VILLAGE GATEWAYS

The Parish Council invites members of the community to comment on ideas for new village gateways. If you wish to input your views, please do so here or by attending the Parish Council meeting tomorrow in the Village Hall at 7.30pm (Village meeting starts at 7.00pm).

What is a Village Gateway and why do we need one?

Simple fences on both sides

When the bridge in Misterton was closed for an extended period of time in 2020/21, our village got an unwelcome glimps of what traffic might be in 10-20years time. For a period, all the traffic that would normally travel through Crewkerne on the A356 came through North Perrott. A large proportion was being diverted out of its way and was in a hurry to make up time. The sheer volume of HGV’s and the speed that they were travelling immediatly impacted on the houses closest to the main road, some of whom are built on 15th Century foundations. Pictures moved on walls, cracks appeared in plaster and in some cases, fell off the wall. The Parish Council acted quickly and initiated a 20’s Plenty campaign to slow down HGV’s passing through the village. Over 25 local transport companies were written to and we even had 3 supportive replies! The result was a significant reduction in speed and an immediate reduction in damage and inconveniance to home owners. Temporary banners were put up and have been in place for over 12 months. This is not a problem that will go away and so NPPC has decided that a more permanent solution is required.

Example of hurdles on both sides of the road.

Statistics and experts from Highways insist that to reduce average speeds in build up areas, drivers need to see and understand the reason that they should slow down. Bus stops, schools and pedestrians walking on the road are obvious examples but most dangers are invisible or only occasional. The solution that many villages have taken is to install gateways to their villages, giving a visulal reminder to drivers that they are entering a community that represents a potential reason to slow down and drive concienciously. To reinforce this we already have a very active Community Speedwatch group (CSW) and now a Speed Indicator Device (SID).

The intention is place a fence behind the existing Hamstone sign at the south of the village and a gatepost on the opposite verge. This not an actual gate but it represents a visual gateway to the village. The same will be replicated at the other end of the village. The stone will have the village name engraved on it but there will need to be more signage, to explain the reason for slowing down and what speed we are expecting drivers to travel through the village at. Given that the curent speed limit is 30mph, the intention is to target HGV’s (including tractors) to reduce their speed to 20mph using the current slogan 20’s plenty and the Highways accepted green sign, which is voluntary. This avoids the costly and bureacratic application for a blanket 20mph limit, which we might not qualify for in any case. This project is to be a ramping up of an already successful campaign but not ruling out further speed controlling measures in the future.

The present banners stipulate that the reason for slowing down HGV’s is because our houses are close to the road and on ancient foundations. We are also a conservation area and a one of the most beautiful hamstone villages in the area. We need a short and sharp message that will convey why drivers should slow down and in a permanent and tasteful way that is fitting in our environment.

To that end, the fence will be built out of green oak, that has already been felled and is scheduled to be milled in June. We would like to give villagers the chance to brain-storm ideas that the PC can consider incorporating into the design, before work is started.

On this page, there are examples of what other villages have done. Most have opted for off the peg Highways approved designs, often white and mostly made of recycle plastic. Not entirely fitting with a conservation area, so we would like to be a bit more creative with natural and local materials if we can.

Example of a more complex gate.

Everyone should be familar with the hamstone name sign at the south of the village. It is assume that the northern end should match. Please let us know if you think differentl

Existing hamstone sign and banner at the south of the village. It is intended that the gate would be installed behind the stone and a gatepost on the opposite verge.

Behind the Stone will be a symbolic gate. This might comprise to gate posts and 3, 4 or 5 rails, perhaps with a crossmember? On the other side of the road , the verge is quite narrow and might only have room for a single gate post. At the northern site there may be room for short length of fence. What do you think?

We have a quote for a new stone, at £760 installed. However, the engraving is much more expensive. What would you like to see engraved on the stone? NORTH PERROTT alone will add about £1,005 to the cost. Adding CONSERVATION AREA or 15th CENTURY FOUNDATIONS would double that cost.

An alternative would be to have a highways sign similar to the 20’s plenty sign on the existing banners. This might be on the opposite side of the road to the hamstone sign? Would you approve of that or do you have differnt idea?

Visual representation of what could be achieved.
Visual representation of what could be achieved.

It’s not easy to mock up a picture of exactly what it could look like but I hope you now have an idea of what we would like to see at both ends of the village. Please come along to the meeting tomorrow and take part in the conversation.

Visual representation of what could be achieved.

Notification of Meetings on 16th May

Because of the local elections on 5th May, the normal bi-monthly meeting of the Parish Council has had to be delayed until tomorrow, Monday 16th May. The programme of meetings is as follows:

7.00pm – Villlage meeting – no agenda (but village groups have been invited to present an annual report)

7.30pm – Annual Meeting of NPPC – Summary of the previous year by the outgoing Chairman, swearing in of new Council members and election of officers and co-option of Councillors.

