Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Blindingly obvious: new street lights too bright

LED streetlight s

Despite repeated warnings, Labour Council continues with over-bright LED street lights.

New LED street lights are being rolled-out across Reading as the old amber lights need replacing. The Council has ignored warnings that the ones being used are too bright for residential streets, for motorists, and for the environment; causing damage to insects and creatures that come out at night.

Brenda McGonigle said, “We’ll continue to campaign for appropriate lights in our streets, but you can ask the Council to reduce the power to the lights, or fit a shield that will stop the direct glare towards your house. Get in touch!”

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Greens working hard on South Park Ward road safety and parking

Residents' parking sign s

We had a good street meeting on Green Road last night to talk about parking problems and to develop a scheme for the road.

A scheme in Green Road would be part of a larger South Park Ward permit parking area.

In preparation for the meeting I thought about what has happened in the run-up to the road safety and parking problems which I have copied and pasted below.

Let us know if you would like a street meeting for your road to work on tackling road safety and parking problems in the South of Park Ward. We will keep working with residents to improve the area: rob@readinggreenparty.org.uk

Timeline

3 years ago – Council starts actively working on a parking scheme for the Hospital and University area.

3 years ago – we suggest to Labour councillors that we work together on a bigger areawide scheme to prevent the parking knock-on which we have now. Labour said no.

2 years ago – we work with residents across a number of roads (Hamilton, Bulmershe, Crescent and more) collecting signatures on petitions asking for permit parking to prevent the parking knock-on problems from occurring. We also organised and attended public meetings on this issue. Following this the council transport planners support the idea of investigating an areawide scheme for the South of Park Ward.

This year – Redlands parking scheme goes live and as we predicted this causes problems at the edge of the scheme in roads such as Hamilton Road and Crescent Road.

This year – we have worked with residents, organising and attending meetings, to produce designs for how residents’ parking could work in some of the roads in the South of Park Ward.

This year – we have campaigned with the police, fire brigade, schools and residents for the South Park Ward scheme to be prioritised and for designs to be developed and consulted on.

This year – Labour double yellow line debacle on Hamilton Road has wasted a lot of councillor and officer time.

Recently – the council has agreed to consult on the idea of permit parking for the South Park ward area but not on a detailed design – slowing things down still further.

Unfortunately things are moving very slowly. Pavements continue to be blocked, parking is chaotic and road safety is bad. This is not good enough. We have already consulted residents and are ready to move to the design phase now.

We will continue to work with residents to get the Labour council to prioritise a road safety and permit parking scheme for the South of Park Ward, and get it in as soon as possible.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Improving roadsafety and parking in Park Ward

Crescent Road congestion s

We continue to work hard on tackling roadsafety and parking problems across Park Ward. Below is the latest update. We are in the process of organising street meetings for roads which haven't met recently. Let us know if you have time to help us organise one for your road – email me at: rob@readinggreenparty.org.uk

Dear resident,

The East Reading transport working group – made up of councillors and transport planners – met in October. Sadly, little progress has been made on a roadsafety/parking scheme for South Park Ward, despite all the work that has been done by residents and Green councillors. But we will keep up the pressure.

There still aren’t any detailed drawings of a South Park Ward areawide roadsafety/parking scheme – from Cemetery Junction up to the Three Tuns pub, including Bulmershe Road. However, the November Traffic Committee as agreed to consult on a high level areawide scheme and generally on permit parking. Unfortunately this moves the date that a scheme could be introduced further into the future – autumn 2018 at best.

We believe this lack of progress is because, despite our lobbying, the council has not prioritised this roadsafety and permit parking scheme. Also distractions like the Labour proposal to put double yellow lines down one side of Hamilton Road in isolation, which fortunately have been defeated, haven’t helped. The way to accelerate progress is to get Labour Councillor Tony Page to give this scheme a higher priority and more transport planner time – and we will continue to work with you to keep up the pressure.

We know that Crescent Road is a nightmare for all road users especially pedestrians. We know that having to live day-to-day with blocked pavements, the struggle to find a parking place and concerns about being blocked in is a massive stress and inconvenience. We also know that this process is frustrating – and we are frustrated as well.

However we will keep standing up for residents and working with you to progress a roadsafety and parking scheme because we care about the area and want to improve it.

Yours faithfully

Rob White, Josh Williams and Brenda McGonigle

PS if you’d like to get email updates on this subject then let Rob know: rob@readinggreenparty.org.uk

Green Party councillors, Reading

Monday, 4 December 2017

East Reading Mass Rapid Transit public meeting

East Reading MRT public meeting

The turnout of over 200 people on a cold, wet Friday evening shows the strength of feeling against building a road and car park on the woodland and green space just metres from the River Thames (East Reading Mass Rapid Transit).

