Approximately 101 members of the village turned up to the village hall on Tuesday evening to hear about some initiatives from Safer Maulden (a group working to reduce traffic risks throughout the village), the village hall committee (looking to build an extension to the village hall), and the Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group (explaining what neighbourhood planning is, and how the village can get involved.)
The event running order, and links to documents and slides are below.
|19:30||Intro by Paul Downing|
|19:40||Table walks – collect Data||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
|19:50||Table walks – collect Data||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
|20:00||Formal Session opens with introduction||David|
|20:10||Safer Maulden introduction||Simon or Malcolm|
|20:30||Village Hall plans||Chris Elliot|
|20:50||Slides||Slides 2017 01 Village Meeting NHP Intro Deck|
|21:00||Wrap and closing session||Philip Jackson|
|21:20||Table walks – collect Data||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
|21:30||Table walks – collect Data||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
|21:40||Table walks – collect Data||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
|21:50||Table walks – collect Data||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
|22:00||Lights out||Working group leads, SW/Safer Maulden|
Simon gave some examples of ways in which funding and support could be obtained from CBC for traffic calming measures between the Co-op and the Knoll. The available schemes were limited by cash, the evidence from road surveys, the width of the road, and existing structures. The village is clearly very long, and there are perceived problems of traffic speeds throughout the village from all directions.
Evidence had been received from CBC that the average traffic speed, and number of vehicles travelling at a prosecutable level, in the zone for which traffic calming was suggested (between the Co-op and the Knoll), would not create a sufficient argument for CBC to conduct a full traffic management construction programme.
Some support is available from CBC, together with the £6000 (approximately) from safer Maulden’s own funding, which would support one of the three available visual road narrowing methods:
- using box planters – generally considered to be cheap, quick, and reusable but potentially suffering from problems of maintenance and obscuring the views of small children trying to cross the roads.
- concrete inserts to the road – generally considered to be cheap quick but permanent and may not work because of the road being very wide at that point
- raising the existing crossing point – likely to be more effective as it is a speed bump (properly known as vertical displacement of the road), but only operating at one point
Other suggestions were voiced including speed cameras, vertical displacement of the road at multiple locations throughout the village, and repainting white lines and using signage to turn the war memorial green into a “roundabout” which would have the effect of slowing down traffic on the two main access points before it could enter the busy parts of the village.
Some rough estimates were presented as to costs. A speed bump costs between £9000 and £12,000. A speed camera post costs around £6000, but cameras cost considerably more and the police approval. The scheme involving planters would cost about £1500 per planter, which was roughly equivalent to the cost of concrete islands or bollards. Signage and painting can cost around £2000 per white line, but requires maintenance every few this. It was also noted that there were significant problems in getting electricity and signalling to the relevant areas of the village as it had not been installed alongside the road.
This presentation was to be the first of several, and there will be an All Watch meeting which will cover SpeedWatch in February. The public would be invited to that event.
Chris very kindly described the four areas in which the village hall could be expanded, and the approximate costs. The scheme would provide additional kitchen, committee room, storage, and meeting spaces. The hall was already 50 years old, and these extensions would be expected to have a useful life that made it worthwhile investing in them. There was certainly demand for additional space in the village hall.
Draft plans are available to view on request, and further updates would be given as the scheme progressed. If there are any villagers willing to make a substantial donation, this would be gratefully received. There was a positive balance on the village hall account, sufficient to start the process.
A presentation was given on the neighbourhood planning process, the volunteers who are trying to help produce the neighbourhood plan, the support given from Maulden parish council, and the approximate costs (under £9000 which would be covered by grants from CBC).
The value of having a neighbourhood plan was explained, alongside the need for it to fit within the national planning framework and the soon-to-be published Central Beds Council local plan
People from the village were invited to walk around tables that have been set up by the volunteers covering the following areas of work:
- the natural environment
- social and education
- housing and development
- infrastructure and roads
- businesses and local economy
At each table people were able to answer questionnaires, write suggestions, ask questions of the work group leaders, and look at some maps and suggestions from other people.
A lot of data was collected at each table, and that will be released as part of the planning process. It should be noted that the data collected was from a self-selected sample of 101 people, approximately 30 of which answered questions at each table. The demographics of people in the room tended towards 50+, with very low representation from the under 35’s. Any answers and data should be read in the light of that sample information.
For example, the following graphs have been extracted from the data gathered in the housing and development area, where people were asked the following questions:
- Roughly how many houses do you think will be required over the next 15 years?
- Is it important that the village has a single centre?
- Is it important that the village develops as a ribbon along the main road?
- Who should we build houses for?
- What sort of houses should be built?
This information would go into the dataset for the neighbourhood plan, alongside the existing housing needs survey from 2013, and more rigourous data collection from later surveys and samples.