11 comments on “White Dirt Lane Road Improvements

  1. Guy, thank you for keeping everyone informed on this and all topical local matters.
    As a resident of White Dirt Lane and was pleased to read item number 1 above. However from the meeting on Thursday the view of the gentleman in attendance was more of the view that the majority view from everyone using the road will determine what action is taken (and in which case the views of residents will be in the minority). That did not give much confidence if that is how it will work.
    It was also stated at the meeting that speed was not the main issue with the Lane. Having lived here for over 20 years, certainly speed is a key factor but under pinning this is the volume of traffic and essentially the lack of consideration given by too many people to the fact the lane is narrow, has pinch points, speed kills and in some cases they seem oblivious to the dangers. I stress that not everyone ha the lack of consideration. WDL is not unique in that regard.
    I do not expect the lane to be closed, and having regard for other non residents that would not be the best decision all round. I am hopeful that speed humps will be the decision taken, but not the namby pamby ones shown – as unlikely to be as effective of others that will actually slow people down noticeably in key places. The placement does not give me a warm feeling as I would have expected the council to take the opportunity to reduce speed mid way and lower down the lane also. Certainly for example if I lived in Wrexham Grove I would have hoped for some placement to give a fighting change of getting out of the road better than now. The options to vote on do not provide for this suitably in my view.
    Overall good that there is due consideration, and hopefully the right decision that compromises everyone will take place.

    • Hi, thank you for the comment! I hope the HCC team do give great weight to the immediate community. There is also space on the forms to give other feedback so do say as much as you can! Guy.

  2. It seems to me that to update White Dirt Lane at this time will be presenting Taylor Wimpy with a good reason why their application should be approved, better access. Surely the upgrading of WDL can wait until the planning process for WDF is finalised, preferably in favour of no housing development.

  3. Hello Guy,

    Have just read your comments about the White Dirt Lane ‘improvements’. I think what you’ve said at points 3 & 4 is very misleading and in my opinion incorrect.

    I fail to see how closing White Dirt Lane will result in more traffic using Five Heads Road. If White Dirt were closed less traffic would use Five Heads. I agree that Five Heads Road needs ‘attention’ but linking the two in this way is nonsense. I do (obviously) accept that traffic will be displaced but Drift Road, Downhouse and Downwood etc all have two carriageways and footpaths. While this ‘displacement’ is not ideal, it is however, safer for all concerned.

    Similarly, suggesting that closing White Dirt Lane will somehow make the proposed White Dirt Farm development more viable is very hard to accept because surely if we close White Dirt Lane we reduce the locally available road capacity and thereby render further development not viable because of inadequate local infrastructure.

    The real issue here is that our local roads, schools, Doctors’ surgeries, shops, jobs etc etc are inadequate to support the level of development that is being ‘dumped’ on us. And no amount of tinkering, with pinch points, cushions and speed limits will change this fact.

    • Hi Simon, residents living at the bottom of white dirt lane are likely to use Drift Road. At the South end of Downs Ward the journey to Jubilee Hall or The Farmer Inn is quicker by Five Heads Road than Drift Road. Depending it is going to add to both roads, but probably more to Drift Road. For White Dirt Farm, the HCC highways officers report on the consultees comments on the EHDC website is recommending refusal (which is very good news) but one of the reasons is the unsuitability of adjacent roads. I think the report also refers to the outcome of the WDL consultation in the highways officers remarks. Not withstanding this, I make the point this needs to be decided for the right reasons on WDL, not just viewing the development. Guy.

  4. Guy, it is over 12 months ago that serious discussions were conducted to try and sort out WDL. A traffic survey was carried out by HIGHWAYS, which agreed with the data obtained by the SID machine that recorded speed and traffic flows up and down WDL. The result was quite clear in that there was NOT a speed problem but a traffic problem. The road is an unclassified, narrow and winding road that is not fit for the volume of traffic it carries.Several agencies, including Highways and EHDC have stated WDL is a dangerous road.
    The first survey was conducted in November last year where 8 questions were asked. The 7.5 tonne weight limit came third with road closure a very close fourth. The prime winner was traffic calming.
    At the public meeting on the 12 Dec 2013 it became obviously apparent that people had voted for traffic calming, the way they had read the questionair it implied that road closure would possibly not happen. When the audience was asked if those who had voted for traffic calming would change their vote to road closure, a mass of hands went up and Cllr Harvey said note must be taken of this change in opinion. Vey few people wanted a 20 mph limit as it is unenforceable, nor did they want a village gateway.
    The present survey gives 5 choices, three of them incorporate a 20 speed limit which would achieve nothing, nor is it enforceable. The 5th choice was to do nothing which is a no brainer. As Highways consider WDL to be a narrow road with few passing places, with horizontal calming it will make it nigh on impossible for traffic to pass each other.
    WDL development is a red herring, as you said it would be unlikely to happen, and secondly I doubt those who may live there would want to risk taking a vehicle on it.
    A closed road can have cycle and pedestrian access thus turning WDL into a safe route for schools and a route for walkers to access either Catherington or Clanfield in safety.
    BUT, none of this matters as at the CVRA meeting on Friday 31 October, Cllr M Harvey said that road closure would never happen as they did not have the money to fund the venture. Thus those votes have been wasted and the shebangle should be scrapped and done properly. How, after being told by Cllr Harvey that the questionair would be the residents choice as to what would happen to WDL.
    At the presentation at Jubilee hall I specifically asked if the vote went to road closure would it happen, I was assured by two people that Highways would do what the residents wanted. Whatever the majority vote is for then it should happen.

    How will those people who voted for closure be told their vote is now invalid as only a postcode was asked for?

