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Messages - BrianB

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I see that plans have been resubmitted for Sandleford.

They are still pursuing plans for Warren road to be the main access point for the Western end of the development. This road (even increasing the width to 6 metres) is just not suitable for the expected volume of traffic.

Also the access onto the Andover Road is not sustainable without constructing a roundabout or at the very least installing traffic lights.

I am now finding that there is a blatant disregard for any speed limits. Some cars are travelling at ridiculous speeds.

In particular I am having problems in the Andover Road and Monks Lane. Nobody cares anymore. In the past it has been the excepted norm that you could get away with 5 to 10 mph over the limit. Now I am convinced that some vehicles are travelling at speeds approaching 70 mph particularly on the stretch of Andover Road beyond Park House School.

I am constantly being flashed by cars that come up close behind me trying to force me to go faster.

Am I alone or have other people noticed this problem?

Last week, at a West Berkshire Council meeting, opposition leader Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, Thatcham North) asked what the council was doing to help local businesses throughout the roadworks.

To which the executive member for planning and highways, Jeanette Cliffford (Con, Northcroft), replied: “The A339 project will bring genuine benefits to us all. 

“But if there’s one sector in West Berkshire that has a special understanding of the importance of  investing for the future, looking after vital assets and balancing short term pain for long term gain, it’s our business community.

“Our business men and women in West Berkshire know that the A339, our busiest road, is essential to the economic health of our district and they know it has to be looked after.

“The very fact all these separate projects have been combined and co-ordinated is something to celebrate. Overall, this highly-professional planning has reduced cost and disruption – but I know it’s been a long haul.

“We will continue to support local businesses by good planning, good information and being ready to help in special cases:

“If local businesses find they need help with more formal business continuity planning, they should get in touch and we will be able to provide advice

“If local businesses  feel they’ve lost trade because of this project they should get in touch with the Valuation Office Agency, where temporary help might be available with their business rates.”

Mrs Clifford added: “When this huge project is finished, West Berkshire will have an asset to be proud of.

“The A339 will help us provide the new housing that the district needs and it will unlock the economic potential of the London Road Industrial Estate, this strategic site so very near to the centre of the town.

“Good news for local businesses. Good news for us all.”

This particular moan is to encourage debate from anyone trying to run a small business. Do you find that you can handle everything efficiently within your own business. As soon as you have to involve a third party in any way things go "tits up". I find myself having to press a multitude of buttons to speak to the right department, I have to speak to a foreign call centre, I am promised a call back which I never get, you can never speak to the same person twice. After you eventually succeed or in some cases give up, you get a call back with a 5 to 10 minute questionnaire on how they handled your problem.

I can’t understand how fuel prices have apparently contributed to the current rise in inflation.

Here in Newbury petrol prices were going up by 1p per week every Thursday UNTIL 23rd June (Brexit Referendum) when there was no increase at all and there hasn’t been any price rises since. In fact it is now 3p per litre cheaper than it was on Brexit Referendum Day.

Somebody needs to get the facts straight.

Got something to say? / Re: Newbury - A34 accidents
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:34:46 am »
There are several reasons for the accidents on the A34
  • Traffic is going far too fast. In fact I think that the traffic on the A34 is going faster than it is on the M4 (which is 3 lanes). The main reason for this is that there is no camera monitoring anywhere on the A34 between Newbury and Oxford apart from its junction with the M4. There are cameras on every gantry on the M4 which I am sure is keeping the speed down.
  • The A34 on the East Ilsley section was constructed in the early sixties when the criteria for road construction was not so strict. If it was being constructed today, I am sure that more thought would have been given to the gradients.
  • The number of lorries on this road seems to be increasing exponentially. This road is the spine which carries traffic to and from the port of Southampton. This traffic then fans out as it reaches Oxford on a much improved motorway network.
  • The standard of driving is appalling. Some drivers should not be on the road. It is amazing that some of them ever passed a driving test.
  • The slip roads for the A343 and the A4 are not adequate for traffic joining. I have seen vehicles that have simply driven into the path of a 40 ton lorry doing 60 mph.

