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Highwood Road protesters plan to make a big noise at Council

Posted on Friday 18th May 2012 at 11:24 am by SH (Editor)

Demonstration against the impending closure of Highwood Road.

A 3,700+ signature petition calling on South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) to abandon its plan to close Highwood Road to general traffic is to be presented to a top-level meeting of the Council in Kingswood next Wednesday (23rd May).

Launched in March by Patchway Town Councillor Chris Mills, the petition has been available to sign online and, in paper form, in shops and community centres throughout the town. The critical milestone of 2,500 signatures, required to secure a debate at Council, was reached at the end of April.

Following the presentation of the petition to Council next week, a formal debate on the matter must be held at the next Full Council meeting, currently scheduled for Wednesday 18th July.

Cllr Mills told The Journal:

“The response to the petition has exceeded our expectations. To have collected over 3,700 signatures with two weeks left to run is great. It shows the consultation SGC carried out was flawed and does not reflect the feelings of its residents.”

“The petition will be presented to SGC at its meeting on 23rd May; it’s important that residents attend this meeting and voice their concerns on the planned closure.”

“A small coach has been arranged to take people to this meeting. It will leave the Patchway Town Council office at 6pm.”

“Please ring 07720 669840 or 07975 890591 to book a place on the coach; the cost is £2 return.”

There is currently no official date for the closure of the road to general traffic but this cannot occur until a decision has been made on objections lodged to a traffic regulation order needed to legally implement the scheme. That decision is currently due to be made by Cllr Brian Allinson, SGC’s Executive Member for Planning Transport and  Strategic Environment (PTSE), in June.

However, a proposed change to the way the Council is run after 23rd May is likely to see responsibility for the decision shift to the PTSE Committee, which has its next meeting on Wednesday 20th June.

Speaking at Patchway’s Annual Town Meeting earlier this month, SGC Councillor for Patchway Ward Sam Scott, a member of the PTSE Committee, said he plans to propose that the Committee defer its decision on the traffic regulation order until after the debate at the July meeting of Full Council.

But even if the road closure goes ahead, Cllr Scott says SGC has assured Patchway Town Councillors that it can be reversed.

Cllr Scott told the meeting:

“The decision can be reversed and, given that we have the signatures of over half the electorate of Patchway, they’d be fools not to listen. It will be a nail in the coffin of local democracy if they don’t.”

Cllr Mills, speaking at the same meeting, said:

“We need as many from Patchway as possible to go to Kingswood on 23rd May and clog the place up. We’ll present the petition and we want all of you behind us, shouting at ’em: ‘you can’t do this, you’re cutting Patchway in half’.”

“That’s what you have to do, because they have to listen to the people of Patchway.”

Related link: Highwood Road Linear Park (The Journal)

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Tags: Charlton Hayes, Highwood Road, roads

7 Responses to “Highwood Road protesters plan to make a big noise at Council”

  1. lolly Says:

    SO if they keep this road open for all traffic will they make sure that we can still turn right into callicroft road as before to get to our homes.

  2. DaveTiley Says:

    Lolly of course we want to maintain your right turn into Callicroft, why wouldn’t we?

  3. Angela Says:

    I would guess that none of the signatures for the above mentioned petition have been from anyone living on Thirlmere Road or Southsea Road both of which run parallel to Highwood Road!!!! I purchased my house on Thirlmere Road after looking into this road closure and finding out that it had been agreed, and am now in the situation where by it may be forced to remain open by people whom I guess did not attend the exhibition that Bovis provided in the community centre at the end of Worthing Road but, have now decided to moan about it anyway!!!!! I am absolutely disgusted that they are able to do this and may leave me in a situation that I really did not want to be in, these people should try living on this road and listening to the idiots that drive up and down the road with very loud exhausts in the middle of the night at extreame speeds also, which if there were no access to Cribbs Causeway via HIghwood Road then they probably would not be doing it. It makes for a really nice race track at the moment, but of course they probably do not care as it is NIMBY!!!!

    What a joke. I will certainly be looking into a way of supporting the road closure and stopping this nonsense.

  4. Dave Tiley Says:

    Hi Angela

    Disappointed to hear that. I can categorically state we do have support in the roads you mentioned, as I know who signed living there. SGC can drill down into this detail too, you’d be right to expect them to.

