Council criticised for closing cut-through road in Telford

Plans for the 'experimental' closure of a road have come under fire, with critics saying the decision has been taken without consultation.

Critics of the decision to shut Horton Lane to traffic are from left Councillor Stephen Burrell, Roger Turner, Clive Matkin, Councillor Ruth Evans MBE and Pat Jones
Critics of the decision to shut Horton Lane to traffic are from left Councillor Stephen Burrell, Roger Turner, Clive Matkin, Councillor Ruth Evans MBE and Pat Jones

Telford & Wrekin Council will today, begin the process of closing Horton Lane – a narrow road which connects with Hortonwood 60.

The road is used as a cut-through by people travelling into Donnington and Telford Town Centre from the north of the town, but residents living on the road have consistently raised concerns over safety and speeding on the route.

Telford & Wrekin Council said it had decided on the closure – which will last for six months – after concerns were raised by Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council, and the borough councillors for Hadley and Leegomery on behalf of the residents of the lane.

Two previous consultation have taken place over the closure of the road. The most recent took place in 2017 but no action was taken.

Councillor Stephen Burrell, who represents Edgmond and Ercall Magna, said that he was disappointed that the decision had been taken without a fresh consultation.

He said it would impact people from Kynnersley, Preston upon the Weald Moors, Tibberton, and Cherrington, adding another two-and-a-half miles to journeys.

He said: "There have been two separate consultation in 2010 and 2017, and on both occasions the result was there was no overwhelming basis of evidence to justify the closure of Horton Lane.

"I wonder what has changed since the conclusion of the last consultation to warrant such sudden change of heart? Why this time was a consultation not held that included the former consultees, given that a previous consultation had included them? What has changed?"

He added: "I do understand living here that it can be rather a pain to have a large number of vehicles going down a quiet road at parts of the day but it is just something you have to learn to live with. The vast majority of the time the road is very quiet."

Councillor Burrell said the situation would also just move traffic elsewhere, and also question the costs of the scheme.

He said: "You are not solving a problem, you are just pushing the problem further out on to other roads, adding further journey time and the carbon dioxide footprint for every single resident in those parishes will increase."

Dean Sargeant, Telford & Wrekin Council's director of Neighbourhood & Enforcement Services said: "Significant investigations were undertaken in 2011, 2015 and again in 2017 in relation to concerns raised regarding traffic flows and vehicular speeds along Horton Lane and we have previously consulted on this complex situation during each of the aforementioned years.

"Unfortunately, on each occasion we were not able to reach a consensus with residents of Horton Lane and the wider community and subsequently a scheme wasn’t taken forward.

"However, concerns continue to be raised by Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council and the borough councillors for Hadley and Leegomery on behalf of the residents of Horton Lane.

"As a result, Telford & Wrekin Council will bring forward an experimental scheme that will prohibit motor vehicles on Horton Lane at its junction with Hortonwood.

"This scheme will involve a full signing review to ensure vehicles are aware of the restrictions on Horton Lane and the alternative routes available.

"In addition to this, we will ensure access is still available to pedestrians and cyclists as well as using a solution that allows emergency access, via gating, if required.

"As outlined above, this will be carried out on an experimental basis for a minimum of six to 12 months.

"This well-established process provides opportunity for all stakeholders to understand the impact of the closure and provide feedback. Opportunity for feedback will be via online consultation and through our contact centre. After the initial six month trial the layout will be reviewed."

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