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auto electric mobile service

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Mobile Auto Electrician

Some weeks ago now I went out to use my car, which is parked on some land off of Staples Hill. It would n't start, would not turnover. My battery is fairly new so I was stuck. Being off the road I could not take advantage of my recovery insurance. I faced the cost of getting it towed to my garage but decided to seek the help of an auto electrician. I found Bristol Auto Electricians (BAE) and asked them for help -they visit you at your home. They have a branch in Westbury which would be cheaper as costs relate to mileage time. An electrican found that my Land Rover Discovery had corrosion in the Body Control Unit (BCU) due to water getting in. I decided to get the BCU repaired. I found a BCU specialist Callrova and sent it off for repair. On installing the repaired BCU I was able to get the car running once more. Good service from both companies. Cost about the same rate as a local garage.

Just to add that the auto electrician's invoice listed each investigated action that was carried out on his visit. No guessing.


Rosemary Lane no motor vehicles

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Rosemary Lane no motor vehicles

Rosemary lane Freshford was only partly surveyed by the Goggle Maps vehicle. The reason being it is too narrow and a vehicle coming down it cannot turn around when it reaches Freshford Mill bridge which has a weight limit of three tons. The road from the mill bridge is called Mill Lane. Mill Lane has not been surveyed by the Google Maps vehicle neither has Crabapple Lane which is the approved access road to the mill development. Google Maps has surveyed Rosemary Lane down to The Tyning (and included The Tyning).

The proposed entrance to the Freshford Mill development should be large enough to allow vehicles to turn around. But why not ban vehicles all vehicles?

I see no reason why there should not be a sign up prohibiting motor vehicle access to Rosemary Lane except for access.

The other day two Ford Transit vans (prohibited by the 6 foot six inches width limit, except for access) used Rosemary Lane as a short cut. The speed they were travelling was excessive for the location, not an offence though as the location is subject to the National Speed Limit.

 Let's stop this happening. A No Motor Vehicles sign would help to stop this abuse of the countryside.

Vandalised road sign: weak bridge 3 tons

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Update: vandalised road sign Freshford

It is now almost the end of April 2009. Nothing has been done to rectify this damage. And also the sign: "3 ton weight limit ahead" located at the junction of Crabtree lane and Mill lane  has been turned around so that motorists will not see it.

I have reported  a driver who ignored the advisory road signs and also the possible breaking of the law by that driver who is employed by A.S. Taylor. This driver drove his vehicle down Rosemary lane Freshford.  The vehicle was loaded with twenty reinforced concrete beams for delivery to Freshford Mill. As I understand the regulations the weight was overloaded.  Since taking the earlier photos, someone has vandalised the road sign: 

I do not know whether if the road sign is altered this absolves the driver from the law.

In relation to the lorry owned by A.S. Taylor which drove its Leyland Daf 75-300 vehicle down Rosemary lane with a load possibly exceeding 30 tons when it's gross load according to the Leyland Daf website should not have exceeded 18 tons. I understand that this vehicle was unable to brake properly on its descent down Rosemary lane. This means that a vehicle or other roas user coming up the hill would be killed or seriously injured by the vehicle or it would have have to have driven into the cottages or the wall.  A vehicle should be able to stop within the distance which the driver can see to be clear.

Thirty ton lorry goes down the steepest hill in Freshford

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Although YPres Rose the developers of the Freshford Mill private housing estate in the Frome valley were specifically requested to ensure that suppliers of materials to their building site should not go through the village of Freshford and the hamlet of Sharpstone but should access the site via Staples Hill from the Westwood direction their advice to their suppliers is either being ignored, or misunderstood.

Today Thursday 5th of March 2009 a lorry weighing possibly ten tons or over with a load of twenty reinforced beams of average weight of one ton each that is a gross weight of thirty tons travelled from the A36 down Abbey lane and turned into Rosemary Lane as instructed by the lorry's SATNAV system? There is not only a blue sign stating quite clearly the 3 TON WEIGHT LIMIT AHEAD but also "a Road Narrows Ahead" sign together with "an Unsuitable for Heavy Goods vehicles" sign.

unmistakeable road signs advise lorry drivers not to use Rosemary lane

So what went wrong? Ypres Rose have said that they have issued clear instructions to their suppliers that they should deliver goods to the Freshford Mill site via Staples Hill from the Westwood direction.

Furthermore, I have photographed every single road junction in Freshford and also produced video films of journeys from the A36 to Freshford Mill. These photographs and video films have been published on the Internet. As far as I know, there is no other villlage in the UK that has a photographic survey of every single road junction let alone videos in and out of the village. Yet the lorry owned by A.S.Taylor UK-Europe (that's what they print on their lorries) registration: R775 FHG has allowed their driver to drive down Rosemary Lane.

