As you have probably noticed there are some new bollards outside Monxton Manor, adjacent to the church and village hall. Hampshire Highways carried out a number of site visits to assess both the verge and the traffic situation along that stretch of road and the corner between Bec House and Corner Cottage. These bollards have been installed on Highways-owned land, by Hampshire Highways for a number of reasons:
- To protect the listed wall of Monxton Manor (which will soon be repaired as consent has been granted)
- To protect the drain running under the verge, which is in danger of collapse (and could therefore cause more flooding)
- To improve the state of the verge, particularly in winter. There will be subsequent works to the ground, as the rubber matting installed some 10 years ago is no longer fit for purpose. HCC will improve on this whilst still keeping the grass on the verge.
- To slow traffic down going around the corner as the road is narrowed when cars are parked there.
- HCC Highways engineers recommended the narrowing of the road, and there are plans to move the white lines in the road too, to ‘visually’ narrow the road, as the best way of slowing traffic, without cluttering the rural environment with signs or road markings.
- HCC Highways wanted to install the bollards closer to the road but we compromised to still allow parking for users of the village hall and church.
Even when cars are parked along this stretch of verge the cars do not need to protrude more than 12-18” into the road. Many measurements were taken to ensure that the road would still be wide enough even with cars parked along here. Where the bollards are located, even with cars parked along that entire stretch, the road is 5.5 metres at the widest point, and narrowing to 4.5 metres by the church gates. Measurements were taken from the wing mirror of a standard car to the far edge of the tarmac of the wall of Bec House. There is still another 30cm-plus of ‘verge’ between the tarmac and the wall. Yet just around the corner, the road narrows to just 4 metres between the wall of Bec House and the hedge of Corner Cottage.
The vast majority of cars are between 1.6m and 2m wide, including wing mirrors. The maximum width for any tractor, bus or vehicle to use the highways in the UK is 2.55m. That means that at most of the points past Monxton Manor it possible to fit 2 tractors passing within the 5.5m road width, and it’s comfortable with two cars passing each other, even with other cars parked on the verge.
Where a road is narrowed, to help control vehicle speeds, for example, the minimum carriageway width (kerb to kerb) is 3.7 metres. So even the 4 metre road width by Corner Cottage is still 30cm more than the minimum requirements.