Parish Councillors have finally had a meeting with the relevant Borough officers to emphasise the problems caused by the existing roadworks on the A420 roundabouts and our alarm at the proposed additional repair works to the White Hart roundabout sub-surface. The discussion was based on an updated version of the note that we prepared in May.
The main outcomes of the meeting were:
- The repair work will take 12 weeks from the 16th August but will not affect the completion of the overall works scheduled for around the New Year.
- Traffic looking to travel north along the A419 from the A420 was acknowledged to be the biggest driver of increased traffic on village roads, made worse by Sat Nav guidance that will suggest this as a diversion. There are no plans for a ‘No Right Turn’ into Old Vicarage Land or Access Only into the village from either A420 junctions. This resulted in a lively discussion. However, signs saying ‘Unsuitable as a diversion route’ would be installed ahead of the junction with OVL.
- There will be ongoing monitoring of the situation, with Traffic Management Officers on site able to make emergency decisions about signage. We asked for continuous monitoring through a traffic count on OVL, with access to the data collected and this request is being considered.
- We will meet again two weeks after the work starts to review the data and for officers to respond with further measures if these prove necessary.
- The problems that the increased traffic will cause at ‘the bends’ in Highworth Road was acknowledged and additional measures we suggested, such as ‘slow’ and ‘beware oncoming traffic’ signs will be considered.
- We will be discussing appropriate locations for vehicle-activated speed signs that have been promised.
- Our views on installing a ‘Give way to southbound traffic’ at the chicane outside the Bellway site will be considered.
- The longer term implementation of 40 mph limits off the A420 and a 20mph zone in the village centre will be revived in a joint working party that will re-visit the design as well as funding streams.
Whilst we did not persuade officers of the need for all the additional measures we suggested, we were heartened that the risks to the village were accepted, that there will be further dialogue and data-sharing during the closure period and that the on-site officers will be able to take immediate action if they judge it appropriate.