The photographs show that the lorry with its load is not only possibly overweight but obviously not allowed to cross the bridge, even if it is unloaded. Freshford Mill bridge is not only subject to a maximum load of three tons but is also an ancient monument.

HGV is unable to proceed across bridge without breaking the law


A couple of beams that are less than a ton.

reinforced concrete beams destined for Freshford Mill Block H

Twenty reinforced concrete beams: gross weight at least twenty tons?

HGV load of twenty reinforced concrete beams of at least twenty tons

A handsome Leyland Daf 75-300 rigid wheel base vehicle.

Leyland Daf 75-300 rigid based vehicle


Rosemary Lane is in the hamlet of Sharpstone which is close to Freshford, it is the steepest road in this area. It is a pity that it is not named as a hill, but then would that have made any difference to these ignorant people? Even a car driver would know that Rosemary lane is narrow and steep, a lorry driver has a better view of the road.  The dictionary definition of "lane" is a "narrow road in the country" Oxford Advanced learner's dictionary. If the driver was lost he could have telephoned.

Let's summarise this event. There was an earlier incident, last Autumn,  that lead to serious damage to the safety barriers of the bridge, The police were not prepared to take action against the owner of the lorry that caused that damage. I supppose that they won't take action against this lorry driver's owner either.  I understand that the fine for breaking a Maximum Weight Limit can be as little as £50. (Cheltenham Magistrates court) However, the fine for overloading ( vehicle being Overweight) is considerably more:

The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires “vehicle users” to ensure that vehicles are not overloaded.
If a vehicle is found to be overloaded both the driver and operator could be prosecuted or cautioned.
Legislation imposes fines of up to £5,000 for each offence. That means a fine for each overloaded axle
plus any overloading on the total weight. Also, if a vehicle is dangerously overloaded the driver could face
a charge of Dangerous Driving which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. Other offences
within the Road Traffic Act include refusal to allow the vehicle to be weighed and obstruction of an officer
which also carry a maximum fine of £5,000. If a vehicle is overloaded and results in someone being killed,
both driver and operator could face going to jail for Manslaughter or Death by Dangerous Driving.  VOSA Vehicle Safety Dangers of Overloading

The picture shows the regulation for rigid body vehicles.

three axled rigid based vehicle weight regulation diagram

The vehicle is a Leyland Daf 75-300 as far as I am aware the lorry was probably in breach of the law in relation to its load. Unfortunately, there is nothing to stop a vehicle ignoring:

1. an Unsuitable for Heavy Vehicles signpost
2. a Road Narrows sign
3. an advisory notice of a weight limit ahead of 3 tons

I don't know about whether the six foot six inches width restriction has been broken.

Shouldn't a British driver know that roads that are named "lane" mean that the road is a narrow country road which should not be used. 

Ypres Rose did not use a fork lift truck to try and unload the vehicle as they would have probably exceeded the weight limit for the mill bridge and apparently they said it wasn't their responsibilty.

Apparently, the vehicle need only be capable of exceeding 3 tons with a load (in this case) to break the law. This means that a vehicle of less than two tons but capable of carrying a load that would exceed three tons must not use the bridge, even if it has no load!

From what I have heard the lorry made its way back up rosemary lane aided by a local farmer's tractor - there are marks on the road surface of Rosemary lane.

There is earlier damage to the bridge (which is classified as an ancient monument) that has had to be repaired, at public expense. That damage was caused by a driver of a beer lorry who was guided to use Rosemary lane by  SATNAV.

Perhaps locals would be better off if the bridge collapsed. Preferably with a lorry on it!

Closure of Trowbridge Driving Test Centre: MP Andrew Murrison Speaks Out

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I understand from my MP Andrew Murrison's recent activity in the House of Commons that the Trowbridge Driving test centre is to be closed and anyone wanting to take the driving test must travel to Chippenham. The full exchange can be accesssed by following the links below:

speaker:Andrew Murrison : 2 Commons debates ===========================================

Driving Standards Agency (13 May 2008)

Andrew Murrison: On Friday I made the journey from Warminster to Chippenham. The hon. Gentleman may be interested to know that his Conservative opponent made a similar journey from Frome to Chippenham.

Both journeys took well over an hour on a good day, and that does not allow for people who come from places outside the main towns in our area.

