Where would a 20 mph zone go in Bunbury?

If we were to put in place a 20 mph zone in the village, where would we start? The aim would be to create a zone where walkers and cyclists feel safe in moving about the village. That means vehicles would need to slow down before entering areas where the majority of the active villagers would be met.  That would suggest the start of the zone is a little further out from the centre than would at first be thought reasonable. It may mean moving 30 mph signs so that we can create a deceleration  zone for drivers.

Some points are obvious because they are already part way to establishing the zone. Entering the village via the School Lane for example, you will enter a variable speed limit zone. When children (and parents) are expected to journey to and from school an advisory speed limit of 20 mph is triggered. So the first point in our zone would be a short distance from the junction of School Lane with the A49. In effect changing the advisory speed restriction to a manadatory limit. Next, I would suggest the junction of Bunbury Lane with Long Lane by the Yew Tree Pub would seem an obvious point. The junction of Long Lane with the A49 would inconvenience drivers not intending to enter the village. The Junction at the Yew Tree will only restrict the speed of those vehicles entering the village. The third point could be the top of the Bowes Gate bank as you ‘enter’ Upper Bunbury.  The College Lane entry point would also need to be established next to the Dysart Arms. The final point would need to be where Wyche Lane becomes Bird Lane.

Together these points would create a closed zone without other vehicle access to the village. It is, I believe,  a reasonable zone in terms of the pedestrians’ needs for safe movement and not onerous to vehicle users needing to access the village. Drivers may complain (!) that it slows journeys through the village by too much. “Too much” is a subjective feeling. For every mile traveled at 20 compared with 30 mph it takes about 18 seconds longer. So, going through the village might take 36 seconds longer at worst. A price worth paying g for a safe, quiet village where we can walk, talk and cycle in safety at any age?

This is what it would look like on a map

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This is of course just one possible solution. Smaller zones are possible.

Councillor Jones resigns

Michael Jones the Ward Councillor since 2011 has announced his resignation. The resulting election will take place in 2018. He had already made an informal announcement at a recent Parish Council meeting. As a very safe Conservative party seat there will be considerable competition to get the party nomination. Councillor Jones currently stand as an Independent  having resigned from the Conservative Party.

Other political parties  will already preparing their campaigns with candidates either in place or soon to be announced. Irrespective of the politics I cannot help but feel that ‘safe seat’ are not a good feature of our democracy. Seats, at what ever level, should not be in the ‘gift’ of a party machine. It is troubling that both the big parties will not support the sort of reform that would make all elections a real contest.

Lessons in Winter Bird Feeding

Looking after the bird life around Bunbury:

I have started to take my bird feeding a bit more seriously. Not just because of the recent cold weather but rather as a result of some lesson from a more informed friend. While positive about the location of the bird feeders near the hedge and under the oak tree, the friend was surprised at the food I was using and the type of feeders.  I had noticed a lot of waste as the birds sorted through what they liked and what was sent to the floor! Wrong food said the friend. Or rather the feed contained too much stuff that many of the birds coming to the feeders didn’t eat.

Whole wheat grain, peas, beans dried rice and lentils and an excess of millet are often used as ‘fillers’ to save on the cost of the more expensive food. Such seeds attract larger ground feeding birds such as pigeon, pheasants and doves. These seeds have value, but many small birds need a variety and they can end up on the ground. So it is important to provide the right food for the range of birds you wish to support and attract to the garden. I needed to up my game and get the right food. Of course I soon found that good quality ready mixed  is more expensive. The upside is that it contains far less ‘waste’ and therefore lasts longer.

Apparently , I also needed more than a single feeder or type of feeder. My early purchase of the inexpensive plastic feeders were already showing considerable damage. Squirrels, Large Spotted woodpeckers, and Jackdaws had smashed through the green plastic opening increasing access and sending a cascade of feed onto the ground. Since then I have found the heavy duty polycarbonate and metal constructed feeders by Gardsman  work well. My friend also pointed out that I needed different feeders for different seeds to attract different birds. So I have added specific  feeders for Sunflower seed and peanuts. During the winter I have added  suet balls with mixed seed and upped the fat content of the mixed feed.

At my friend’s next inspection I hope to get my ‘beginners’ badge’ and move on to getting more finches. Where are the finches?

Must stop now and go and fill up the feeders. No food, no birds!







Hill Close Developments 17/6119N

From outline to full details 17/6119N:

We have the first  details of what the Hill Close development will look like. The battle over access appears to be won and the clearance of  all the trees and bushes down this narrow lane will soon start.

The architect has provided 12 different plot designs for the 15 houses allocated to the site. This seems pretty generous. Many of the larger ‘market’ houses have similar internal layouts. Externally the designs do look as if regard has been made to the village design guidance.  The 3 social and affordable rentable properties, 2 slightly larger shared equity properties are much smaller but share the external detailing that will hopefully make the development visually acceptable.

We have until the 2 Feb. 2018 to comment on these plans.

Here is the Architect’s  impression of the street scene:


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The Full Design Statement is here:


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