Road row rumbles on

By David Newble

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

 

HIGHWAYS bosses at the Isle of Wight Council say a rural lane in Freshwater, controversially used as a route by double-decker buses, is no different to other narrow roads on the Island.

Angry residents along Pixley Hill and Copse Lane have been battling to try to get large buses banned from their road and claim their concerns are not being taken seriously by the Isle of Wight Council or Southern Vectis.

In a delegated decision, due to be taken next Wednesday, December 16, the Isle of Wight Council’s head of highways, Peter Hayward, is recommending calls for a full safety audit of the road are turned down by the council’s cabinet member for transport, Cllr Edward Giles, unless the accident rate rises.

In the report, Mr Hayward said although the route is not ideal, the physical characteristics of the road are "no different to many other rural roads across the Island, which have been used by buses for many years without detriment".

A council survey of traffic using the route found buses represented only a small proportion of large and heavy vehicles travelling along Pixley Hilll and Copse Lane.

Bus traffic equates to just 0.6 per cent of the vehicles using the road whereas large farm vehicles and delivery vehicles account for 16.7 per cent of traffic, according to the report.

Spokesman for the Copse Lane/Pixley Hill Action Group Myles Mence told the County Press Mr Hayward’s paper was "very thin and full of mistakes".

He added the action group would be opposing the recommendations outlined by the council.

He said: "We will be replying and correcting his errors. There are concerns, which his report does not touch on."

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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