Driving Standards Agency (13 May 2008)

Andrew Murrison: As the hon. Gentleman will know, Chippenham is not exactly easy terrain for those who do not know the lie of the land. He is right to say that the driving test is taken on the basis that the person involved does not necessarily have any familiarity with the stretch of road used, but people who are familiar with Chippenham are clearly at a distinct advantage in comparison with my constituents...

speaker:Andrew Murrison : 2 Written Answers ===========================================

Anyone can register for alerts about their MP 's activity on your behalf. You may only register for your MP. It is a very interesting service, and provides some insight into what your MP is doing for you and your neighbours. To register for email alerts visit:

It is many years ago that I failed my first driving test which was for a motorcycle licence. I took the test in St Albans whilst I was familar with Finchley. I had a lot of difficulty remembering where I had to go and probably seemed unsure of my driving, whereas the truth was that I didn't know the locality and got lost and had to retrace my route.

This present proposal means that motorists and instructors will have to spend more time and fuel driving an unnecessary distance at a greater financial cost.

Esso Fuel Station & Shop A36

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The  Esso Service station on the A36 will still be open during the road closure but will have a very difficult time with the road being closed.  I intend to only buy my fuel there, even if its inconvenient, whilst the A36 is closed.  I will also make sure that I also make a point of doing some shopping there.

We all need to support local services as much as possible -the posible closure of the fuel station is very real. I believe that we can all help to keep it open. Local supermarkets can afford to lose our custom for several weeks but in a time when fuel stations are becoming even fewer we can't afford to lose this one.

A36 Update Information from Highways Agency

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I have subscribed to the Highways agency to keep up to date with the A36 development. They email subscribers with updates to their website section for this project. The URL is A36 Limpley Stoke

There are already drivers who are using our village as a rat run. And unlike locals they are driving faster. Once Brassknocker hill is opened again the situation will worsen. There might be extra restrictions eg.

Q. How will we manage potential "rat running"
Some minor roads in the vicinity of Limpley Stoke may also be closed to prevent excessive use by non-local traffic.

Bath University is also publishing updates, their URL is Bath Uni A36 News update

The residents badge issued to locals and businesses needs to be clearly visible as it will help the gatehouse's staff to process traffic faster at peak times.

Map from Highways Agency of A36 Diversion Routes

Freshford High St Cars Illegally Parked

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Some more photos of cars that are parked illegally. There is this particular law because it is needed to protect people from this type of selfish activity.

An article on this problem  The law from the Highway Code:


You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

Refer to 

Van Illegally Parked

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Does the driver of this van believe that he is parking sensibly? Nice that he has moved his vehicle off the road to some extent? Nice for other motorists.  Shared spaces? Or just ignorance. Just down the road was an elderly women with two dogs who would have to move into the road to pass this van. Are there elderly people who are unwilling to have a walk in the centre of the village because it is dangerous? what if you were losing your eyesight, or were unsteady on your feet, or were accompanying little children how safe would you feel. The pavements are dangerous anyway.

What a motorist does is manoeuvre his or her vehicle which on average weighs at least three quarters of a ton using his feet and hands. If he makes a mistake someone will get injured, and the person most likely to get injured is a pedestrian. I suppose if we had shared spaces this type of parking would not be illegal as the pavement would not exist?

Freshford Mill, Freshford Village and Wikipedia

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The following article is copied from a Google cache of the Wikipedia article for Freshford. Since the article used to read as below, it has been edited 'dumbed down' one might say (although I don't like the phrase). The alterations although on the whole good, do remove the fact that a lot of residents have spent many hours trying to deter Bath and North East Somerset and councillors from permitting the development. The argument is that what is written below is one sided and does not give the other side of recommending that the application should be permitted. I have not had any comment on why this development should have been permitted from any of those parties involved: B&NES Planning, Government Office of the South West, councillors. Ypres Rose Devlopments have also refrained from putting forth their argument for wanting to build at Freshford Mill. Of course I just may be too close to the issue and maybe many will accept the present article.

If anyone wants to edit the present Wikipedia article they are quite entitled to do so. On an earlier date the complete article section below was just removed in its entirety.

