Design work has been progressing in relation to the three A558 Junction improvements, which comprise the Department of Transport (DfT) Local Pinch Point Schemes. HBC have recently received the road alignment design for the Pitts Heath Lane roundabout junction. From the initial layout plans it was apparent that the avenue of trees at the junction would likely be affected by the roundabout carriageway widening works, In designing the scheme HBC had hoped to retain as many of the trees as possible. Following advice from the Council’s Open Spaces Division and Specialist Arboricultural Contractors, it has been confirmed that the proximity of the root systems of the trees to the evacuation works would render the trees unviable. Unfortunately, this means that excavation and replanting the trees is not feasible and the lines of trees closest to the roundabout will have to be removed.
In order to meet DfT grant conditions, construction work at this junction is programmed to commence mid June 2014. In order that HBC comply with the requirements of the Countryside and Wildlife Act and to ensure that the bird nesting season is avaoided, HBC intend to carry out the tree and shrub clearance work, shown on the attached plan below, commencing next week (24th February 2014).
A landscape scheme is currently being prepared by the Council’s Open Spaces Division which will focus on mitigating the loss of trees and shrubs and re-establishing the avenue. You will of couse be consulted on this scheme as it develops.
HBC intend to incorporate works to resolve the flooding of the pedestrian subway, with these junction improvement works. The subway does need to be extended to accommodate the widening of the expressway carriageway on the approach to the roundabout. To assist in the redesign of the subway HBC need to carryout investigation and testing of the existing structure. The first step in this process is to clear the existing culvert (which carries Keckwick Brook and is an integral part of the pedestrian subway structure) of silt and any debris that may have become trapped.
The Environment Agency have given permission for this clearance work to proceed which is planned to commence on 24th February 2014. This will comprise the employment of a large suction jetting machine to remove the silt and will take around 2 weeks to complete. The flow in Keckwick Brook will be maintained throughout the period.
In the short term this de-silting work should provide greater capacity within the culverts and improve flow in the brook, however due to the relative levels of the bed of the brook and the base of the culvert we expect that this benefit will only be temporary as further silt is washed down. In the meaintime our consulting Engineers will be developing options for improving flow through the culverts whilst keeping the pedestrian and cycle route free of flooding and silting in the longer term.
HBC have notified all residents of Sunnyside Lane and Bayswater Close, who have frontage to the proposed works by letter drop on Thursday 20th February 2014.