Following the Annual Meeting the first bi-monthly meeting of the new NPPC.

Download the Agenda here

View previous Minutes here

PLATINUM JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS in NORTH PERROTT

Thurs 2nd June – BEACON LIGHTING & DEDICATION OF MEMORIAL TREES

After supper, gathering in the Manor Arms

9.00pm – Meet at Village Green for procession to the “Park Field” (behind the Pavillion).

9.15pm – Dedication of 7 Platinum Jubilee Memorial Trees in the “Park Field”

9.45pm – Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon at Perrott Park Farm (opposite St.Martins Church)

Fri 3rd June – LUNCHTIME JAMBOREE at The Manor Arms

Sat 4th June – NORTH PERROTT CRICKET CLUB vs. Cranbourne CC

From 12.30pm, bar and catering van.

Sun 5th June – PLATINUM JUBILEE STREET PARTY

Bring your own picnic, a cake to share and a suitable toast.

Sit down at noon. Royal Toast at 1pm. Carriages at 3pm.

Including “Craft a Crown”, skittles and other games for all ages.

UPDATES and INVITATIONS to follow.

For more information or to offer assistance, please contact:

Tel: 01460 73308 or email 2oxenburys@gmail.com

POLLING DAY – Thursday 5th May

The Village Polling Station in the Hoskyns Memorial Hall is open all today until 10pm.

If nothing else, the war in Ukraine should concentrate our minds on the value of living in a free democracy. Opinion is divided on whether voting is a right or an obligation but this is a chance to exercise our democratic right that others do not have or are having taken from them.

What are we voting for? This a local election where Parish, Town and Somerset County Councils are being elected.

COUNTY COUNCIL – Somerest is about to enter a one year transition from County Council (with Disctrict Councils below it) into a Unitary Council. The County Councillors elected today will stand for one year as County Councillors, while the Unitary Body is developed and then transfer to Unitary Councillors in 12 months time. This is an incredibly important transition that is meant to save money. Anyone involved in local governemnt will know that change often costs more money than it saves, so it is vitally important the the new council is filled with competant and hardworking people. North Perrott is in the Coker Ward. Each Ward will have two councillors, so you can put up to TWO crosses against candidates that you suppport.

PARISH COUNCIL – there were only 3 nominees for the 5 places on the North Perrott Parish Council. This means that there will be no Parish Council election in North Perrott this time round. 3 Councillors are enought to form a quarate and so the new council will meet on Monday 16th May at 7.30pm. There will be a Village Meeting immediately before that, at 7pm. Both meetings will be in the Hoskyns Memorial Hall. The Agenda and previoius minutes are available on this website.

LOST/STOLEN/RECOVERED?

On Sunday 10th April, a mountain bike was reported abandoned in some woodland in North Perrott. Having made local enquires, it has been concluded that the bike is probably lost or stolen.

This is a medium sized, fully functioning mountain bike that needs to be reunited with it’s owner. There are a number of distinguishing marks that the owner will be able to use to correctly claim it as theirs.

Please share North Perrott/Haselbury/Crewkerne area.

Enquiries to 01460 73451 or 07778 894546

SID DATA

While too early to draw firm conclusions, the village Speed Indicator Device (SID) has completed its first fortnight on station and so there is now data to examine. The SID was installed outside the farm shop on 27th February in the location that all previous traffic monitoring has taken place. It was felt that this was the best place to start, as we now build up a picture of traffic speeds at different points around the village. The SID cannot stay at any one location for more than 2 weeks and cannot return for a further 6 weeks. This ensures that regular traffic does not become accustomed to the sign, which in other locations has proved too be less effective over time.

GRAPHS

The average speed over the first fortnight was 31mph. It was also 31mph over both week’s individually. However, daily averages do change slightly, as shown in the first graph. At the moment there is no indication that traffic is faster on any particular day, but this graph may give the community speedwatch group a day to target in the future. The second graph is the average speed by hour. This graph is a little too crowded to decipher using a fortnight’s data but by focusing on just 24hrs, the graph shows clearly that most cars maintain the speed limit between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Outside those hours, speeds are generally faster.

Obviously, the fact that the average speed is close to 30mph means that some cars must be travelling slower and others faster. The Pie chart below shows that the vast proportion of vehicles are slowing to 30mph or below. The pie slices that represent 16-20mph, 21-25mph and 26-30mph amount to 70% of all vehicles passing the SID. 21% travelled at between 31-35mph and 9% exceeded the speed limit by a significant margin. Out of 29,579 vehicles, 3 passed the SID at over 70mph! All three were within daylight hours.

The graph below shows similar data to the Pie chart but in line format. The peak flow on every day is below 30mph and shows similar numbers of cars just under the speed limit to those just over it. Hence an average speed of 31mph.

