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Advisory Group - Highways and Drainage



We are still waiting to hear from Devon County Council about when the scheduled improvements to the road from Drybridge will be started. The work was due to begin in November.
In the meantime we are continuing to pursue with the County Council how best to improve the way in which they deploy their resources available for clearing gullies and other drainage assets. Unless we know what the DCC contractors are doing it is difficult to deploy the Parish Council’s limited resources.

Problems on roads

If you spot a problem on local roads please report it directly to the County Council via their website.

Here you can report lots of problems including potholes, flooding, blocked drains, ice, defective road markings and signs, hazardous trees and lots more.

You can send them a photograph of the problem and get reports on progress dealing with it.
This is the best way of ensuring that something is done - and the more people that report a particular problem the better.


Public Transport
First Group X80 service runs between Plymouth & Torquay and stops at Rattery Mill, Culver Lane & Marley Head.

Stagecoach’s South West Falcon service operates a regular Plymouth-Exeter-Taunton-Bristol service stopping at Marley Head.

People with limited mobility can get help with transport for medical appointments, shopping etc. via Totnes Caring (01803 865684 email) or South Brent and District Caring (01364 700282 email).

Trains – run from Totnes (5 miles) Ivybridge (8 miles). Timetables for all trains from Totnes Station are from the National Rail Enquiries website or telephone 0845 484950.

As well as free school transport throughout the Village for Dartington Primary School & KEVICS the Western National x 80 service runs between Plymouth & Torquay and stops at Rattery Mill, Culver Lane & Marley Head.

Trains run from Totnes (5 miles) Ivybridge (8 miles) Timetables for all trains from Totnes Station are available from 0845 484950.

Senior citizens rail cards may be obtained from Devonwide Offices 01392 383688 at discounted rates.

For more information on Public Transport in Devon go to website


Parking
If  you or your visitors park on the road anywhere in the parish, please ensure there is enough width left for emergency vehicles/tractors etc. to pass at all times. Additional parking is available in the ‘Village Green’ Car Park outside the Church for residents & their visitors, or if this is full, in the Village Hall car park when not in use for an organise

Drains
The Parish Council has engaged a part-time Parish Lengthsman. His job is to clear and maintain the drains alongside the parish lanes.

If you know of places where water is accumulating or where drainage problems commonly occur during the winter months please contact the Parish Council so that we can direct the Lengthsman to where his work will do most good. Click here for contact details of parish councillors.


Flooding
If you have any problems with flooding help is available.

South Hams District Council holds a supply of sandbags and householders can usually collect up to six of these from the depot in Babbage Road, Totnes.
Telephone: 01803 861234

Rattery Parish Council has, in addition, purchased filled sandbags which can be made available for parishioners to protect their property from flooding. If you need them simply get in touch with any of the parish councillors. Click here for contact details of parish councillors.

If you have already experience flooding, or you believe you may be at risk, there are steps you can take to protect your property. Further information on website.

This Rattery Parish Council guide has been produced to help ensure safety in our community.  Our roads are particularly narrow at some points and access needs to be made as easy as possible for emergency services, delivery vehicles and local farmers. We hope landowners/occupiers will find the following information useful.

If you would like a printed copy of this guide you can collect one from the Village Hall or from any Parish Councillor or click here to download (PDF file).

Landowners/occupiers are responsible for maintaining hedges and trees growing along the edge of the highway (often the boundary with private property). This includes trees that overhang the highway or fall on to it. If you are unsure whether you are the owner check your property deeds or with The Land Registry (see below). Landowners/occupiers must:

  • trim hedges and trees to ensure growth does not obscure the view of road signs;
  • trim roadside hedges to maintain visibility for road users, particularly at junctions and on the inside of bends;
  • trim any hedge that directly abuts a road, footway, cycleway or public right of way so that growth does not prevent the passage or affect the safety of the highway user, including cyclists and pedestrians;
  • remove dead or decaying trees and other growth that may fall across the highway;
  • remove branches and other growth that may prevent the passage of high-sided vehicles or obstruct light from a street light;
  • ensure the highway (including the footway and drainage features) is left clear of debris from any cutting operations.

