Wednesday, 29 June 2016

BREAKING: RBC publishes EFA’s proposal to build The Heights on part of MPF

After business hours today (29 June) Reading Borough Council published a report detailing the Education Funding Agency’s proposal to build The Heights primary school on part of Mapledurham Playing Fields.

A public meeting of The Heights Sub Committee will be held on 12 July 2016 in the Civic Centre. The full agenda can be accessed here.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Highmoor/Albert Road junction: Outcome of last night's meeting

Faded/broken white stop line at junction
Last night local campaigners, CADRA (Caversham and District Residents Association) and Conservative councillors all spoke against the council’s proposal to change priorities at the Highmoor/Albert Road junction at RBC’s Traffic Management Sub Committee meeting (see my last post for further background).  I am pleased to report that the locally unpopular proposal was not agreed.  

The persuasive arguments against the proposal had Cllr Tony Page (committee chair) announcing his view that a decision to change the priority should be deferred before he had even asked the views of the committee members. 

Campaigners' outstanding frustration was Cllr Page’s refusal to instruct officers to repaint the white stop lines at the junction, despite requests from locals, my colleagues Cllrs Ed Hopper, Claire McDonald and me to immediately improve visibility of the signage at this tricky junction.  As you can see from this photo, what is meant to be a thick white line beyond the STOP is faded and broken. Officers committed only to inspect it.

What the committee did agree was that RBC officers would work with representatives from CADRA and HARC (Highmoor Albert Residents Campaign) to bring back a proposal which hopefully will gain local support in September.

You can watch the meeting proceedings of last night's meeting on RBC's webcasting. You can forward to the relevant sections which are 1a for questions followed by presentation of the petition and 7 for the public speaking, report and debate. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

RBC Pushes for Change of Priority at Dangerous Crossroads

Reading Borough Council (RBC) officers are recommending a change of priority from Albert Road to Highmoor Road at this local crossroads where numerous accidents have happened, the last of which on 14 May caused the tragic death of a 72 year old pedestrian.

Strength of feeling demonstrated by over 50 gathering
to protest with just a couple of hours' notice
RBC’s Traffic Management Sub Committee’s public meeting tomorrow (Wednesday 15 June), agenda item 7, the report sets out the officer preference to change the priorities as “This option is by far the most cost effective solution…[it] can be delivered without any further legal process so it is the easiest and quickest option to is worth reducing the impact of the very restricted visibility within the Highmoor Road”

However RBC’s report admits that “This option does not change the visibility problem and relies on Albert Road drivers obeying the stop signs and giving way to crossing drivers from Highmoor has its limitations and does not meet the wider concerns of the original petition”.

View north up Albert Road. Photos by Tell Tails Photography
The Highmoor Albert Road Campaign (HARC), formed by local residents, is calling on RBC to improve safety of this dangerous junction.  They’ve carried out a survey of over 100 local households close to the junction to find out from a choice of 5 alternatives whether there is a popular option. The result is 90% of 134 households are in favour of option 1: A raised table designed to slow down the approaching traffic from all four directions.

RBC’s preference to change the priority of the traffic dates back to January 2015 when officers first made the proposal.  Back then residents, local Thames Ward Cllr Ed Hopper and I (Mapledurham Ward) all spoke against it.  A survey I took had 84% of households opposed to a change of priority.

I am canvassing opinion again (see my post detailing the outcome of January 2015 meeting) and would be grateful for feedback before tomorrow evening’s meeting so that I can speak up on behalf of my electorate.  Please email me: mobile: 07717 292003 or drop a letter through my door: 10 Fernbrook Road.  Thank you.