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Will one-way plans resolve congestion in Crewkerne?

By Western Gazette - Crewkerne  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

  • Traffic congession in the streets of Crewkerne

  • Traffic congession in the streets of Crewkerne

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A solution to Crewkerne’s long-term traffic congestion problems could be on the horizon as plans for a one-way system are drawn up.

The idea is to create a more fluid traffic flow through the town which regularly suffers from jams, centring around the Market Square area.

Plans for the one-way system will go on display at a consultation event in Crewkerne when they are completed.

Detailed drawings are being produced by Somerset County Council which will show the system introduced in North Street and the existing one-way flow in Rose Lane reversed.

This would see traffic leaving Market Square via North Street in a northbound direction only.

A residents’ group in Crewkerne is trying to persuade councillors to prevent traffic accessing East Street from the town centre as part of the plans.

Residents fear there will be an increase in cars and lorries coming down East Street, with jams likely when large vehicles travelling in opposite directions meet at narrow points on the road.

More than 100 householders from East Street and Mount Pleasant have put their names to a letter calling for East Street to be made no entry from Market Square in order to prevent this.

Crewkerne town councillor Mike Best said: “Once all the details have been worked out it was going to go back to a public consultation. There would be an exhibition of the plans and it would go from there.

“We are waiting for Somerset County Council to finish producing the detailed plans before residents can have their say on them.”

Crewkerne resident, Dr Andrew Collings, said: “Traffic in the town is the outstanding issue, it has been getting worse over the years and there is a considerable amount of congestion.

“So many HGVs are looking for a road through the town, the shortest route to where they are going.

“It is particularly dangerous in North Street; it is narrow, lorries regularly mount the pavements and it houses a school.

“Addressing the issue would help the economy by freeing up the access to the town. That would encourage people to shop.”

A county council spokeswoman said the bid for a one-way system in Crewkerne had been submitted under the local transport plan.

She said: “Somerset County Council officers continue to work with the town council and county councillor John Dyke to help realise their aspirations for the town centre highway network.

“Various options are under consideration and are being tested to consider their impacts on traffic flows and mitigation of the current status quo. This process has been delayed to further take account of the emerging details and wider network effects of the forthcoming Crewkerne Link Road (CLR).

“The delay will ensure that the study encompasses all committed future development to create a robust model against which the various options will be considered. When this exercise has been completed, its findings will be reported back to the town council and options then put forward for public consultation.”

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  • Apples78  |  September 19 2012, 7:43PM

    I work in a HGV road haulage firm near Crewkerne. We have to drive through Crewkerne in all direction to get where we need to load or deliver. We make a lot of local deliveries to the area and surrounding villages on a daily basis. The problem with Crewkerne will not be solved with one directional traffic. There are very little hold up caused by passing traffic, accepting that it is very tight in places. The biggest problems are parked cars mainly down the Dorchester Road, and around the junction near the pedestrian crossing and the pedestrian crossing itself. If you removed the parking for all vehciles around the Dorchester Road between Waitrose and the Industrial Estate, then flowing of vehicle would immediately improve. If there was not a pedestrian crossing of any sort, then traffic would flow. That being said, there needs to be a pedestrian crossing to allow the safe crossing of pedestrians. Adding any futher crossing in Crewkerne will increase traffic issues. This in turn will increase costs to drivers/operators of vehicles and in terms of pollutiob caused by vehicles. Two fact still remain. 1) Crewkerne in on the main A road (A30) and a fair thoroughfare for all traffic. 2) Crewkerne was not designed for either the volume of traffic nor the size/weight of traffic that passes through it daily. My feeling is not the amount of lorries that pass though Crewkerne, but the amount of cars that either pass though it or travel to it, that cause the main delays. Unfortunately there are no alternatives to get around Crewkerne. The only viable option is to use a ring road of sorts. This has other major issues not looked at in my 'note'. Some ideas that will no doubt infuriate many: Remove all parking in town, the car parks are big enough. Shoppers will use the town if they can drive around it. Reduce the car park fees and that will encourage more shoppers. I go James' hardware becuase it is closer than Bradfords and the staff and usually willing to assist. I would still go if I had to park in Waitrose car park. It's the inconvience of paying that would stop me, not the paying itself. I would look at the age of the shoppers in Crewkerne. Crewkerne attracts a core of retired shoppers. Why not encourage retired person to shop during quieter periods of the day. Say discount hour etc. This may spread the traffic issues. My point to all this, there are other ways to reduce traffic flow issue in Crewkerne. The one way system will only serve to hold people up on different roads. The traffic will not flow any quicker. From a HGV drivers sense; East St and North St are tight in places near the town, but I very rarely have had a problem. Pedestrians should be educated in the fact that wing mirrors hurt and drivers should have respect of pedestrians when near kerbs or needing to cross them. The quicker and safer a HGV can pass through, the less issues that can arise from them being there. If we educate van and car drivers the need the leave wide gaps especially around junctions, that will help flow of large vehicles. If we set the pedestrian crossing for longer gaps between crossing, this will significantly increase traffic flow. Those pedestrians crossing otherwise do so at their own risk. After all trade would increase in town, if shoppers could get through the place. If we ban the parking of all vehicles on the Dorchester Road, this will allow large vehicle out of town, allow the safe passing of all vehicles and help to free up the Waitrose junction. With regards to users of the free 30 mins car parking on Market St. If they are not able to reverse into a slot efficiently and safely, and not park on the pavement or 3 foot off the kerb, then drivers should use the car parks and not be so selfish as to inconvience others. It's just a view... but I would be happy for any thoughtful discussion on any comments I have made and apologise in advance if anyone has been offended by any comments made.

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