BARLEY LANE | Speed table outside Sylvan Heights

Back in April, Wales + West Utilities [W+W] were working along Barley Lane to replace the gas main pipe between Croft Chase and Dunsford Road,  and replace or transfer services to 29 properties.

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This sign on Barley Lane confirms that it really was Wales + West carrying out the     roadworks

The roadworks were finished on schedule on 08 May 2015 – but that’s not to say W+W completed the job!

There is a speed table at the junction of Somerset Avenue, Barley Lane and Eton Walk – and this has been specially laid with an imitation brick finish when Sylvan Heights was being developed.

The utility company filled in the trench they created across this speed table with tarmac…

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                      Tarmac fills the trench made by W+W across the speed table

Under s70-73 of  Part 3 of Traffic Management Act 2004, W+W are legally entitled to retain an Interim Reinstatement in place for up to 6 months before a Permanent Reinstatement replaces it.

I have been in discussions with Highways officers from Devon County Council  who have informed me that the utilities company is required to match trench reinstatements with the existing surface, and their Streetworks Inspector is liaising with W+W on this issue.

The problem has arisen from the fact that the imprint design on this junction is a custom design , so DCC has had to go back to the Sylvan Heights developer, Taylor Wimpey, to obtain the exact specification and contractor details to enable W+W to commission a matching reinstatement as required.

Until this can be arranged the trench needed to be reinstated to open the road fully to traffic, the quickest and easiest material to put back now which can then be excavated easily again is the temporary bitmac reinstatement.

Whilst it is not appropriate or usual to immediately take legal action [leading to a fine of up to £5,000 for failure to comply] while the Interim repair is providing a safe running surface for vehicles, the 6 months expires on 01 December 2015 so an Interim Reinstatement would become an issue after that date.

But it’s become a bit more complicated…

I am also told that W+W will have to re-excavate within this concrete section when they resume their major works on Barley Lane in January. In this instance, it would normally not be unreasonable for W+W to request that the 6 months period of grace be extended so that the specialist contractor might complete all the work on one visit to site.

Apparently W+W have  registered all their reinstatement work on Barley Lane on the Register as permanent rather than interim

Because there seems to be specific public concern regarding the visual aspect of the Interim Reinstatement I am pushing DCC not to approve consent to an extension.

 

BARLEY LANE | Speed table

As part of the Sylvan Heights development off Barley Lane, the developers – Taylor Wimpey – proposed off-site highway works in the form of a raised table safety measure along Barley Lane. The raised carriageway would extend across the width of Barley Lane from approximately 7 metres north of the proposed main site entrance to approximately 5 metres south of the entrance. It would also extend across the Barley Lane’s junction with Somerset Avenue and the main site entrance and for approximately 5 metres along these roads. At each of the points where the raised table meets the road, a 2 metres long ramp to gradually raise the carriageway to 50mm height is proposed. [Officer Report on Planning Application 08/1476/03 presented to ECC Planning Committee on 06/03/09].

What Taylor Wimpey actually delivered was a speed table with an imprint design in a ‘granite set’ pattern This is created with a ‘stamp’ that imprints a pattern into the surface to give it the appearance of a granite set construction.

Barley Lane speed table (from Somerset Avenue)
Barley Lane speed table (from Somerset Avenue)

No-one travelling along Barley Lane over recent months could have missed the utilities works being carried out by Wales and West Utiltities, where they were laying a gas pipe.

Wales & West road signs - more Wales than West
Wales & West road signs – more Wales than West
Wales & West utilities work on Barley Lane
Wales & West utilities work on Barley Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, no-one travelling along Barley Lane now will be unaware of the state Wales & West have left the speed table.

Current state of Barley Lane speed table
Current state of Barley Lane speed table

I have been told by Devon County Council Highways officers over this who have informed us that under the New Roads & Street Works Act (NRSWA) 1991 “the utility company is required to match trench reinstatements with the existing surface’ 

The delay to reinstatement has arisen from the fact that the imprint design on this junction is unusual, if not unique. As imprint stamps have many varieties then it is important to get a like for like match, Wales & West have employed a contractor who will make up a stamp to recreate the imprint design as close as possible to the original. This will enable Wales & West to commission a matching reinstatement as required.

 Wales & West have a 6 month period in accordance with NRSWA to make this reinstatement permanent.

Until this can be arranged the trench needed to be reinstated to open the road fully to traffic, the quickest and easiest material to put back now which can then be excavated easily again is the temporary bitmac reinstatement.