An open village meeting was held at WoW village hall on 22nd January, to discuss possible measures to reduce the number of road traffic collisions at the crossroads where West Thorpe meets Back Lane.
Suzanne Heydon, Head of Network Management at Nottinghamshire County Council, spoke to a gathering of about 25 parishioners. She described various proposals arising from an earlier meeting (on 6th November), in the light of a subsequent traffic survey and NCC’s costings and analysis.
The creation of an offset junction, with the entrance to Hades Lane diverted to the east, would cost about £800k, and could introduce problems associated with stationary traffic waiting to turn off Back Lane. Re-engineering of the existing junction would also be very costly, in the region of £100k. The desirability of other proposals was assessed by a show of hands, and the Parish Council was asked to discuss the options further at their next meeting, and to settle on a preferred choice for recommendation to the NCC for action.
At their 31st January meeting, the PC decided in favour of three measures that seem to offer effectiveness at a proportionate financial cost, and which command general support. The first is to change the signage at the junctions of West Thorpe and of Hades Lane with Back Lane from ‘Give Way’ to ‘Stop’. The second is to establish a 50 mph speed limit zone along Back Lane from close to Kingston Brook to east of its junction with Main Street, together with the parts of West Thorpe, London Lane and Main Street leading to Back Lane that lie outside the 30 mph speed limit zone. The third is to upgrade the crossroads warning signs on the approach from the Wymeswold direction, to make them more visible.
The first two measures would require the approval of the Department for Transport, and the police. If these changes were not approved, or if (after due course of time) they were found to be insufficiently effective, then further measures could be considered. These include a traffic-activated, flashing ‘Slow Down’ sign on the approach from Wymeswold. Although this would be generally welcomed, its cost is estimated in the region £12 to £15k, and it is likely that half this sum would be sought from the Parish. The installation of rumble strips on the Wymeswold approach attracted only moderate support: it is possible that they would have only limited effectiveness, and they might create a noise nuisance.
A suggestion of installing low-height bollards on the verges beside Back Lane Cottages and Westhorpe House, to deter parking within the sight-lines from the end of West Thorpe, met with little support, as did a proposal for a traffic-activated ‘Slow Down’ sign on West Thorpe.
At the conclusion, gratitude was expressed to NCC, for listening to parishioners’ concerns and ideas, and for bringing forward their considered proposals, and to Councillor John Cottee for his promotion of this process.
Don Aldiss, Willoughby Parish Council.
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