Freshford is the current development at Freshford Mill.[citation needed] For the whole of the 21st Century, Freshford and its parish council, have had to spend a great amount of time trying to stop a development at Freshford Mill that would increase the population of the village and put great stress on the local roads[citation needed]. There has been some disagreement as to whether the development now being undertaken by Ypres Rose is unwelcome[citation needed]. The facts are that 80 percent of the village objected to the development that was proposed by Southern and Counties and only 1 person was in favour (provided the transport problems could be overcome). These facts come from the Freshford Parish Council's Extraordinary Meeting of the 22nd July 2002. The document may be found with some difficulty on the BANES Planning website but is more easily found (reproduced under APPENDIX F : DEMOCRATIC CONSULTATION AND PARISH COUNCIL EXTRAORDINARY MEETING) at

The development which is in progress, is to convert a disused industrial site within a Zone 3 flood plain into a residential estate. Flood plain zones as defined by DEFRA state that Zone 3 is one of high probability of annual flooding

Inconsiderate Parking

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I fail to understand why some people believe that given the freedom to use the maximum road space as in the shared spaces philosophy that some people will NOT act in an inconsiderate manner; example below.

Pavements with their kurbs provide a measure of protection from vehicles. The kerbside also provide drainage and what used to be a place where the dog could do its business -although this is illegal now. The photograph below shows someone's car parked on the pavement in the High street Freshford.

<img alt="Car parked" 0"="" data-cke-saved-src="" src="" align="none">

Perhaps, the motorist believes that he or she is acting in the best interests of other motorists in that there is more width available to passing vehicles if their car is parked on the pavement. Or, perhaps the driver thinks that their car is a little safer from being damaged by a passing vehicle. However, the law is the law and has been made for a good reason.

The kerb not only protects pedestrians it is also a strong deterrent to motorists to keep away from the pavements, as to hit a kerbstone in good condition, will usually ruin a tyre.

The pavements in Freshford have become lower with periodic road surfacing and should be restored to the level required to protect pedestrians. It should be remembered that the kerb at its proper height will help to divert a vehicle away from the pavement. Or is B&NES council seeking to save money by removing pavements altogether?


Freshford the Flood Plain

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The three photos below were taken on Saturday the 12th January 2008 after a couple of days of steady rain. Local rainfall amounts to 65mm for January so far.

This is Mill lane just beside Freshford Mill. The morning after the swollen river Frome deposited this tree trunk weighing possibly half a ton on the road.  Further down the lane the bridge is being cleared

But is still blocked. North of the mill the photo below shows the extent of the remaining flood.

At some time in the night the river Frome occupied the whole valley. Whilst at 11:00am the water had receded. The weather had also prompted the local authority to spread salt on the roads as there was a chance of ice.

Parking on the Pavement

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Today I note, and photograph this vehicle parked entirely on the pavement in Freshford Somerset and West Wiltshire.

This inconsiderate behaviour is illegal. How does this evidence support the case for Shared Spaces?  What is the driver thinking? That they are helping other motorists to have more space to pass them? Or is it that they are thinking that by parking thus their is less chance of their vehicle being damaged by another motorist? Pedestrians?


Shared Spaces Initial Impressions

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As I have mentioned before I missed the lecture on Shared Spaces. But this does not preclude my right to add my observations on what I consider to be a very dangerous philosophy. Whilst pedestrians may share spaces with other pedestrians without the necessity to have regulation of their movements, there are situations where such regulation is necessary. For example, keeping to the left (in the UK) on stairs both in buildings and in particular in underground railway stations helps people to help each other to keep out of the way, in what are often extremely busy environments. But to share spaces on an equal basis with motorists is almost completely nonsense. One does not argue with the mass of a car, which is on average at least three-quarters of a ton.

Perhaps many years ago when motoring was restricted to well to do people there was little necessity for regulation. After all to be well to do one had to have money and usually having money was associated with a decent upbringing and a good education. Factors which tended to endow such people with an understanding and sympathy for others that is often missing in contemporary British society. However one doesn't have to have a decent upbringing and a good education these days to own a motor car.

And, we all feel that we are quite capable of behaving sensibly in our cars without such regulation, after all it is the others who need such regulation. Scrap the drink drive regulations as well, after all the more I drink the slower and more carefully I drive, up to the point where I am so drunk as to fall asleep in my vehicle (an offence!) Joking aside this Shared spaces concept is a little more complicated than scrapping speed limits etc but it is dangerous. I will add further comments on another post but for the time being if you feel you would like to refresh your understanding of the concept or if like me you missed it then why not refer to the Wikipedia article Shared Space

Dogs (fouling of Land) Act 1996

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Its unfortunate that some people are unwilling to collect and dispose of their dog's excrement. part of the pleasure of living in the countryside is to use footpaths rather than roads. However, I won't use my local bridleway at night because I don't want to tread in dog poo. I understand that unless a footpath or bridleway is maintained by the local authority there is nothing preventing dog owners from allowing the dog to foul the ground on which people including children may walk.

