Notes from a meeting with members of the Traffic Management Department of Somerset County Council on Thursday 6th April 2017.

NB. The full minutes can be viewed by application to the Clerk, Valerie Attwood.

Present were Councillors John Padfield, Malcolm Daniels, Kris Fosdike; Traffic Management Dept. members Chris Betty, Jeff Bunting; the Clerk took the minutes.

The meeting between Councillors and members of the Traffic Management Dept was to address matters raised in the letter sent by Stratton on the Fosse Parish Council, to various bodies regarding the lack of co-ordination between departments (police, highways etc). Plus the state of the drains and road surface etc and traffic issues, such as speeding.

Two reports had been compiled and sent to Somerset County Council. One by Cllr Fosdyke regarding sunken drains and noise of traffic traveling them and the other a more general report by Cllr Daniels.

We were assured that the road through Stratton on the Fosse would be top-dressed this summer.

The Parish Council’s main concern was safety. There had been many accidents in the Parish. SIDs (Speed Indicator Devices) had been employed and measurements taken at both ends of the village, largely because the Parish Council had been informed that a SID cannot be placed on a lighting pole. Jeff Bunting thought it to be a desirable place to have a SID in the centre of the village. Chris Betty thought a post could be installed for this purpose. Cllr Malcolm Daniels asked if the speed check could be extended to include 60/70 mph categories. Chris Betty would ask Dave Grabham if this was possible. [In fact Dave Graham later provided raw data for each vehicle indicating individual actual speeds - Editor]

It was suggested that the Parish Council should request a speed camera site survey. See meeting with Police Report here.

The first pinch-point North of Village is often hit by vehicles including lorries, as its edges are not obvious, particularly at night. Studs had been originally inserted, but many are not in evidence now. A check would be made to see if the studs are there and need to be uncovered. Will rectify when road resurfacing is in progress.

The pinch-point situated above Green Lane caused a problem to pedestrians, as the lorries were forced over toward the pavement putting pedestrians at risk. It had been agreed at a previous meeting with Highways, that this pinch-point was to be moved out on both sides so that it was nearer the centre of the road away from pedestrians. Unfortunately, only one side was moved; making the pinchpoint wider and by allowing a wider path for traffic making the situation worse, especially with realgar to speed. Chris Betty would speak with Charlie Higgins, Road Engineer.

It was noted by Jeff Bunting that vegetation encroached signs at times and needed to be cut back.
It was suggest that Signs were checked throughout the Village and ideally reported to Highways between January and February, so as to be cut back before March. (Between March and September hedges cannot be cut due to bird nesting).

Condition of the Road
It was observed that the tarmac between pinch-points wears away much more quickly making a depression, therefore councillors queried whether another material could be used.
This is a question that Charlie Higgins could answer.

Also it was noted that the seal around drains and other repairs was breaking up. Concern was expressed that repairs were not lasting very long. Chris Betty stated that this problem would be solved when the road was surface dressed.

Third Party Road Repairs
Councillors were assured that when Utilities made repairs that these were inspected by SCC, but that it was dependant on whether the department had the personnel available.
It was suggested that the Parish Council could identify and report to Highways any problem relating to unsatisfactory repairs. [Parishioners could help to identify problems and report them to the Clerk, Valerie Attwood, at an early stage. - Editor]

Nettlebridge Hill
The dangerous situation at Nettlebridge, on the tight bend going towards Shepton Mallet, was discussed. At a previous meeting with Highways looking at this stretch of road, drainage and chevrons and white lines were requested by the Parish Council.
The drainage had been completed and was, so far, a great success, with no reports of flooding since the work was completed. Councillors agreed that Highways had done a good job.
However the Chicanes at the very dangerous bend had not been delivered.
Chris Betty stated that he had a Budget to deal with any signing that needed to be improved and he would add this request to it. It would not be immediate, but would start within this Financial Year.

It was confirmed that when accidents occurred within the Parish, the Police collected information if an injury was involved and passed to Highways. Highways had a team in place to investigate. It was pointed out that this information did not reach the Parish Council