August 2022 – Alison Archer
On many occasions I’ve watched the traffic zooming past my kitchen window (I live in The Corner House in Aymestrey – the last house on the A4110 heading North). We’ve lived here for the past 18 months and bought the house in spite of the fact it’s directly on an A-road. “The house is in a 30 speed limit” we thought, “How bad can that be?”. Ah.
The traffic frequently exceeds the 30 speed limit. Sometimes cars zoom past so fast they’re just a blur. And the noise can be awful, especially when the lorries mistake the stretch outside our house for a motorway.
So, you can imagine how pleased we were to learn our Parish Council was forming a Traffic Calming Working Party and I was even more delighted to be asked to join. Also, because I have a vested interest in the outcome, I have volunteered to update you all on how we are getting on, with regular reports in Aymestrey Matters.
The Working Party is newly formed and the only things we’ve achieved so far is to decide what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. We believe the first priorities in the parish are traffic calming measures along the A4110, particularly through Aymestrey village itself and the Mortimer’s Cross intersection.
With those areas in mind, we are taking as our guide, a document compiled by Dorset AONB Partnership entitled “Traffic in Villages”. The document is, effectively, a Tool kit or, indeed, a Roadmap that aims to:
“Stimulate fresh ideas and initiatives to inspire and encourage villages to enhance and conserve their unique and special character. Improve communities’ understanding of driver behaviour and the key influences on traffic speeds and build on ideas generated by a number of pilot projects, informed by best practice from the UK and elsewhere in mainland Europe.“
According to the Dorset Toolkit, our first task is to prepare a detailed Audit of our target areas. The Audit will cover, not only traffic patterns and speeds, but existing signs, road markings, paving materials, footpaths, kerb details etc. The information will then be added to maps to give us a much clearer picture of the current situation in Aymestrey and Mortimer’s Cross. The next phase then will be research into what has worked in other areas nationwide and the phase after that, having taken all our previous work into account, will be our proposals. Phase 1 is already underway and I shall endeavour to update you of our progress in the next issue of Aymestrey Matters. Please be assured that you will be given the opportunity to have your say, when appropriate, but at the moment we are fact-gathering, so bear with us.
If any of you would like to look at the Dorset document for yourself then please have a look online here