David Gale, British Independents’ Alvaston representative, has called for a full investigation of Derby City Council’s conduct relating to No 3 Church Street, Alvaston, after it was revealed that thousands of pounds are being spent on “unnecessary” temporary traffic lights.
Derby City Council has refused to confirm or deny reports that it has been paying up to £500 per week for over two years for temporary traffic lights to be in place. At a recent residents’ meeting, it was claimed that the traffic flow was improved during periods when the lights weren’t working.
The Derbyshire Independent has seen documents researched by Gale that suggest that signs ‘prioritising oncoming traffic’ would have been significantly less expensive and that the council has unnecessarily racked up costs to strengthen its position in potential court action against the elderly owner of the two-bedroomed cottage at No 3 Church Street.
Gale said, “Two years ago, I said that the unusual conduct of Derby City Council, when it closed the road in March 2015, suggested that there was a concerted effort to rack up costs against the owner of No 3 Church Street as a means to eventually gaining possession of his property. I have now researched the official requirements contained in the “Traffic Safety Measures for Roadworks and Temporary Situations” manual and it is clear that the city council could have used a ‘priority to oncoming vehicles’ scheme instead of very expensive temporary traffic lights. In fact, exactly that scheme has been used just around the corner on Alvaston Street.”
The Derbyshire Independent has confirmed that a ‘priority to oncoming vehicles’ scheme has been used on Alvaston Street, adjacent to a school, in circumstances where the line of sight for drivers appears less favourable than Church Street. Following the Arriva bus company’s recent rejection of a plan to re-route buses away from Church Street, the bus company is reported as having recently lobbied the city council to remove the traffic lights which it too now believes are unnecessary.
David Gale said, “Not only has the council racked up unnecessary costs but it is also evidenced as having blocked plans by the owner’s family to commence restoration and repair works for No 3 Church Street that were in place well before the point at which the council closed the road in March 2015. The council’s original claim, that the building was in imminent danger of collapse, is reported as having been rejected by an independent surveyor but the council still refuses to publish the surveyor’s report. There needs to be a thorough investigation of the city council’s conduct in relation to No 3 Church Street.”