Tackling congestion at Oakham level crossing is top issue

Vehicles waiting at Oakham level crossing
Vehicles waiting at Oakham level crossing
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TRAFFIC congestion at Oakham’s main railway crossing is top of a list of issues to be tackled in the town.

Oakham Town Partnership is looking at ways to improve the town centre and now you have a chance to influence its decisions.

The railway crossing in Melton Road is in the spotlight because new housing developments are likely to increase traffic passing through.

The partnership is in talks with council highways staff about ways to cut queues when the crossing barriers are down.

Partnership chairman Vernon Moore said: “We are discussing a number of methods that could solve the situation.

“One is forcing traffic to go up to the college to turn around to queue instead of waiting to turn right out of Cold Overton Road.

“Another is better signage for the bypass so that no one just passes through the town.

“We would like to make the town centre more focused on pedestrians with wider footpaths and only short stay parking spaces.

“We look at things from a community level rather than that of a council with a budget.”

Mr Moore, who owns Moores estate agents, is appealing for people to join the town partnership as it gears up for big changes in the town.

More than 1,100 houses will be built near the bypass, 96 new homes will be built in Uppingham Road, the former Catmose College site is being redeveloped and land in Barleythorpe Road is likely to be sold for housing.

Major supermarkets have also expressed an interest in coming to the town and Tesco has permission to double its store in size.

The town partnership was formed eight years ago and organises monthly farmers’ markets in Gaol Street and Oakham’s Christmas late-night shopping event. It also took on the role of the now defunct chamber of trade and works hard to promote the town.

There are currently four vacancies on the partnership, which can be taken by anyone who lives or works in the town and wants to do more for their community.

Mr Moore, who joined four years ago and has been chairman for a year, said: “It is a commitment when you have a business and a family but everyone on the partnership is passionate about the town and the county and that is why we do it.

“We all feel strongly about what the experience of living in Rutland is like and it’s the little things like the farmers’ markets that make the difference.”

The group is particularly keen to attract more young people.

Mr Moore said: “Most of us are in our 30s and 40s or older so it would be good to hear what young people think about events and decisions.

“There’s no denying it, new blood invigorates the partnership with new ideas and that is what we need.

“It is an opportunity to have an input rather than moan about what decisions are made.”

The annual general meeting, open to the general public, will be held on Monday, November 7, at 6pm at the Rutland County Council offices in Oakham.

Nomination forms must be completed and returned to Oakham Town Partnership, c/o Rutland County Council, Catmose, Oakham, LE15 6HP by Thursday.

The nomination forms can be downloaded from www.rutland.gov.uk/markettowns