Stop Press: SITE BEING UPDATED!
So far this month April, Freshford's rainfall has been little more than 2mm. (21st) The average for April is 58mm Update midnight 30th April 5mm. Lowest since 2008. For graphs dating back to the Summer of 2008 refer to Freshford Mill
A Freshford wall -a masterpiece
SHARED SPACE AND FRESHFORD SCHOOL
A new article has been published on the danger to Freshford children of the implementation of this concept in Freshford from speeding motorists. Read it here
SHARED SPACES AN EVALUATION
An evaluation has been contributed for those who live in Freshford, Limpley Stoke and hamlets: Shared Space?
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Freshford Somerset: an Introduction
Freshford is in 2011 a village dating back a thousand years or more.
Some of the property in the village is located in Wiltshire and some in
Bath and North-East Somerset (known as BANES). This affects the choice of
secondary school for parents, and splits up children who have grown up
together in their primary school.
The children should be able to continue their education together when
they leave the primary school where they have grown up together.
Unfortunately, this division of Freshford between Wiltshire and Somerset
(B&NES) is not the result of some recent skulduggery, yet its affects
extend into the 21st Century. The ghosts continue to extend their
influence into the time when people are free to use their intelligence,
rather than witchcraft or be bound by land divisions created by the
church, or the Normans. And guess what; it is the ghosts that rule. Why
can't parents choose the nearest school to where they live?
Parental Choice of School Apart from the educational issues
which are important to Freshford, the village is arguably the finest
village in this part of the west country. This website includes many
photographs that record the attractive nature not only of the village but
also its beautiful setting. The parish website is:
Freshford Village The new
village shop and post office has its own website:
B&NES have published an excellent appraisal of Freshford and the
neighbouring hamlet of Sharpstone.
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WHAT CAN WE DO?
Joint Local Transport Plan: have your say
The West of England is a prosperous area with an excellent quality of life and a growing national and international profile. However, rapid growth means that the sub-region faces increasing pressure on its infrastructure, and it is still the case that there are too many neighbourhoods that do not share in its prosperity.
The Partnership was formed in response to these opportunities and challenges. It consists of four unitary authorities: Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire; and a range of social, economic and environmental partners.
The public are invited to complete a short questionnaire expressing their concern for the priorities that have been indentified for the Joint Local Transport Plan No 3 (JLTP3). I live in Wiltshire, but live just a few miles from the city of Bath, closer in fact than many residents of some parts of the four unitary authorites that form the West of England Partnership. I feel quite entitled to add my comments on the JLTP3 which is at present in draft form and would encourage other Wiltshire, as well as BANES residents to do the same. The JLTP3 is an important document that will affect anyone living in the area for years to come. The questionaire is online and there are also sections of the JLTP3 that can also be accessed from the website with opportunites for the public to comment online.
A36 Link road unnecessary
Whilst it is not at all difficult to understand why the city of Bath wants to divert through traffic from the A36 to the M46 without traffic going through the town. The resurrection of the proposed link road is not necessary. It is not necessary because most of the HGV traffic should not be using the A36 to reach the M4. Read more
What can we do to slow speeding motorists?
I have been adding documents on Speed Limits to the forum. Locally we are concerned by the speed at which motorists are going through our villages. Freshford already has a 20mph limit and Limpley Stoke is going to have a 20mph trial limit, there is agitation in Westwood for a reduction in the speed limit as well. Whilst these villages do not have alarming accident statistics many residents feel at risk from inconsiderate drivers. The trouble with Freshford is that the 20mph limit does not apply to Sharpstone and Park Corner. By what stretch of the imagination does the highway authority think that The Tyning, for example, merits a 30mph speed limit? I think on review the speed limit should be extended to Abbey lane's junction with Rosemary lane.
Drive at no more than your desired speed limit for your village?
This is what I think we can do as motorists we can drive slowly and those that approach from behind will have to lower their speed. The posted speed limit is the absolute maximum that a vehicle may drive at and is no guarantee of safety, so if I want to amble along I am entitled to do so, fuel is not going to get cheaper either. If anyone decides to tailgate me, I drive slower, sometimes they recover use of their brain and drop back.
