Meeting held 18th March 2011 in Chacombe Village Hall to discuss the local implications of the closure of the A361 road between Chacombe and Banbury for the Banbury Flood Alleviation works
Steven Shuttleworth Director Service Delivery SNC
Councillor Rosie Herring SNC
Councillor Mar-Ann Sergison-Brooke SNC
Sue Shepherd Clerk to Chacombe PC
James Harper Chacombe PC
Roger Bell Chacombe PC
Pam Stokes Boddington PC
Caroline Wild Chairman Wardington PC
Jose Rowling Clerk to Culworth PC
Goffe Taylor Chairman Aston le Walls PC
Gill Taylor Clerk to Aston le Walls PC
Nigel Galletly Chairman Chipping Warden PC
County Councillor Ken Melling NCC
Alan Etheridge Project Engineer NCC
Helen Grainger Highways and Transport OCC
Mike Horton Principal Traffic Technician OCC
Ian Ledingham Northamptonshire Police
Richard Harding Project Executive Environment Agency
Barry Russell Flood Risk Manager Environment
Apologies: Cropredy Parish Council
Steven Shuttleworth (Director of Service Delivery South Northants Council) kindly agreed to chair the meeting and outlined an agenda of discussion to cover the details of the proposed scheme, the proposed traffic diversion, and communications.
Barry Russell from the Environment Agency outlined the scheme which is to protect Banbury from the flooding which occurred in 1998 and 2007. It has involved designing a pumping station and flow control structures. This scheme will protect up to a ‘once in 200 year’ event, with significant benefits to Banbury (both residential and commercial properties) and areas adjoining the town. The will also be a benefit to South Northants as the flood alleviation scheme will protect a water treatment plant in Banbury which currently serves 3000 homes in Northamptonshire. The train station will also be protected as will Kings Sutton down-stream from Banbury.
The contractors (Morrison Construction) are using material sourced locally to prevent extra lorry movements. It has been decided (after considerable study by EZ, NCC and OCC) that it would be quicker, cheaper and safer to go for a complete road closure than a partial one. The scheme will raise 800 metres of road carriageway by 750mm maximum and 400mmm average. This will not prevent flooding on the A361 itself but it should be slightly better than at present. There will be culverts to let the water flow under the road so that it does not act as a barrier.
Morrison Construction applied for the road closure but could not do any communications until the result of the recent public enquiry. There have been leaflets distributed around the villages. Weight restriction signs will be put on the roads leading off the A361 – this is a task for w/c 21/3/11.
The work will end by or before 11th July in time of the Grand Prix weekend.
Goffe Taylor from Aston le Walls PC asked if there would be any affect on the Byfield Reservoir feeder. He was assured that there would be no effect to any parts up-stream from the works. Steven Shuttleworth asked the Environment Agency to provide fuller details regarding Byfield Reservoir, to give AlPPC the confidence they were seeking.
Action: Richard Harding to contact Aston le Walls PC.
Alan Etheridge from NCC explained that the A361 is a classified as a red route because of its accident history and this is why the road closure was supported so that the work could be carried out safely. However, he explained that the local highway authority had no power to enforce the 7.5 tonne weight limit since enforcement is a police responsibility. Parishes would therefore have to notify the police of any infringements, taking a note of date/time, the Vehicle Company and registration if possible. Ian Ledingham explained that the police have much fewer resources now and weight enforcement is not normally a priority, so Parish Councils should talk to their local PCSO to ask that this work become a priority during the next three months.
It was noted that the diversion signs were not all in place and those that were contained too much information to be read from a moving vehicle. Alan Etheridge/Helen Grainger explained that the start date for scheme has been delayed for the signs to go up so they will be in place before the work commences. They undertook to review the diversion signs with EA to make sure the information contained clearer and more prescriptive.
Action: Alan Etherdige/Helen Grainger to review diversion signs (with EA) to make sure the information contains clearer and more prescriptive information.
Councillor Sergison-Brooke asked that the Chipping Warden export site be informed and it was noted that the DIRFT site in Daventry also needs information to comply with the proposed diversions. Richard Harding/Alan Etheridge/Helen Grainger explained that normal highways diversion notification procedures meant that major transport firms were notified