Rawreth Lane: Essex County Council Respond

Over the weekend we had the following comment from Jennifer, which we passed on to the local County Highways Office.

I must add to the concerns already raised regarding the traffic on Rawreth lane during this period of work on the road – at least I assume it?s the road as there does not appear to be any notice or information as to what the work is, why it is happening and when it will finish.

On Friday evening (5th October) all of the temporary traffic lights were red, all of them. traffic was at a standstill in both directions on Rawreth Lane and doen Downhall Park Way. Eventually the traffic began to move when someone decided to control the traffic themselves and go through the red light to get it moving. I telephoned the Police to advise them of the problem and make them aware of the potential for an accident given the ?red? situation, and to my horror was told they were Council lights and not their concern! Is nobody accountable for this traffic chaos – not just on this occasion but at peak times when the traffic can not move from Downhall Park Way or along Rawreth Lane? Where is the courtesy to explain the work and where is the accountability?

One of the senior staff County Highways has responded very promptly and has kindly agreed that we can publish what she wrote. So here it is:

Although this is not my particular scheme to manage ECC does have an input and ECC?s consultant is taking the Clerk of Works role on this one. Visits are being made daily.

I too have had a couple of complaints this morning. Friday was a bad day traffic wise and although I?m sure there may be complaints about the Rawreth Lane situation I wouldn?t be surprised if the A12 problems didn?t add to the traffic delays. I have spoken to the Project Manager who has been co-operative on a number of issues that cropped up during the week and he informs me that during the rush hour the signals were managed manually up to 19.00. This agreement was made during last week in the attempt to keep traffic flowing as best as possible. They have also been asked to work 7 day weeks to be able to reduce the length of time on site and have been able to reduce their timescales for completion down to 4 weeks from 12. It is a difficult site to work on with the school, the leisure centre and the busy road as well as the Wimpeys site still to be completed. Unfortunately it is necessary to have the one lane out of use to enable safe working and to provide pedestrian access.

I have requested Courtesy boards to go up as there does not appear to be anything available to give information to the public and these have been promised asap. Once in place this will at least let drivers know how long the works are for.

I have no doubt that there will be complaints until the work is complete regardless of any improvements/changes that are made to the traffic management arrangements as Rawreth Lane is such an important link in our local network

I cannot condone the practice of jumping red lights under any circumstances.

  • We were told in August that “in agreeing to our works license ECC have asked us to work 7 days a week to minimise the period of disruption and try to re-open the junction”. THEY DID NOT WORK THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY nor did they work yesterday (rain?).

    When managed manually priority is always to be given to Priory Chase (as this is where the man sits) and towards A1245 as this is where he looks. Drivers should be aware that when the lights are operated manually there is no sequence to them.

  • If Rawreth Lane is such an important link in our local network as stated by the senior staff member from County Highways, I trust that she, or the appropriate person, will be prepared for and do something about, the total and utter chaos that will ensue once Asda actually opens at the end of October.

    This traffic will be a twice daily occurrence when the expected extra 700 vehicles per hour visit Asda during peak periods. We live at the Western end of Rawreth Lane and cannot get out of our gates during these times.

  • Speaking as a parent of a child at the School, I must say that this morning the situation in Priory Chase was total chaos.

    Asda and Wimpey appear to have absoutely no communication together and with the Wimpey team actively assisting parents walking their children up to school on the Walking Bus as well as signalling when the blind bend they have created is clear – the Asda “Security” guys and workmen still insist in sending site traffic up to the School to turn round. There are cars parked outside the school, children crossing the road and no room for any movement – let alone massive trucks.

    Wimpey agreed that there would be no heavy site traffic or deliveries around school time and this seems to be being adhered to for the most part. However, vehicles attending the Asda site are causing maximum disturbance. It will not be long before there is a serious accident involving a child I am sure. Little or no traffic entering Priory Chase is adhereing to the advertised speed limits. It is impossible to walk along the pathways and drivers appear to have no regard to the rules of the road, use of indicators or giving way at roundabouts – that is if you can see to get onto the roundabout!!

    The School Walking Bus is finding it hard to operate too. These schemes are designed so that people leave their cars behind and walk to school safely- how can they do this if all they face is the possibility of being hit by a speeding HGV or getting abuse from the deliver drivers – yes this does happen too.

    We are trying to encourage traffic away from the School with the co-operation of the Leisure Centre and Wimpey – but there will always be those that choose to drive too.

    Incidentally – it took some of our parents over 20 minutes to get out of Priory Chase this morning!

    We will watchi this situation with interest.

  • I should mention that the local highways office in Basildon weren’t the highways people that supported the Asda application, nor the design of the spinal road. They just have to pick up the pieces.

    Of cause they are correct when thay say that the spinal road – Priory Chase has to service the school, the leisure centre and the busy road as well as the Wimpeys site still to be completed. I am still extremely unhappy that the district council passed the road.

    So when we have the West Area Committee meeting next week, I very much hope County Highways are treated very fairly, because the problems here are NOT of their making.

  • One solution to this is for the parents to keep their children away from school until it is safe for them to return. If the Education authorities and the local/district councils and the police are informed, how long will it take for Asda to do something serious about this dangerous situation.

  • I was on my way out this morning at approx 9:00 and as the taxi I was in approached the top of Trenders Ave there was a large sludge gulper type of vehicle completely blocking the entrance/exit to Trenders Ave, even though there is a large yellow sign by the bollards requesting drivers ‘not to block the road’. When the lights turned green we were behind this vehicle and as we approached the traffic lights they turned Red, but this did not deter the driver of the vehicle who promptly drove straight through the Red light and turned right into Priory Chase. Surely this constitutes a breach of the Road Traffic Act? I have no doubt that before long there will be a serious accident there.