Last but not least, the graph showing traffic density over time shows a very similar pattern every day. Traffic flow is greatest at between 8am and 9am in the morning (the high peak). Traffic volume slows during the day and builds up over an extended period between 4pm and 6pm in the afternoon (the second peak). Traffic flow drops to almost zero between 11pm and 6am (the deep trough). This pattern is repeated every day and only drops on Saturday and more on Sunday. The next week is a repeat of the same pattern.

The SID has now been moved to above the village green, facing south. Average speeds are expected to be far lower at this point but it will be valuable data to find out how fast traffic does come around the sharp corner and also to assess if any of the high readings in the last fortnight were falseor not. It will take a while to master how to set up the SID for maximum reliability and maximum accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS

It is dangerous to draw too many conclusions after just one session but it would appear that the SID has had a significant effect on reducing the speed of traffic through the village. In the past, data collected from static speed devices next to the farm shop have shown average speeds closer to 35mph. Regarding targeting of habitual speeders, the CSW would have most effectiveness between 7am and 8am on any week day. If they want to be seen by the maximum number of vehicles, then the most traffic passes between 8am and 9am or between 4pm and 5pm.

It should also be pointed out that while the A30 remains closed, it is assumed that traffic volumes are depressed and both volume and speeds may increase when there is more commuting to Yeovil, after the 25th March.

Many thanks again to those who have supported the purchase cost of the SID and if anyone is interested in assisting moving the SID once a fortnight, please respond here.

Humanitarian Help for Ukraine

IMPORTANT UPDATE

The situation is fluid but it appears that there could be considerable delays at customs, in getting physical relief to Ukraine. James Purefoy, an actor who lives locally and is a ambassador for Action Aid (https://www.actionaid.org.uk/users/james-purefoy) has given Alison the following advice. Anyone wishing to support humanitarian relief in Ukraine or for Ukrainian refugees, then the fastest and most efficient way is to donate cash to a reliable disaster relief fund that his operating in the area. He suggests the Red Cross disaster relief fund https://www.ifrc.org/disaster-relief-emergency-fund-dref

If you have already purchased goods to send to Ukraine, please try to contact Wadham and hopefully someone will have information about what they will be doing with the items already donated. There may actually still be a lorry going anyway.


Alison, our wonderful Church Warden has written the following open letter:

Dear all,

I am sure that we are all constantly thinking of all those who are in such great danger in Ukraine at present. If this is the case,  you may, I  feel, like to know that we can all help in a small way to help these poor people.

Ruth Bevan-Mogg has told me this morning that Wadham School, Crewkerne is responding to the desperate  need which is currently being suffered by many in Ukraine and particularly the women and children who are fleeing from danger, having fled with nothing but what they can carry with them.

A lorry  will be going out to Ukraine this weekend from the school to take disposable necessities to those who have emergency need of items for personal hygiene.

The items needed cover disposable things such as nappies, sanitary towels, tooth paste & tooth brushes, soap…

It is planned that the lorry will leave on Sunday, so any items which you may like to send ought to reach the school by Friday evening, to be loaded up on Saturday . ,.  However, if you can get them to me or to Ruth by Thursday evening,  March  3rd we can arrange for them to be taken in to Crewkerne.

It would be nice if we can feel that we can do something to help, so if you know of anyone else who might like to contribute to this mission of goodwill, please let them know about this.

If anyone would prefer just to donate money  we could buy something on their behalf.

With best wishes,

Alison.

WILDFLOWER PLANTING

Level grass area suitable for
establishing a wildflower meadow.

Judith Hall has proposed to the Parish Council that the village applies to SSDC for their Wildflower Seed Giveaway and that two areas of grass in the village should be managed for wildlife.

The two areas suggested are the grass verge in Church Lane and the verge of the A3066 opposite the farm shop.

The intention is to introduce spring flowering bulbs and corms under the beech trees. Create a wildflower meadow on the level grass area and hopefully manage the tree stump area to reduce the docks and nettles and replace them with perennial wildflowers.

The roadside verge, where the village has previously established daffodils, it is intended to reintroduce perennial wildflowers in the upper 2/3rds of the grass bank to greatly broaden the number of species along the roadside.

Spring bulbs and corms under the
beech trees.
Tree stump area suitable for perennial
wildflowers although established docks
and nettles will need to be controlled
physically.
The upper 2/3rds of the roadside
verge of the A3066 opposite the
farm shop

Volunteers are welcome to contact Judith on 78009. Help will shortly be required to sow seeds and transplant seedlings into plugs. Sowing seeds directly into the ground will follow and planting plugs into their final location will happen later in the spring. If you have room for even one seed tray in your greenhouse or conservatory, you can get involved and be part of helping to improve the wildlife in our village.

More news and updates will be provided here in the coming weeks.