MARK PARISH COUNCIL
A Meeting of Mark Parish Council was held via Zoom on Tuesday, 2nd March 2021 at 7.00 p.m.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor Sellers to his first Meeting of the Council.
Report of the County Councillor
County Councillor Huxtable reported upon a decision of the County Council to provide 20 mph zones outside all schools including private schools. He also reported that future funding of bus service 67 was still to be determined and outlined work recently carried out to provide a village gateway on the western approach to Blackford.
Councillor Huxtable remained present during discussion of a schedule of proposed improvements to road signs, road markings and a 20 mph zone in Blackford Road/Church Street compiled by a number of Members with a view to increasing road safety in the village. A copy of the schedule is appended to the signed copy of these minutes. It was agreed that all Members give detailed consideration to the proposals prior to formal submission to County Highways with a copy to Councillor Huxtable.
Balance of Accounts
The balance of accounts at 1st February were as follows - Current £7,387.87, Reserve £26,770.87.
It was agreed to recommend permission in respect of the following application:-
002 Reserved matters for the erection of a dwelling and garage adjoining Larches, The Causeway, Mark – Mr & Mrs R. May.
Public Areas Portfolio
A number of road defects and fly-tipping deposits had recently been reported to the appropriate authorities.
Councillor Francis reported that a grant of £20,000 had been approved by National Grid towards the cost of 9 more advanced SIDs for use in Mark, Burnham Without and East Huntspill. Approval was currently awaited from County Highways for new sites for poles for these SIDs in Watchfield and Mark. Community Speedwatch checks were also recommencing.
It was agreed that minor maintenance work be carried out to the benches and paint on the slide and quotations be obtained for a new notice for the play area gate.
Public Rights of Way
It was agreed that Councillor Sellers take over the Public Rights of Way Portfolio with Councillor Francis concentrating on Highways/Road Safety. Councillors Sellers and Francis had carried out maintenance work to repair a bridge and remove brambles along a footpath. Mr Bickers had recently replaced a post on the gate on the footpath to the south of Littlemoor Road. It was agreed that a mechanism be provided to ensure that this gate closes more efficiently.
Village Hall /Football Pitch Area
It was noted that the Mark Community Association were arranging to replace the goalposts.
Church Street Parish Noticeboard
It was agreed to make arrangements for the posts on the noticeboard outside the Village Stores to be revarnished.
Councillor Mrs Weekes reported upon statistics relating to visits to the web-site during February. A “What’s New” feature had recently been added and ideas for future improvements were sought.
It was agreed that the next Meeting be held on 4th May 2021 starting at 7.00 p.m.
Mark Parish Council has carried out a survey covering the Highways Problems in the Parish. A copy of our concerns has been forwarded to Highways Department and our County Councillor.
Most of the problems are to do with signage and speed awareness especially at the road junctions and sharp bends. These include the crossroads at Harp Road/The Causeway, crossroads at Southwick Road/Butte Lake Road, the sharp bend at The Causeway – Locksbroad Triangle and Jubilee green.
It has also been noted that there is a need for increased signage at the East entrance to the village on Blackford Road (30 mph) and at the West entrance close to the Triangle on The Causeway.
We have been advised that Somerset County Council is proposing that a speed limit of 20mph to be mandatory outside all schools. In the case of Mark this will be outside Mark First School on The Causeway and outside Sedgemoor Manor School at the east end of the village. We have not been advised when this will be actioned, but the signage and lights have already been approved for Mark First School and should be started once lock-down is lifted.
We have also expressed a wish to extend the 20mph speed limit from the traffic calming chicane outside Sedgemoor Manor School to the traffic calming chicane on Church street.
Proposed New Road Signage and Revamp of signs for Mark Village
Action recommendations agreed by Parish Councillors following discussions at PC meeting 2nd March 2021. Document submitted to Highways Department.
Blackford Road B3139
Repeater 30mph signs to be placed along Blackford Road from Sedgemoor Manor School (formerly Mark College) to the “National Speed limit” signs exiting the village East B3139.
Rumble Strips to be painted on road surface on the western approach to the village prior to the existing 30 mph signs
Vehicle Near misses
Approach to the village on Kingsway at the junction with Church Street B3139. Re-position Stop signs in Kingsway.
Harp Rd Crossroads at junction of The Causeway. B3139
3 serious RTA Jan – Feb already in 2021
1) Introduce a new 30 mph Speed limit on Harp road well in advance of the junction at The Causeway and paint rumble strip road markings
2) Re-position the Stop sign on Harp Rd Prior to the junction so that it is clearly visible and away from Hedging etc, refresh the “Stop” road markings.
Paint rumble strip road markings with the word Slow
The same positioning of signage to be introduced to Yardwall Rd on the opposite side of Harp RD.
Review the location of crossroad signs on The Causeway and Mark Causeway approaching the junction of Harp Road/ Yardwall Road.
Butt lake Rd and Southwick Rd
Stop signs to be re-positioned at this junction to be clearly visible in advance of the crossroads also Cross Road signs to be in installed
A review of the speed limit would also be advisable at this junction
The Causeway with Yarrow Rd,
1 RTA death 2015
3 Serious RTA in the last 6 months
There should be better signage on the The Causeway as you approach Locksbroad Triangle, traveling East B3139 showing a sharp left-hand bend on the road.
Chevron signage to be re-located to provide advance sighting for drivers.
Mark Causeway (West end)
Refresh Rumble Strips signage on the entrance to Mark Causeway from Watchfield
Blackford Road into Church Street
Hazard area for pedestrians: Incomplete footpath from Cemetery to the Church.
Blind spot for vehicles exiting Vicarage Lane onto B3139.
Pedestrians crossing the road to village shops and post office at several points.
School children crossing the road to access School Bus Stops in Church Street.
Request Review for the introduction of a 20-mph zone between the two-existing traffic “priority” Chicanes located at Sedgemoor Manor School and Church Street, west of Merryfields. The infrastructure is already in place such as kerbing etc.
National Grid continue to construct the Haul Rd between Bason Bridge and Tarnock, due to connect at Vole Rd. They are building the foundations for the T-Pylons driving concrete and steel piles into the ground the work on each site will be 2-3 days, some of you will have heard the noise and maybe felt the vibrations, depending on how close you are to the dig, which was in Southwick Rd 1st week in March and is now moving up into the village.
The Bat Barn at Ash Trees is near completion and hopefully the Bats will be installed and enjoy their new home.
For further info please visit National Grid/Hinkley Point C Connection Project, e mail hinkleyconnection.co.uk If you have any complaints or queries regarding this work please go to their Complaints webpage or phone 0800 377 7347.
David Sellers has recently taken over as the Footpath Liaison Officer for the Parish Council. His contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org or 07816682173 if you wish to contact him or report any issues.
We have recently cleared the footpath between Dutch Road and Puddys Lane. The state of the footpath was raised on the Mark Village Life Facebook page, so we have tried to rectify the issue. The style on Dutch Road was very overgrown and the bridge giving access to the end of Puddys Lane was inaccessible due to masses of brambles. Now both are cleared and should be useable.