TEMP ROAD CLOSURE UPDATE
EMAIL FROM CLLR (CHAIRMAN) KEVIN BOYLE TO MEDWAY COUNCIL 15/11/2019
Dear Mr. Palmer,
Please find attached an assortment of recent photos I have taken which illustrate the decimation that is being brought upon our once beautiful and unique village. This kind of disregard for the sensitivities of the people having to endure the daily complications attached to this disruption is unacceptable.
Already two of our neighbours have had to suffer the indignity of slipping on the ‘footpath’ at one end due to the total inadequacy of the mats provided. As you will see from the attachments there is no matting at either end of the ‘temporary’ footpath, part as a subsequence of the white van (see photo) using the ‘non slip’ mats as a means to extricate his vehicle from the quagmire that has evolved in Mr. Long’s field and also, as has been demonstrated, when the mats are frosted and wet; they become an ice rink.
It has already been reported in the local newspaper that a lorry, leaving the Amazon distribution centre in Hoo, tried to traverse the road block and became stuck for 48 hrs before being recovered. This again demonstrates the inadequacy of the signage at High Halstow and beyond, leading to total confusion and mayhem. The good nature of Mr.Longs’ offer to allow part of his field to be used during the works is being abused. His land is being chewed up abominably.
Our villagers are also resorting to placing bollards at the end of their drives due to the heavy traffic using these to reverse and turn around. This, again, is unacceptable. Each and every one of these have paid, collectively, tens of thousands of pounds having their drives block paved only to find tanker lorry and delivery drivers taking it upon their selves to mount the kerbs and, potentially, cause extensive damage to private property. As other photos here testify to the damage being wreaked onto our kerbs and verges I ask; can you give me assurances that when asked I will be able to assuage the concerns of the people of Cooling that their Village will be returned to its former grace?
Cooling Parish Council
ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION AND ADVICE
Cooling Parish Council has put together some guidance to help residents during the scheduled six-week road repairs at the junction of Cooling Court Road and Main Road, Cooling.
- Date of proposed closure is from Friday, 1st November 2019 and will be for approximately six weeks.
- When approaching Cooling from Cliffe the road will be closed immediately after the entrance to Cooling Castle Barn.
- Any further access into the village will be via High Halstow.
- Temporary car parking for residents and visitors to Cooling will be provided in the field opposite Cooling Castle gates courtesy of the landowner, and at your own risk.
- Access to Spendiff will be via Cooling Street only.
- Please make your suppliers aware of the temporary closure i.e. sewerage, gas, parcels, groceries, school runs etc., so they may make alternative arrangements.
- If anyone wishes to discuss the above with the Parish Council please call in on, or contact the Chairman, Kevin Boyle at the Horseshoe & Castle public house: 01634 221691.
On Thursday 31st October, temporary matting was installed in the field opposite Cooling Castle.
On behalf of all residents and visitors to Cooling I would like to offer grateful thanks to the landowners, Mr. and Mrs. Holland in this regard. Already this has proved invaluable especially for those who only have a relatively short journey to make into town, it is worth the short stroll through the village.
There are quite a few concerns, however, with the progress of the works.
On Friday there was quite a flurry of activity with the delivery of plant and vegetation removal in preparation for the main project. However, by 1.30pm work stopped and everyone went home but not before completely blocking the road with machinery and bollards and failing to provide a pedestrian access, which was an essential requirement. After I made a phone call to the Senior Engineer, Mr. Palmer, a pedestrian access was cleared but no signage was installed and thereafter complete mayhem ensued.
Delivery drivers and private car owners were taking it into their own hands by moving the barriers to one side in order to drive through. This has resulted in the grass verge becoming churned up and dangerous. On many occasions the Highways Contractors were back on the scene replacing the fencing and again completely blocking pedestrian access. On one occasion I was on hand personally when a waitress at Cooling Castle Barn was dropped off at the end of the closed road and then had to negotiate the muddy verge and small embankment in her smart shoes and uniform. Not ideal and again dangerous!
The signage at either end of the Village is inadequate and confusing. I am on the receiving end of much frustration, especially from visitors who are being sent round in circles. I will have to read up on the Government’s website in regard to Chapter 8 highways requirements as I am sure that there are many shortcomings in this area.
Today I am led to believe that the Archaeology Team required on site due to the sensitive nature of the works being adjacent a ‘Scheduled Monument’ will not be turning up until Wednesday 6th November. A further delay of 5 days since the closure of the road.
Already I have been made aware of damage to a private drive where cars cannot turn on the highway. I am of the opinion that had the Parish Council and locals been involved in the initial planning operations many of these shortfalls could have been avoided.
Please watch this space.
Kevin Boyle (Chairman) Cooling Parish Council