Every single person from the audience who stood up and spoke was against this destructive scheme – which the council's own modelling shows only has a minor impact on congestion. I think the £30 million of taxpayer money could be far better spent on measures that will actually reduce congestion whilst preserving our precious green spaces – such as a station at Thames Valley Park. Lead councillor for Transport Tony Page was sent packing by the audience and my colleagues on the panel. I hope that he now seriously considers alternatives to this scheme which will put the Thames path in darkness for much of the day.

I urge people to join the thousands of people who have signed the paper and electronic versions of the petition against this scheme and to respond to the planning application http://bit.ly/soarpetition

Thursday, 9 November 2017

More trees for Cemetery Junction


More trees are going to be planted at Cemetery Junction. But unfortunately some of the existing beds and trees are going.

For a long time now we have been lobbying the Council on the state of the new beds at Cemetery Junction. The contractor who created them should have been maintaining them but has not. Unfortunately the council says that beds were not created in a way that the council is safely able to maintain.

The council has clawed back money from the contractor, the beds will be removed and the council will be planting approximately 6 green pillar oak trees. You might have seen people on site today clearing the beds in preparation for planting later in the year.

I will post more information when I have it. If you'd like to get email updates from the local Green Party sign up here: http://greenparty.org.uk/signup

Friday, 6 October 2017

Improving Crescent Road roadsafety


We know that roadsafety on Crescent Road is a priority for residents and we are working to improve the situation. Below is a (slightly updated version of a) street letter we delivered to Crescent Road recently.

Re: Improving Crescent Road roadsafety

Dear resident,

We know that unfortunately the parking congestion on Crescent Road has worsened causing traffic congestion and further dangerous behaviour such as driving on the pavement. We were also very alarmed by the car which turned over! Your Green Party councillors remain committed to tackling this problem as a priority to keep our community and especially our children safe.

As you know this situation stems from the introduction of the nearby hospital and university parking scheme and it has worsened with term starting at the University. We lobbied for a Park Ward scheme to be introduced at the same time or shortly after the nearby scheme but this has not been prioritised by the council.

In the short term we have requested an increase in the number of traffic warden and police visits (call 101). We are also helping with getting a crossing patrol at Alfred Sutton back. Finally, the yellow line passing places are still progressing.

You may be interested in getting a white access protection marking to protect your drive access – visit www.reading.gov.uk/maintenanceandroadworks for more information.

We will continue to press for a combined permit parking and yellow line scheme for the area, as well as measures to cut rat running. If you are not currently getting emails from us on this subject let Rob know and he can add you to the list.

We care about the area and will keep working with you to improve it and tackle problems.

Yours faithfully

Rob White, Josh Williams and Brenda McGonigle

Green Party councillors, Reading

PS: we produce a monthly email newsletter with more general information about what is going on in the area. If you want to sign up you can do so here: http://greenparty.org.uk/signup.html


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Pothole repair trial in Reading


We have been lobbying for a long time for shallow potholes – which the council doesn’t currently patch if they are less than 5 cm deep – to be fixed.  These potholes are a hazard for all road users especially cyclists. It is great to hear that the council has just conducted a trial on fixing these potholes. Let us know how this trial goes if you use one of the roads mentioned below.

If you want to get email updates from us about issues like these sign up here: http://greenparty.org.uk/signup

From the council:

“Please be advised that Streetcare Services Highway Maintenance Team will commence a week’s trial of an alternate pot hole repair solution that uses a pressure injection system on pothole defects. We are proposing to use the trial on roads where the depth of defects are below our current 50 mm depth investigatory level.

The trial will target roads of different construction make up, from concrete roads with very thin bituminous / surfacing layers that have scabbed off, to roads where the thin micro asphalt material has worn away. The repair system is a quick / speedy solution that will seal the road in advance of the coming winter, which will provide us with an ideal trail period to evaluate whether this would be an appropriate and durable solution to consider for future use.

Velocity UK Ltd will commence work on Monday 2nd October and are expected to complete by Friday 6th October.

The roads that are scheduled for repair during this trial are:

1.    Whiteknights Road
2.    Redlands Road (Addington to London Road)
3.    The Meadway
4.    Southcote Lane
5.    Portman Road
6.    Trafford Road
7.    St Marys Butts, junction with Castle Street
8.    Kiln Road
9.    Peppard Road service road by no 335
10. Valpy Street
11. Minster Street
12. George Street (Reading)
13. Northumberland (Hartland roundabout to Honiton Road roundabout)

The roads were selected to provide a good spread of roads with different construction makeup, vehicle type and volume use, presence of defects which currently fall below our 50 mm investigatory level criteria for repair, are ordered to provide a reasonable route for the contractor to follow and will be completed subject to available time and weather constraints. The work will be carried out under localise rolling traffic management by RBC Highways & Drainage Team and the working hours will be between 8 am and 5 pm.


We do not anticipate much disruption using this solution as it is quick process and moves along the length of the road fairly quickly. The Highways & Drainage operatives are on hand to provide traffic management and assist local residents who may be affected for a short period of time when any work is directly outside their homes.”