First published in The Felixstowe Flyer, April 2021.
Work has started on Candlet Road to create access to a new housing development planned for the Stennett farmland between Gulpher Road and the Grove Woodland. The site is where the old golf driving range, horse stables and small business units were located. The mature trees have been felled on both sides of the road but we are perplexed as to why it was necessary to cut them down opposite the site entrance. It looks a mess, perhaps it was done for road safety reasons? We will try to find out.
We have reported several residents’ complaints to the Highways Department of Suffolk County Council including concerns about the increase in fly tipping along the A14, the number of ineffective road repairs undertaken around the town and dangerous pavements. We keep reporting these matters but not a lot seems to happen. Even allowing for the difficult working conditions due to Covid19 restrictions, delays to repairs and poor workmanship is unacceptable.
Repairs need to be undertaken correctly, and unfortunately in High Road East where mandatory cycle lanes have been installed, poor workmanship and the lack of highway maintenance has made it dangerous for cyclists to use the new cycle lane. Damage to Walton High Street has recently been repaired but a large pothole remains at its junction with Maidstone Road even though a similar pothole was repaired only a few feet away. Surely it would be more economical for the Highways team to survey the local area thoroughly before commencing repairs so that all nearby areas can be attended to at the same time.
The Hamilton Road shared space scheme has been temporarily closed to vehicles between 10am and 4pm as a safety measure during the Covid19 pandemic. This was done to ensure that people could practice social distancing whilst queueing for shops. This initiative has proved popular with many residents, but not all. A consultation is underway to consider whether the scheme becomes permanent. Some of the Banks have now changed their opening hours so that they are open outside of 10am-4pm and Blue Badge holders can still arrive before 10am to park in the designated disabled parking spaces. We have asked for more seating to be made available, especially seats with arms, so that people with disabilities can use them and that the colours should enable people with visual impairment to avoid bumping into them. All members of our community need to be taken into account when deciding how the shared space should be used in the future.
The unadopted passageway between the Library and Highfield Road which provides easy access from the Crescent Road car park to Hamilton Road’s shared space needs attention to ensure that it is well lit, free from rubbish, and feels safe to use by all pedestrians.
We are fortunate in Felixstowe to enjoy low rates of crime, however the fer of crime is an important factor when considering personal safety. The County Council turned off street lighting in large parts of Felixstowe in response to the Conservative Government’s austerity measures introduced by the then Chancellor George Osborne. (The District Council is only responsible for the lighting on Felixstowe Seafront.) It is time now for the County Council to review this decision and turn the lights back on to maintain public confidence in safety at night, so that at the very least we can all look out for and avoid the potholes that County Council have yet to repair. This is very relevant to the residents of Recreation Lane who have been without streetlights for months.