ASB & Traffic Issues Working Party - update

Published: 17 September 2021

Earlswood ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party

Update 13 September 2021


There have been a couple of meetings of the Earlswood Community Impact Assessment Group (ECIA Gp) since the last update.

The first meeting was to discuss and consider producing four different proposals as to how the community might proceed with the resolution of the ASB, traffic and drugs issues around the Lakes. These draft proposals ranged from maintaining the status quo (i.e. doing nothing after the causeway was reopened by reverting to the situation pre CRT’s major works) to full and permanent closure of the causeway.   The idea was that one would be selected by vote at a public meeting and be implemented.

 However, Warwickshire CC Highways indicated that, rather than committing to a full and final decision, there could be a temporary resolution that could, if needed, be reversed. This involves WCC Highways obtaining a temporary closure order on the causeway, which would mean that it would not open again when CRT has finished their remedial work. This idea had not been mentioned previously as a possibility.

The temporary closure would enable the ECIA Gp to monitor the ASB, traffic and drugs issues that may, or may not, reappear with the reopening of Valley Road. If the indicators and public opinion were to keep the causeway closed permanently, then the temporary closure could be made permanent and, similarly, if the indicators and public opinion were such as to require the causeway to be re-opened, the temporary closure order could be withdrawn.

It should also be noted that, if the causeway were to be closed, the intention is that it will only be closed to vehicles.  Pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters and horses will be allowed to use the route.  

The temporary closure order would have a lifespan of eighteen months and there would be a full consultation conducted by WCC prior to its inception. The beauty of the temporary closure order is that it can be withdrawn at any time within that eighteen months’ timeframe. Similarly, if it were to be made permanent, that process could be conducted during that eighteen months’ timeframe. The four options mentioned above were all a one time only solution and didn’t allow for any supplementary additions or removals of the options implemented. This has the benefit, in the WP’s view, of flexibility.

As you will be aware, the incidence of ASB and criminal activities peaked 15 to 18 months ago (April to July 2020) and, since then, it has dropped by two thirds (approx. 255 incidents to 85 from last summer to the same months this summer). This temporary closure proposal gives us the flexibility to be speedily reactive to changes in this data and The Earlswood ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party is supportive of this approach.

The ECIA Gp is proposing to hold a public consultation on this approach and this will probably take place at the Village Hall in October – date yet to be advised. We understand that Police Inspector Ben Hembry will chair the meeting and explain what is proposed, after which the floor will be open for questions and comments.

As far as the WP is aware, the full costings are not yet available but these should be available by the time that the public meeting is convened.  Preliminary discussions indicate that there will be sufficient funds but we await more detailed analysis. The alternative to the temporary closure proposal will probably be to revert to the WP’s process and continue with the erection of the CCTV cameras in the unofficial car park in the dip in Valley Rd and to look further into traffic calming and parking measure on Malthouse Lane.

Ewen Cunningham

Chair, Earlswood ASB and Traffic Issues Working Party

13 September 2021