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News Bulletin: September 2003

Work has now started on the new landscaping for the area next to the Grand Parade car park. This exciting scheme will consist of new soft landscaping created by local designer Rachel Burbidge, with a central mosaic designed by Maggy Howarth. At last we are now able to implement the scheme for the improvement of the landscaping of Grand Parade. The original concept was endorsed by the Annual Village Meeting some years ago but implementation has only now become possible as a result of funding from George Wimpey as part of their contribution to the local community in connection with the Holt Lane development. Consultation with businesses in Grand Parade has taken place and only minor inconvenience to shops and parking is likely whilst the work is in progress between now and early October. Please be patient if parking and access is not quite as easy as usual!

Following extensive research in connection with speeding traffic in Reading Road and a well-attended exhibition, the Parish Council decided in May to support a Traffic Calming Scheme for Reading Road in order to improve road safety and work towards a reduction in the speed limit to 30 mph. As a result of concerns that were raised over the location of the build-out at the junction with Goose Lane we suggested to Hampshire County Highways that it be moved to a location closer to London Road. Highways have now responded that, after extensive consideration at senior level between themselves and the Police, Highways advise that the location by Goose Lane is not only considered to be safe, but also to be the most effective location for this build-out. North bound traffic, which is required to Give Way, has good visibility round the bend to see any approaching traffic which has priority. If the build-out were to be relocated towards London Road this visibility would be lost and a more hazardous manoeuvre would be required to pass the build-out. Visibility of oncoming priority traffic at build-outs is paramount for safety, as both directions of traffic are required to use the same area of road space. In light of this expert advice the we have decided to support installation of a permanent scheme with the build-outs in the same location as in the final stages of the trial. We understand that the work, which is being funded by Hampshire Highways, is due to commence shortly.

Earlier in the year concern was expressed that existing “rat running” through Pantile Drive and Holt Way as a short cut to Griffin Way South will become much worse as the George Wimpey development becomes occupied. A solution would be to block off the Pantile Drive junction with Holt Way which would be funded by George Wimpey. As a result of a Parish Council survey Hampshire Highways have agreed to fund a survey by consultants once the schools return. A further survey would then be carried out once Phase One at Holt Park is completed. At that stage, and depending on the results, the legal procedures for a road closure order may be started or another solution proposed. If there were objections to a closure a Public Inquiry might be necessary.

Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor