Category Archives: Roads

We are against quarries – says Parish Council

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An editorial comment in the Thorney Post came under fire at Monday’s Parish Council meeting.

The editorial, asking why there wasn’t a public outcry over the number of quarries being developed between the village and Peterborough, was criticised by Russ Bevington, who said the Parish Council has consistently objected to plans.

“We don’t want extra lorries in the village, we don’t want the congestion, but there is very little we can do,” he said.

“The Parish Council has objected on traffic grounds, but the Highways Agency will never say the A47 can’t cope, no matter how many extra lorries use the road.”

Other councillors asked if there was any benefit to the village from the quarries. They were told there’s a £1 per tonne tax which goes to a national fund and communities affected by quarrying can apply for grants. Thorney had applied in the past but had not been successful.

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The Parish Council has said no to a skateboard park in the village.

Recently re-elected city councillor Steve Allen said four people had raised this with him when he was canvassing and he wondered if one might be built on public space at the new Park Farm housing development at the eastern end of the village.

Margaret Long said a skate park had figured quite low down the list when surveys were done to see what type of play equipment was wanted in the park.

Russ Bevington said planning rules would not allow a skate park to be built within 100 metres of homes, so finding somewhere suitable would be difficult.

Ray Wood said if one was built there would be no end of complaints.

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The village’s fight against dog mess continues …

The Parish Council has obtained stencils which will allow them to paint warning signs on pavements where fouling is a particular problem. A bin for dog poo is to be installed on the green space at the corner of Chestnut Drive and Berberis Close.

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Police are to conduct speed checks along Whittlesey Road in response to complaints about speeding in the extended 30mph limit.

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John Bartlett has been re-elected chair of Thorney Parish Council. Margaret Long was re-elected as vice-chair.

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The war memorial at the Bedford Hall is suffering from the effects of weathering and its lettering needs to be re-filled.

Ray Wood brought the issue to the attention of Thorney Parish Council, who said the memorial was the property of the Royal British Legion.

Sheila Reeve, who is a member of the legion, said she would raise it at their next meeting and Mr Wood said the council should be prepared to help with cost of repairs.

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Bollards along The Causeway will not be removed.

Peterborough City Council has suggested their removal to declutter the road following its downgrade from trunk road status.

But the parish council wants them retained. There was concern that cars would be parked on the verge and that gipsies may also move in.

Members did agree the bollards were very dirty and said they should be washed.

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A quote of just under £3,000 has been obtained for making new replica level-crossing gates for Kingsline Close.

Two further quotes are due this month and the council will then apply for grants from the wind-farm community fund.

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Rotten village signs will cost around £250 each to be recast in metal.

Andy Bunyan reported figures to the parish council meeting on Monday. The signs would then have to be painted.

The current signs were erected in 1980 paid for by private donations and cost £1,500 for the four.

There had been a suggestion at a previous meeting that the four signs should be replaced by just one, sited on the grass verge at the crossroads.

Russ Bevington said he thought removing a sign from the far end of the village and erecting one at the crossroads would exacerbate the “us and them” feeling among some villagers.

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A heritage-style streetlight for Abbey Place will cost the village £4,500, it was reported.

The light was missed when the City Council installed the new streetlights in the “heritage part” of the village as it was inaccurately listed as being in Wisbech Road.

Ray Wood said no-one seemed to have noticed and he didn’t think the parish council should pay any more.

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Barbed wire has been strung across a stile on a public footpath linking Whittlesey Road with Toneham. The wire was put up when cows were turned out into the field. It has been reported to the City Council.

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Allotment holders should contribute to the cost of an access road, it was agreed by the Parish Council.

The current road was been churned up over winter, making it inaccessible for all but 4x4s.

The parish wants to lay heavy-duty mesh which will prevent the ground being churned up and allow grass to grow through, but the cost might be £6,000.

Andy Bunyan said he thought the City Council should pay as it was their land. Steve Allen suggested the best way forward was to put rents up so that the allotment holders made a contribution, helping pay for the access road over a number of years. He thought the City and Parish Councils could also contribute.

An accurate quote is being sought.

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Costs are being obtained to buy privet hedge plants to cover ugly railings at the crossroads.

Free hawthorn hedge plants are available, but Thorney Parish Council wants evergreen privet to hide the railings and match the hedges at the house opposite and the Rose & Crown.

Thorney Parish Council snippets

Reports from Thorney Parish Council meeting on Monday, January 14.

