Update on Parish Council actions in relation to traffic issues in the Parish

The Parish Council is very much aware of residents concerns in relation to traffic issues within the Parish and in the village centre in particular and in order to keep residents updated here is a summary of what has taken place so far and what is planned moving forward - 

2016 – A survey was carried out with residents in the village centre to obtain views on parking restrictions in the Parish.  The response indicated that there was no appetite for restrictions to be imposed upon parking.

2016 – 2017 – Meetings took place with the school, the Tufnell Hall and the GP surgery in relation to parking matters.  It resulted in the school participating in the 3PR scheme, the Tufnell Hall offering parking to parents for a small fee in its car park (which it still does) and the surgery agreeing to indicate to patients that it would be preferable to park in the Memorial Hall car park rather than along Brook Hill.

May 2016 – application made to the South Essex Parking Partnership to install yellow lines at the junctions by the school and the junction of The Street and the B1008 to deter parking in that area which was successful and duly implemented.

May 2017 - Speed and volume survey undertaken along Brook Hill – The Local Highway Panel (LHP) declined to take any action as the speed demonstrated did not exceed the threshold for action.

2018 – village speed watch group set up which has been out and about on an ad hoc basis although interrupted by the pandemic.

December 2018 - Speed and volume survey undertaken along Brook Hill – LHP declined to take any action as the speed demonstrated did not exceed the threshold for action.

December 2020 - As a result of continued complaints from residents regarding the volume of traffic travelling through the village application made to the LHP for –

  • That the speed limit along Back Lane be reduced from 60mph to 40mph from the junction with Essex Regiment Way to the current 30mph signage
  • That a stand out chicane be erected along Brook Hill to deter through traffic and generally slow traffic
  • That Little Waltham village centre is made an ‘access only’ area again to deter through traffic and that it is managed by ANPR cameras

5th March 2021 - Zoom meeting with County Councillor John Aldridge, Jon Simmons (LHP officer) and Councillors.  A variety of issues were discussed including the involvement of the Police, Speed watch and the application made to the LHP.

12th April 2021 – As a result of the discussion with the LHP a second application was made to the LHP for –

  • An amendment to the previous application that the 40mph limit is a buffer zone from the current 30mph limit for a short distance along Back Lane.
  • That the 40mph limit be reinforced with village signs so that it is clear to residents that they are entering a residential area
  • That the village centre be made a 20mph area and that around the primary school ‘wig wags’ are introduced to slow traffic.

The Parish Council sets up a traffic working group to meet on an ad hoc basis to discuss the ongoing issues.

3rd March 2022 - A traffic consultant was appointed to assist the Parish Council in considering achievable outcomes to deal with the issue

8th March 2022 – A Zoom meeting with County Councillor Steel and the LHP officer Jon Simmons plus the cabinet member for Highways Lee Scott and Councillors.  At this meeting it was made very clear by Councillor Scott that any solution has to be ‘data led’ and that there needs to be evidence as to the extent of the rat running issue.  It was stated that an origin and destination survey would be the way forward and that if the Parish Council could contribute financially to the survey, it would be persuasive.  It was made clear that informal traffic counts would not be acceptable evidence.

As a result of the requirement to prove the issue of rat running the Parish Council has pressed the Local Highway panel to undertake the Origin and Destination survey by lobbying members of that panel and in addition at the meeting of 7th April 2022 agreed a financial contribution of £3,000 to the survey.

30th June 2022 - The LHP meeting took place and agreed to arrange for the Origin and Destination survey to be undertaken and to accept the contribution of £3,000 from the Parish Council

The Parish Council has impressed upon the LHP officer the importance of the survey being carried out to accurately reflect the problem and thus to avoid school holiday periods.

The Parish Council has also made submissions to Essex County Council in 2022 regarding Channels residents' concerns in relation to large lorries travelling along the Radial Distributor Road to access Bulls Lodge Quarry and the disturbance caused.

December 2022 - entrance gates installed at four locations in the village centre and advised that the buffer zone at Back Lane has been refused.

January 2023 - The Origin and Destination survey was carried out between 24th to 27th January.

September 2023 - February 2024 - a Traffic Consultant was appointed to assist the Parish Council.  Various meetings held with the Councillors, Traffic Consultant, County Councillor Steel, LHP officer Jon Simmons and LHP engineers, to discuss the survey and decide on the best options to try and address the rat running through Little Waltham.

Aptil 2024 - Councillor Kingham and Watson met with Councillor Steel, and MP Kemi Badenoch to discuss issues to reduce rat-running through the parish.  

Latest update from the LHP website:

  • 20mph area in front of Little Waltham Primary school is still on the list and stated as ‘awaiting funding’
  • B1008 – near junction with Chelmer Avenue – improvements for pedestrian crossing including island refuge approved and funded
  • B1008 – at junction with The Street – lining and signage improvements – awaiting funding
  • Footpath 28 – improvements to surface and drainage – awaiting funding

All other requests have dropped off from list thus not accepted.

Any questions can be raised with the Parish Clerk.

Page last updated 24 April 2024