11 Dec 2009

Meeting with County councillor: gulley success, stiles and 20mph

Tony Blackburn (pictured) - not the DJ - is a resident of Randwick and since May is our local Tory County Councillor. I've tried to meet several times with Tony since his election but it has been mostly grabbed moments at Parish meetings. However this week I invited Tony to my home for a meeting - I wanted to share views and also to update Tony on some of the issues we have faced locally. I can never understand why in some areas councillors don't seem to want to work together.

Anyhow I have been delighted by Tony's interest in getting some of the issues sorted - he admits he is new to this but has already thrown himself in to trying to sort some of the County Council issues that we have battled with for some time. This post covers a couple of the issues we discussed - but certainly not all the issues:

Ruscombe Road Gulleys Success - well I am delighted to say that after over a year and many emails from me and particularly from one resident we have finally sorted some of the problem at Humphreys End. As these first two pictures show they have been blocked by leaves and silt for a long while - they get cleaned but as picture three shows the stuff from the gulleys has been piled on the edges - hence when it rains it washes back down - plus over the years the piles have got higher have been damaging the walls behind - indeed in places the piles must have been over 2 feet tall.

Anyhow the County promised to remove the piles of dirt - I think it was as long ago as last year - anyhow nothing happened but now after another bid by the resident and more emails we finally have the piles of dirt removed and instructions to the contractors not to pile the dirt on the side again. We'll see how that goes. See a previous blog on this here.

One success is that the gulleys in that area including Redhouse are highlighted as high priority so these are cleared 3 times per year. Anyhow I also shared with Tony other gulleys we've had problems with like at the end of Ash Lane.

20 mph for Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe - I've argued the case for 20 mph many times - see particularly my blog entry here - Tony has already actively taken up the case for a 20 mph outside Whiteshill School - I hope he will also press for wider changes as casualties happen in all places - it is about trying to change the culture so that cars have respect for others when they travel through our neighbourhoods.

In terms of 20 mph I was pleased to see that Jenny Jones, a Green on the London Assembly helped write a scrutiny report "Braking Point" which achieved all party consensus for boroughs having the power to go ahead with 20mph across residential areas. Download it here.

Meanwhile Green Party Islington councillor, Katie Dawson, has been granted £1million to implement the 20mph zone on all council-controlled residential roads, mainly through signs, although speed bumps and CCTV cameras may later be used. In fact I had a London Radio station call me to get hold of Katie's number to talk on the show about it - and if not would I talk - well that was until they realised I was a wee way away from Islington!

Anyway I am seeking a way forward with the Parish as well to see if we can have a few more traffic calming measures like gateways - but not bumps!

Stiles in Ruscombe valley - a resident recently reported the damage again to these stiles - I have written a couple of emails on this to the County as my understanding was that if stiles and gates are not kept in proper repair the authority can do the job itself and send the bill to the owner. The Wheelers Walk stile has completely gone a while ago - with only the step left there - hence the motorbikes entering the field. The other stiles are damaged and dangerous to use - they are on the footpath parallel to the brook further upstream. We are still awaiting a reply on these.


Anonymous said...

More research on road injuries and 20 mph zones ...

The full article is:


and a news summary in the Guardian is below.


Anonymous said...

Interestingly, recently as we drove one evening from Stroud, meeting the speed bumps in Whiteshill and the suggested 20mph, we slowed as we always do 20 in the area. A sports car was behind, and took it on himself to furiously flash his lights and honk his horn because we slowed to 20! He attempted within the speed bumps, with a car coming the other way, to overtake - suddenly realising there was not enough space. I would welcome it being a legal speed limit through the whole village sooner rather than later! 20 is the right safe speed in the village, and any more than that over the speed bumps ones tires do get damaged.

Philip Booth said...

Thanks - yes totally agree 20 mph for the whole ward. You do have to wonder with cars like the one you met....but all the more reason to try and change the culture to make anything more than 20 mph unacceptable in such areas.

Philip Booth said...

I meant to include here the response from Footpaths:

I received lost of complaints re this new stile from local dog walkers who could not get their dogs over it. The issue of motorbikes was discussed with every resident but they still wanted the stile removed. My contractor therefore removed the top rail to lower the height and I guess a local has removed the other. I do not think that motorbikes would get past this stile.

I suggested to everyone who complained that local people got together and contribute towards a kissing gate instead - £212.00. I would pay for the installation of the gate. I have not heard anything further.

Indeed and the Parish said they would no pay - understandable as not in their Parish - the town have yet to respond.