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Allotment holders can’t reach their plots due to the muddy track across the field at the bottom of Gas Lane.

Helen Baker said her car, with two children on board had got stuck in the mud. She asked if the Parish Council could improve the surface of the track.

She was told the field was owned by Peterborough City Council and rented to a farmer who would object to a track being laid.

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Sheila Reeves has been co-opted onto Thorney Parish Council.

Sheila, who worked for Peterborough City Council before she retired, has lived in the village for 16 years.

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People outside the village living alongside the A47 are prisoners in their own homes, Les Lazell told Thorney Parish Council’s January meeting.

He was seeking their support to campaign for a walkway alongside the main road to the east of the village. He said there had been a footpath, but this was removed when the road was widened.

“The road is dangerous,” he said. “There’s an accident every five days. If someone was in a mobility scooter or using a pushchair, they’d have no choice but to go on the road. What happens if you break down?”

The Parish Council said this was a Highways Agency matter and Mr Lazell should write to his MP.

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The Parish Council is to purchase a notice board for £479. The board will be placed inside the bus stop in front of the Duke of Bedford School and will be big enough for four A4 sheets.

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A local tradesman will be asked if it’s possible to repair the level crossing gates by Kingsline Close.

The gates are rotten, but it was felt they could be repaired in-situ by using wood filler or splicing in new wood.

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One of Thorney’s village signs is to be taken down to obtain quotes from a specialist company to provide new signs in cast aluminium.

The signs are becoming rotten and replacing all four signs may cost £20,000.

Dorothy Halfhide suggested that the four signs might be replaced by one on The Green and there was an alternative suggestion that the grassed area next to the traffic lights would be a better location.

A decision will be made once alternative costs have been obtained.

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Thorney Parish Council is to give the church £1,300 to remove a dangerous tree in the graveyard and also cut back another. The total cost of the work is £1,800, but John Bartlett said the church had been given an anonymous donation of £500.

Some parish councillors thought the church ought to pay the entire amount, but a motion to that effect was defeated.

Ray Wood said if the tree was in his garden, the Parish wouldn’t pay.

Russ Bevington agreed that the diocese ought to pay but said they wouldn’t. “The tree is in a dangerous state and needs to come down quickly. The graveyard is a major village amenity, tourist attraction and is used by many people to walk through to the park.”

He said part of the order was for a replacement tree to be planted and he thought this should be an orchard-type tree that wouldn’t grow too tall.

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A new hedge along the field boundary of the cemetery is being planted on January 26. Any villagers willing to help are invited to come along.

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New LED street lighting will be installed along Northside in February,

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The extended 30mph speed limit on Whittlesey Road is not being obeyed, Dorothy Halfhide told the council. She said she’d been overtaken by two cars travelling very fast and there was nothing from the end of the village to tell drivers it was still a 30 limit.

The city council is being asked to paint 30-signs on the road.

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Ray Wood asked if the Parish Council could see the surveys on the state of Woburn Drive. He was concerned that the road had not been resurfaced following completion of the Thorney Meadows estate.

He also raised concerns about parents parking illegally when picking their children up from the Duke of Bedford School. “They take no notice of double yellow lines,” he said.

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Thorney Parish Council is to hold a closed meeting on January 24 to agree their policy towards Bedford Hall.

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The Parish Council will write to the police thanking them for their efforts when a man went missing in the village last week.

Russ Bevington said four vans, eight policemen and a helicopter with infra-red camera were deployed and a family-liaison officer had been with the family throughout. Along with numerous villagers who turned out to help after seeing an appeal on Facebook, a thorough search of the village had been done.

Dorothy Halfhide said the police had been surprised by the village’s response. Happily, the missing person was safe.

Roads may be repaired following cash boost

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Government cash earmarked for road repairs in the Budget could be used to fix a number of massive dips in local roads.

Peterborough City Council had been warning that serious subsidence affecting a number of roads was unlikely to be sorted out before next year.

The extreme cold of the so-called Beast from the East spring storm, followed by a very dry summer has been blamed for causing subsidence on fenland roads, and Thorney Parish Council has complained about two particularly bad cases – one on the Causeway as you enter the village by the old nursery and another on North Bank heading towards Whittlesey, just before Fouracres car dealership.

The city council has put up warning signs and had said there was no cash to repair the roads this financial year.

But now, the council has secured £1.5 million for urgent repairs and has said it will announce in December which roads are to be fixed.

