A Haverhill councillor is to ask Suffolk County Council to delay implementing a new one-way system in the town centre - one he says will cause ‘absolute havoc’.
At its full meeting today (Thursday, Dec 19) county councillor Tony Brown will ask Suffolk County Council if the proposed temporary traffic regulation order for Camps Road can be delayed until a consultation involving all residents in the most likely effected areas is carried out.
He believes the change, which would see traffic barred from entering the town centre via Camps Road - which would become one-way - and the current one way system in Mill Road reversed, is not the answer to solving the town’s High Street traffic problems.
Cllr Brown, who believes the order may be introduced sometime in January, said: “I am deeply worried that this one way system could have a very detrimental effect on people’s lives in the area, trying to push more vehicles down narrow Victorian streets is not the best solution to the High Street problem.
“Whilst I fully support the town council’s aim to make our High Street a better place I think that SCC are going about it in totally the wrong way.”
Should the traffic order go ahead, vehicles coming into Haverhill town centre from the bypass would do so via Burton End and Camps Road, potentially leading to HGVs and other vehicles having to use Mill Road and Helions Park Avenue to get around the High Street.
Cllr Brown said: “I think the main problem will be lorries who are directed down there by sat nav.
“If I was living in Mill Road I would be absolutely against it because it would cause absolute havoc.”
These are the points being raised by Cllr Brown;
. There would appear to have been no consultation with residents or any High Street/Market traders that will be affected by the proposed order.
They were only made with ‘main stakeholders’ (such as the town council and police) who, whilst they may have an interest, will not be affected personally.
· The plan is for 6 months with a maximum of 18 but there appears to be no quick “get out” clause if things go awry very quickly. It is very difficult to see whether there has been a proper risk assessment carried out on the plan.
· Trying to stop traffic going down the High Street seems to be just moving the problem to elsewhere including the very narrow Crowland Avenue. For many years this road has been promised to the residents as being made one way and this seems to have been abandoned in favour of blocking traffic access to the High Street.
· Whilst signage may be erected elsewhere this will not stop the GPS following people still trying to access the High Street from the south.
Most GPS systems currently available indicate that the way to the North of Haverhill from the bypass is up Burton End/Camps Road and into the High Street or Queens Street.
They will now be forced up Mill Road into Helions Park Avenue or Recreation Road.
None of these streets are designed for high levels of traffic and certainly not the potential for a 44 tonne HGV trying to navigate through there. This is regardless of the urgent need to resurface Mill Road now.
· Moving the loading bay outside Gurteen’s would appear to make the entry into/exit from their premises virtually impossible for HGV due to cars potentially being parked opposite.
· No allowance has been made for Blue Badge holders having to drive all the way around the block to get to the High Street.
· The loading bay alongside the Market Square is constantly blocked by drivers not doing anything of the sort; especially blue badge holders.
Adding a disabled bay on the end will cause untold grief to authorised vehicles using the Market Square. Market traders trying to approach the square on a Friday and Saturday will now be forced all the way around to now approach from Swan Lane even though their lorries may be parked some yards south of the Square.
· The introduction of two way working from the Argos car park back into the Pightle/Lords Croft Lane should be considered to remove the needs for additional traffic, particularly HGV, having to go all the way south to Clements Lane or Crowland Road to then return north.
· There apparently has been no response from the Ambulance service consultation as to what will happen when one of their vehicles heads north along the south bound only section of Camps Road and comes across a vehicle heading into them, or worse still, a pedestrian walking across the road not expecting a vehicle to be coming from the wrong direction.
· Up to date there appears to have been no proper traffic surveys carried out such as obtaining type and number of vehicles coming south in Swan Lane or north/south in Camps Road and where they go to, at various times of the day and during different days of the week.
The assumption being that the restriction is need to reduce the number of vehicles going along the High Street. SCC seems to have accepted this argument from somewhere but in the fact the requirement is to remove illegal
parking on pavements and double yellow lines by unauthorised vehicles/persons.
· Reducing the vehicles going down the High Street, if that is apparent intention, for 168 hours every week seems to be a massive use of a very big hammer when the road is shut (but non-gated)to non-authorised traffic for only 30 hours i.e. 18% of the time.
· The solution, and probably cheaper option, is to recruit the use of a dedicated Traffic Warden for the 30 hours, when needed, as was the case a few years back when the town never had any traffic problems.