The timetable for the Epping Parking Review has slipped again. I now understand that the Traffic Regulation Orders (official notices from the county council advertising the formal proposals) will probably be published in early February. As Janet and I reported in the most recent Epping Focus leaflet, the main way residents will know about this is from notices attached to lamposts.
Residents will be able to inspect the full proposals by looking at Essex County Council’s website or at Epping Library.
The links on the left of this page give outline details of what we expect to happen.
I was able to make time on Friday afternoon to go for a good tramp around Epping and Coopersale’s frozen streets (and to drop off a final few Focus leaflets).
The effects of the snow are showing up in the form of at least one broken street sign and rapidly deteriorating road surfaces (it would have helped if those particular potholes had been repaired when they first appeared many weeks ago), which I have now reported.
I also did a circuit around Swaines Green and then later walked across the fields along the Essex Way to Coopersale. Wrapped up warmly and with the sun out it was a great feeling – which I appreciate is absolutely no consolation to anyone unable to venture out and therefore shivering at home.
The most impressive snowman I found lurked in Brickfield Road, complete with clementine nose and eyes of coal. More worrying were the two doors elsewhere that I knocked on to tell the inhabitants they had left their keys in their outside locks. Perhaps they had been rushing inside to get out of the cold.
Thankfully, despite predictions, there has been very little snowfall over Friday and Saturday, so the busy roads have been clear of snow. It’s a different story on the side streets.
Recycling and waste collection
The slight change in weather meant the refuse and recycling crews were able to make some collections on Friday but there are still roads that the 20 tonne trucks can’t safely manouvre down and some big piles of sacks awaiting collection as a result. Here’s hoping any snow we get today (Sunday) won’t settle.
The district council’s advice remains to put your rubbish out as normal and it will be collected eventually. Snow update information from the district council is here and should be updated on Monday.
It isn’t clear yet whether the county council will be able to do a full gritting run before the start of the new working week. Updates should appear on the county council’s website here.
A quick pointer to the district council’s snow update page, which is now being updated pretty regularly.
Waste and recycling collections
The bad news is that waste and recycling collections were suspended completely today because of accidents. (I dread to think how long it will now take to get back to normal. There are roads in Buckhurst Hill that haven’t received a wheelie bin collection since early December.)
However as a result our pavements are finally receiving some attention as waste collection staff have been made available to grit shopping centres and car parks. There’s been no specific mention of pavements leading to transport hubs or pavements near schools so I’ve followed this up.
At a Local Highways Panel meeting six weeks ago Essex County Council told us that it had record quantities of salt in store for this winter – far more than it actually expected to use. I was therefore concerned to learn that it is already cutting back on its gritting programme for the reasons set out here. That link also gives details of the roads that will still be treated.
In Epping the only road included is the High Road. This is really bad news for heavily used roads which are usually gritted like Lindsey Street, Station Road and Bower Hill, which could be treacherous by morning. The county council expects to be able to return to its usual gritting programme on Sunday evening.
The local media is covering the snow episode (I don’t think we can yet call it a crisis) assiduously. BBC Essex’s essential information page contains some useful links and should be authoritative about school closures. Plenty of news also at Everything Epping Forest and the Epping Forest Guardian.
It seems almost compulsory for anyone with a website to put on show their pictures of the snow, so here is my contribution.
If you look carefully at the top right hand photograph (Hartland Road) it shows the post and the buses operating successfully, so well done to them.
It’s a pity the police only got round to closing Kendal Avenue (bottom photos) after several utterly predictable bumps and near misses. We live in hope that one day the county council will add the road to its gritting rota, given that there are always problems on this steep hill, but at the moment it isn’t treated as a priority route despite being used as an access to Epping Station. It’s something Janet Whitehouse has raised with both the police and Highways and will continue to do so.
The County Council tells me that Stewards Green Road in Epping will be resurfaced in January. As a result it will be closed for up to seven days between Monday 4 January and Friday 29 January while the works take place.
I’ve created a new page dedicated to the Epping Parking Review. Essex County Council is due to publish its proposals for new parking restrictions in January. At the moment the page contains information about last summer’s consultation exercise. I will update the page with news of the county council’s response in due course.
I’ve received an update from the team in charge of the M25 road widening project between Junction 27 (M11 Theydon Garnon) and Junction 30 (A13 Thurrock Lakeside). Apparently there have been exciting archaeological finds at Passingford Bridge!
More prosaically it also provides an information on progress with earthworks, drainage and traffic management. I know the contraflow and speed limits are proving frustrating for many drivers. There is some relief ahead in that work will close down for Christmas between Wednesday 23rd December and Monday 4th January 2010.
The roadworks around Theydon Garnon should be over by August 2010 but the project is set to continue until July 2012. I assume over-runs will not be permitted because the Olympic Games start on the 27th of the month.
For further information see the project website at www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/5739.aspx or contact the community relations team using the details below:
Community Helpline: 01708 256000
Community Relations Team
Skanska Balfour Beatty Joint Venture
Brentwood CM13 3FB