  • Chris

    As you know I recently posted the reply from the Council Engineer about this whole sorry mess however on reflection there are still some pretty big unanswered questions:

    * Which dept / person was responsible for the error in the first place that meant a junction less that 6 months old has to be completely replaced ?

    * Is that dept / person going to suffer any negative consequences as a result ?

    * Who is funding the rework ?

    Can we get these questions raised at the West Area Committee meeting please.

  • I do not think that keeping children away from school is a viable alternative. I think liaison with Asda may help.

    Just off on the school run this morning – hopefully our Walking Bus will have a problem free trip today?

    Many thanks for forwarding comments on too Chris.

  • Can I point out that the construction traffic has nothing to do with Asda as a company (am I really defending them here??) but the onus is on RG group (the construction company) who by the way are members of the Considerate Construction group – perhaps a complaint to Considerate Constructors might yield results, especially when at the residents meeting in April, they boasted that they had never received a complaint, and had in fact received awards for their considerate attitude.

    If you want the number for Considerate Constructors I can post it!

  • Here is a link to a previous posting on this site

    The Road for the Park School Site Scrapes Through the Planning Committee

    https://www.onlinefocus.org/?p=83

    The main “spine” road for the Park School Site was passed by Rochford District Council’s planning committee on August 26th – but only just.

    Obviously there will have to be a road here to reach the school , sports centre , commercial uses and all those new houses. But Ron and Chris felt that the proposed road was too narrow (only 6m wide near the proposed school) and asked for the decision to be deferred to get some improvements.

    It wasn’t only us who felt like this. Rawreth Parish Council strongly objected and their chairman Basil Osborn came along to the meeting to speak (ordinary residents can’t speak, but parish councils can make representations) The chairman of the governors at Rawreth School also objected.

    What was peculiar was that County Highways didn’t object – even though one of their officers made the folllowing written comments:

    “Having the school at the end of the road will undoubtedly cause short term parking problems particularly at collection times when parents tend arrive early and wait for their children to finish school. The turning area and the road itself are likely to become severely restricted until the cars begin to leave but to ensure that the residential estate roads adjacent are not adversely affected, measures should be taken at the planning stage to prevent any direct access, including pedestrian, between the school and the proposed residential area.

    The provision of the 3 metre wide footway on one side of Roads 1 & 2 is clearly an attempt to provide pedestrians and possibly cyclists with a clear route through the site to Rawreth Lane. However, very little thought has been given to how people should be accommodated once they have reached Raweth Lane particularly as the new junction is to be uncontrolled. Because the main access road/pedestrian cycleway link is a cul de sac and part of it is also to be a 20 mph zone, cycles would normally be expected to use the carriageway and this should be the situation here. Lack of any traffic control at the Rawreth Lane junction would mean that it would be most important for cyclists particularly to be in the correct position on the carriageway once they are within the limits of the junction.

    The section 106 agreement makes it very clear that there should be a bridleway link between the site and bridleway in the adjacent Sweyne Park. The provision of this link would provide a positive link between Sweyne Park and the bridleway on the opposite side of Rawreth Lane. The link shown at the southern end of the turning area at the end of Road 2 should be re-designated as a bridleway and dedicated as such.

    Drainage in general and of the highways in particular, has proved to be a problem at the Reids Nursery site just down the road from here and any departures from the normally acceptable drainage systems, techniques and practices will need to be agreed in advance with this Office.”

    We proposed that the decision be deferred but we lost the vote by 14 votes to 11, which leaves us very disappointed, None of the 14 who voted to push this through (13 Tories and independent Councillor Heather Glynn) actually spoke in favour of the road, they just voted anyway. When the council’s Director of Planning said that we don’t normally go into such detail about the design of a cul-de-sac road, our Lib Dem Colleague Chris Lumley replied, in simple words that a primary school pupil would understand , that most cul-de-sacs don’t have schools at the end of them.

    We can foresee now the Focuses we’ll be writing in five years time about the congestion outside the school – after all there’s a highways officer predicting it. We also know that residents will be annoyed that we weren’t able to do anything about it. Thanks anyway for the one Labour and 6 Tories who supported us – in particular Sue Harper, Tory Councillor in Rochford, who showed a particular interest, and never takes the attitude “It’s in Rayleigh, so I won’t bother about it”.

    This entry was posted on Friday, August 27th, 2004 at and is filed under Rawreth, Rayleigh, Planning Applications, Highways and Parking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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  • As requested, here are an aray of contact details for Considerate Constructors

    Telephone: 01920 485959
    Fax: 01920 485958
    Free phone: 0800 7831423
    URL: http://www.ccscheme.org.uk
    Email: enquiries@ccscheme.org.uk

    Interesting to note, when we contact the local council today about the generator (eight nights now without sleep), we were informed that they had one person working on the generator issue and unfortunately, they were not in work today!!!

  • Hi Steve, the County Highways I was expecting at the meeting wasn’t there (although another officer was). Asking your question (s) at the meeting wouldn’t have achieved much, I will be asking it separately by email/

  • Have finally spoken to Environment Health today – and have been advised the following today – which I thought I would pass on to you all.

    Should there be any problems with Asda, such as delveries before their stated time (can’t rememeber if this is 7 or 7:30am) or after 11pm (time stated that their last delivery would occur) or that lorries have the reversing noise (note that these were all conditions stated by Asda in their application) the contact the Planning Dept at RDC as this is breach of planning and would get a speedier response than going through say Environmental Health.