New England Railway Bridge

For some months, Councillor Mike Jones has been in communication with the Council over the recurring problem of pigeon droppings and poor lighting under the railway bridge on what is a main thoroughfare for members of the Prestonville community who walk down to Preston Circus and London Road.

The upkeep of the bridge (and of the netting to prevent its use as a roost by pigeons) is the responsibility of Network Rail. An employee of the Council has been in touch with them, and has reported to Mike Jones as follows:

Pigeon Proofing

  • We received verbal assurances from Network Rail this summer that they would carry out the pigeon proofing.
  • We wrote to Network Rail again in September asking them to provide a time scale for the work to be completed.
  • An officer visited the site in November to take photographs and report on the area.
  • After being advised via email by a structural engineer we have written to James Pickard in Community Relations enclosing a report, photographs and copies of previous correspondence.

Lighting

  • The Street Lighting team is looking into the lighting situation under the bridge.
  •  Due to pigeon netting having been installed over lights belonging to the council these lights are difficult to access and repair without damaging the netting.

 

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Round The Dials Again

The Seven Dials road improvement project drew a good crowd to its public meeting in St Luke’s Church last Monday, where the planners presented the results of the consultation and their response to it.

It took place a few days after the project had been discussed at a full Council meeting, a debate triggered by a petition of over 1300 signatures, organised by the Dials North West Community Association, objecting to any scheme that increased traffic through residential streets.

The 661 consultation responses give a very different picture of local opinion, with views running two to one in favour of the scheme in all areas around the Dials. (We’ll post a link to the details when they go on line.) However, the idea of making the Vernon Terrace arm one-way got a big thumbs down, and the option of making Bath Street two-way was also rejected, though by a much closer margin.

Both these ideas have been been dropped as a result, and a number of other adjustments, including wider pavements, have also been made. In response to concerns about rat-running, Cllr Davey promised to monitor traffic levels in residential streets before and after any changes are made.

That did little to mollify a number of opponents of the scheme, who heckled throughout. The most indignant of them started off by complaining about the planner’s diction and became steadily more incensed as the meeting went on. A comment from a woman representing a cyclists’ group provoked an outburst of ‘Green left propaganda!’, and when Council Leader Jason Kitcat voiced some thoughts about the bigger transport picture, the angry man stormed out with an epithet not often uttered in church.

Party political undercurrents were noticeable too. Perhaps surprisingly, the Conservatives have given the scheme a lot of support, but Labour’s bitter resentment of the Greens has put the Preston Park Labour Party on the minority side of local opinion. Next stop: the Transport Committee meeting on 15 January.

The PCA Committee – working for the community

Discussions at our most recent meeting included the proposals for the Seven Dials, and the continuing protest outside Wiston’s Clinic. Members from the committee have been engaged in discussions on both matters, while others have been busy helping to organise a get-together after the Community Carols on Sunday 16 December at 6.00pm.

Read all about it here: PCA Minutes 12.11