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Ottery Road closure update

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 2 Comments by Claire

At 8.15am this morning I met with Tom Vaughan, the Exeter and East Devon Area Manager for Devon County Council Highways again today, along with Ottery’s Mayor, Cllr Paul Bartlett, Glyn Dobson, Ian Holmes and EDDC Councillor, Roger Giles.

I invited Tom in response to calls on Ottery Matters Facebook page and from the Ottery Business Forum who understandably, wanted a highways officer to observe the town at peak travel time, particularly the problems on Jesu Street and Yonder Street, with traffic queuing up and trying to exit from Batts Lane.

The following was observed/agreed:

The least worst option
That the current dispersed traffic system is unfortunately, the least worst option. The advice of the senior highways officer was that a one way system could cause more problems than it solved, so would not be supported. 

Deliveries at peak travel times
The problems with deliveries arriving at local shops at peak hour were noted, with one delivery lorry staying for around 45 minutes on Jesu Street, causing cars to back up along Yonder Street and struggle to leave Batts Lane.

I have since asked the local highways officer liaise with the business in question, about staggering the deliveries out of peak travel hours. I have asked the business forum to also note this generally.

Double yellow lines in Jesu Street
The double yellow lines were observed while we were there, but I have asked once again civil enforcement officers to step up patrols, particularly along Yonder St and Jesu Street during peak hours. I have asked the local highways officer to keep me posted on their presence, as I would like to know when and how often they are visiting.

Roadworks down by the old factory site
I have asked highways officers to refuse all requests by the developers for traffic lights until the Silver Street road closure is lifted.

Tar Barrels
I have now managed to reach Antony Anning of the tar barrels committee. I have offered my support to help liaise with the authorities in any way I can.

The loading bay outside McColls
It isn’t possible to quickly temporarily move the loading bay here to stop people parking opposite the Batts Lane junction and causing problems for cars turning right onto Yonder St, so highways officers will instead allow designated three cars width of space to the left of the shop temporarily for loading and unloading.
I would be really grateful if this space could be used instead of the loading bay to alleviate problems from traffic exiting Batts Lane. I need to double check what is happening re temporary signage for the loading bay itself.

Town business
Traders are really struggling at the moment. I am only too well aware of this after attending a business forum meeting last week. I have asked highways officers to display ‘town open for business’ signs at main junctions, however, there is no budget for this. I have suggested to the forum that they liaise with the fire insurers for funding, or I can allocate some of my locality budget, which I am very happy to do.

Buses
There is now a temporary bus stop for Stagecoach buses at Sainsbury’s delivery entrance.  I understand that the Sidmouth to Whimple buses are dropping people off and picking people up outside Sainsbury’s.

Ottery Primary School
I have emailed Mark Gilronan, Ottery Primary School headteacher asking him whether he needs support from local highways officers or me on getting children to school safely during this rather chaotic time

Batts Lane

In other news, I have asked Highways officers to postpone the closure of Batts Lane next month, which an incredulous resident of Yonder Street notified me of this morning!  It was agreed before the fire. The postponement has been immediately agreed.

Broken bollard outside Poppies

This will be repaired asap. Especially important as it is causing a major trip hazard.

Roberts DIY

It is great news to see that Roberts DIY is open again. I’m really pleased to see Ros Browne out and about again and in operation!

The owners and tenants of the buildings affected by the fire

I hope to meet with Keith and Joy Richardson later this week to view the damage and talk about how I might help.  I have asked Halls Estate Agents for the contact details of the tenants who were affected and lost possessions in the fire.

It does look as though the road closure will be in place for some time, perhaps up to five months or so.  As a resident who lives just off Silver Street, I am as frustrated as anyone and repeatedly gets stuck in Batts Lane. Although it is really annoying, I hope we can be patient with each other while these essential works are carried out.  Fingers crossed the road will reopen sooner than we think!

Pic:  Observing the traffic this morning on Yonder Street and Batts Lane. From left to right. Roger Giles, me, Tom Vaughan, Glyn Dobson, Paul Bartlett and Ian Holmes.

Comments

1. At 01:38 am on 26th Sep Jenna Carpenter wrote:

Thanks Claire for all your hard work pulling this all together and for the update.  I hope everyone makes the effort to continue shopping in Ottery as it is hard enough for them to keep going even without the problems created by the fire.  Isn’t it about time that more support was given to business owners in the town.  A big reduction for a couple of years in current business rates would be a start.  Thanks again Claire.

2. At 06:41 pm on 26th Sep Chris Vanstone wrote:

Very concise, thanks.

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