News

Appeal: Serious collision, Milford

crimestoppers

Stafford Police are appealing for information after a cyclist was seriously injured as a result of a road traffic collision.

The incident occurred on the A513, Main Road, Milford, near to the junction of School Lane, on Thursday 16 March around 5.50pm and involved a cyclist and a turquoise Vauxhall Zafira.

The cyclist, a 50-year-old local man, was treated by paramedics before being taken to County Hospital, Stafford, with a suspected head injury. He was later transferred to the Royal Stoke University Hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.

The driver of the Vauxhall was uninjured.

An investigation into the circumstances of the collision is now underway.

Anyone who can help with any information is asked to contact Stafford Police on 101 quoting incident number 678 of March 16th, or call CRIMESTOPPERS anonymously on 0800-555-111

Road improvement scheme set to begin on main Stafford route

 

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An improvement scheme at a main road junction in Stafford is set to begin this Sunday.

Resurfacing, drain and kerb repairs will be carried out at the junction of the A34 Lichfield Road and Riverway. The main resurfacing work will be carried out overnight during the week beginning Monday March 20. All work is due to finish by Monday March 27.

From this Sunday, the southbound lane of Riverway will be closed for a 100 metre stretch from the A34 junction. Temporary traffic lights will also be in operation on the A34 Lichfield Road. Resurfacing work will take place between 7pm and 7am from Monday March 20 to Friday March 24. During these times Lichfield Road will be closed completely for 100 metres each side of the Riverway junction, while Riverway will be closed completely for 100 metres from the junction.

Staffordshire County Council’s highways leader Mark Deaville said: “Lichfield Road is a busy route into Stafford and we’re keen to carry out these essential improvements as quickly as possible. We’re carrying out the main resurfacing work overnight to minimise disruption. It will also be necessary to close a short section of the southbound section of Riverway. We’d urge people to allow additional time for their journeys if travelling in the area and plan alternative routes if possible. We would like to thank people in advance for their patience.”

The county council is investing £114,000 in the improvements.

 

Superfast Staffordshire tees up £400,000 plan to help its most remote communities get superfast fibre broadband

 

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A £400,000 drive to make superfast fibre broadband available in even more of Staffordshire’s most remote communities is in full swing.

Superfast Staffordshire – the partnership led by Staffordshire County Council and BT – launched its Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund at Norton Bridge Golf Club, near Stone, one of the rural businesses looking forward to benefiting from the new scheme.

Staffordshire County Council devised the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund (CFPSF) – believed to be the first local authority-led initiative of its kind – as part of its drive to reach the final four per cent of county premises not currently part of any public or private sector fibre broadband upgrade plans.

The Superfast Staffordshire partnership, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, has set aside £400,000 for co-funding projects through its CFPSF.

As part of the scheme, any money raised by households and businesses in an eligible community can be matched by the Superfast Staffordshire Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund. Additional funding towards the extensive engineering work will come from Openreach, BT’s local network business, through BT’s Community Fibre Partnership programme, which is already working with hundreds of communities across the country.

Staffordshire’s unique approach has already been piloted in two communities – Cotwalton village and the Brookside Business Park, near Stone – where upgrade work will be completed later this year.

Cold Norton became the latest community to benefit from the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund. As a result of this latest deal, around 50 premises in Cold Norton – including the recently opened Norton Bridge Golf Club – will be able to access some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country when the extensive upgrade work is completed within the next 12 months*.

Engineers from Openreach will be installing Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, which is capable of delivering Ultrafast download speeds up to 1 Gigabit and upload speeds of up to 220Mbps.

Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley said: “Nine out of ten homes and businesses in the UK can now get superfast broadband, but we know there is still more to do. We’ve already taken superfast broadband to an extra 71,000 Staffordshire premises who would otherwise have missed out. Community Partnerships like this will help connect some of the hardest to reach places in the county, making sure no-one is left behind.”

Clive Fenton, resident of Cold Norton and community lead for the Community Fibre Partnership, said: “It was hard to accept that our community was not going to automatically have access to high speed broadband and that, to get this technology, we would need to make a contribution towards the cost. We looked at all the options but could see no sustainable solution. However, we were able to make a strong connection with BT and the Superfast Staffordshire team, who were determined to find an achievable solution for the community, and it is fantastic that the ultrafast fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology to be installed will future proof Cold Norton’s access to high speed communications.”

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader, said: “Staffordshire is leading the way with a unique solution to connect our most hard to reach communities to superfast fibre broadband. The Superfast Staffordshire partnership has been a resounding success and will enable 96 per cent of properties to access fast broadband by the end of 2018. We have always said we would do all we could to reach the final four per cent and the Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund initiative is one of a number of ways we can do that. It is the first of its kind in the UK and other areas are already looking to follow our example. Access to superfast broadband improves quality of life and means businesses can thrive and that is why connecting communities is a priority to us.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Partnerships like these help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that the private sector would have difficulty reaching alone.

