TRAFFIC PLANS HALTED OVER PROTESTS
By Kathy Hutchinson
Controversial traffic proposals which threatened to divide
Helmdon villagers have been put on ice in a bid to end the
Northamptonshire County council had planned to complete
demolition work on a disused railway bridge in the village
High Street in a bid to make it safer.
To counteract a predicted increase in speeding traffic through
the village, traffic calming measures were also planned.
But now council officials have decided to defer the work
following a meeting with parish councilors last week after
angry residents claimed that the scheme could endanger lives.
The parish council had approved a scheme to slow down motorists
in the High Street by creating a new pavement along the
western side and altering the road layout to give priority
to traffic from Church Street and Sulgrave Road.
But many residents want to see the existing pavement on
the eastern side extended and a narrow throttle created
near Jeffs coach yard to slow down traffic.
Ala Sharpe, county highways safety team leader, said: "The
parish council has supported the proposals presented by
the county council.
"However, there have been people in the village, although
I'm not sure how many, who feel these proposals are not
"Council policy says that it needs the support of the
parish council and the majority of villagers. We therefore
decided to defer the work to give the villagers time to
come up with a compromise.
"Mr Sharpe said if a decision was reached promptly
the work could be included in next year's budget, and maintenance
work to strengthen the bridge would be carried out in the
Parish council clerk Dorothy Cernick said the parish council
had set up a sub-committee to discuss the proposals, which
would report to the full meeting on February 25.
And villager Lyndsey Glassett, who opposed the council's
proposals, said, "We are very grateful that overwhelming
public opinion has forced this rethink and grateful to all
those who showed their concern by writing letters.
"It is a little battle in a big war that I feel that
the villagers have won, but it is not over yet and I think
it is going to be very difficult to reach a compromise."
The Banbury Cake - 14th January 1993