Tag Archives: roads

Woodbridge Thoroughfare: have your say!

Members of Thoroughfare Working Group by the current impossibly complicated sign:
L to R: Jill Barratt (Choose Woodbridge, retailer); Rick Chapman (Choose Woodbridge, retailer, resident); Graeme Hawkes (SNT); Maggie Chapman (Choose Woodbridge, retailer, resident); Emma Greenhouse (disabled resident); Caroline Page (County Councillor); Julian Royle (resident); Geoff Holdcroft (Town & District Councillor). Absent: Eamonn O’Nolan (Town Councillor), Tony Buckingham (SCC Highways).

Join the Community Consultation to make Woodbridge Thoroughfare better!

Interested in helping decide how best to improve the Thoroughfare? Come to Woodbridge Library, 25th September to 1 October, and help define the best way forward.

We all know that the Thoroughfare – Woodbridge’s vibrant retail heart – has had increasing problems with traffic and parking in recent years. Residents, visitors, shoppers and traders have all expressed concern.

We also know why.

The underlying problem is that both access and parking is governed by a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) that’s decades out of date and no longer fit for purpose.  It no longer reflects the needs and usage of people in the Thoroughfare.

So that’s the problem. But how to solve it? Everyone has different needs, concerns and priorities. As a result, the issue has been going round in circles for years. To break this deadlock I brought together a group that represented all major players – clearly the only way to find a workable solution to these problems was by working together. We don’t want to disadvantage anybody.

And after ten months discussion, research  and evidence-taking, we have managed to come up with three workable options.

All the ideas are based around a simple, easy-to-understand sign which is what the current TRO doesn’t allow for – but there are three different versions. We’ll be showing these options, explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each – and asking for you to help us decide.”

The Woodbridge Thoroughfare Working group is  cross-party, and involves Woodbridge councillors at county, district and town level, as well as local police, traders, residents and representatives from Suffolk County Council’s Highway team.

If you are not able to attend at the library you will be able to see and comment on the consultation documents online , in this blog from 25 September.

Woodbridge Thoroughfare Community Consultation:  Woodbridge Library, 25th September to 1 October 2017 (and online at this blog)

You don’t own the road – we share it

The other day I was cycling  along a quiet,  midmorning Kesgrave Road when I was hailed by a driver. She had stopped me specifically to tell me that I shouldn’t cycle on the road!

Why? Simply, because she didn’t like it.

I was incandescent. I reminded her that cyclists are perfectly entitled to use the road, and she grew angry that I was too busy to listen to ‘her side’.  Lady, you HAVE no ‘side’. Stopping a cyclist because you are in a larger and heavier vehicle to tell them not to cycle where you are driving for no better reason than you are ignorant of the law is  not a matter for discussion. It is harassment.

And that IS against the law.

Bad DriverImagine how this driver would have felt if her car were cornered by an articulated lorry whose driver wanted her to stop driving on the road?  If only I had a magic wand I would have conjured one up just so she got a taste of what it feels like.

Most people on the roads are – largely – considerate.  Most are aware that a bit of give and take is necessary. And most are – largely – law abiding. But for the very few drivers who are unaware of the law and uncaring of other road users, here is a brief reminder:

1)      Bicycles are allowed on British roads unless there is a sign saying otherwise;

2)      Just because a cyclist is on a bicycle and not in a car doesn’t mean they don’t have somewhere quite as important to go as you do. You are not entitled to prevent them from getting there;

3)      Yes, sometimes a cyclist will go faster than you do in your car. This is generally because you are in a traffic jam. As they are not contributing to this jam you have no reason to feel miffed;

4)      And it is NOT appropriate for a car driver to feel entitled to bully a cyclist because they are in a bigger, heavier vehicle

5)      O, and that ‘Road Tax’ you say you pay and which entitles you to take a high hand with cyclists? It was abolished in 1937. Most cyclists also drive, so they pay Vehicle Excise Duty too, which is what you are talking about. Personally, I don’t drive, but I pay half of the munificent annual £140 it costs to licence the family 2CV.

Which has never once made me feel entitled to say ” Get off my road!” to other road- users.

Time to think grit again

OK, it hasn’t started to snow yet, but some of the pavements are already slippery. Over the last three years I’ve been funding grit bins for those Woodbridge neighbourhoods who asked for them and now is the time to start using a handful or two of the contents to keep crossings and bus stops safe.  in fact I nipped out before 8 this morning and gritted the Duke of York bus stop and crossing this morning. Just in case.

And can I please reiterate what I’ve said in the past,  – slippery footways are an issue not for some imaginary ‘them’ but for all of us.  Lets face it, we can easily grit a local pavement or two when we see the need. At this time of year the people who run the gritting lorries are out day and night trying to keep as much of the thousands of miles of Suffolk roads passable as possible.

Friends driving into Suffolk from adjoining counties have often commented on the winter difference when they cross our county boundary. Suffolk is clearly  doing things right! Yet it seems to be fashionable amongst many Suffolk car-drivers to criticise our heroic road gritters pretty well without thought or reflection.  Me – I have nothing but the utmost admiration for them.  Suffolk’s highways gritting  service is run via a handful of people working throughout the nights and they do a fantastic job – without expectation of any kind of thanks at all.

Now that Balfour Beatty is set to take over Suffolk’s highway road maintenance services, we must hope that they will continue to support our winter roads – and the gritters themselves –  at the current level of excellence!