some residents who claimed it would have the opposite effect.

Now the council says it has been proved right.

Keith Baker, executive member for transport, said residents’ fears that drivers’ speeds would increase had not materialised.

“We carried out surveys before the experimental order and about nine months after, at the same place, and speeds had not changed,” he said.

“The incidents of reported kerb mountings, which were the thing that really started this, have dropped dramatically.

“Some of the feedback has been extremely positive — and from people who were quite vociferous in the beginning.” Cllr Baker said that a number of council officers had observed the traffic travelling through Wargrave over the past few months.

“We always used to have a solid row of around 10 to 14 cars which forced people on to the kerb but breaking it up meant that drivers could pull into the gaps.

“All the observations showed the vast majority of people were using that facility, so a vehicle coming the other way had the space that it needed and would not mount the kerb.

“We believe this has gone a long way to achieving the objective. It is not perfect but life is not like that.”

However, Tim Hodges, who lives in High Street, said that buses, lorries and other vehicles continued to mount the pavement opposite the White Hart pub.

“Bollards are the only real answer,” he said. “The council should rethink this issue as someone will get hurt.” Chris Morrisson, also of High Street, said: “We all knew that once this was put in place that it would be permanent. Quite a few of the residents are simply ignoring it and parking as they used to.

“The only old parking spot not being used is the one outside Well’s builders, which to be fair was a potential problem as it blocked the bend in High Street.

“Besides, the double yellow lines are quite often being ignored.

“The council has installed a sign on the A4 and at Henley about the 7.5-tonne limit, which is helping, and I am chasing about ‘Driving safely’ signs at both ends of the village.”

Richard Bush, chairman of Wargrave Parish Council, said he thought the changes had gone “some way” towards tackling the problem of vehicles mounting the kerb and he supported making the measures permanent.

Originally, police urged the borough council to act after receiving complaints from businesses and residents.However, this led to protests from other residents and the issue dominated the public sessions at three meetings of Wargrave Parish Council.

“We carried out surveys before the experimental order and about nine months after, at the same place, and speeds had not changed,” he said.

“The incidents of reported kerb mountings, which were the thing that really started this, have dropped dramatically.

“Some of the feedback has been extremely positive — and from people who were quite vociferous in the beginning.” Cllr Baker said that a number of council officers had observed the traffic travelling through Wargrave over the past few months.

“We always used to have a solid row of around 10 to 14 cars which forced people on to the kerb but breaking it up meant that drivers could pull into the gaps.

“All the observations showed the vast majority of people were using that facility, so a vehicle coming the other way had the space that it needed and would not mount the kerb.

“We believe this has gone a long way to achieving the objective. It is not perfect but life is not like that.”

However, Tim Hodges, who lives in High Street, said that buses, lorries and other vehicles continued to mount the pavement opposite the White Hart pub.

“Bollards are the only real answer,” he said. “The council should rethink this issue as someone will get hurt.” Chris Morrisson, also of High Street, said: “We all knew that once this was put in place that it would be permanent. Quite a few of the residents are simply ignoring it and parking as they used to.

“The only old parking spot not being used is the one outside Well’s builders, which to be fair was a potential problem as it blocked the bend in High Street.

“Besides, the double yellow lines are quite often being ignored.

“The council has installed a sign on the A4 and at Henley about the 7.5-tonne limit, which is helping, and I am chasing about ‘Driving safely’ signs at both ends of the village.”

Richard Bush, chairman of Wargrave Parish Council, said he thought the changes had gone “some way” towards tackling the problem of vehicles mounting the kerb and he supported making the measures permanent.

Originally, police urged the borough council to act after receiving complaints from businesses and residents.However, this led to protests from other residents and the issue dominated the public sessions at three meetings of Wargrave Parish Council.

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