Crowcombe Stowey Road Passing Places?

Having lobbied Somerset Highways for some improvement of the road condition between Crowcombe and Nether / Over Stowey, we conducted a poll with our social media followers to get their views on designated passing places.

We asked:

“Many of you will have noticed that the road between Stowey and Crowcombe over the northern hills has deteriorated significantly over time – our previous approach to highways resulted in some pot hole filling, but drivers continue to create unofficial passing places encroaching on the heathland. Should we lobby for a better solution?

Please note we do not wish to see the road widened generally as this will impact on the natural beauty of the landscape and only encourage more / faster traffic.” 

The results from 135 total votes:

13% No it’s always been this way – it’s fine as it is

77% Yes there needs to be designated, maintained, tarmac passing places to proevent more damage to land 

10% Fill the potholes to prevent damage to vehicles (option added by a participant)

Some participants also shared some comment which illustrates the solution (and potentially the cause of the deterioration) may not be that simple:

“There would need to be a lot of passing places n both sides. When traffic increases more passing places added effectively widening the road by increments. Not too sure if upgrading unofficial passing places to official passing places would solve the underlying problem … that will not change the facts of increasing traffic volume along a finite capacity road.” Catherine Simpson

“I have really noticed the deterioration so feel it’s time for something to be done. We recently visited the New Forest, which has designated passing places with a sign that isn’t too intrusive. At the entry to the single track road area there was a sign informing people to drive slowly and not to obstruct the passing places. These seem to work.” Alison Eyley

“Unfortunately tarmac passing places will simply result in people parking in them so then you add double yellow lines……….the result is then visually worse than unofficial passing places.” Ron Westcott

“Drivers ….. Tractor drivers you mean from unsustainable intensive agri factories” Paul Parmenter

“There is a part of me that would like to see it deteriorate further, and then we could put a sign up saying UNSUITABLE FOR MOTOR VEHICLES and it wouldn’t be a shortcut for anybody any more.” Tim Whittingham

Even the issue of maintenance it would appear is somewhat complicated due to passing places not officially being part of the highway and therefore not maintained by Somerset Highways; however the landowners have no responsibility of maintenance as vehicles should not be encroaching on the land in the first place.

Whilst the solution may not be simple we will continue to lobby Somerset Highways in the pursuit of one.