Preserving the historical character of Old Town and improving the safety and quality of life in this area is a major priority. Traffic, speeding, HGVs and coaches are all rocking the very foundations of the buildings, increasing pollution, and putting lives and livelihoods at risk.
Following conversations with residents from across Old Town, whose everyday lives are directly impacted, we (Cllr Wilford Augustus, Cllr Gareth Williams, Cllr Joseph Baum, and Cllr Emily Culverhouse) who represent St Mary's Ward, will be making representations to the Cabinet Member for Transport at Buckinghamshire Council, to help provide traffic calming measures in Chesham Old Chesham.
Major Old Town Traffic Hotspots:
1) Missenden Road Junction: Old Town traffic hotspots include, the Missenden Road junction with Church Street, Pednormead End and Wey Lane, where one finds the historic Queen's Head Pub, first licensed in 1759. Many of the building’s original features have remained intact, and the River Chess flows past the entrance to its yard. Speeding traffic, HGV's and coaches pose a considerable risk to life and property in this area.
2) Thomas Harding School Junction: Another Old Town traffic hotspot is the Thomas Harding School Junction, where traffic from Fuller's Hill, Wey Lane, Germain Street and King Street converge, putting the safety of school children, their parents, residents and property at risk.
Residents would like the Council to implement Traffic Calming Measures in Chesham Old Town, to improve the safety and quality of life of those living, working or attending schools, in this area.
Much of this part of Chesham is Conservation Area T10 with many Historic Listed Properties which should be ‘preserved and enhanced’ in line with the ‘objectives of Conservation in Bucks’.
The Old Town is home to Thomas Harding School, the Monkey Puzzle Nursery School, Birchwood – a home for severely disabled adults and Townbridge Court, a Sheltered Housing development for the elderly. Traffic Calming should be very high priority.
Our Main Concern is the impact of traffic in the area in terms of:
1. Volume of vehicles, particularly HGV’s
2. Speed of traffic
Many of the roads are narrow with extremely narrow footpaths, particularly Germain Street, King Street, parts of Wey Lane, Church Street and Fullers Hill. This leads to various traffic safety problems.
HGV’s, coaches, and other large vehicles trying to pass each other, frequently have to mount footpaths, posing a danger to pedestrians who are often elderly, handicapped or parents with young children and buggies.
There have been numerous ‘near misses’ and people have been hit by wing mirrors. Damage is also caused to the road surface, the historic Denner Hill Sets used as kerb stones – even damage to guttering, drain pipes and lamp posts.
The volume of traffic also poses a danger to pedestrians where, in some places, they cannot pass one another without stepping into the road. On parts of Fullers Hill they have to walk in the road as there is no footpath.
Large vehicles driving through the narrowest areas of Germain Street, Church Street and Wey Lane cannot pass each other, leading to confrontations when both refuse to back up or give way.
The large number of HGVs and coaches particularly in Church Street and Germain Street seriously degrades the local environment and the impact of pollution and vibration on historic buildings with poor foundations is of serious long-term concern.
Speeding throughout the Old Town is common, even in the vicinity of the Primary and Nursery Schools. On straight sections of roads eg. parts of Church Street, Amy Lane, King Street, Germain Street and Fullers Hill, cars are often observed speeding noisily at 50mph+
We urge the Council to consider implementing some or all of the following:
1. Measures to Reduce Volume and Weight of HGVs
Introduce a statutory weight limit and appropriately positioned accompanying signs on access roads to Chesham Old Town. Signs must be sufficiently distant to allow drivers to take alternative routes.
2. Measures to Reduce Speed
Reduce Speed Limit to 20mph, especially near the Sheltered Accommodations and the Schools - in line with the roads surrounding many other schools.
Install Mobile Activated Signs/ Speed Cameras.
Implement a Community Speed Watch area
3. Measures to Improve Traffic Flow
Reinstate the ‘Stop Lines’ at the Germain Street ‘Pinch Point”. They were covered when the road was resurfaced and have never been re-painted. Consider the repositioning of the ‘Pinch Point’ in view of its proximity to the junction with King Street and because it is in the narrowest stretch of the road. Install a sign to indicate priority at the junction with King Street and Germain Street
These narrow roads were not built to take this volume, size and speed of vehicles. We request the Council sets up a working party to discuss these issues and to keep residents informed of proposed actions.
Please sign the campaigns to show your support. Please note that your first name, last name and street name will appear on the letter we submit to the cabinet member.
Cllr Wilford L. Augustus
Promoted on behalf of Cllr Wilford Augustus by James Watts of Chesham & Amersham Conservative Association and Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association of Disraeli House, 12 Aylesbury End, Beaconsfield HP9 1LW, England
Copyright © 2023 Wilford Augustus. All Rights Reserved. Designed by WA Communications. Powered by TBG Hosting.