Fenland roads, which are built on clay or peat foundations are highly prone to subsidence due to drought and the city council has already undertaken a huge programme of repairs on local fen roads this year.

Overnight lane closures on Soke Parkway

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There are likely to be overnight lane closures on the Soke Parkway (A47) this week as work starts to clear trees and vegetation around the Rhubarb Bridge (A15) flyover.

Clearance works around Junction 18 of the A47/A15 will start on Monday 19 and last until Sunday.

The work is being carried out by Amey on behalf of Peterborough City Council and will take place between 8pm and 5am each day, with lane closures put in place.

Work is taking place as part of preparations for major repairs to Rhubarb Bridge and improvements to the junction which will start in January.

This will see structural works to the bridges which will help maintain them for the next 10 years, as well as the construction of new pedestrian crossings.

The project will increase capacity and improve traffic flow at the junction.

Councillor Peter Hiller, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for growth and economic development, said: “As motorists will be aware, this is one of the city’s busiest road junctions and it has been in need of improvement for some time.

“We are not expecting this preparation work to cause any lengthy disruption, however we want to make drivers aware of what is happening so they can plan their journeys accordingly.”

Parish Council may run deficit

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Thorney Parish Council is struggling to balance the books this year and may be faced with an overspend of up to £27,000, depending when payments fall due.

Monday’s Parish Council meeting heard that a range of commitments meant the council may have to draw on reserves and the village could face a rise in its precept – the first in many years – in the new year.

Work being funded includes:

:: Extension to cemetery, drainage, landscaping, fencing and hedge/tree planting.

:: Heritage-style street lights for Church Street and Abbey Place.

:: Contribution to play equipment in the park.

:: Legal charges.

:: Roadworks to reduce the pinch-point in Wisbech Road.

:: Grant for structural survey of Bedford Hall.

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People on the new Thorney Meadows estate are considering setting up a residents’ association and already have their own Facebook page.

Stuart Francis and Helen Baker attended the meeting to ask if the Parish Council could help put pressure on Larkfleet Homes, the estate developer, to finish work on the park, play area and finishing roads and pavements.

Mr Francis said residents were anxious for the park and play area to be completed before winter, otherwise it would not be ready for use before next summer. All the homes are now occupied and residents want to see roads and pavements finished and no more trucks driving about.

Ray Wood said he hoped Larkfleet would resurface Woburn Drive and perhaps that could be done at the same time as the estate roads.

The Council agreed to write to Larkfleet asking them about progress.

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There has been no further progress on Bedford Hall, with Peterborough City Council sitting on a number of actions, it was reported.

Thorney Parish Council has agreed in principle to fund an independent full structural survey and viability study through a grant offered by the Architectural Heritage Fund. This would match funding 50:50 up to a limit of £15,000.

The Council is getting a list of companies able to undertake the work to start a tender process. This is expected to take about six to nine months to complete.

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A decision on whether to spend Parish Council money on new road name plates in an antique style for Church Street and Abbey Place has been deferred.

Church Street resident John Richardson, who has been campaigning for the signs, said seven would be needed and funding had been secured for three of those. The name plates would be white on black and would have the appearance of being cast iron.

Plates would be sited at ground floor level (some are currently much higher) and those on posts would be secured to walls or buildings.

He promised to report back with prices at the next meeting.

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Peterborough City Council was accused of doing a shoddy job of resurfacing pavements along Sandpit Road, Smithfield and Park Close.

Claudine Lewis said tar had been splashed up people’s walls and the green on Smithfield had been hacked up – it looked dreadful.

Nigel Simons agreed. He’d been to look at the work and said he wasn’t impressed. He said he would take it up with the City Council.

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The Parish Council has asked for a “SLOW” sign to be painted on the road along Whittlesey Road where the 30mph limited has been extended.

Dorothy Halfhide said 20mph speed limit signs by the school were contradictory. There were speed limit signs, but another sign stating times the limit was in operation. It was in force all the time.

Margaret Long said one of the 40mph signs as you enter Nene Terrace had fallen off.

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A planning application to convert a house on Dairy Drove into a children’s home has been withdrawn.

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The Parish Council is to raise the poor state of Green Drove and Whittlesey Road with the City Council. Margaret Long said there was a huge crack in the middle of the road on Green Drove, with the surface crumbling, between Sly’s yard and the pumping station. Ken Parish said he’d had numerous complaints about the state of Whittlesey Road.

