Closure Purton Road Casa Paulo

TRO - Consultation on proposed – Lydiard Millicent, Purton and Swindon – Speed Limits, Prohibition of Driving, Weight Limits and Waiting Restrictions Issue


Council is asked to respond to the consultation on the proposed Road Traffic Orders, relating to the revised road layout for Ridgeway Farm and surrounding roads.
The deadline for responding to the consultation is 14 May 2018. However, it has been agreed that this will be extended to 18 May 2018 for the Council to reply.Therefore, Council is requested to respond promptly following its meeting on 17 May 2018, and proposed text is included for consideration as Appendix 1.
In addition, comments are sought from Councillors, particularly members of the Highways Working Group on the speed limitations for the stretches of roads referred to in Order 4.

The proposals
Wiltshire Council (“WC”) propose to make eight Road Traffic Orders. A link to these can be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/troconsultations/troconsultationlydiardmillicentpurtonswindon.htm

These all relate to the Ridgeway Farm Development, or consequential changes to the road layout. Those which specifically relate to Lydiard Millicent are (adopting the terminology used in the Press Notice)—

Order 3, which effectively reduces the speed limit from 40 mph to 30mph along the southern part of the Purton Road and around the Casa Paolo junction. Rerouted B 4553, Cowleaze, will also be 30 mph from 42 meters north east of its junction with Purton Road. The Spine Road/Buffer, which runs through the Estate, will be designated 20 mph (covered by Order 2). (See Appendix 2 for the proposed revised limits).

Orders 4 and 5, which effectively reduce the speed limit from 50mph to 40 mph for the more northerly part of the Washpool Road, where it is currently 50 mph and the most westerly part of Cowleaze, which leads into the Estate.


Order 4 refers also to the reduction in speed from 50 mph to 40 mph of the following stretches of road—
C70 Washpool, Lydiard Millicent and Swindon. From its junction with C28 Tewkesbury Way to a point 210 metres north of its junction with Old
Shaw Lane
C28 Tewkesbury Way, Lydiard Millicent. From a point 160 metres west of its junction with C70 Washpool to its junction with Swindon Borough Boundary
C16 Stone Lane, Lydiard Millicent. From a point 420 metres west of its junction with C70 Washpool to a point 245m east of its junction with Buryfields.

Observations are invited, as the writer hitherto understood some of these roads already to be 40 mph. If necessary, the reply to consultation could request the clarification of the speed limits for the remaining sections of Stone Lane, Tewkesbury Way and Washpool Road.

Order 6, which will effectively stop up the “old” stretch of the Washpool road where the new Washpool Road/Cowleaze junction will be created (see Appendix 3) and part of Purton Road – from the Buffer/Spine Road to Cowleaze which will meet up with the Sparcells Roundabout (Appendix 4).


Order 7, which introduces a 7.5 tonne maximum gross weight limit (except for access) on the Purton road (former B4553) from its junction with the Buffer/Swinley Drive and part of the Washpool road, basically from the Casa Paolo junction to the realigned Washpool junction (and as shown in Appendix 5). 

Concerns and issues
Speed, HVGS, Road safety – pedestrians, cyclists, cars.
Minimise further loss of amenity to residents.

Residents are concerned at the volume of traffic, including lorries and school buses on narrow country roads, potentially made worse by the new development, and any potential further developments north of Ridgeway Farm. Although there is currently a weight restriction in place, south of the Casa Paolo junction, this is
sometimes ignored, and residents in Stone Lane, Washpool, and Common Platt frequently report problems with HVGs using this as a shortcut to Swindon.

Washpool Road also suffers from being on several school bus runs, with the size and number of school buses increasing in recent years. Verges are being constantly eroded, residents report damage to parked cars, fences and road traffic signage. The Casa Paolo junction is an accident blackspot. There are no pavements in the area and walking anywhere (even from one house to another) is very dangerous. This is exacerbated by the topography of the area, with curves and dips in the road, which reduce visibility. Some cars travelling north from the Washpool side of Casa Paolo, open-up on the short straight stretch of road unaware of (or unconcerned by) pedestrians, cyclists or horse-riders, who may effectively be hidden in the dip. Likewise, motorists coming south
from Bremhill have reduced visibility because of the bend in the road.

There are three footpaths, which intersect the Washpool Road, PURT75, 76 and 77 (see Appendix 6), creating safety issues for
pedestrians, especially when Ridgeway Farm residents start to use them. These footpaths form a link to Purton, which removes the
need to use the busy, dangerous, Washpool Road.


Residents’ concern is exacerbated by other factors—

- uncertainty over what is happening to the Casa Paolo junction (which Taylor Wimpy, in their design and access statement dated June 2011, describe as “a hazardous junction”)
-  Ridgeway Farm residents’ concerns that the estate roads will be the main through-fare for traffic, including HVGs. This is an emotive topic. However, some LMPC residents fear that this may create pressure on WC to renege on the original plans, and the proposed limits and restrictions set on in the draft orders.
LMPC residents say that the width of the Estate Road is still wider than the narrow country roads on which they live.
-  Changes to the original 2010 plans, following representations from LMPC and others, which means that only part of the Purton Road (between Swinley Drive and Mead Way) will now be closed to traffic.
-  Removal of the roundabout at the top of Swinley Drive now means that traffic travelling west along the Purton Road, does so at greater speed.


In general, residents welcome the proposed restrictions and revised speed limits, particularly the reduction along the length of the Purton Road, which remains open. However, residents also feel that the proposals are not sufficient to address all their concerns. They would like to see—


- Traffic calming measures on the Purton Road, to slow down traffic travelling west from the Swinley Road junction.
-  The extension of the 30mph speed limit on the Washpool Road from its junction with Cowleaze.
- Traffic calming measures on the Washpool Road to make it safer for pedestrians; some form of raised curbing and possibly a chicane/island to allow safer access to footpath PURT76.
- Clarification over what is happening to the Casa Paolo junction. 

Background

Taylor Wimpey’s pre-applications plans for Ridgeway Farm showed Purton Road closed from Casa Paolo to Mead Way (November 2010).
However, this was subsequently revised as part of the appeal process (planning reference10/04575), a revision which LMPC then noted with
“pleasure”.
Subsequent applications for reserved matters (N/13/01615/REM) and Phase 1 infrastructure (N/13/01141/REM), and Phase 2 infrastructure
(14/05859/REM) followed. The latter application showed the proposed road layout and two options for the Casa Paolo junction, 0440/GA/601 with a roundabout, and 0440/GA/600A as a junction.

The decision notice states that the development is to be carried out in accordance with plans, and both these plans are referred to. At
the time, Purton Parish Council raised comments on road width of spine road on the Ridgeway Farm Estate. LMPC raised no objections.
Comment has latterly been made on the possibility of closing Washpool Road north of Casa Paolo. However, there appears to be
no evidence of this having been actively progressed or considered as part of the documented planning process.

Recommendation
The Council should write to WC expressing support for the proposed orders and stressing the need for these measures as part of the agreed plans for Ridgeway Farm.
It should also request WC to consider additional measures, which would increase road safety and to mitigate the effects of development and increased traffic volumes on our residents.
A proposed form of words is set out in Appendix 1.