During the day, if I do notice dog poo I pick up a stick and use it to move the poo off away from the pathway. for footpath, pavements and other ground that is either owned of maintained by the local authority it is now (since 1996) an offensive for the person in charge of the dog to not take steps to remove that dog's excrement. For B&NES council's information visit:

Within Freshford village there are footpaths that are regularly fouled by dogs. What could be a safer option for parents taking their children to school is thus denied to them by the selfish attitude of the dog owner. Under the circumstances, anyone seeing a dog fouling the footpaths, pavements and council owned land should tactfully remind the person in charge of the dog that they should remove the offending excrement. It is not sufficient under the law to just move the poo off to one side, it has to be removed. (However, if you are not in charge of the dog, then why not follow my example and use a stick to move the poo off  the pathway)


"Bath and North East Somerset Council adopted the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 in September 1998.  The whole of Bath and North East Somerset was designated, which means that any person in charge of a dog must clean up after it forthwith, on any land which is open to the air and to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access.  A copy of the Designation Order can be viewed at the Council Offices, Riverside, Keynsham.

Failure to clean up after your dog is an offence.  Anyone seen allowing their dog to foul and not clean up after it will be approached by the Dog Warden and will either be put forward for prosecution, or be issued a Fixed Penalty of £50.  The owner will have the opportunity to pay the Fixed Penalty and thereby avoid conviction.  The Penalty would have to be paid within 14 days.  If it is not paid, the owner may be prosecuted and, if found guilty of the offence, fined a maximum of £1,000.

Registered Blind persons with dogs are the only exemption.

The Act does not apply to: 

  • roads outside the 40mph limit and land running alongside them
  • agricultural land (other than footpaths that cross them)
  • commercial woodland
  • rural common land
  • land which is predominantly marshland, moor or heath"



Sustrans Lotto Bid and the Eden Project

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Whilst I felt that the Eden Project would, no doubt have been able to make use of the funds to further the development of the most  important centre in the World for the preservation of the environment (my opinion!) I also liked the  Sustrans Connect 2 project. Why not money for both folks, £50 million is only 83 pence each!

Tim Smits' Eden website has sent an email message to its supporters: Eden Message from Director Yes, we really do need a means to get from A to B without risking being mown down by traffic. Money well spent, provided Sustrans can manage it. Tim Smit is a financial genius and the money would not have been wasted. I hope that Sustrans will be able make efficient use of the money.

Damage to Staples Hill Caused by Freshford Mill Developers Ypres Rose

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Substantial damage to Staples Hill has been caused by the use of a tracked vehicle. The tracked vehicle with a track width of 8 feet was caused by the fact that its transporting vehicle could not negotiate the hill with its load. Consequently, the tracked vehicle used in demolition works at Freshford Mill was unloaded and driven up the hill under its own power.  The photograph shows the damage to the road.

road damage caused by tracked vehicle

Some of the indentations are more than 20mm deep! As a Wiltshire resident (supported by my neighbours) We would like to know who is going to pay for this damage to our road?

Staples Hill is also in BANES (Bath and North-East Somerset) and I would have thought that BANES residents would also be concerned with the cost of repairs to Staples Hill.

Freshford Church of England Primary School Do We Care?

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Sustainability is a new word. For its meaning why not read this article: At the root of any communities ability to survive and thrive there has to be a school. Freshford has a school, but to be honest, the way in which the school's needs are being ignored leads me to believe that maybe a significant number of residents do not care. The school is central to sustainable development as a community.

Lets take the space that's available for outside activities, it is quite restricted, certainly not conducive to running around. The school is using that space well, but it was denied the space that it needs because the adjoining field is owned by a group of residents who are not prepared to allow any of it to be used. That's what I understand anyway, perhaps that's not the case.

Similarly, it is patently obvious that many parents need to use their cars to deliver their children to school. One Factor being that the parents drop their children off enroute to going to work. Yet the possibility of having an off road parking area along Freshford Lane adjoining the school is again blocked by this group of owners of the field. Instead, parents have to park along Freshford lane causing traffic chaos at least twice a day.

There is a continuing and very real danger that someone's child is going to be injured. The necessity for children to have to walk in front of the school bus for example is absurd. The driver cannot even see whether there are any children in front of his vehicle and a child is invisible to passing cars. Even an adult has to take great care. The unacceptible facts are that some motorists who come down Freshford lane at these times, lose their patience and when the road is somewhat clear they drive too fast.

The situation is made worse by there being no pavement, no pedestrian way to negotiate the road junction in safety. This situation will now be described as an example of Shared Spaces! Whereas it is really an example of cocked up planning. Photographs of the junction may be scrutinised here: Road Junction Centre of Freshford

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