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MEMBERS PRESENT:: Cllr Eldridge (Chairman), Chapman, Parsons, Glew (Vice-Chairman of the Council), Mr D Wright, PCSO Demi, (left at 19:15) Ex-officio member Cllr Vine-Hall (left at 19:30).

Clerk/RFO: Mrs P Raymond

A11/12.10 Apologies for absence. None, all present.

Minutes. RESOLVED:: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee held on 03/07/12.


Matters arising from the Minutes

  1. Membership of the Committee. It was noted that the third applicant for the vacancy on the Parish Council had not replied to the Clerk's invitation to be part of this Committee. The Chairman had, therefore, invited Cllr Parsons to be a member of the Advisory Committee. It was RECOMMENDED: That Cllr Parson's appointment to serve on the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee is ratified at the next Council Meeting.

Outline for the study in accordance with the Terms of Reference approved by the Council. See Minute A12/13.4 of the Meeting held on 03/07/12 for details of the Terms of Reference. Cllr Eldridge asked members to e-mail ideas or suggestions on ways to improve the parking or travel situation in the Village to him at any time.

  1. Traffic Management Plan 2004. The work of the Sedlescombe Traffic Action Group in 2004 which led to the drawing up of a Draft Traffic Management Plan for the Village was acknowledged. It was noted that some of that Group's proposals have been implemented in the intervening time but that changing lifestyles and circumstances had made the situation worse in line with national traffic and parking problems. The Chairman proposed production of a rolling Management Plan. Members discussed the current situations in various parts of the Village as follows:

  2. Parking and Traffic issues in Brede Lane. The current parking problems in Brede Lane are mostly caused by a combination of School traffic and visitors to the Doctors' Surgery. Increased development in and off of Brede Lane has also exacerbated the problem. The weight of traffic, together with inconsiderate behaviour of drivers, causes increased road traffic hazards and, on occasions, gridlock ensues. Larger vehicles such as buses, lorries, emergency service vehicles and dust carts are prevented from getting through and traffic can back up towards the main road. Vehicles are forced up onto the pavement which increases the danger for pedestrians including small children.

    Demi reported his work to help road safety over the past months, particularly around the School as follows:
    1. Following meetings with officers from Highways, they are now fully aware of the road traffic problems in the Village but are satisfied that there is nothing currently that they can implement to improve the situation. They have agreed to consider all the problems at the next review.
    2. Following success using a notice on an "A" board, Demi has come to an arrangement with the Licensing Department of Highways regarding display of an A3 sign to discourage parking on the bend of Brede Lane leading up to the Queen's Head car park entrance.
    3. The Sedlescombe School Road Safety Week in July had been a great success with noticeable improvements to driver behaviour afterwards. Wherever possible, Demi will avoid giving tickets but, where there is a blatant disregard for other's safety, he can do so. At other times, he gives out a letter detailing the sections of the Highway Code that are being breached. The message, however, has to be regularly reinforced and he hopes to arrange a further Road Safety Week in conjunction with the School in the Spring of 2013. He informed the Committee of the disappointing reaction from the Village Shop when he had tried to set up the final day of the Road Safety Week by parking vehicles alongside The Green. The shop's objection to the use of space near the shop had resulted in that day's important activities being moved to Staplecross which caused a great deal of embarrassment to Demi who had spent considerable time making all the arragements. He hoped to have the whole Village's backing for the next initiative. Arrangements for parking the Fire Service's road safety truck on the next occasion will be considered and it was suggested that, as long as the ground is hard, the vehicle could be put on the Village Green for the day. Demi might be able to get a crash simulator. The inclusion of road safety displays at the Summer Fayre was thought to be a good idea.
    4. Demi has visited local businesses to advise on road safety and parking.
    5. Demi tries to be outside the School on regular occasions when his patrol schedule permits.
    6. Because of the amount of traffic throughout the area, the Police have to show some tolerance when cars are parked with the wheels on the pavement. However, there must be sufficient room for a wheelchair or a double push-chair to get past, otherwise he can issue a ticket.
    7. Cllr Glew attends the School Travel Meetings and praised the headteacher for her efforts to improve the parking and traffic situation in Brede Lane. Cllr Eldridge would like to attend the next meeting with Cllr Glew. He suggests the School sends a letter to parents to get their ideas re the parking and traffic issues in the Village. Also that car sharing should be suggested and the children should be asked to do a plan of the Village with their ideas.
    8. The headteacher plans to organise a second "walking bus" from the bottom of the Village with parking being allowed on the forecourt of Bridge Garage Antiques. However, this is dependent on finding a School Crossing Patrol. The re-opening of the back entrance to the School would also help this initiative.
    9. Cllr Glew confirmed that all parents are sent a letter re the parking each term by the headteacher.
    10. In the past, parents have been allowed to park temporarily in the mornings in the Queen's Head car park.
    11. The headteacher has asked residents whether they would be willing to allow parents to park temporarily in their driveways while they drop off or take children to School.

