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Swan Lane, Third Road & Wood Lane Repairs and Improvements Update

See below email that received on 4th March in response to the Community Association’s email 7th February.

From: Clewer, Richard
Sent: 04 March 2021 08:06
Cc: Benson, Rachael
Subject: FW: Outstanding Repairs & Improvements to Swan Lane & Wood Lane, Fairfield

Dear Mr Palmer

I am sure you will appreciate that covid restriction together with the recent floods and bad weather have both severely restricted and pressurised our operational ability.

An inspector has visited site this week and new orders have been raised to jet the blocked gullies reported in both Swan Lane and Third Road together with the repair of the damaged covers. Whilst I have yet to receive firm dates for this I would hope that it will be done within the next 28 days.

As previously explained we are unable to dictate to road users directions they wish to take to access the commercial units however signs have been ordered to indicate to drivers leaving the commercial units the direction of the M5 via Wildmoor Lane. I will follow up with the traffic management team as to where we are with these.

Changes to local speed limits require the support of the local member you may wish to discuss with Cllr Webb the speed limit in Swan Lane. However although Swan Lane is derestricted drivers are expected to drive to the conditions of the road. Swan Lane is a typical rural county lane with little development of it and therefore will fit the current speed limits according to the Dept for Transport guidance.

As previously reported, we are aware of the signs directing traffic away from Wildmoor Mill and that Third Road has been assessed.

Mr. Clewer’s email does not mention the blocked Wood Lane gully.  It is not clear whether the jetting of the gullies on Swan Lane will include the unblocking of grids, replacing a broken grid, clearing the blocked gully near the gas pipeline, reconstructing the parts of Swan Lane that have eroded away, filling in pot holes and preventing further mother slide on to the road.

The response to the Swan Lane speed limit is poor; the speed of traffic driving along Swan Lane and the need for a reduced speed limit has been mentioned to County Councillor Shirley Webb previously and the Department of Transport guidance Setting local speed limits paragraph 127 states:

127) Table 2 sets out recommended speed limits for roads with a predominant motor traffic flow function. If walking, cycling, horse riding, community or environmental factors are particularly important on any road section, consideration should be given to using the lower limit.

Table 2 Speed limits for single carriageway roads [footnote 8] with a predominant motor traffic flow function

Speed limit (mph)Where limit should apply:
60Recommended for most high quality strategic A and B roads with few bends, junctions or accesses.
50Should be considered for lower quality A and B roads that may have a relatively high number of bends, junctions or accesses. Can also be considered where mean speeds are below 50 mph, so lower limit does not interfere with traffic flow.
40Should be considered where there are many bends, junctions or accesses, substantial development, a strong environmental or landscape reason, or where there are considerable numbers of vulnerable road users.

The Department of Transport guidance suggests that Swan Lane can be considered for a 40 mph speed limit, due to, and not exclusively to, the bends, landscaping (that provide low light) and vulnerable road users – due to the nature of the road the speed limit could be lowered even further, Swan Lane between the “Devil’s Steps” and Mill Lane forms part of the Monarch’s Way and is used by walkers, including older people walking their dogs, and Swan Lane is often used by horse riders.

Residents may wish to lobby County Councillor Webb and Worcestershire County Council requesting the required repairs and improvements.