Local News

New Deer Deterrent planned for busy Cannock Chase Road

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Staffordshire County Council Ranger Service will be installing new electronic deer deterrents to help reduce a high number of collisions that happen every year.

The devices will be placed along a small stretch of the A513 between Milford and the Punchbowl in a bid to protect the animals and make the road safer for users.

The A513 thorough Cannock Chase is one of the worst for deer vehicle collisions in the whole of the Midlands. Around 35 deer were hit and killed by cars along the small 1km stretch of road in 2016.

The deterrents are activated by approaching headlights that emit sound and light as stimuli to stop deer from approaching the highway. The headlight sensors can be set off from over 300 metres down the road, causing the devices to set off an alarm with blue and yellow strobe-type lights to startle any nearby deer, hopefully causing them to run away from the road.

The 1km stretch of the A513 has been surveyed and  28 crossing points were identified. This means, on average, the deer cross this road at a point every 35 metres. With blind bends and fast speeds, deer collisions are a frequent event.

168 deer were killed on the roads on Cannock Chase and surrounding areas in 2016. Some of the cars that hit deer were written off due to the amount of damage caused by the impacts.

Ian Skelton, Chairman of the British Deer Society Midlands branch said ‘It’s hoped the new devices will help reduce deer collisions and make the notorious stretch of the A513 safer to all road used users’.

The deer deterrent will be active just before the deer rut (mating season) which occurs between late September through to mid November.

New deer warning signs will also be installed with the deer posts which is partly funded by Staffordshire County Council, Cannock Chase AONB and the Staffordshire Local Community Fund.

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Cyclists urged to join ‘Cycle to Work Day’

Workers in Staffordshire are being encouraged to leave the car at home and get on their bikes for their morning commute as part of national ‘Cycle to Work Day.’

The annual push on Wednesday 13 September is the national campaign that aims to promote the benefits of cycling to and from work.

Cycle shops across the county are also joining in the campaign with free bike checks and advice. Cyclists can find a participating shop by entering their postcode at  https://www.cycletoworkday.org/retailer-finder.

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Helen Fisher, Cabinet Support Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “There’s huge passion for cycling here in Staffordshire and we are keen to see more people on their bikes, both for leisure and getting to and from work.

“Cycling is a great activity and ‘Cycle to Work Day’ gives us the perfect opportunity to have a go.  There’s so many benefits to cycling too.  Keeping fit and healthy, getting fresh air, reducing congestion and saving money by not using the car are all great reasons to get on your bike.”

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Jeff Stevens, 51, is a regular cyclist to work and said: “I’ve been cycling in to work for the past five years and I can’t recommend it enough. It helps me stay fit, I get outside more, it saves me money on travel costs and it’s a hugely enjoyable part of my day. When you find a good route in that’s less busy it makes you that much more confident commuting by bike. I’d definitely encourage people to have a go.”

Staffordshire County Council’s Bikeability Cycle Training also continues to deliver training to school children each year, getting them into cycling at a much younger age.

More than 80km of the National Cycle Network runs through Staffordshire as well as 240km of local rural cycle lanes.

Cyclists can also plan quicker, safer bike routes across the county with the cycle route planner athttp://cyclemap.staffordshire.gov.uk/ for more information.

 

VIDEO LAUNCHED TO SHOWCASE STAFFORDSHIRE

 

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Tally Accounts has released a fun video to showcase the range of landmarks and fun to be had around Staffordshire. Featuring the likes of Trentham Monkey Forest, Stafford Castle and Cannock Chase, the county has been explored in its entirety, reflecting the role Staffordshire plays in driving the UK economy.

 The Welcome to Staffordshire video was officially launched on social media and features Stafford FM’s presenter Ed Marshall, it’s generating much discussion on the economic prosperity that Staffordshire has to offer the UK; as well as monkeys. While this video focuses on one area, the rapid digitisation across all sectors, including accountancy, means that businesses don’t need to be in any particular location to monitor cash flow and get the support of chartered accountants.

“Staffordshire is a thriving county where many businesses are growing,” said Richard Stonier, Partner at Tally Accounts. “We have great connections all over the UK because of the county’s centralised location, and this is reflected in the highly skilled and successful businesses in the area.

“This video is a celebration of all things Staffordshire, and while some businesses may outgrow and expand their business footprints to outside of Staffordshire, they can still continue to use the same accountancy software. You can be anywhere in the world to access the cloud, and it is this cloud-based approach to accountancy that will drive the continual growth of Staffordshire businesses.”

Many locations across the county have been recognised as part of this video, including the Oatcake Boat, the Stafford ghost walk and Penkridge town centre. The video also features Georgie, a Staffordshire bull terrier, as a mascot for the Staffordshire bull dog breed.

The official video can be viewed below, if you would like to have your say on the video, the social media discussion has been categorised using the hashtag, #StaffordshireRocks.

National Lottery funding success will restore award winning Stafford park

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Work on a £2.5 million restoration of the award winning Victoria Park in Stafford will go ahead thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

The Borough Council have announced it has been successful in its bid for over £1.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund as part of the ‘Parks for People’ programme.

Plans have already been approved for the restoration work that will concentrate on the historical section of the park, which boasts a bowling green and aviary along with historical features such as the Mottram Shelter and County War Memorial with the River Sow running through the centre.

Feedback from residents and community groups has revealed the majority of those using the park would like an enhanced catering facility, a better aviary and have a horticultural learning centre – among a number of ideas put forward.

The £2.5 million project is made up of the £1,716,300 National Lottery money with the additional £800,000 coming from the Council. Work is expected to start in January.

You can see the proposed improvements with a virtual tour of the park from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/hlf.

 

NEW PARKING ORDERS INTRODUCED IN STAFFORD

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Parking orders on an estate next to the route of Stafford’s new western access road have now been introduced.

Parking restrictions have been introduced on roads around Castlefields, to the west of Stafford town centre. Double yellow lines are being installed along the length of Martin Drive – which will form the gateway to the new Stafford Western Access Route off the Newport Road. In addition, there will be double yellow lines laid along Redgrave Drive and both double yellow and time restricted parking along Rose Hill.

Residents have been assured this week that the impact of the restrictions will be carefully monitored, with amendments being made if necessary.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington, who is also the local county councillor, said: “The new parking restrictions are being introduced this week and residents will be able to see a real difference. We will of course be closely monitoring the situation and further consulting with people living in the area. We’ll also be checking that parking is not displaced elsewhere. We have introduced the restrictions along Martin Drive as this will form the gateway to the Stafford Western Access Route from Newport Road. We are also keen to potentially extend new regulations to other areas which may be affected by parking displacement. We know parking has been an issue on these roads and so the new restrictions should improve visibility and safety.”

You can find out more regarding the plans for Stafford’s new western access road HERE.

The new access road  will pave the way for multi-million pound development, new jobs and relieve town centre congestion has reached another milestone.

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Staffordshire County Council has now started the process of buying land along the Stafford Western Access Route, which will link the A518 Newport Road and the A34 Foregate Street north of the town centre. The new road will enable thousands of homes to be built and the delivery of the £500 million Stafford Gateway development. It will also ease congestion in the town centre, particularly around the railway station as it prepares for HS2 connection. The process of purchasing all sections of land could take up to 18 months.

The new road will be built on land between Martin Drive, Doxey Road and Foregate Street and is expected to be completed in 2021. Work to improve the Foregate Street and Browning Street junctions was completed last month. Other preparatory work for the road has included a flood compensation scheme at Doxey Marshes, which recently picked up an award from the Institution of Civil Engineers.