One answer is to make the A34 into 3 lanes or construct the M34. Both of these options are extremely expensive and will never happen in my lifetime, if at all.

Got something to say? / Re: RIP David Rendel
« on: May 18, 2016, 10:15:17 am »
Have to agree with you 100% on this one Number 6 - A great loss to the local community.

Newbury - Communal toilets at the Slug and Lettuce (Previously the Hog's Head)

Photograph copyright Neil White

This amusing photograph which shows the rear of the Hog's Head has recently appeared on a local Facebook page. The Hog's head is currently closed and will reopen rebadged as the Slug and Lettuce. This is not a permanent fixture in this location, they are to be installed in the refurbished toilets.

Presumably the lifebelt is a requirement for any patrons who happen to fall into the canal.

When I was a teenager in the sixties, I was fortunate enough to own a car. I had to travel from Great Bedwyn to Newbury on a daily basis. Now car sharing was relatively new in those days. I picked up 3 other passengers on the way, one in Little Bedwyn one in Hungerford and one in Kintbury. They all contributed to my petrol costs and everyone was happy. (As an aside this deprived the railways of 3 paying passengers).

Nowadays during the rush hour virtually every car has only one occupant - the driver. This is the reason that our roads are overcrowded. Nobody wants to share anymore.

Got something to say? / Newbury - Drones should these devices be licensed?
« on: December 17, 2015, 12:49:30 pm »
Drones appear to be one of the popular choices for Christmas this year. These devices are very good in professional hands, but irresponsibility seems to be creeping in and it won’t be long before one of these things drops out of the sky at a crowded event, or even worse causes an aircraft to crash.

The government is refusing to license them, but some sort of control is definitely needed. The last time I went to Donnington Castle, there were 2 of these things buzzing about.

I will probably get a lot of abusive comments but I think the problem needs to be highlighted.

Newbury local elections - You should have voted for the person not the party

It is such a shame that the election of local councillors was decided on the same day as the national election. People voted with a party political hat on unaware of the fact that they were removing hard working councillors who had worked tirelessly for many years. I am afraid that the rout will continue today when the result for the Town Council is declared.

Got something to say? / Re: Quick Update...(one for the oldies)
« on: April 07, 2015, 02:53:56 pm »
Thanks for the update Threep. A lot of local people lost their life savings on this scheme. One or two even lost their homes.

I suppose the old saying "If it sounds too good to be true..." applies.


Newbury - Conservatives devise clever ploy to dominate local newspaper website.

This wraparound appears on every single page of the website for our local newspaper

Our local Conservative party seem to have come up with a clever ploy to totally dominate every single page of the local website This is the website of our local newspaper the Newbury Weekly News.

Now I have no affiliation to any political party. I will always vote for the person not the party. They all have their good points and obviously they all have their bad points.

What I do object to is that one political party (in this case the Conservatives) are allowed to dominate an allegedly unbiased newspaper website in this way.

Can I throw this open to discussion please?

Two new roundabouts in Monks Lane (That should slow the traffic down) and a third in the Andover Road at the junction with Warren Road. If you are building 2,000 houses, you have to have access for 4,000 cars.

Newbury - West Berkshire Council selling freehold of the Starting Gate

Because of the ruckus that has developed over the use of the car park at the Starting Gate, by parents of pupils at Robert Sandilands school, it has emerged that West Berkshire Council has agreed in principle to sell the freehold of the site of the pub to Punch Taverns.

Could this be the future demise of the Starting Gate?

Once they own the freehold,there is the possibility that Punch Taverns will close the pub and sell the land to a building developer.

Punch Taverns had a major financial crisis during 2014, from which they recovered. Selling off a prime site like this would certainly have aided their recovery if they had owned the freehold at the time.

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