Minutes of a meeting of the HIGHWAYS SUB-COMMITTEE held at 7.00pm on Wednesday 12 June 2019 in the Council Offices, Crafton Green House, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT: Cllr G Sell (Chairman), Cllrs J Harding, M Jessup, A Khan, J O’Brien, F Richards R Woodcock Esq
ATTENDING: Cllrs Kavanagh, Miti and Wallace-Jarvis Mrs R Clifford – Clerk 2 members of the public 1 member of the press Cllr Sell welcomed everyone to the meeting and recorded his thanks to Catherine Dean, the outgoing Chair of this sub-committee, for her hard work over the years. He reminded members that the Parish Council is not a decision-maker in the world of Highways, but should be an influencer.
77 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Apologies were received from Cllr M Caton and P L Jones Esq.
78 TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST Referring to point 4 of the List of Outstanding Items (agenda item 9), Cllrs Richards and Sell stated that they were residents of Spencer Close.
79 TO RECEIVE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 6 MARCH 2019 The minutes were accepted as a full and accurate record.
80 MATTERS ARISING 427 (i) – Mr Woodcock reported that updated air quality results are now available and two sites in the village are close to the limit set by the WHO. The Chairman stated that it would be helpful to know the trend in the results but, as these monitors are fairly new, there is little history. The average for Grove Hill in the preceding year was 35, and this dropped to 14 in April when the road was closed for a month. In response to Cllr Khan, Mr Woodcock confirmed that the monitors are calibrated monthly. Cllr Khan stated that air quality was a topic he wanted to pursue further as a district councillor. Mr Woodcock believed that there was a need for an additional monitor in Lower Street as there are three locations where the public can sit outside.
Following a discussion, it was RESOLVED to submit a formal request to UDC for an additional air quality monitor in Lower Street. 432 – High Lane, there has been no further contact with residents since the matter was raised in discussing a planning application at Full Council. 20 81
The Chairman reported that, together with the Clerk, he had had a handover meeting with Catherine Dean the previous day. At a UDC Cabinet Meeting due to take place the following day, Cllr Sell believed it was likely that he would be appointed to the Uttlesford Local Highway Panel, as he had been previously. Cty Cllr Gooding also sits on this group. 82 WINDMILL FIELDS The Chairman invited Cllr Kavanagh to speak on this item. She gave the background to the issue which had led to the matter being passed from the Open Spaces committee to this sub-committee. Parking on and around Windmill Fields is causing an issue with obstruction and highway safety (blocking sight-lines) and action is required to improve the situation for everyone. Photographic evidence of the issues was circulated. Numbers of vehicles parking in the area has increased since the introduction of Residents’ Parking Schemes in Chapel Hill and the St John’s area. The Open Spaces committee had considered placing bollards or posts around the perimeter of Windmill Fields to prevent unauthorised parking which is now churning up the grass, and blocking sight-lines, but the response had been mixed with respondents split 50:50 on whether to take this action. Various suggestions were made: increase the length of the parking bay which is on Parish Council land; widen the bay to allow for herringbone style parking; secure the grass with a barrier of some type. It was acknowledged that whatever action was taken was likely to have a knock-on effect onto other unadopted roads. Cllr Kavanagh stated that in the past, when wooden posts were installed to prevent parking, these were regularly removed. In response to a question from the Chairman, the Clerk believed that money from the Brook Road S.106 fund could be used for improvements as this covered the are from Brook Road to the B1383 via Mill Hill or Millfields/Millside. After further consideration, it was agreed to take the following
ACTIONS: 1 Obtain an estimate for the cost of extending the parking bay by one space at the top of the hill. Cllr Harding’s suggestion that the bays then be individually marked was agreed. 2 Obtain an estimate for a post and rail fence, with a gate for the lawnmower, around the Fields 3 Undertake further consultation with residents in the immediate vicinity 4 Cost to erect a sign stating that the land is in the PC’s ownership
83 UPDATE ON SECTION 106 PROJECTS Church Road – the request to replace the chicanes with speed tables had been refused by Essex Highways (EH). They are now working on a scheme to relocate the build-outs to ensure that they alternate as initially planned. Cambridge Road – a detailed proposal to improve traffic flow and on-street parking had been submitted to EH several years ago. The Clerk has now been informed that there is scope to widen the carriageway on the eastern side (the PC had suggested the western side). The Clerk has asked EH for details of their scheme and why, it appears, many of the PC’s suggestions have not been taken on board. The Clerk agreed to raise this matter with Cty Cllr Gooding and David Sprunt at EH. 21
84 UPDATE ON PROJECTS SUBMITTED TO THE UTTLESFORD LOCAL HIGHWAYS PANEL The Chairman referred to a signage scheme drawn up by Cllr O’Brien and submitted to the LHP in 2017 – he will endeavour to establish what progress has been made as, although new signage has been erected in the village, not all of our points have been addressed. The Clerk outlined four other schemes which have been submitted this year, and it was agreed that an upgrade of the zebra crossing at the top of Chapel Hill, and the additional one-bay waiting restriction in Lower Street, adjacent to the Brook, should be priorities. The Clerk would notify Cty Cllr Gooding, together with Cty Cllr Walsh (Chair of the ULHP) and Rissa Long.
85 LIST OF OUTSTANDING ITEMS A preliminary list had been circulated with the agenda, and the Clerk gave the background to the items for the benefit of new members. Other items in train were added: a) Replacement village sign for south (Pines Hill) b) Flashing 30mph signs or smiley/frowning face signs – need to agree list of locations c) Grove Hill: Discussion ensued regarding the weight limit on Grove Hill and the recent problems being experienced with the faulty traffic lights.
It was finally RESOLVED to apply to Essex Highways for a width restriction and a weight restriction in both directions on Grove Hill. Cllr Khan then stated that there were three items raised with him and where he would like to see some action: 1) Burton End – parking on the road near the telephone box is causing a concern to residents as it is blocking sight-lines making the road dangerous. It was agreed that a letter be sent to all households, and left on the parked cars, explaining the problem and asking offenders to cease from parking there. This would be reviewed after a period of time and the sub-committee may then be asked to consider applying for weighting restrictions. Cllrs Khan and Caton to draft and deliver the letters. 2) Signage – covered under item 84 but the Clerk offered to send details of the scheme requested to Cllr Khan. 3) Speeding in various locations – Cllr Khan acknowledged the hard work of the SpeedWatch group but stated that he was keen to pursue the “20 is plenty” scheme – erection of signs giving this message although not legally enforceable by the Police. Cllr Sell offered to raise this at the ULHP meeting on Monday also.
Meeting closed 8.10pm
You are invited to attend a meeting of the HIGHWAYS SUB-COMMITTEE to be held on Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 7.00pm in the Council Offices, Crafton Green House, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.
1 To receive apologies for absence
2 To receive Declarations of Interest
3 To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 6th March 2019
4 Matters Arising
5 Chairman’s Report
6 Windmill Fields – to consider parking in the vicinity of the Windmill and Windmill Fields
7 Update on Section 106 projects
8 Update on projects submitted to the Uttlesford Local Highways Panel
9 List of other outstanding items – see attached which can be added to at the meeting
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 6 June 2019