Sadly, the Christmas tree donated to the parish at the beginning of the year and planted near the Wavier Pond, did not survive the summer and has since been removed. The council has also arranged for the removal of a dead alder tree. The resulting empty space is soon to be filled by moving a young Rowan tree from its present position on the Chapel Row side. The Council was advised that the new position would benefit the Rowan in the longer term and would also give the area a more balanced look.
The County Council’s decision on our bid for funds to improve the traffic calming scheme in the High Street is expected early in the new year. If the bid is successful the most likely outcome would be a “build out” from the kerb or some kind of speed cushion, to be sited close to the junction with Silhalls Close.
The following minor maintenance works should be undertaken during the summer: clearing moss from the roof of the bus shelter and treating woodwork; replacing the missing slat from the bench on Silhalls Close Green; repainting the railings at the side of the Wavior Pond.
Capacity to fund other more expensive works is to be considered once the annual ROSPA safety report on the play area is received in early May. Works services under consideration comprise: renewal of path from High Street to The Pavilion; replace rotten posts at the Pavilion Car Park; annual hedging and pruning at the recreation ground; annual hedging trimback at Ickneield Way Footpath (part); pollarding of lime trees in the closed churchyard.
The Council is now ready to talk with communities about meeting their future transport needs. A working group, including parish representatives, has been formed and will be holding its first meeting at the Ellesmere Centre, Stetchworth, on June 18th 2014.
Anyone using the recreation ground during the winter months would have been well aware of its very wet condition, particularly at the far end by the ditch, which at times overflowed.
Although the winter months were very wet, part of the problem can be attributed to water flowing along a ditch on the opposite side of the B1063, then travelling under the road and into the recreation ground ditch, which is also receiving run-off from the road itself and the adjoining field, which forms part of Hascombe Stud.
Following a meeting on April 3rd with representatives of Darley Stud (the owners of the field that abuts Silhalls Close), they agreed that they would find the fitting o and “elbow” that would force the excess water from that field down the hill towards Silverley and away from the under-road tunnel. The Parish Council would continue to monitor the situation and consider the need for further remedial works in conjunction with Hascombe Stud and Fairhaven Estates, as lessor of the Recreation Ground.
Ashley has been invited to nominate any building as Buildings of Local Interest. The Council believes that most, if not all buildings of merit have already been given a listed status, but it was agreed that two vintage water hydrants located in The Green and on Mill Road, could be nominated as worthy of conservation.
Whilst the new give way feature in the High Street has slowed traffic from the Lidgate direction, traffic leaving the village in the opposite direction is still able to accelerate. This has resulted in several near misses as drivers arrive at the new island with too much speed.
The Parish council believes there could be some spare capacity within the County’s budget to enable a speed cushion or pavement extension to be put in place a short distance from the existing island and is currently in discussion about this with Highways officials. It is thought that the effectiveness of the scheme could be greatly improved by adding a chicane.
The Parish Council is assisting the County Council in a public consultation exercise linked to the Cambridgeshire Future Transport (CFT) initiative, which aims to come up with innovative solutions to meet the County’s future transport needs. As part of this initiative the County is reviewing all subsidised bus services across the county to assess whether continued public subsidy is justified. The review will include bus services 47, 901 and 902 which serve Ashley residents. Whilst it might be possible to re-design some bus services to attract a greater number of passengers. service may also be cut where there is no evidence of demand.
In Ashley, questionnaires would have been distributed on a house to house basis as it was felt many residents may have a view, irrespective of whether or not they use the buses at present. The County is hoping to find out more about those of you who might use the services if the timings or routes were more convenient.
A survey carried out by Cambridgeshire County Council Highways Dept had revealed that too few people would use a pedestrian crossing near the junction with Silverley Way. In view of this any crossing was unlikely to be wholly safe as drivers would not anticipate people crossing thereby increasing the likelihood of accidents. However, an alternative solution had been put forward for the Council’s consideration which would act as a traffic calming measure and also help vulnerable pedestrians to cross the road in safety.