Northfields Way – Life after Barriers? Cllr Wade has the answers.

Cllr Wade forwarded my questions regarding the barriers on Northfields Way to the relevant Council Departments and has had a reply. As far as I am aware, Cllr Ferguson has made no response.

“Please find enclosed a reply to the questions (below) you put to me and Cllr Ferguson.

On the Clayhanger now has a Community Centre page, four main questions have been raised and discussed:

1. Does there need to be notice given that the barriers will be in place? A Traffic Regulation Order?
2. Where exactly will the barrier be placed?
3. What will happen to the ‘dead’ area behind the barrier? Can it be developed?
4. There are concerns that travellers and loitering will just occur in front of the barrier rather than at the end of Northfields Way potentially causing more disruption.

Good Morning Councillor Wade,

Our team have had some involvement as we were approached to discuss what options from a highways perspective could potentially be delivered, subject to the outcome of any community engagement and statutory procedures.

In terms of a barrier across the public highway this would require a traffic regulation order to be progressed to prohibit vehicular traffic from using the public highway. This process allows for objections to be raised and considered prior to any final decision to proceed with the traffic regulation order.

The most appropriate location for any barrier would need to be determined, but a location near to the junction with Allerdale Road is likely to prove the most effective in addressing the existing problems.

If a barrier system were to be introduced the area beyond the barrier would retain its public highway status, it’s just that vehicular traffic would legally be prohibited and physically prevented.

Clearly the location of any barrier would have to consider the impact of deterring unauthorised encampments and general loitering. That’s why a barrier system would be most effective if positioned near to the junction with Allerdale Road.

In terms of the latest proposals for further community engagement, it’s probably worth having a word with the manager of the Area Partnership who I understand is leading on this.

Regards

The first paragraph raises some interesting points:

Our team have had some involvement as we were approached to discuss what options from a highways perspective could potentially be delivered, subject to the outcome of any community engagement and statutory procedures.

The team having ‘some involvement’ and ‘options... [which] could potentially be delivered‘ would indicate that far from the barriers initiative being ‘allocated[…] [and] installed asap’ as boasted by Cllr Ferguson and Ben Brittain in the (now infamous) flier, the barriers have not yet reached any official planning stage and that there is a due and proper process to be followed: ‘subject to the outcome of any community engagement and statutory procedures’  which I welcome and I’m sure you do too.

Unfortunately, there will be no room for redevelopment of the ‘dead’ road behind the barrier, but perhaps it is reassuring to know that highway regulations still apply which offer that piece of unused road some protection against inappropriate use and behaviour .

Cllr Wade has, as suggested in the email, contacted Area Partnership and is awaiting a reply.

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