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There are now only two vacant plots at Thorney allotments. Samantha Godley said, sadly, there had been hardcore and household rubbish dumped on the site and on the field approaching the site.

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The level-crossing gates at the entrance to Kingsline Close are rotten and will have to be replaced.

The gates were to be repainted, but have been found to be too rotten. They were put there by the developers as a planning requirement when the estate was built and mark the site of the old level crossing on Station Road.

The Parish Council is to get an estimate for their repair and may have to take them down. There was a suggestion from resident Helen Baker that the work might be undertaken by inmates of the prison as a skills project. She promised to try to get some information.

Dorothy Halfhide said the gates should be retained and it was important to recognise that the railway had run through there.

The gates are not original. When the development took place, the builders found the original gates had rotted and had the current ones built using the original ironwork. The concrete posts are also original.

The Parish Council is also to inspect the village signs after reports that some of them may be suffering from rot.

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Additional Parish Council noticeboards may be sited in the village near Thorney Food Stores and opposite the school.

Meanwhile, the council’s Facebook page has attracted 132 people, with posts seen by an average of 115 people.

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Ken Parish suggested Thorney might purchase one of the life-size Tommy silhouettes being sold to raise funds for service charities. The council will contact the Royal British legion to discuss the idea.

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Canary Cottage (pictured), the old farm-workers home, sited on Knarr Fen to the east of Thorney, may become a listed building, it was reported.

Dorothy Halfhide said English Heritage were considering whether it should be listed after discovering it was much older than first thought.

She said it was one of very few mud construction buildings with thatched roofs to survive.

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Thorney now has seven trained Speedwatch volunteers and six more waiting for training.

Organiser Sam Godley reported that more speed surveys had been carried out in Station Road with five vehicles caught speeding – one at 39mph.

She said Woburn Drive had been added to their survey sites and they would also be checking speed of vehicles leaving the village on The Causeway.

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The Parish Council is to write to the City Council urging them to clean up the alleyway between St Mary’s Close and Sandpit Road.

The walk-way is overgrown with residents’ hedges and weeds.

 

Roads closed for race

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The main road through the village is to be closed on Sunday, August 19, for the annual Thorney Road Race.

The road will be closed from 10.30am to 11.30am from the Rose & Crown to Old Knarr Fen Road.

Old Knarr Fen Road will also be totally closed during the same period. Station Road will be closed between the Bedford Hall and the traffic lights for five minutes from 10.30am and will be reduced to single carriageway for the rest of the hour.

Thorney Running Club, organisers of the race said they were sorry for any inconvenience caused and thanked people for their patience.

Drought-damaged roads closed for repairs

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Peterborough City Council is embarking on a lengthy schedule to repair drought-damaged roads around Thorney in the next couple of months. Due to deep excavations required, roads will be closed for the duration of the work.

Roads affected are:

B1167 French Drove, Thorney – December 4 for three weeks

B1040 Crowland Road, Thorney – December 4 for one week

B1443 Thorney Road, Newborough – February 5 for one week

B1443 Bukehorn, Thorney – January 10 for one week four days

B1040 Whittlesey Road (North of Thorney Dyke), Thorney – January 16 for two weeks

B1167 Wisbech Road, Thorney – January 8 for two weeks

B1167 New Cut (East Wryde to Wallace Drove) – January 22 for one week

B1167 New Cut (English Drove to French Drove) – January 29 for one week

B1040 Station Road, Thorney – February 12 for one week

A council spokesman said they would be issuing letters to residents within the area of the works as well as advance warning signs.

 

A47 road closures extended to weekend

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The A47 will be closed overnight for the next two weekends as well as the ongoing week-day closures.

Highways England says delays caused by bad weather means that extra work during the weekend is needed to catch up.

The A47 will be closed between 8pm and 6am this weekend (Oct 28-29) and next weekend (Nov 4-5).

The closure is between Guyhirn roundabout and New Bridge Lane and will affect X1 bus services.

A47 improvements delayed

Two major road-improvement schemes scheduled for the A47 have been delayed following a government review.

Work to improve the A47 junction at Guyhirn and a scheme to extend the Castor bypass so the A47 is dual-carriageway all the way to the A1 are both caught by the rethink.

The government says too many roadworks had been scheduled to take place at one time and would have caused unnecessary delays.

No start date is given for the two A47 improvements affected, but the delay could be up to two years.