Devon County Council, the local highway authority, is responsible for:

  • maintaining trees growing within the highway limits;
  • protecting the safety of highway users by ensuring that owners and occupiers carry out any necessary maintenance (as outlined above);
  • serving, when necessary, a notice on the owner/occupier requiring work to be completed within a certain timeframe. If the work is not done, the authority might itself carry out the work and reclaim the cost from the owner or occupier.

Tips for Maintaining Hedges and Trees

When?
Ideally in January and February, avoiding the period between March and August, because:

  • disturbance of breeding birds, legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, will be reduced;
  • most plants will have finished flowering and seeding;
  • berries and nuts will be available for wildlife for as long as possible during the winter;
  • there will be less traffic on the roads, reducing congestion and delays.

How much and how often?
Overhanging hedges and trees should be cut back vertically to the boundary to maintain the minimum required clearance heights:

  • Roads: 5.2m
  • Footpaths: 2.1m

Where they are set back from the road and safety considerations allow, hedges can be cut on a two or three year (or longer) cycle.  If the side of the hedge bordering the road has to be cut every year for visibility, drainage or other reasons, you should consider only cutting the top and field/property side of the hedge every two or three years, or less frequently.

You will need to regularly inspect trees adjacent to a road, assessing overhanging branches for their condition and taking action on those that are a hazard or obstructing the road or path.  However, before pruning or felling a tree it will be worth contacting South Hams District Council as their consent may be needed if the tree is protected or in a conservation area.

What about planting new hedges/trees? 
If you want to plant a tree or shrub in a highway verge, phone 0345 155 1004. The highway authority will be able to advise on the suitability of the location and look at safety issues such as the effect on visibility for road users. Remember that you may be asked to be responsible for the future maintenance of what you plant.

Safety First
Put warning signs in place before you start working on the highway and remove them once you have finished. Signs should be placed well in advance of the work and be clearly visible on every approach to the affected areas. Devon County Council has produced a helpful factsheet that can be downloaded from their website (see below).

Should you decide to employ a contractor to carry out the work on your behalf, it will be worth checking that:

  • the work is done in good visibility and in daylight;
  • the work is done when traffic flows are minimal to reduce congestion;
  • the person responsible for the work, or their contractor, has public liability insurance cover for working on the highway for a value of £5 million;
  • equipment is well-maintained and in good condition, and does not throw debris into the path of traffic or other highway users;
  • the highway, including footways, cycleways and drainage features, is left clean of debris.

Web Links for Further Information

Devon County Council
Hedges and verges fact sheet
Tree maintenance
Roads and Farmers fact sheet (Verges, Trees and Ditches)

South Hams District Council
Landscape, Trees and Hedges

Land Registry Website
Land Registary Searches On-line

Aims:

  1. To advise the Parish Council on the delivery of the relevant sections of the Parish Plan and monitor delivery of the Parish Plan priorities;
  2. To gather information and provide advice to the Parish Council on matters concerning highways and land drainage;
  3. To offer an interface between parishioners and the Parish Council on matters relating to highways and land drainage.

Objectives:

  1. Consult with parishioners on matters relating to highways and land drainage;
  2. Carry out research as above;
  3. Monitor and report on the condition of highways and land drainage in the parish;
  4. Support the work of the Parish Council Road Warden and the Parish Council Snow Wardens;
  5. Advise the Parish Council on the deployment by the Parish Council of highways and drainage contractors.
  6. Liaise with outside bodies, in particular with Devon County Council (DCC), South Hams District Council (SHDC) and Devon and Cornwall Police.
  7. Monitor and report on progress with the Parish Plan;
  8. Monitor and report on work undertaken in the parish by contractors deployed either by the Parish Council or by outside bodies;
  9. Make recommendations to the Parish Council;
  10. Organise community action (as agreed by the Parish Council).

Membership:
Membership is open to interested parties.  The Council will nominate a serving Parish Councillor to provide the formal link between the Advisory Group and the Council.  Representative(s) of outside bodies will be invited to attend meetings at the Chairman’s discretion.
Lister Bass (Chair and Road Warden)
Nick Colton (Devon County Council Local Highways Officer)
Richard Hoskins (Devon County Councillor)
Richard Haigh
Peter Smerdon
Ray Willis

Click here for Parish Plans Actions