Reducing Road Risks
I have been having talking to the County Highways teams who help with the Local Highways Initiative bids (LHI) that parish councils put together. These are small to medium scale changes to roads, signs, speed limits and so on that hopefully make our local roads safer for everyone.
The process has been running for at least six years, and initially parish councils were asked to come up with a pretty well fully baked solution, with costs. This meant that people were coming up with a scheme - putting a lot of effort in - and then at the bid assessment meeting, the highways guys would have to point out a flaw that meant the scheme could not proceed - often on grounds of knock-on effects to do with safety.
So now the idea is that the parishes put forward the identified problem with a broad idea of a solution, but then the highways project teams work with them to refine the bids. Usually this is about reducing speed on our roads, though zebra crossings, and even reconfiguring a roundabout (at Babraham, above) can go forward. Where parishes can show they are working with others, that often gets a bonus mark.
The teams are making contact with parish councils this month - and dates for site meetings put in the diary. I am hoping to get to some of them, but I’m pleased overall with the support being offered.
I know not every bid will succeed - this is a competitive process - but the standard of the ideas and the evidence being gathered in support has improved each year.