CLAVERING PARISH COUNCIL
Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer
COCK LANE ROAD INFORMATION CLOSURE
Road Closure between Ponds Manor and its junction with Plantation Hill (on the sharp bend of the road to Langley)
Please ensure that Essex County Council notices, barriers and signs are not moved or interfered with.
February 2016 – Essex County Council (ECC) inspected the site and immediately closed the road due to dangerous erosion of the riverbank and verge. The signs and barriers sadly were being removed and not replaced.
25th February 2016 - Essex Highways Engineers visited the site and replaced the barriers and signs only to witness drivers then moving them. An Essex Highways Representative emailed the Parish Council to advise: ‘It’s clear now that the road closure will be in place for some months until the river bank is repaired. The Structures team expressed concerns about the amount of people moving the barriers aside and driving past the damaged riverbank. Therefore, I have arranged for much heavier, water filled, barriers to be erected at each end of the closure to prevent unauthorised vehicles driving past the dangerously eroded river bank.
Whilst on site The Parish Council representative also expressed concerns about diverting traffic through the Ford at Watery Stones and as such I have amended the diversion route to continue along to the westerly end of Cock Lane and back onto Pelham Road. This is a longer route but it avoids taking vehicles over the Ford.’
The Parish Council continue to do all they can to ensure that parishioners are kept safe and are pushing for the remedial works to be carried out as soon as possible.
It will also monitor the road surface at Watery Stones to advise Highways of serious degradation.
13th March 2016 - Essex County Cllr Ray Gooding visited the site and is in direct contact with the Essex Cabinet Member with responsibility for Road Safety to move this repair forward.
17th March 2016 - Unfortunately, the last email from the Essex Highways Rep. is not hopeful for a swift repair: ‘We have added approx. 200 litres of water into these barriers today and intend to add the same amount next week however, regrettably we could position concrete barriers and a tractor could easily move them. The Environment Agency have now inspected this area and have ascertained that the problem is caused by trees, which have then fallen into the river and disrupted the flow of the river causing it to erode the riverbank under the road. Therefore, it appears Essex County Council will have to foot the bill for what is likely to be a significant repair cost. The engineer has asked the structures team to begin the design process and ultimately this scheme will have to be paid for by Capital funds. This will be a lengthy process and at the present time there are no funds allocated to this therefore, the road will continue to remain closed for the foreseeable future.’
The Parish Council will continue to act in the best interests of parishioners and ask for updates from ECC on progress.
30th August 2016 – Clavering Parish Council wrote to Cllr Johnson requesting that ECC: cut roadside verges along Cock Lane and Watery Stones so vehicles can see the dangerous edges; replace the water-filled barriers with concrete barriers; construct a soft barrier to allow Mr and Mrs Abrahams farming access into their field gateway; improve the signage as the current diversion signs are confusing; add the diversion route to the winter gritting route.
31st August 2016 - Response received from Cllr Johnson. “Many thanks for your letter; the issues that you have raised will be investigated and a full response will be sent shortly. I understand that the concrete barriers have been installed on Friday but I will ensure that this is confirmed in full”.
30th August 2016 - Email sent to the Environment Agency asking for an inspection of the River Stort
11th September 2016 – Follow up email sent to the Environment Agency
13th September 2016 Response from Cllr Johnson "As advised in my acknowledgement email, I am pleased to confirm that the concrete bollards have now been placed on site. Furthermore, I can advise that the verges along Cock Lane and Watery Stones have been cut back, improving visibility for road users. Having attended the Mill Road barrier, our Highway Engineers have confirmed that the field entrance and driveway to Mr and Mrs Abrahams’s property is accessible from Cock Lane. I acknowledge your request to see amendments made to the diversion signage; however, all signage placed on the highway must adhere to The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, which is a statutory document. In light of your comments I have requested that, during our Highway Engineers’ next site visit, they consider the positioning of the signage to determine whether there are any possible amendments which could be made to improve the situation. I also acknowledge your desire to see Cock Lane added to the Winter Gritting Network; however, there are specific criteria which need to be met in order for a road to be included in this programme, which Cock Lane does not meet. Should you wish to familiarise yourself with the criteria, please visit the Winter Travel pages of our website here. Your request for the addition of a salt bin could potentially be funded by the Local Highway Panel (LHP) and I would therefore suggest that you forward your request onto the local County Councillor, Cllr Ray Gooding (firstname.lastname@example.org), for consideration. In closing, I wish to thank you for contacting me in respect of this matter and trust that the above clarifies our position at this time."