Subject of this information release
The situation with regards to the ‘top dressing’ of the roads and paths on Middlemore in general, the action being taken in obtaining usage of the’ bus link’ for all residents, creation of laybys at the A361 entrance / exit of Farnborough Drive, and their adoption by the County Council.
I believe that the following information summarises the current situation.
Middlemore has evolved considerably over the time since it was originally designed in the mid to late 1990s. The original design concept was to create a people-focused street scene with most parking at the rear. However people have tended to park in front of their houses. Whilst this does provide informal traffic calming, it can also make passage by larger vehicles problematic. Thus Daventry District Council, (DDC), explored introducing parking restrictions. These are in the control of the County Council. Public consultation produced a relatively negative response and on this basis the County Council was unwilling to act”
The ‘bus link’ and ‘laybys’
In my capacity as DDC’s Resources Portfolio Holder, on the 14th April, I put to the Strategy Group a paper recommending that the two budgets for Middlemore infrastructure work be combined in order that remaining works can be completed. (There were two budgets because one was created for each of the two phases of the work which has taken place over an extended period of time). I am please to inform you that my request was granted and will go to Full Council 0n the 18th May for agreement. I do not believe that this will prove problematic. The paper that I noted contained two additions to the original proposal. The first for investigations to be concluded and hopefully work carried out to build two ‘half layby’s’ at the entrance and exit to Middlemore on Farnborough Drive near to the intersection with the A361. This would have the affect of allowing buses somewhere to wait without holding up traffic at peak time. These ‘laybys’ would accommodate service buses as well as school buses. The second addition was to widen the ‘bus link’ to enable safe general access for all traffic. As I started the recommendation to Full Council for these additions should be positively considered because as my papers stated, ‘the completion of the infrastructure works together with the additions noted would be to the benefit of residents, those passing through the estate (notably by bus) and also to the council.
Road and path completions
Money is not the problem. That is as I noted contained within the two budgets. The problem is the County Council and their requirements for adoption of the roads. For the County to adopt the roads firstly the drainage has to be certified (against construction and operation problems by Anglian Water. Not an easy task to achieve). The semi finished roads and paths have to be surveyed by County Highways, and then any corrections completed before the top dressing can take place. Only once this process is completed will the County Council consider adopting the roads.( This process protects the public purse from taking on substandard road construction which would then have to be bought up to specification at the County Council’s, ((the Council Tax Payers)) expenses). The current position is that County Highways have completed the survey. DDC has accepted the findings and will award the completion contact to County Highways. (The logic being that they are unlikely to reject their own work). This will commence following Full Council’s approval in May.
Current road signage related to the present ‘bus link’
I have recently had a long conversation with our local police sergeant Sam Dobbs. He confirms that as the bus link is not currently an adopted road, there are no traffic orders in place and thus the police have no enforcement powers. He has instructed his officers accordingly. For my part I have recommended to the District Council that they cover the signs as at present they are meaningless.
Cllr Chris Long
Abbey North Councillor
Resources Portfolio Holder
Daventry District Council
1st May 2016