Traffic calming: gate has been a success

With regard to last week’s story on the traffic calming gate in Willowbridge Lane, the sensor-controlled gate was installed in March last year with the intention of discouraging motorists using Willowbridge Lane as a rat-run.

This followed a sustained campaign by local residents, supported by County Councillors.

Contrary to the story as reported, the scheme was supported by local residents and discussed in some detail at a community meeting which I attended.

The cost of installing the gate, with all associated footway works, electrical work and detectors, was £17,448 – considerably less than putting in more traditional traffic-calming measures such as humps or chicanes which are used to narrow the road at intervals.

The gate proved to be very successful and was well-received by local residents -- including many who initially had reservations about the scheme.

Unfortunately, on two occasions the control box was wilfully damaged to such an extent that, after the second incident it was beyond repair and use of the gate was suspended.

Since then we have been looking into what can be done to help protect the equipment from future vandalism.

New parts were delivered last week and the gate is now back in operation.

To accuse the County Council of wasting money does not reflect the full story.

The Council cannot be held responsible for other people’s wanton acts of vandalism and, as already pointed out, other measures would have cost substantially more than the gate.

They would also, it could be argued, cause considerably more inconvenience to those actually living on Willowbridge Lane.

If the gate is subject to further vandalism and an alternative method of control proves costly then the County Council will have to reconsider its position and that would be a shame as the gate was working well for residents.

Neil Hodgson

Group Manager, Highway Programme Design and Delivery