    We have found very very few people who have echoed your views, and instead have had to deal with very angry people expressing the opposite. There were packed and angry meetings over this years ago, but this process was mis-handled by previous administrations leaving us where we are today.

    This is the easiest 4,100+ signatures we have ever had to collect, all we had to do was leave it in local shops and halls and it ran itself. I think that does reflect the views of a majority, however as we all know we can never please everyone.

    I have heard nothing about the race track you mention on Highwood or Southsea, I suggest you take that up with the Police and see if they can monitor it and put something in place? Obviously I will raise it too.

    Incidentally my life long best friend is a Policeman who lives there with you on that road and he has never mentioned this problem to me or anyone either.

    Clearly you must present your opposition to our campaign to SGC, I still think it’s a flawed decision and I’m sorry that flawed decision has impacted on decisions you may have made based on them, the ball is clearly with SGC now though.

  5. charlie Says:

    Hi Angela i am in complete support of you. I totally agree that highwood road is used as a race track. I am disgusted that they want to change the planning designs. I live on sycamore drive and was extreamly glad when they decided to close Highwood road. We too brought are house many years ago, with the understanding that highwood road would be closed eventually. We have lived with the noise of the road for many years and boy racers racing down it at night. Also our road has been turned into a rat run, People are now removing cones in the road and turning into our road and then racing up our road and using it as a cut through. At the start of May we had a hit and run, involving a speeding car smashing into my neighbours parked van, causing £2000 worth of damage. Only 20 minutes earlier i had been getting out of my own car next to my neighbours van with my 2 young children, it doesn’t bare thinking about what could have happened. The same week my friends neighbour had someone dent their car as well from 10 doors down. I cant understand why people feel that coniston road would be used as a rat run, to me there are too may obstacles, ie parked cars, and speed humps. Oh dear it may be a slightly longer journey, but its a much less complicated route. I work at Aztec West and i would much rather drive down Hayes Way or go on the motorway than go round Coniston. All the people i know that live on Sycamore drive are for Highwood road being closed, and resent protesters standing at the end of our road. They should think about the people that live on the roads that run along side Highwood road. The protesting should have been done before planning had been agreed. I am totally on Angela’s side and will not be supporting the petition. I would be quite willing to be the first person to put my name down on a petition against those that are petitioning to keep the road opened.

  6. Chris Mills Says:

    Dear Charlie

    sorry you feel unable to support the petition, but as I and several of the people pictured, live in Sycamore Drive and the surrounding roads we had our picture taken there.

    It is still planned to block the exit of Sycamore Drive on to Highwood road turning Sycamore and the surrounding area into a Cul-de Sac, then all traffic into Sycamore, Baytree, Ceder and Fir tree will have to enter and exit through the junction of Sycamore and Coniston increasing the traffic at that junction.

    This petition was started to try and stop the back streets of Patchway, like Stroud Road being turned into rat runs, as I cant see many residents from the Trees area driving down Hayes way and along the A38 to access Rodway Road shops, the Hub, Library or the Community Centre etc. parents taking their Children to Callicroft School would also have to use Stroud Road.

    At one time Bovis had suggested a road linking Sycamore to Charlton Hayes to allow local residents access, the suggestion was for a gate to be put in place at the junction of Highwood road, but Bovis decided they did not want Patchway traffic driving through Charlton Hayes, the outcome of this decision being to force traffic onto Coniston and Stroud road if we want to travel from one side of Patchway to the other, the bus lane and park are designed to bring both old and new Patchway together, the problem is it cuts old Patchway in half.

    We collected signatures from every road in Patchway, including Sycamore, Thirlmere, Southsea and Cranbourne.

    Chris Mills

  7. SH (Editor) Says:

    From the minutes of the SGC Full Council meeting on 23rd May (published today):

    Mr Chris Mills, a Patchway resident of 24 years spoke in detail of the impact of closing Highwood Road. Mr Mills submitted a petition of over 4,000 signatures which had been collected locally against the closure. Council heard of the impact of the closure on residents, local businesses and surrounding residential streets.

    Mr Dave Tiley was next to address Council on the issue of the closure of Highwood Road. Mr Tiley explained that he believed the closure was a mistake and Council heard of the local opposition to the proposal. Mr Tiley called for Council to reconsider the issue.

    Mr Lew Gray spoke next on the Highwood road issue. Mr Gray supported what had been said by previous speakers and provided some relevant historical information. In closing Mr Gray called for Councillors to listen to Patchway residents.

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