Wye Moves Working Group
A flooded lane and blind bend near Crundale. This symbolises the decades of under-investment in basic repairs and maintenance of the network of narrow lanes that connect Wye and the surrounding farms and villages in the Kent Downs.
Highways Improvement Plan
The Parish Council is preparing a Highways Improvement Plan (HIP) to present to KCC Highways for action. Wye Moves is a new working group formed to co-ordinate local knowledge, identify and assess risks and opportunities, gather evidence and support the preparation of the HIP.
To prioritise the long list of improvement works needed, Wye Moves is considering the risks associated with hazards and constraints in eleven locations against a wide range of factors. These include:
• Traffic speed
• Traffic density
• Traffic flow (parking, obstructions)
• Pedestrian flow (walkability)
• Pedestrian concentration (shops, schools)
• Visibility (sight-lines)
Wye Moves: the context
Kent County Council (KCC) has limited money available for highway engineering projects and its first priority is the Casualty Reduction Programme. This funds works which will improve road safety, and reduce the number of crashes or the severity of personal injuries. Wye has a large Conservation Area, and over eighty listed buildings. Therefore any highway engineering works will affect the setting of these heritage assets, so the design and choice of materials need great care to avoid causing harm.
Road crashes which resulted in personal injury
CrashMap data for Wye 1998 - 2018 (excludes 'collision only' road traffic crashes). Data source: DfT. Background map: Google.
KCC has a three step evaluation process to evaluate all highway improvement proposals. The first step is to check the history of the site for crashes within the last three years which resulted in personal injury. (To count, these crashes must have been reported and validated by Kent Police, so minor collisions are not registered on the crashmap records).
Therefore, KCC is unlikely to consider an improvement scheme for a site with no crash history, unless there is support from community representatives. KCC states that:
- 'To suggest safety changes to the highway, your first point of contact is your local parish council or local district councillor or your county member. They will need the crash data you obtained in step 1 or your reasons for promoting the changes. It may also be that your county member or parish council are able to financially support your request.
- If they are not supportive, then it would be very difficult for us (KCC) to prioritise your request and you should not contact us
- If they are supportive they will contact us and let us know the extent of community support for change.'
Evidence of need
With the need to show community support for change in mind, Wye Moves is gathering the evidence of need for improvements and local support for changes. This includes for example, changes to road layouts, speed, parking restrictions and signage. This evidence is essential to build a funding case for highway improvements, and to lever contributions to the costs from housing developers.