Increase the NI stamp - it's obvious
Of course there may have been some changes made by the present and past governments but my belief is that the NHS is still funded by the NI stamp.
The UK NHS is the largest employer, except for Indian Railways and the Chinese Army in the World! To fund continuing health care it is pretty obvious that the NI contribution needs to be increased or, either service has to be cut or the service has to be run better. How much bureaucracy is there? Well according to the Times Online article surprisingly not to the extent one might think. However, that was in 2004. Andrew Gilligan's recent article April 2010 in the Telegraph discusses the alarming rise in the level of bureaucracry. The present government has caused this increase in bureaucracy.
Stop smoking, drink less alcohol and reduce weight, and of course spend more time on physical activity rather than watching TV or computer based work.
If people were able to follow a healthier lifestyle then the demand for health care would reduce and the cost of the NI stamp could be reduced.
Road safety: the countryside
Whilst Westwood Parish Council were debating road safety in the village a young police officer was tragically dying. He had apparently left the road at the "S" bend (double bend or Z bend)along Westwood road. Whilst there was some frost and ice that evening the road in the village itself was free of ice. The S bend is in a hollow and may have had black ice. Westwood Road should not be mistaken for Lower Westwood Road which goes through the village. Westwood road is some distance from the village.
The road safety issue that the parish council was discussing arose out of the formation of Westwood Community Road Safety Committee (WCRSC) which was formed last year to investigate residents concerns with the speed of vehicles through the village. The WCRSC have suggested 20 mph limits for both Lower and Upper Westwood Roads and soft cushion type speed control humps. The WCRSC petitioned residents and gained a lot of support for the proposals.
As a result of the meeting Councillors decided to ask Wiltshire Council to undertake a traffic study of the village. Until minutes are approved and Westwood residents are informed via the Westwood Update I have nothing more to say about the meeting (I am now a Westwood PC Councillor) However, I have decided to add my opinion, based on research where possible, on traffic management locally and in the UK. I intend to do this through a series of articles on the Freshford Somerset forum. Readers are free to add their comment to what I have written, subject to registering on the forum. Geoff Edwards Speed Limits
One million pounds for a footbridge!
I understand from an article published on www.bradfordonavon.com that the town council is prepared to spend the best part of a million pounds on a new cycle/footbridge. The bridge will cross the Avon from the Kingston Mills development to the town library. Whilst I cannot claim to represent the residents of Bradford and surrounding districts I can contribute my views and suggestions. Let's start with a numbered list.
1. I agree that the present bridge is most unfriendly to pedestrians
2. If cyclists don't like to use the bridge it is because they don't have enough confidence to use our roads. Cyclists are entitled to their own space on our roads and drivers should respect the right of cyclists to use the roads. I do not think that we should be making planning decisions based on the fears of cyclists to use our roads.
3. Why should the character of this wonderful town be further diminished by pressure from motor vehicles, particularly heavy good vehicles? The existing bridge's character must not be damaged by the addition of a modern bridge erected nearby. I doubt whether people will use the new bridge anyway if it means going out of their way. There are other places in Bradford on Avon that are worse, for example, there are no pavements at all when pedestrians cross over the bridge to enter the town centre.
4. Pedestrians could be protected by two measures: adding railings to separate the road from the pavement and increasing the width (an the height) of the pavement which is little more than a footpath (about 1 metre wide). To increase the width of the pavements must mean traffic lights as the road width will be reduced to a single track.
My view is that since we can't easily change vehicle driver's behaviour railings could be installed and the pavements raised. These measures would cost a few or possibly several thousand pounds but certainly not a million pounds! The alterations would hardly detract from the character of the bridge and would provide protection from vehicles. Possibly only the pavement needs raising -drivers are very wary of damage to their tyres.
6. However, if the existing bridge cannot be changed as suggested above then at least the pavements could be made wider and traffic lights used to control the narrowing of the road.
7. There is of course an existing footbridge over the river by St. Margarets hall that many people do use.
(this article has been added to the forum (Wiltshire) and comments will be welcome)
Geoff Edwards (Editor)
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