In our last Newsletter we mentioned that the City Council wants Aldi Stores to pay for traffic calming measures around their new supermarket in Gateacre Park Drive. We said that we are opposed to speed bumps, and that residents of the affected area (Gateacre Park Drive, Rockbourne Avenue, Quickswood Drive, etc.) are campaigning against them. It has emerged that 78% of those who responded to the Council's consultation exercise said that they disagreed with the traffic calming proposals. And 74% of the residents of Gateacre Park Drive - where speed cushions were proposed all the way up to Woolton Road - did not want them. Now the Council is suggesting a more limited scheme, with speed cushions (and a 20mph limit) on Gateacre Park Drive only - and only between Grange Lane and the existing 'traffic calmed' section.

We have been asking the City Council's Highways officers a number of questions. Why are Gateacre Brow and Belle Vale Road apparently considered more appropriate routes for through traffic, when Gateacre Park Drive was originally constructed for that very purpose? What alternatives to speed bumps (which we would describe as 'driver aggravating' rather than 'traffic calming') have been considered? Why cannot a mini roundabout and pedestrian refuges be constructed on Gateacre Park Drive, as they have been on Rose Brow? Why cannot the existing zebra be converted to a pelican/puffin crossing? As yet, neither we nor the residents' campaign group have obtained satisfactory answers to these questions.

A resident of Barnham Drive has gone further, and asked people about their attitude to the EXISTING traffic calming measures. This survey has revealed that 67% of the residents of the affected stretch of road would like to see the existing speed cushions REMOVED.

If you have any views on the traffic calming proposals, please let us - and your Councillors - know. Before the work goes ahead, the City Council will have to publish a Traffic Regulation Order and invite objections from all interested parties.

We have already asked our local (Woolton Ward) Councillors for their comments.

Cllr Malcolm Kelly
"My view is that the consultation exercise had to take place to gauge the opinion of local residents. That consultation exercise is now complete with the results showing a majority of residents against the speed cushions. I am therefore happy to support the Gateacre Society and local residents in opposing the speed cushions. ... I think that a mini roundabout at the junction of Gateacre Park Drive and Grange Lane could be beneficial and will do two things. It will allow for a smoother flow of traffic around that junction by removing excessive queuing on Grange Lane with traffic waiting to exit onto Gateacre Park Drive. It will cause traffic travelling along Gateacre Park Drive in either direction to slow down in order to negotiate the roundabout, helping to reduce the overall speed of traffic. ... I would like to see the zebra crossing on Gateacre Park Drive replaced with a pelican crossing ... which brings traffic to a complete stop at a red light rather than pedestrians having to anticipate whether a vehicle is going to stop for them or not."

Cllr Barbara Mace
"I know Malcolm has been in touch and I am in agreement with his comments and with your suggestions".

Cllr Mark Norris
"Since Highways Officers first proposed traffic calming measures for Gateacre Park Drive and the surrounding area I noted that it should be the residents who decide whether this should go ahead or not. I still maintain this. Whilst the proposed scheme will ultimately be approved or rejected by a Council Committee it is clear that the Highways Department have not been able to justify their desire to introduce traffic calming measures. The overwhelming feeling of local residents is one of rejection and as it stands I would be unable to support the proposals. I am in regular contact with the Head of Highways to convey my thoughts and the thoughts of residents about the topic and I will continue to speak with him about this."

Visit the residents' website for more information about their campaign

Right: An extract from the City Council's latest proposals map (see Key below)

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