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Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, held a meeting with local residents on Monday about the campaign calling for practical measures to ease traffic problems on Craven Way.

The meeting was hosted by Anne Sheppard, who lives on Craven Way and has been calling for improvements to the traffic calming measures on the road since 2010. In April, Jo joined with Anne and other local residents to set up a petition, which nearly 400 residents have signed. Council officers are now drafting plans for new traffic calming measures in line with the specific proposals the residents have been pressing for.

 

Speaking after the meeting Jo said:

 

"The resolve of the residents around Craven Way is beginning to pay off as the council begins to draw up plans, but they are in the very early stages so on Monday I met with the residents to offer my support to help them keep up the pressure over the coming weeks and months by encouraging other residents to sign the petition and share their experiences and concerns so these can be fed back to the Council."

 

Residents at the meeting spoke about why they are campaigning for action to be taken and agreed to submit their experiences to the Council so they can fully understand the impact of the traffic problems in their area.

 

Some experiences shared include:

 

“I live on the corner of Craven Way and the traffic outside is awful. They come round the corner very fast and have actually gone through my fence into my back garden.  If I had been in the garden with my daughter at the time we could have both been badly injured or even killed.  There have been a lot of near misses, but also a lot of accidents.  On Friday 13 June this year a motorcyclist was knocked off his bike as he came past my house onto the roundabout and was hit by a car coming too fast up Tower Lane.”

Jane Thomas

 

“We cross Craven Way to take the children to school and have found it easier to do so by the 'wonky' roundabout.  However, the number of drivers on their mobile phones, not indicating and speeding onto Craven Way is shocking. There will be a serious accident one day soon… The traffic is built up by cars waiting for the dual carriageway or queuing on Craven way due to the chicane.  People are frustrated and this causes over revving and unsafe driving.  Drivers take chances on the chicanes due to the unfairness of pointless queues - I have seen first hand, on a daily basis, road rage caused by the chicanes.  It's like watching cars drag race to get through and play 'chicken'.  It's dangerous!”

Rebecca Garrett

 

“We have been living in Kennmoor Close for several years and have very seldom felt safe crossing over Craven way which is at the top of our close. We both suffer from a sight loss condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Our local transport and post box is over the other side of the road and therefore we need to feel that getting to these amenities should not be as difficult as it is. We have family and friends that unfortunately suffer from a visual impairment and also find it difficult crossing the road when they come to visit. Therefore we would benefit from some kind of crossing. That would enable us to live an independent life and not have to constantly be worried about crossing such a busy road.”

Mark Belton and Jane Diment

Craven Way campaigning begins to pay off

Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, held a meeting with local residents on Monday about the campaign calling for practical measures to ease traffic problems on Craven Way.

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South Gloucestershire Council granted permission on 23rd June 2011 for 374 homes – including elderly persons’ accommodation – to be built at on the site of the former Douglas motorcycle factory site on Hanham Road. Three years on, the developer still hasn’t begun work, and has despite repeatedly failed failing to meet deadlines.

Planning permission was granted on the basis of the developer signing a legal agreement with the Council called a Section 106 agreement which setting out the contributions they would make to the local community to offset the impact of the development. Permission can be removed if a Section 106 agreement is not signed within 6 months; but over three years later, with deadlines being set, missed and extended, the agreement has still not been signed. Even if permission was removed, the council has no powers to force the developer to sell the site. 

This planning loophole risks putting extra pressure on surrounding greenbelt land as housing supply is not keeping up with demand. A Labour government would provide new powers to force developers to ‘use it or lose it’; requiring developers to sell their land or be charged for leaving it unused.

Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, said:

“It isn’t enough just to want to protect our green spaces. We need to understand the threat they are under and take meaningful action to deal with it. Under this Government’s new planning rules, if Councils cannot demonstrate that they have viable plans for enough new housing, there has the Government has said that there is to be a presumption in favour of any application to develop on surrounding land – including greenbelt.

“This saga at the Douglas factory site shows the importance of new powers to stop developers stalling – it also worryingly shows that the consequences are not just that houses don’t get built: but that efforts to protect the Green Belt could be undermined.”

One of the local councillors for the area, Andy Perkins (Labour, Woodstock) added:

“As local councillors for the area we have been chasing and chasing and chasing this issue. The longer it drags on, the more likely it is that a developer interested in building on the Green Belt is going to successfully argue that the council can no longer demonstrate there is enough land for housing in South Gloucestershire. And when that happens, the Tories’ planning rules mean that it will be open season for any speculative development on any piece of land.” 

Kingswood housing development given the go ahead three years ago faces further delay

South Gloucestershire Council granted permission on 23rd June 2011 for 374 homes – including elderly persons’ accommodation – to be built at on the site of the former Douglas motorcycle...

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Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, and local residents who have been campaigning with Jo for practical measures to ease traffic problems on Craven Way are organising a public meeting about the campaign on 7th July.

Jo met with residents concerned about the speed of traffic along Craven Way in April, and helped set up a petition that she and the residents have been building over the last two months.

So far more than 350 local residents have signed the petition, and more and more residents are getting involved to collect signatures and talk to their neighbours about their concerns and the campaign.

Anne Sheppard, who lives on Craven Way and has been calling for improvements to the traffic calming measures on the road since 2010, is hosting the meeting on 7th July to give local residents the opportunity to find out more about the campaign and how they can help, and to hear from more local residents about why they are concerned.  This will ensure that their personal experience can be fed back to the Council along with the petition.

Residents recently met with Christopher Harris, the Highways Engineer on South Gloucestershire Council, who outlined plans that are being drafted for new traffic calming measures. These are in the very early stages, but show at least that residents are at last being listened to.

Anne Sheppard said: "We have been working with Jo McCarron and the local Labour team to make sure action is taken to deal with this dangerous stretch of road.  It is great news that the Council may now be sitting up and listening, with plans now being drafted that will hopefully get onto the Council’s local transport priority list."

Jo McCarron said: “The traffic is clearly a serious concern for residents here, including parents crossing the road to take their children to school every day and elderly people who I know feel the road is not safe for them to cross. I’m pleased to be working with Anne and other local campaigners to try and make sure residents are listened to. Please sign the petition if you haven’t already, and please get in touch if you’d like to come to the meeting on 7th July.”

The meeting on 7th July is at 7pm. Residents who would like to attend can sign up for more details here.

Campaign to ease traffic problems on Craven Way steps up

Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, and local residents who have been campaigning with Jo for practical measures to ease traffic problems on Craven Way are organising a public...

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