Traffic Flow and Parking
Traffic flow and parking in Downton remain problematic and although a Parish Council working group, in which society members were involved, found that there were few ways of improving the availability of parking in the village, we address this issue whenever a planning application is made for new development. We are particularly keen to identify suitable parking to meet the needs of the newly enlarged Memorial Hall.
Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV)
The HGV weight limit of 7.5 tons is routinely flouted. The problem is largely down to poor signage and attempts to address this at various levels (including Area Board, Highways, County Councils and our MP) have failed. We feel strongly that, unless there is clear signage at major access points (especially from the M27) lorry drivers will continue to use the B3080 through the village as a short cut.
Those reading this who are new to the village should note that there are some HGV's legitimately using the B3080 (for nstance, to/from Trafalagar Fisheries or the Steel works); but although the Downton Industrial Estate is excluded from the weight restriction area, their heavy vehicles should not be using the B3080. Some of the businesses say they advise drivers to use the A338, but the delivery chain often involves different companies, so this does not work in practice. Others argue that the weight limit is (apparently) too complicated to be programmed into commercial SatNav systems.
The Society has been battling this issue for nearly a decade - to no avail. We, therefore, approached our Parish Council to take on the HGV issue but, given limited resources (and their own priorities), they simply "offered support" for further initiatives made by the Society and for a Downton Lorry Watch scheme suggested by our County Councillor, Richard Clewer. The scheme is being co-ordinated by a local resident. It was hoped to be up and running by autumn 2019 - the Downton Society will monitor progress on this and review the situation again in a few months’ time.
The Downton Streetscene
We are lucky to live in a Conservation Area and the Society does its bit by monitoring planning applications on listed buildings and encouraging appropriate design and development. We also feel that the streetscene - street furniture, lighting, signs, litter boxes, bridges and noticeboards - contributes towards the character of the village. The Parish Council, through its Amenities Committee, is responsible for keeping the village looking good - and as a Society we will always try to support this aim. (We recently renewed all the notice boards and contributed towards the refurbishment of the Memorial Hall shelter for instance). From time to time, we ask members to get involved in village litter-picks, bridge cleaning etc - and, when his happens, we look forward to your support. We expect to be increasing these initiatives greatly in the run -up to "Downton In Bloom" early next year.