MPs are calling for a ban on pavement parking across England – I agree

Today the House of Commons transport select committee has called for a nationwide ban on vehicles parking on pavements, except on designated streets. Currently the ban only applies in London. MPs have been examining the issue over the summer. They conclude in today’s report that the government’s inaction on introducing a ban “has left communities blighted by unsightly and obstructive pavement parking and individuals afraid or unable to leave their homes or safely navigate the streets.”

I agree with the committee. It is time to reclaim our pavements from thoughtless car and van drivers. I would welcome the extension of the laws that apply in London to the rest of the country. It is, as the MPs say, time to act.

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Shropshire Council to launch new consultations on its parking strategy, including changes in Ludlow

The new parking regime has had a lot of “teething troubles”. Adjustments to car parking have already been made in Shrewsbury. Now more changes are about to go out to consultation. The changes were set out in a paper approved by cabinet last Wednesday. For Ludlow, the main proposed changes are:

  • Two on-street parking residents permits for each property
  • A change in boundaries between the Red Zone and Blue Zone to move College Street residents into the Red Zone
  • One digital on-street permit for each holiday let property
  • A different way of capping the number of season and resident permit in Galdeford car park

These changes are welcome. But they are not likely to implemented until next spring. Other essential changes such as the high cost of on-street parking in the Red Zone will not be discussed until a promised review of the car parking regime in November.

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Shropshire Council says that a development of just eight homes on the Linney will lead to a loss of more than 600 trees – it is likely to be fewer

The numbers are shocking and I am sure they will be challenged by the developer. A calculation by Shropshire Council’s tree team suggests that around 644 trees will have been lost during the lengthy seven year saga to develop the site at the rear of Linney House on the banks of the Corve, if the current development of eight homes is given the green light to go ahead. This is a high end estimate. It more likely that only a third of that number will be lost without replanting.

The council’s tree team notes that only an indicative landscape plan for planting replacement trees has been submitted with the latest application. It now up to the developer to flesh out the details of compensatory planting. Even then, I doubt that the full number of trees can be replaced. Not for the first time recently, this raises the question about how developers can be obliged to compensate for loss of biodiversity.

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Good news as more than 80 potholes to be repaired in Ludlow overnight next Monday to Wednesday (updated)

Update 9 September. Due to the wet weather, repairs will not now begin until Thursday 12 September.

Good news on the pothole front. Our town is riddled with potholes and a bumpy ride is quite normal. While a few of the big potholes have been patched, the backlog remains large. The council’s consultants have now identified 82 defects within Ludlow that require repair. These are shown on the map below. They will be repaired overnight on 9-11 September.

Shropshire Council’s highways contractor, Kier, will be using a new technique to quickly repair potholes. Under the process, which the highways team says is “extremely quiet”, potholes are cleaned out, filled with a material called Texpatch and covered with a patch. This is expected to provide a longer-lasting, smoother, neater finish compared to traditional pothole repairs. The process has already been trialled in Whitchurch and Market Drayton.

This is welcome news. Potholes are a hazard and they damage vehicles. They also give a poor impression of our town to visitors. It’s great that these potholes are to be repaired in time for the Food Festival which begins on 13 September.

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Another five trees are set to be felled in Ludlow – we must ensure they are replaced, elsewhere if need be

This article is triggered by an application from housing provider Connexus to fell five trees in the heart of Ludlow. It is written amid growing concern about the loss of trees within and around the town without replacement. It is widely accepted that we are in a climate emergency. Trees have a vital role to pay in our fight against global warming.

The latest application is to fell five semi-mature trees in a small social housing community on Chandler’s Close near the Ludlow Mascall Centre. These trees do not pose an immediate danger. But they are growing too large. Their roots are already lifting the pavements and could damage the foundations of the bungalows. Two trees also threaten an old stone wall, which is now being supported by rubble bags after a partial collapse.

Having spoken to residents and looked at the damage the trees have caused and will potentially cause, I am convinced there is no alternative to felling four of them. But there is no space to replace the trees on Chandlers Close. That is why we need to encourage everyone who fells a tree to find a way of planting at least one tree to replace it. Two would be better. If there is no space in the same street or garden, replacement trees should be planted elsewhere.

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