General, News, Traffic

Traffic Calming update – Councillor Leigh Hunt

Councillor Leigh Hunt has kindly provided the latest news on the provision of a traffic calming scheme in the village. The text of her latest Clifton ‘District Diary’ which features in the rugby Advertiser has been copied below.

Clifton District Diary

As regular readers of this column will know, you writer has been liaising with the developers of both the Rugby Radio Station site and DIRFT III to bring forward traffic calming for Clifton. I have now seen the draft proposals – and they appear to meet all of the requirements that we have stated. It is difficult to describe what is set out on a plan, but please bear with me as I take you on a journey through Clifton and describe the measures that will be put in place.

As you approach the village along Rugby Road there will be a series of speed cushions to slow down the traffic. These will be of the type where there are two pads rather than one continuous hump across the road. The reason for this is that it is a quieter solution, and one that is better for busses to navigate. The central part of the village will be a 20Mph zone, and this will be enforced through a variety of physical measures, starting as you approach the school. Immediately before the school there will be a raised platform, with a puffin crossing at the school itself. There will be further raised platforms through to the centre of the village and at the junction of Main Street, Church Street and Lilbourne Road will also be raised. It is hoped that the central refuge at this point will be retained so as to slow down traffic, make it safer for pedestrians to cross, and to make it more difficult for HGVs to get through the village. Further speed cushions will slow traffic on Church Street and the 20Mph zone will continue up to roughly where the 30Mph signs used to be.

As you leave the centre of the village on Lilbourne Road, there will be a raised pad near the car park, then speed cushions out past the triangle at the junction of Lilbourne Road with Hillmorton Lane and Buckwell Lane. At the moment this junction is not raised, but with the speed that traffic comes through from Hillmorton this is something that probably ought to be considered.

Going up Hillmorton Lane, the stretch from the triangle to just past the junction with South Road will need to be illuminated, as a 20Mph zone cannot be put in place without street lighting. There will also be speed cushions on this stretch and the 20Mph zone will end roughly where the driveway to Clifton Hall exits. Further speed cushions will be provided along South Road. North Road will also be in the 20Mph zone, and will have painted markings to indicate this. I did ask the question, but was informed that owing to the nature of the road it would not be possible to extend the 20Mph zone further down Rugby Road.

This is a major step forward for Clifton, and there will be a consultation, probably in the Townsend Memorial Hall, soon. The intention is to get everything in place and completed before the end of 2016. It should be noted that this is not a pick and mix solution. In order to have a 20Mph zone the whole of the area outlined above must be covered and the measures proposed are what is legally required for this to happen. Therefore if any element were to be taken away then the whole scheme would fail.

Your writer is also pushing for a weight limit to be applied throughout the zone, which would deter some of the very large lorries from coming through the village.

A further area for consideration is the St Thomas Cross junction. It is not easy to see what can legally be done here. A roundabout has been suggested by some residents, but that would make matters worse. It would make it virtually impossible for residents of Newton to get out of the village as the priority would be for Newton Manor Lane, and it would also encourage more rat-running. WCC are to carry out further work to investigate options.

One further area that needs attention is Vicarage Hill. At the moment cars are parking before the junction with Avon Street. Some park almost completely on the pavement, which makes it

impossible for prams or disabled buggies to pass; whilst others park almost completely on the road, which forces traffic onto the wrong side of the road on a blind bend. Your writer has suggested that a solution might be to paint lines for car parking which could be part on the pavement and part on the road (as happens elsewhere in the county). If the centre line of the road was repainted to give room for traffic from both directions, with double white lines in the middle, then the traffic would be slowed down, which would also make it safer for residents of Avon Street to exit.