County Councillor for Gartree – May 2023
KIBWORTHS A6 ROADWORKS X 2
Cadent had permission to install gas pipes to the Coach & Horses pub in the week of 17-21 April and, initially, apart from switching off the Pelican pedestrian crossing lights, there were 2-way traffic lights to control traffic along the A6. This still resulted in long traffic queues, but these became much worse from mid-week when the roadworks included digging a trench half-way across the A6, and 4-way traffic lights were introduced.
Queues were very much longer with some waiting times exceeding 30 minutes. Conversely, queues to get out of New Road became shorter!
Worse was yet to come, as an accident on Friday 21 April afternoon between New Road and West Langton Road junctions meant a complete A6 road closure in both directions while the accident was sorted by police and others. The Cadent roadworks were however completed later on Friday evening and normal traffic movements resumed.
Then came the week of 2 – 5 May when Severn Trent Water installed 4-way traffic lights all the time. STW had to also dig a trench across the A6 for improving water flow. It was not finished on time and although the traffic lights were removed on 8 May, STW are due to return and finish the job between 23 and 26 May!
For both sets of roadworks, social media went crazy and there were email complaints to the parish, county, and me.
Although I receive regular emails about forthcoming roadworks for the Gartree division, only summary information is provided – just dates and location usually. Warnings about future major roadworks mean the Gartree parish clerks and I usually receive notifications from the LCC Highways Co-ordinator for the Harborough District. The information can then be shared to parish websites and social media. No formal notification was received for these Cadent or Severn Trent A6 roadworks. Information about roadworks on roads across the country, not just Leicestershire, can be checked on the one.network free website.
BRIDGE DEMOLITION AND DIVERSION
Many households in the Kibworths, Wistow and Newton Harcourt should have received a letter from Network Rail including an invitation to a public information event at 6pm on 23 May in Kibworth Grammar School Hall.
SPC/18 is the Network Rail bridge that links the B1 Public Right of Way (PROW) footpath from Hillcrest Avenue down to School Road. This route links the primary school and Warwick Park with the High Street and Kibworth Mead Academy.
Network Rail are expecting to take some six months to demolish and rebuild the bridge and they have proposed a diversion route for pedestrians and wheeled users – via St Wilfrid’s Close, The Tithings, Church Road, Station Street and back to School Road via the B2 footpath next to the chemists.
I showed LCC highways and footpath officers this route as I am very concerned that it will be unsafe especially for young children being expected to cross a busy road twice. If you also have questions, please attend the event.
COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH
Thirteen volunteers were trained on 20 April in the safety aspects of standing in hi-vis jackets alongside major roads with a radar gun. We were shown how to record date/time, speed, registration number, make and colour of vehicles exceeding the limits at three risk assessed locations. One was on Albert Street in Kibworth Harcourt, and the other two were on A6 straights between Hall Close and Lodge Close, and by the cemetery layby.
Every evening for two weeks between 22 April and 5 May, after volunteers took it in turn to measure and record speeding vehicles during the day, the data was sent to the county council and to the police. A letter will be sent by the police to the owners of the vehicles notifying them that they had been caught speeding.