“Already more than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds and we’re committed to going even further, making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. This innovative approach in Staffordshire is giving an important new dimension to our Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which is already helping hundreds of similar projects across the UK. As a result, more households and businesses will be able to access faster broadband speeds at highly competitive prices from a wide choice of internet service providers.”

Andy Dennis, owner and manager of the Norton Bridge Golf Club, said: “A good broadband service is vital for our business, and we’re looking forward to being able to offer our members and visitors free, reliable wi-fi when they’re relaxing in the club house after a game.”

For more information and to apply to the Superfast Staffordshire Community Fibre Partnership Support Fund go to: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk/other-information/CFPFund

More information about BT’s Community Fibre Partnership programme is available from:www.communityfibre.bt.com

So far Superfast Staffordshire has enabled around 71,000 households and businesses to connect to superfast broadband speeds. The figure rises to more than 470,000** when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector companies, such as BT.

 

**Source: www.thinkbroadband.co.uk

Staffs at the wheel of mobiles whilst driving campaign

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Staffordshire Police are leading the way in discouraging motorists from using their mobile phones whilst driving.

Staffordshire officers, who are out every day of the week and stopping the worst road traffic offences, are being featured on the next episode of Crimewatch. The BBC show will be aired on Monday 6 March at 9pm and will see Staffordshire officers tackling this increasing problem.

Staffordshire’s efforts are running in cooperation with the National Police Chief Council’s (NPCC) campaign. The NPCC are working with forces across the country to run targeted operations and participating in a week of enforcement action against this offence. A similar campaign took place in January which stopped 5,614 vehicles and detected 3,844 mobile phone offences.

Research from the RAC has found 31% of drivers admit to using a handheld phone at the wheel, compared with 8% in 2014, and 20% of drivers feel it is safe to check social media on their phone in stationary traffic, up from 14% in 2014. Sadly these increasing attitudes have resulted in 2,100 accidents and 22 fatal accidents that were directly caused by drivers using a mobile phone in the five years up to 2015. Sadly Staffordshire Police believe there are actually many more incidents caused by drivers using their mobile phone that have not been reported or they are unable to prove.

It has been illegal to drive whilst using a mobile phone since 2003. But to discourage the increasing use of mobiles whilst driving, the law will change on 1 March. Drivers found to be using their mobiles will be issued a fixed penalty notice of six points and a £200 fine.

Staffordshire Police are calling on all drivers to sign an online pledge called BePhoneSmart. Organised by the RAC, it gives drivers the chance to make a promise – to themselves, their family and their employer – that they won’t use a handheld phone while at the wheel. Drivers who make the promise can quickly share it across social media profiles and encourage others to do the same.

Inspector Matt Derrick, from Staffordshire Police’s road crime team, said: “We can’t stress enough that using your mobile phone whilst driving is dangerous and irresponsible. There are no excuses – either pull over in a safe location or ignore your phone until you arrive at your location.

“Our officers are ready and prepared to issue penalty notices to all drivers found to be using a mobile phone whilst driving. Don’t be one of them, instead take two minutes and pledge to never use your mobile phone and endanger those around you.”

To fill out the BePhoneSmart pledge, go to www.bephonesmart.uk.

Stafford community group joins dog mess fight

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Another area in Stafford Borough is to join the battle to become free of dog mess.

The Borough Council has teamed up with the Baswich Community Group in Stafford to encourage all dog owners to clear up after their pets.

Posters will be going up, leaflets handed out, and council staff will be talking to dog walkers as part of the six-month campaign which gets underway next week. A monthly count of dog fouling incidents will be recorded to evaluate the campaign’s impact.

Previous campaigns have proved successful in the villages of Weston, Fulford and Gnosall with all reporting a significant reduction in dog poo.

The council has already issued fines this year as part of a long-running zero-tolerance approach to people not cleaning up after their pets.

Councillor Frank Finlay, Cabinet Member for Environment and Health, said: “Anyone who litters, or does not clean up after their dog, should be left in no doubt that they will be fined or prosecuted.

“Targeted campaigns such as this do have an impact and by working closely with the Baswich Community Group we would hope to see this disgusting problem removed from the area.”

Jonathan Andrew, of Baswich Community Group, added: “The majority of dog owners in Baswich are really considerate and would never leave the mess that their pet had created for other people to walk in or, worse still, for it to come into contact with a child.”

“We have seen the damage this problem can cause to young children and I can’t understand how anyone can ignore that.

“All anyone has to do is pick the mess up, bag it, and put it in a public rubbish bin – there really is no excuse. “

You can email [email protected]  or call 01785 619402 to give information in confidence about people who do not clean up after their dogs. Further details can be found at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/dogs