It’s amazing to think that about half of every Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council meeting is taken up with complaints about failures in the local infrastructure – from potholes to accident-damage to overgrown hedges blocking pavements.
Things seem to take ages to get fixed too … though … sometimes a nice surprise comes along – as it did earlier this month!
Some readers will know of the main issues already, as they come up over and over again – because little, it seems, is being done or can be done about them.
The ‘dropped kerb’ on Stuart Avenue is a case in point. Wheelchair users point out that it is not flush to the road, being two inches high, and can stop them dead if they try to get over it. The complaint was formally registered nearly two years ago, and (we are told) is down to be paid for by the ‘Local Members Fund’ – but nothing seems to be happening.
Complaints from the public about the lorries turning on to Cheadle Road at the Draycott Arms junction are endless. As everyone knows, the road is too narrow for major commercial vehicles, and, as predicted, accidents occur. Just last week, a concrete post was snapped in two by a wagon squeezing through (see photo below).
We won’t go into details about all the other continuous infrastructure complaints from residents – overgrown hedges blocking pavements, potholes that wreck car-suspensions, speed-limits, blocked or broken drains/grids (which caused some of the flooding last month), damaged road-signs, and inconsiderate car-parking.
Such matters take up a lot of parish council time; even though, really, all that parish councillors can do is write an official letter to the relevant county-council department – and hope for the best.
Parish councils do not have enough money or influence to do much more.
In reality what actually happens is that the county council only sends round its ‘Neighbourhood Highways team’ to each parish twice a year. The team is given a list of outstanding jobs which it tries to complete in a two-week slot allotted to them. No wonder some jobs never make it to the top of the list.
However, the residents along Cresswell Lane must have been surprised and pleased to find that their stretch of road had been chosen for a lighting update. The stretch – from Draycott Sports Centre to the railway line – now has brand new metal lighting poles with a modern white-light lamp system. They are not as high as the older lamp-posts.
A complete tree-pruning on Cresswell Lane bank, from the underpass to the cricket club, may have been part of the same project.
A lot of the rest of us are left with the old wooden lighting poles, which (mostly) shine sodium-yellow lamps, but these too will be updated… at some unspecified time in the future!
Although, yes, it is the business of a parish council meeting to respond to residents’ complaints about infrastructure, nevertheless it is frustrating for any council-meeting audience to hear the same issues being discussed time and time again.
There are many other serious issues in Draycott & Cresswell, especially ones about the long-term future, which simply aren’t getting discussed.
The ‘pothole type discussions’ take over; and that’s a shame.