West Hill Watch

Crumbling Roundabout Commended

The Seven Dials roundabout was “highly commended” at the National Transport Awards ceremony held in London in October. Those who made this ludicrous commendation obviously failed to look at what they have commended or they seem to think that a £1 million scheme should be in need of major repair just months after its completion. Not only is the kerb breaking up on the outer island but the pavement is sinking on the Dyke Road outside the Red Snapper restaurant. Now that the safety railings have been removed and the pavements re-configured there are also serious concerns about pedestrian safety. So far two road signs on the pavement have been hit but how much longer will it be before a pedestrian is hit in a similar way?

lorry at seven dialsMeanwhile, this photograph taken by a local resident of an articulated lorry crossing the pavement outside the Small Batch Coffee bar illustrates the point.

Elm Tree under threat again

We stay at the roundabout to consider the City Council’s broken promise to protect the 130 year old elm by cutting back the tarmac which threatens to deprive its roots of water. An email sent by the Highways Department in July this year reads as follows: “I confirm that arrangements will be made to cut back an area of tarmac at the base of the tree, combined with laying of a coloured textured surfacing on the adjacent tarmac area. This will be carried out in due course with some other minor outstanding works in the vicinity”.

The other minor outstanding works such as replacing one of the damaged road signs referred to above have been carried out, so what about the elm tree? Perhaps the City Council is hoping to have it removed after all; no doubt an HGV passing over the pavement will oblige.

New Waste Facility in West Hill Road

The former Pickett Garage site at 26A West Hill Road is being used to dump builders’ waste. This seems to be with the co-operation of the site owners who have left the gates conveniently open. The planning permission granted by a government inspector for a ten-roomed house has at the same time failed to satisfy the conditions placed on it in nine respects.

One of these unfulfilled conditions is a satisfactory site contamination report. If the site wasn’t contaminated before, it will surely be so now.

 Jims Gowans

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