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The Road to Redemption Part IX

A letter to the parish council who

aren’t picking up any vibrations
good or bad

How to cut your hedges in the Village of the Damned

Dear parish councillors,

I am sure it will do your public-spirited hearts good to know that the county council
have contacted me about the narrow pavement outside my property and the over-hang
of my hedge.

The county officer understood that nobody would be foolish enough to stand in the
middle of the A519 to cut back a hedge – and besides the passing of hundreds of
massive six axle - speeding - trucks keep it looking pretty neat for me anyway.

A perfect cut if you take a look.

Of course, the stretch of footpath you asked the county council to investigate has been
redundant for years, not because I will not cut the hedge back, but because of the
threat of the traffic.

Do you remember, it’s not that many years ago when we used to be able to sit outside
the Reform Tavern by the road on a summer’s day?
That’s a thing of the past now too – because of the traffic.

Various ways of revitalising the footpath were discussed by the county council chap
and myself. But, as you would expect, none of them had any value.

Now we’ll have to see what happens. Nothing much I suspect.

But it does beg the question: what value to the village is there in opening up this bit of

Only a fool would try to walk on it.

Think about it. If the wagons are so close to the edge that they keep my trees neatly
cut, how long would it be before they dragged some pedestrian under their wheels?

This latest idea from the parish council is about as much use to the village as all the
other bits of pettiness and pointlessness that you have been dragged in to.

If the footpath in question becomes useable again, the only people to actually use it
will be the drivers of the monstrous trucks who use the other pavement outside my
property to pass each other.

Any pedestrian foolish enough to walk along it might as well be walking a tightrope.

The man from the county council was very quick to point out that the parish council
had been instrumental in getting the white lines put down on either side of the road to
make it look narrower so drivers would be more careful.

Well, that little move, along with the street lights which were put in more than a
decade ago, have simply turned it into a race track.

Do you know that since the 30mph speed limit was introduced the average speed of
traffic has gone up to almost 60mph?

Do you know that since you managed to get the road ‘narrowed’, almost 1,000 six
axle wagons a day have begun to use this road? They don’t think it’s narrow – it’s
wide enough for them, if they use the pavements.

Do you know that villagers who stick to the speed limit are regularly intimidated,
tailgated, threatened, abused and insulted by other drivers?

Do you know that more than a dozen people along the road in the village – and some
from Barn Common – have complained to me about the vibrations set up by the
massive speeding trucks?

Do you know that people who live 300 yards away from the road cannot sleep at night
with their windows open because of the noise?
Do you know that there are at least two people who are physically ill because of the
tyranny of this road?

Do you know how many people want to sell up and move?

Do you know when speed cameras were last used in the village?

Do you know how many accidents have happened on this stretch of road, do you
know how many people have died?

And what have you, the parish council, done about it?

I’m not casting doubts on your motivation, I’m just asking – what have you done
about the road? Anything?

There are things to be done you know – like campaigning now for a ‘silent’ road
surface to be put down next time the road is repaired. They’re using it in other parts of
Staffordshire already. But you’ve got to let them know you want it!

Stan Robinson’s bypass idea might have been a non-starter, but it doesn’t mean it will
always be.

Get as many people as possible to park their cars on the road a couple of times a
week. You’re allowed to! The lorries won’t get through and eventually they’ll go
somewhere else.

Get the police to patrol the road.

Get the police to supply civilian speed cameras and get out there and trap the
speeders yourselves. I’ll do it with you!

I’m currently talking to The Road Haulage Association, the Council for the Protection
of Rural England, local councillors, other organisations - and the villagers.

What are you doing? Well, we know don’t we - checking people’s hedges and fences
and trying to get a bit of pavement opened up.

Well done …

Leigh G Banks