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Conversations with Highways

5th October 2016 @ 6:06am – by Tarvin Webteam
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The two main roads that skirt Tarvin on the north and west have given rise to a number of issues raised by residents with the Parish Council and meetings have been held with the Highways Department to try and resolve them.

A54 – Access to the village

Residents have raised their concerns about the difficulties they experience in crossing the A54 (Bye- pass Road) to reach facilities in the village. The road is a busy one and though the speed limit is 40mph, many cars exceed it, especially those approaching from Kelsall. The recent addition of Millside Close and the Co-op have added to the pressures and were confirmed in a recent resident survey. The Parish Council put a strong case to Highways that the 40 mph limit should be extended as far east as the junction with Shay Lane and that the central road refuges should be re-sited. The response from Highways was to reject the Parish Council's case.

Following a further recent meeting, Highways have agreed to undertake another Speed Limit Assessment at their expense. They have also agreed to share with the Parish Council the results of similar assessments made in Duddon and Clotton that resulted in the speed limit being lowered in those areas. Both sides agreed that siting of refuges on that part of the road is not easy, but it was agreed to investigate the possibility of creating one just west of the Millfield Close entrance, which would make access to the village centre more logical. However, should the Parish Council then want to go ahead and install this they would have to bear the cost.

A51 -Access to the Countryside

When the Bypass was built it made easy access to the countryside a bit more difficult. There are two very well used ways across. The first is via Broomheath Lane, where there is a protective metal barrier on the roadside to force pedestrians to halt before crossing. The other access point is from Hockenhull Lane where there is no pedestrian barrier because when the road was built access for large vehicles to the Turkey Farm was felt necessary. The Parish Council has felt for some time that, now vehicle access is no longer needed, a barrier should be built.

A barrier on a road directs people either left or right around it. At this crossing, to go right would force people to cross nearer the bend in the road and reduce the visibility of people and traffic to each other. To go left would direct pedestrians into the middle if the Lane running to Hockenhull Hall, a lane that carries little traffic, but does have some. Highways had agreed to develop and cost both options, the cost to be the responsibility of the Parish Council.

To the surprise of the Parish Council, Highways have now said that their Road safety Team have advised no barrier at all on the ground that "such features increase the risk of being hit particularly by large vehicles." To the Parish Council this sounds as though they are prioritising the risk to vehicles rather than the risk to pedestrians, which is unacceptable. A request to see the risk assessment of this dubious conclusion has been requested and the Parish Council will continue to demand an improvement to this important local access point.

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