Footpath reconstruction work has just begun in Station Road and will take around six weeks to complete. During that time traffic outside peak hours will be controlled by lights. The work will include removal of the hedge between Berry Court and Raven Road which has severely inconvenienced pedestrians because the various owners have failed to maintain it. Resurfacing of Station Road itself is scheduled to take place on four Sundays namely 11th 18th 25th November and 2nd December and on those days the road will be completely closed between Rectory Road and Griffin Way. Diversions will be via Griffin Way South but access to Tesco will be still be possible from central Hook.
Some 15 local volunteers took part in Community Speedwatch in December and April. We recorded details of cars that were registered as exceeding the speed limit by roadside equipment and warning letters were then sent out by the Police. The objective of the scheme was to improve road safety not to prosecute drivers. We were one of four Hampshire parishes in the experiment. Speeding did reduce by a small amount but the costs in terms of administration and technical support were significant and it is unlikely that sufficient volunteers could be found to extend the scheme. However Hampshire has yet to make a decision on the future.
A recent request for a pedestrian crossing in Station Road near Tesco has now been evaluated by Highways. Their survey shows that the number of people wishing to cross the road at that point is only 10% of the number needed to justify a crossing. The evaluation is not just about cost but is based on the fact that if a crossing is installed but has insufficient use the road becomes more dangerous because drivers don’t expect pedestrians whilst pedestrians expect traffic to stop for them.
Roads in Holt Park are in the process of being handed over by George Wimpey to Hampshire Highways and this involves certain work on kerbs and traffic calming. The speed bumps installed by George Wimpey to slow construction traffic are being removed as they do not meet the standards required for a road that is adopted by Highways. At the same time responsibility for the Country Park and play areas is passing from George Wimpey to the Parish Council. Dog litter bins have now been installed at entrances to the Park. The 13 hectare park, which is open to all, is reached from opposite the Crooked Billet and from Doctors Acre and Athoke Croft in Holt Park.
The cycleway from central Hook to Holt Park is almost complete but unfortunately the supplier of the lights cannot provide them until early 2008.
Over the past few months the pond in Newnham Road has been excavated down to a clay base and reshaped. In conjunction with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust we will be spotting the plants and animals that appear in the pond and publishing an update from time to time.
On Saturday 29th September the Police mounted a crackdown on antisocial behaviour and underage drinking. Ten Police officers including three in plain clothes, supported by our Community Warden and myself, patrolled Hook between 7pm and midnight. Names and addresses were taken from a considerable number of teenagers, some were searched for drugs and in one case at 11.15pm parents were telephoned. By 11pm around 40 teenagers, mostly aged about 15, had congregated in the Elizabeth Hall Play Area. Some of them could only be described as drunk and a large number of empty bottles and cans were cleared away afterwards at your expense. The police confiscated some 50 cans of beer which had been hidden away around the site. There is surely a clear need for certain parents to take more interest in the evening activities of their sons and daughters.
Hartletts Park will be closed from 12noon on Saturday 3rd November for the annual HSPA Fireshow. Please remove all cars from the Community Centre car park by 4pm on that day as the car park is the fall out area.
Antony Hunter – Parish Councillor