Updated 06 Aug 2012

Grass cutting on A31

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Grass cutting on A31

By the end of June each year tall verge grass on the A31 causes a safety problem when entering from the bridleway connecting with Bear Mead Nature Reserve. In these times of funding problems, getting it cut requires a certain amount of determination, and help from a Local Councillor....
Click to see enlargement
Click to see enlargement
Click to see enlargement

Emails

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Webmaster wrote 02aug2012
Hello Anne,
Many thanks for interceding on my behalf to get the A31 verge grass cut. In fact Enterprise Mouchel finally cut the grass on Wed 25 July, which was about a month later than it should be cut for safety. I have asked the organisation to book the work for 15 June 2013. It only needs to be cut once per year. See www.eyemead.com/GrassA31.htm

Once again thanks for your help.

Regards,
John Palmer, Broadstone, Dorset
Bear Mead Nature reserve
www.eyemead.com/bearmead.htm
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Anne Holland wrote 01aug2012
Subject "H.A.I.L. Ref No 13322008

Dear Mr Noonan
I returned from holiday to find an urgent phone call and email message from Mr John Palmer. Due to the long grass at the junction of the bridleway he uses and the A31 he is in great danger. If you have not already had the grass cut please get the work done ASAP. He has sent numerous requests to you.
Yours sincerely
Anne Holland
East Dorset District Councillor for
Corfe Mullen North and Parish Councillor
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Webmaster wrote 25jul2012

Hello Mr Noonan,
The tall grass on the verge of the A31 near Corfe Mullen, Dorset was cut this morning. I would like to thank you and your team for the work, it has made all the difference to me exiting safely from a bridleway onto the fast straight A31 each day. Especially as it was done before the Start of The Olympics at Weymouth.

The work will not need doing again this year, but will need repeating around 10 June 2013. Could you please book this date for next year? The location and job can be found on www.eyemead.com/GrassA31.htm

Again many thanks,
Regards,
John Palmer, Dorset, England
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Received 20 Jul 2012
Dear Mr Palmer,
Further to my email dated 29 June 2011; unfortunately I have not received any notification from our Environmental Team that the works have been programmed in or undertaken to clear the verge along the A31 to provide a better sight-line when exiting from the bridleway.

I have chased the team asking for clarification of their actions and I will be in further contact with you once I have received their report.

Yours sincerely
Aaron Noonan
Customer Service Co-ordinator Area 3
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From: Aaron Noonan
Sent: 29 June 2012 11:09
To: John Palmer
Cc: Area 3 Hail Enquiries
Subject: RE: 13322008 - A31 - query
Importance: High

Dear Mr Palmer,
I have asked our Environmental Team to investigate and action the necessary works to be undertaken to improve the sight lines on the A31.

I will ask them to make a note that this area is of a yearly concern and to add it to their programme of vegetation maintenance on an annual basis. However we cannot guarantee that it will be undertaken in the first week of June as you have requested.

I will be in further contact once works have been completed.

Yours sincerely
Aaron Noonan
Customer Service Co-ordinator Area 3
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From: John Palmer
Sent: 29 June 2012 11:00
To: Aaron Noonan
Subject: Re: 13322008 - A31 - query

Hello Mr Noonan,
>H.A.I.L. have advised us that you were seeking an update regarding works, and provided a reference number which dates back to June 2011. Please can you advise what the nature of your recent communication is so that I can ensure the appropriate action is undertaken?

"The nature of my recent communication" is to get you to cut the grass on the edge of the A31 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

I risk my life emerging from a bridleway onto the A31 each day. Complete details about location, extent and reason can be found on my webpage at www.eyemead.com/GrassA31.htm Please, please read it and act as soon as possible. I work on a Nature Reserve at the far end of the bridleway, and on rejoining the A31 my view right is blocked by high grass from the start of June each year. This part of the A31 is straight and fast. The police will not allow me to cut the grass myself as I do not have dayglo working gear and am not insured. It is absolutely necessary to cut the grass for 77 metres. Last year it was necessary to get the help of a local Councillor who said "cut cosmetic work not safety work"

When you eventually cut the grass, could you make an entry in your diary to get this verge cut in future during the first week of June?

Regards,

John Palmer
Bear Mead Nature Reserve
Corfe Mullen
Dorset
www.eyemead.com/bearmead.htm
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From: Aaron Noonan
To:
Cc: Area 3 Hail Enquiries
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2012 8:57 AM
Subject: 13322008 - A31 - query

Dear Mr Palmer,
H.A.I.L. Reference number: 13322008.

Thank you for contacting the Highways Agency Information Line (H.A.I.L.). The Highways Agency is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the Strategic Road Network in England on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. This consists of the Motorway network and the Major Trunk roads. A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found HERE.

Your enquiry has been forwarded to Area 3 EnterpriseMouchel, as we are the Managing Agent Contractor, and we are responsible for the A31. Please note that you will not receive any additional correspondence regarding your enquiry from HAIL now that this has been passed onto us for investigation.

H.A.I.L. have advised us that you were seeking an update regarding works, and provided a reference number which dates back to June 2011. Please can you advise what the nature of your recent communication is so that I can ensure the appropriate action is undertaken?