  3. Car Park in Brede Lane. It appears that some people are unaware that there is a public car park in Brede Lane. Members will check the signage to see whether it can be improved.

  4. Parking in relation to the Sportsfield and adjacent recreational areas. The car park at the Sportsfield is currently being enlarged and a suggestion that parents should be allowed to use it in the mornings was considered. However, this parking would probably be too far from the School to make it workable although the use of the School Mini-Bus to provide a "Park and Ride" system from there could be considered.

  5. Parking and traffic issues at East View Terrace. The Chairman will liaise with Cllr Mitchell re East View. Cllr Mitchell has mentioned the problems that have occurred in the past with emergency vehicles' access of properties. It was noted that the first part of the impending redevelopment of the garage area will be to provide some additional parking in the existing housing area in accordance with the plans. According to the Housing Association, they will be providing enough additional parking to make up for the amount that is being lost with the demolition of the garages. During the building work, there is expected to be additional congestion, particularly as kitchen refurbishment in part of the Terrace will be in progress at the beginning. It was suggested that the number of vehicle movements in and out of East View each day should be checked to see whether they equate to the County Council's estimate of 6-11/property/daily.

  6. Parking and traffic issues in relation to the village shop.
    1. Parking on both sides of the road outside the shop causes obstruction to other road users which can lead to angry exchanges.
    2. Emergency vehicles that need 5.1m in width cannot get through.
    3. Parking on the white line opposite the entrance to Pumphouse Yard prevents access to the Yard - Demi can issue a notice for obstruction.
    4. One-way traffic in The Green has been considered.
    5. Chairman to have meeting with the shop owners.
    6. The idea of standing outside the shop asking people for their views on the Village's parking and traffic situation will be considered.

  7. Traffic speed in local lanes. Although the national speed limit applies, the roads are too narrow and vehicles are too wide for the speed of many vehicles.

  8. Parking in The Street between Kester House and Riverbridge Cottages. Cars are often parked on the roadside which causes obstruction to other road users. Mr Wright reported that building of four new properties at the rear of Kester House is due to start soon which will cause both extra parking and traffic problems for those trying to access the B2244 from the narrow entrance. He suggested the use of a white line either side of the entrance to maintain visibility.

  9. Double yellow lines and permit holders only parking. Neither of these options are likely to be introduced by ESCC.

  10. Use of Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs). Demi will provide information regarding the training of volunteers to use the SIDs. There is a resident in Battle who is willing to co-ordinate the use of SIDs throughout the whole area.

  11. Police Speed Checks. Residents are invited to join Demi while he is carrying out speed checks which he carries out regularly in the Village starting usually at 06:00. Demi has noticed an improvement in the speed of vehicles through the Village. Unfortunately, the worst culprits are often local. The Council should use every opportunity to send out information regarding traffic and parking.

  12. Heavy commercial traffic. Derek Wright who lives in The Street is noticing an increase in the amount of heavy commercial traffic using the B2244. A count of the type of traffic could be incorporated into the SID sessions if they can be arranged.

  13. Bus Stops. Cllr Glew is progressing the installation of an additional bus stop sign on the west side of The Street opposite the Brickwall. Mr Wright mentioned the planning condition attached to the redevelopment of the Park View site in The Street concerning improvements to the bus stops on either side of the B2244 at Pollards. He is following this up with Planning Enforcement.

  14. Additional suggestions. The Chairman made the following suggestions for further consideration:
    1. Public Meeting. A public meeting to allow questions and answers with someone from the Highways Department could be arranged.
    2. Letter to residents. A letter could be sent to residents asking for their input with prizes offered for the best ideas. Suggest e-mailed replies.
    3. Discuss with Highways. Discuss options with highways.
    4. Quantify all issues. Issues to be quantified by whatever methods can be adopted.
    5. Planning. Parish Council to influence Rother DC regarding the traffic issues associated with planning approvals.
    6. Audit. Arrange a full audit of the centre of the Village noting such things as signs, road markings, parking restrictions, pavements, surfacing materials, adverts, bus stop positions etc.
    7. Street lighting. The subject of street lighting had been considered many times in the past and has not been supported by the Parish Council in the last forty years. The cost of provision and maintenance of any lights would be a burden on the Parish Council Tax and, currently, councils throughout the country are reducing street lighting in order to save money.
    8. Road crossing. Consider whether a road crossing is necessary and achievable.
    9. Parking restrictions. Consider whether zoning of different areas of the village is needed and achievable.
    10. Additional car park. Consider extending the use of Sportsfield Car Park or look for another area that could be used for this purpose.
    11. Local press. Use the local press to tell people what we are doing.

  15. Layout of the final report to be presented to the Parish Council at the January 2013 Council Meeting. The following layout was suggested:
    1. Introduction
    2. Scope of the study
    3. Results of residents' ideas and questions
    4. Consideration of main issues
    5. Conclusion and recommendations.


A12/13.14 Date of next meeting. To be arranged in October.
  Chairman............................................ Date....................................................