    How can we be sure what the majority vote is though, and how can it be that that assurances have been made that road closure was an option, when apparently it is too difficult but not impossible to do.

    If we cannot trust our councillors to give us the truth on a small issue how can we trust them on larger issues?
    Why was it allowed to go on the questionnaire (which right now is still open for people to vote on !!!!!!)
    I think we are entitled to know how this farce has been allowed to happen. What does the future hold?

    Frank Rowney

    • I have spoken to Cllr Harvey regarding Mr Rowneys comments & it seems she did not make the comments on road closure costs. I believe she has spoken to Mr Rowney & look forward to seeing his retraction.
      David Galloway

  5. From David Galloway , Resident of WDL
    As a retired Highway Engineer I can speak with a degree of expert knowledge.
    Mr Rowney represents a single issue pressure group and it is a common factor with such groups that they will not be confused by the facts.
    I complained to HCC in the spring of 2012 & was told that they were aware of the problem.
    Following an exchange of letters Valerie & I met an engineer on site & we put forward the suggestion of a one way system , we were given the explanation that the alternative route would be far to long & he then added that this would also apply to a road closure. I was well aware of this but it gave me the opportunity to ask, What is your solution?. The answer traffic calming & I have been pursuing this ever since the meeting. I wrote to Cllr. Thornber Leader of the Council complaining @ the lack of progress & received a reply to say that at a meeting of elected Members in Nov. 2012 they had decided that the Councils policy for WDL would be traffic calming & not a road closure. Cllr Harvey is therefore taking the same line as the Engineer in 2012 & also reflecting County Policy. 23 months on nothing has happened and the Officers continue to ignore the approved policy.
    The facts are that the alternative route for residents of the 3 roads is far to long & would not meet the conditions set out in the Highways Act as required for the Magistrates to confirm the Order.
    If it were to be made drivers returning from the Surgery & local shops would have to make the difficult turn ( it is a hairpin) from Catherington Lane into WDL, very few drivers can make this turn without crossing the white line. Not dangerous but could lead to minor accidents..
    At the WD Farm meeting it was explained that Roads are not dangerous, it is the drivers who cause the danger by driving at speeds inappropriate to road conditions, ie speeds in excess of 30mph in WDL, a point recognised by the resident who raised it at the Dec.2013 Mtg.
    HCC have recognised this by proposing the limit & making it self enforcing by installing road cushions. They have after 23 months taken a step in the right direction but they must cover Wrexham Grove plus the length down to the Farm
    These are the facts but Mr Rowney will not be confused, I was close enough to him at the WD Farm Meeting to hear him comment when the explanation regarding dangerous roads was given that speed was not a problem it was volume. The best the residents can hope for traffic calming & a possible reduction in volume. As Residents we should get behind Cllr. Harvey to press for the possible, not pursue a pipe dream. Because of my involvement I am very much aware of the efforts she has made
    & we should be grateful & the comments made against her are out of order.

  6. Notwithstanding Mr Galloway’s expertise as a Highways Engineer the issue is really about the differences in possible solutions to the WDL problem of a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists. As Mr Rowney states the possibility of Road Closure was put forward at the formal consultation with Councillors and subsequently, Eastleigh Borough Council Highway Engineers advised a CVRA representative when spoken to, that the road was not suitable for two way traffic. One of the solutions they as experts offered at the recent consultation was road closure. If that is the majority vote then residents and other affected individuals must have taken into consideration the extra distance and manoeuvring problems when accessing WDL from Catherington Lane North.
    I believe the response given by Cllr Harvey did mention costs but I think they were in relation to the process of closure as opposed to the material costs.

    In the early 80’s residents of WDL and Glamorgan road requested a footpath for children to walk to Horndean Community School which at that time was expanding. HCC eventually provided a footpath on the west side of Catherington Lane but none in WDL, presumably as traffic was not considered a issue at that time. 30 years on and traffic is a real threat to pedestrians and cyclists. Encouraging students and young pupils to walk/cycle to school is not realistic unless the road is closed or a footpath/cycleway provided.
    I support Cllr Harvey and believe she is trying her best to achieve the best she can. Regrettably the best she can achieve may not be the best solution.

    • When I Spoke to the Eastleigh people it was clear that they had given no regard to traffic turning from
      Catherington Lane North into WDL or the fact that a closure would increase this flow & hence increase the possibility of minor accidents. They were unaware of the location of the fire Station & the extra journey time via London Rd & Catherington Lane if WDL was closed. These points would no doubt have been considered in Nov. 2012 when the Council decided that traffic calming was the solution & that a scheme be included in the 2013/2014 works programme.
      Cllr. Harvey has been active in trying to have this policy since June 2013 but has been thwarted at every opportunity by the Officers.
      I was living in Clanfield in the early 80,s & my children used WDL to Walk & Cycle to School.
      As a Design Engineer I was unaware of a problem from either my children or the Residents.
      I was aware of the problem in Catherington Lane & I was the Engineer who was asked to design the
      scheme. I am delighted the scheme was appreciated

  7. I appreciate the reasons for the comments made in this discussion/blog.

    I use WDL on most journeys by car and foot and cycle to All Saints Church and beyond. WDL: is a difficult road to negotiate at the best of times, most drivers take care in using the road, but there are many who don’t especially in the region of the junction of Catherington lane and WDL, and in the nearly blind bend at the Farm drivers coming down hill and meeting up-road drivers, people on foot ect, are invarably speeding. Closing the road off complety to vehicles would result in increased traffic on other access roads, access to all Saints Church will be limited [the church is already constarined by few attendees Emergency access to WDL and Glamorgan Road would be severley time curtailed [unless helicopters were used].

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