Yours sincerely
Aaron Noonan
Customer Service Co-ordinator Area 3
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To: Aaron Noonan
Subject:Grasscutting at A31/Corfe Mullen
15 Jun 2012

Hello Mr Noonan,
This is a yearly reminder to your goodselves about cutting long grass that dangerously affects visibility when joining the A31 from a bridleway just west of Wimborne.
Last year you kindly cut the grass on 20 June, which made all the difference to our safety. Due to the wet weather, the grass is even higher this year. You agreed last year that this is SAFETY NOT COSMETIC work.
I need to exit the bridleway onto the A31 at this point each day as I work as bailiff to a Nature Reserve here.
The nearest postcode is BH21 3HA (The Roadside Cafe) which is 550 metres to the East along the A31.
The junction is where a bridleway joins the A31, bad visibility looking West South West.
The bridleway/A31 junction is almost opposite the Candy's Lane/A31 junction.
The precise Ordnance Survey location is SY-9865-9871
The Latitude/Longitude of the junction is 50.787692, -2.020395
(paste these numbers into Google earth for an excellent view from above)
The distance needing cutting is 77 metres (to the start of a thin line of bushes)
A webpage with map, photo and past emails can be found on www.eyemead.com/GrassA31.htm

Sincerely,
John Palmer, Broadstone, Dorset
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Mon 20 Jun 2011
Dear Mr Noonan,
The grass has today been cut, making all the difference to my safety, and I would like to thank you and your team for their efforts.
Best wishes,
John Palmer, Broadstone, Dorset
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[At this point I contacted a local Councillor, who was most helpful and contacted "the right man" in the County Council. The verge was cut early Monday morning.
The Councillor said: "I know we have to reduce costs, but cut cosmetic work not safety work".]

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Fri 17 Jun 2011
Dear Mr Noonan,
I am not at all happy with your reply (see below) to my request for cutting vergeside grass. The grass is now high enough to block the sight line to fast traffic going eastward on the A31. Please see pictures of the situation on www.eyemead.com/GrassA31.htm
I invite you to check the situation again for yourself by attempting to drive out of the bridleway (from where the my red car in the photo is), using a normal height car (not a truck or tractor). If as you say you cut the grass "in May" I can hardly believe it has grown this high since under drought conditions. What will it be like "in the near future"? The police inform me that they would not allow me to cut the grass myself, lacking proper day-glow safety equipment.
I have contacted a local Councillor who is looking into the situation. The stretch of road concerned is dangerous. When stationary nearby last year, I was hit by a car from behind. The car at fault was a write-off. Fortunately we were unhurt. I have to use the bridleway daily as I am Warden of a Nature Reserve at the far end of the track by the River Stour.
I trust you will reconsider your decision.
John Palmer, Broadstone, Dorset
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Thu 16 Jun 2011
Dear Mr Palmer,
Further to your email dated 15th June, I am writing to confirm that your concerns have been reviewed. I can confirm that a verge side cutting was undertaken in May 2011 at the location in concern and following a site inspection today (16th) it has been agreed that no further vegetation works are required at the location in the near future.
We shall continue to monitor this area and undertake remedial cutting works when/where necessary. We would like to thank you for raising your concerns with us. Please ensure all future correspondence is made to the Highways Agency Information Line in the first instance. They can be contacted 24 hours a day by phone: 0300 123 5000 or by email: ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk
Yours sincerely
Aaron Noonan
Area 3 Customer Service Team
Area3Hailenquiries@enterprisemouchel.com
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Wed 15 Jun 2011
Sent to: aaron.Noonan@enterprisemouchel.com
Hello Mr Noonan,
This is a yearly reminder to your goodselves about cutting long grass that dangerously affects visibility when joining the A31 from a bridleway just west of Wimborne.
Last year you kindly cut the grass on 13 July, which made all the difference to our safety. Due to the better weather, the grass is earlier this year.
The nearest postcode is BH21 3HA (The Roadside Cafe) which is 550 metres to the East along the A31
The junction is where a bridleway joins the A31, bad visibility looking West South West
The bridleway/A31 junction is almost opposite the Candy's Lane/A31 junction.
The precise Ordnance Survey location is SY-9865-9871
The Latitude/Longitude of the junction is 50.787692, -2.020395
(paste these numbers into Google earth for an excellent view from above)
The distance needing cutting is 77 metres (to the start of a thin line of bushes)
Sincerely,
John Palmer, Broadstone, Dorset
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Received: 13 Jul 2010
Dear Mr Palmer
Our Environment team have carried out a clearance operation at the location last week and the sight lines have now been improved.
We would like to thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. For any future enquiries please donít hesitate to contact HAIL on 0300 123 5000
or ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk as the information line operates 24 hours a day.
Yours sincerely
Aaron Noonan
Customer Service Co-ordinator for Area 3

EnterpriseMouchel, Rosalind House, Jays Close, Viables Business Park, Basingstoke, RG22 4BS
Highways Agency Information Line: 08457 50 40 30
http://www.highways.gov.uk/ http://www.enterprisemouchel.com
EnterpriseMouchel on behalf of the Highways Agency for Area 3.
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Photo taken 16 Jun 2010
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Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded, and copyright © 2011, John Palmer, All Rights Reserved.