Month: June 2020

Sandpits Road closed from 13 July 2020 to February 2021 for utility and safety works – New Road is one way from October to February

We have been expecting this work for a while. There has long been a problem with flooding of properties at Whitefriars off Sandpits Road. However, to allow sewers to realigned and their capacity increased, other utilities need to be moved – electricity, gas, telecoms and water. That’s a big task, hence the length of the closure – up to nine months. Severn Trent Water (STW) will also upgrade the sewers on New Road during the same contract.   Pedestrian access is unaffected. Access to the school and homes will be maintained, including for emergency services. As part of the works, STW will install a raised table outside the school entrance to slow traffic. That’s a long awaited road safety project.

Shropshire Council still hasn’t put the emergency into climate emergency – I despair at its slow pace

Shropshire Council must have been taking lessons from Sir Humphrey Appleby. You will remember him as the permanent secretary who advised and cajoled the hapless James Hacker. When the politics of the moment were tough and when decisions were stalled by inaction and indecision, Sir Humphrey would recommend a review, a committee, anything that would not disrupt the inertia that drives all bureaucracies towards their natural state of inaction. That is all too often Shropshire Council’s approach to the environmental issues of our day. The council declared a climate emergency in May 2019. But we learnt from Shropshire Council’s scrutiny meeting a week ago that the council’s action plan on climate change will not be considered by the council until September, 18 months after the climate emergency was declared. Any council that took climate change seriously, would have presented its plan at last December’s meeting, or at its meeting in February.

Shropshire Council agrees to limit road closures for coronavirus in Ludlow and spins the reason why

As I explained this morning, Shropshire Council had made something of a mess of introducing road closures to promote social distancing in Ludlow. Today, the council issued a press release, which I copy below. This abandons any idea of closing High Street at any point. It also abandons the idea that King Street should be closed seven days 10am to 3pm. The closure would only be on Friday and Saturday. The press release says this is “following concerns raised by local councillors and the town council”. That’s spin worthy of Alastair Campbell. It is now clear that despite two town council meetings formally agreeing Friday and Saturday closure only, Shropshire Council decided that it would go for a seven day closure regardless. It was only under pressure over three days that Shropshire Council backed down.

Shropshire Council withdraws seven day closures for King Street and High Street in favour of agreed two day closures for King Street

The last seven days have not been Shropshire Council’s finest hours. Especially for its highway’s managers. Last Thursday or thereabouts, it issued an experimental traffic regulation order closing King Street and High Street every day of the week between 10am and 3pm. On Friday afternoon it issued a press release confirming the closure from Monday morning. Only yesterday afternoon, did highway’s managers admit that the experimental TRO was wrong. We had agreed closure on Fridays and Saturdays during the middle of the day. And only for King Street. Not for High Street. Not for Sunday to Thursday. The result of the confusion is that the agreed King Street road closure, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 3pm, will not be in place until next week.

I don’t believe this. It does not accord with the facts. It will be a closure on Frday and Saturday only. (In an earlier version of the article, the headline read that the roads would be closed to 7pm. Apologies.) On Friday, Shropshire Council said King Street and High Street would be closed in the middle of the day seven days a week. That’s despite the portfolio holder for transport, Steve Davenport telling councillors that the closure would be just Fridays and Saturdays. And would only apply to King Street. That’s what will all think will be the case. But Shropshire Council has published details of the seven day road closures. Either highways officers don’t know what is going on or the cabinet doesn’t know what is going on. Does anyone in Shropshire Council know what is going on? A senior manager of highways this afternoon, three days after the issue was raised, said: “I’m talking this through with colleagues as I type, then I will update later by email, and then intend to call later or first thing in the morning in order to ensure all are aware and any solution is shared and hopefully agreed by all.” Make…

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