There have been many revisions of the options proposed to manage the increases in traffic in our area that will result from building 1600 new homes, since the developers submitted their outline plans for the development of the Whitehouse Farm site in December 2014, . There are five issues the committee wishes our households to get interested in.
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- The Southern Access Road
At the far Western end of our street the famous southern access route to and from the development will emerge and dump its traffic into the Sherborne Road roundabout junction with Westgate. This road is proposed for the second phase but there are good arguments for insisting that it gets built now.
This is how Centurion Way and the Bishop Luffa school entrance would fare in accommodating the provision of the Southern access from the WHF site, but what is that northerly spur stub that ends nowhere?
See how the access road snakes across the playing fields to the roundabout.
2. The Sherborne Road Roundabout
In October 2015 there was a proposal to realign the Westgate-Sherborne Road roundabout in an effort to make it safer for pedestrians:
Vectos also came up with a second option which would involve making the western entrance to Westgate at Sherborne Road “cyclists only”. This could mean reduced through-traffic flows eastwards along Westgate towards the City as it would be effectively No Entry to vehicles.
3. Traffic Calming along Westgate
There were three options originally proposed for calming traffic flows along the street, shown moving from West to East:
Option 2 shows a much more defined cycle route along most of the street.Option 3 has the west end pretty much as now but somehow manages to fit in a divided carriageway at the eastern end, which haste be impossible.
Later that year a less ambitious Westgate traffic calming plan was published:
4. National Cycle Route 2
Westgate has two cycle rotes along its length. The national cycle route from St Austell to Dover runs along Westgate as far as Mount Lane before deviating off down to the station in front of the College. This is not currently a safe or dedicated route and has many gaps.
The earlier, even more fragmented and generally less well-received South Coast Cycle Route (SCCR) also passes along our street, but deviates from NCR2 at Mount Lane and proceeds onto the A286 roundabout at the Eastern end of Westgate and on into the City.
So far any properly considered cycle route solutions had been part of the previous section, under traffic calming and you are advised to revisit those plans for the detail. A dedicated cycle route is shown in the Local Plan and is a requirement of WSCC Highways for sustainable transport proposals.
At the end of 2015, further suggestions and modifications were made both by Vectos and Paul Wreyford, the retired highways officer who works with the Parklands RA, mainly concerning the feasibility of this cycle route.
In all the Vectos proposals, providing a safe, continuous cycle track looked impossible, so Paul Wreyford had a go at fitting in a cycle track. Here are his drawings, moving from East to West along Westgate. The A286 roundabout is missing from this scheme but consideration has been given to designing a safe Dutch roundabout and can be found in section 5.
This proposal runs initially as a shared space with pedestrians in parallel to the south pavement of Westgate along to Mercers
and on to the Sherborne Road roundabout.
More radically, his Option 2A proposes closing the junction completely to the South and the West, making it a simple right turn from Westgate into Sherborne Road for vehicles. This would make Westgate into a local road and require the Southern Access route to exit onto the College roundabout as shown:
It is of course probable that all vehicles using Sherborne or Parklands Roads as a rat run will therefore be dumped into Westgate during the morning rush hour and vice versa in the evening. During the day it could well cut down on the use of the road as a through route.
5. The A286 Westgate Roundabout
Finally. Vectos have designed a new look to the Westgate-Ave de Chartres roundabout (A286) to try and improve the safety for cyclists and pedestrians:
Whilst some or none of these proposals may be implemented it is incumbent upon us one year into the outline planning process to understand the kind of thing that is being proposed for our street and develop opinions so that when these proposals are firmed up we are ready with our arguments for or against or with counter-proposals that make more sense.
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