Monday, 29 June 2009

Meeting with highways officers

This morning I met with the Council's highways officers for a tour of Launceston Central. I pointed out various problems that need sorting (most of which have been detailed on this blog recently):

- Hoardings on Western Road. The officers agreed to check who owns the boards and what planning conditions were established before they were built. The hope is that we can persuade the owners to use them properly or take them down.

- Traffic on Moorland Road. The officers will look at the sort of traffic calming measures that could work. Actually seeing them put into operation will require funding and consultation, but it is a step in the right direction.

- Hedge cutting on Western Road and Upper Chapel. A lot of the hedges are overgrown - obscuring traffic signs and the road ahead. Responsibility for cutting most hedges falls with the land owners rather than the Council. This is a mistake in my view as it means cutting is haphazard and often late. I have asked officers to check on the ownership of the most serious cases and contact owners to request that cutting takes place urgently.

- Crossing on St Thomas Road. I have made this my top priority. Residents of the Priory side of the road have no safe way of getting into town. Visitors who want to go to the Priory Ruins (promoted by the Council as a tourist attraction) also have to cross a road with no safe crossing. Officers say that the road is too narrow at many points for a pedestrian crossing and that the level of demand may not be enough. I don't believe that either of these should be a valid reason when many families are left with no option but to drive less than a third of a mile into town. I have asked them to look again.

- Dutson Road. This was always going to be a long term project. However, the road clearly has significant safety issues and there is no pavement on much of the route. I have challenged officers to be imaginative in trying to come up with a solution and save many accidents every year.

- Parking outside the old Newport Post Office. With the sad demise of the Post Office, there is no longer any need for the parking spaces on St Thomas Road which can cause significant blockages in the traffic flow - often at peak times. Officers agree and the spaces have been added to the list for removal.

I will, of course, report back when I have more news.

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