Walsoken complaints mount says councillor as he campaigns against ‘poor footpaths, poor parking and no safe place to cross’

County councillor Paul Clapp (left) with Wisbech town councillor Robert McLaren gathering signatures for petition at Walsoken County councillor Paul Clapp (left) with Wisbech town councillor Robert McLaren gathering signatures for petition at Walsoken

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
10:00 PM

A petition pushing for a zebra crossing on a busy village road has attracted 170 signatures.

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The petition calls for a zebra crossing outside the butcher’s and chemist in Kirkgate Street, Walsoken.

Wisbech town councillor Robert McLaren spent four hours monitoring the road on Saturday and said he was alarmed by what he witnessed. He was joined by county councillor Paul Clapp to help gather signatures.

He was also accompanied by concerned Walsoken resident Will Lewis, who informed him they had seen 230 near misses.

“Will Lewis brought to my attention how bad the centre of Walsoken had become for pedestrians,” said Cllr McLaren

“The poor footpath, poor road surfaces, poor parking and its non enforcement and no safe place to cross here in the village centre were just some of the issues raised.

“We started to talk with local residents and realised how many residents were affected by the situation.

He said: “I knew things were bad on the road but I didn’t realise how bad. There were cars having to reverse, cars driving on paths, people not being able to cross the road safely and cars thinking they had priority over pedestrians. It was diabolical.

“Without a zebra crossing it is only a matter of time before a pedestrian gets hurt.

“I’ve been pushing for enforcement and it needs to happen. No one’s been listening so I hope this petition will help.”

Cllr Clapp said the campaign was non political and he hoped to get other councillors on board to support their efforts.

19 comments

  • As usual Mr Tierney is up to his usual political tricks,i have had to block him from my facebook page.All we are trying to do is make things safe for all here in Walsoken.The situation about the need for a crossing was only raised to myself this month.I have raised issues of poor parking ,and speeding on numerous occasions in the past.The Parking of cars on the pavement is that bad that i raised it with FDC about installing some bollards,they said that they had no monies for this,so Cllr David Patrick and myself paid for two bollards to be installed on the payment.Since then these bollards have been hit by drivers ignoring the single yellow line which is enforceable next to them whilst trying to park.I have also raised this matter on several occasions to the police but never seen any enforcement to date.The police have also been invited on two occasions,once in the month of March,secondly in April,to our community forum which is held Walsoken village hall the first wednesday of the month between 6 and 7pm,they have failed to come and not sent any oppollogies .I am trying to keep this non political as i feel it does not need to be. Cllr Mclaren.

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Sarah ,i can assure you that it is not a case of look at me,just want to try to fix things,not looking a furthering my career in politics,in fact the opposite,and Steve your recent bombardment on facebook and on here has made me realise how much i hate what you stand for. I only stood as a candidate on this ward because i could see not much was happening.We need improvements in the village centre,the spider park and still some are required in other parts of the ward.Just trying to get things done you lot,is that a crime now?

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • As usual Mr Tierney is up to his usual political tricks,i have had to block him from my facebook page.All we are trying to do is make things safe for all here in Walsoken.The situation about the need for a crossing was only raised to myself this month.I have raised issues of poor parking ,and speeding on numerous occasions in the past.The Parking of cars on the pavement is that bad that i raised it with FDC about installing some bollards,they said that they had no monies for this,so Cllr David Patrick and myself paid for two bollards to be installed on the payment.Since then these bollards have been hit by drivers ignoring the single yellow line which is enforceable next to them whilst trying to park.I have also raised this matter on several occasions to the police but never seen any enforcement to date.The police have also been invited on two occasions,once in the month of March,secondly in April,to our community forum which is held Walsoken village hall the first wednesday of the month between 6 and 7pm,they have failed to come and not sent any oppollogies .I am trying to keep this non political as i feel it does not need to be. Cllr Mclaren.

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Yawn !!! Robert didn't you know you can only get things done if the Tories are team captain!!! Shame on you for thinking and coming up with your own ideas!

    Report this comment

    Thomas Cross

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • What I "stand for" Rob, is trying to get stuff actually done rather than just grabbing photo opportunities and publicity. If you want to get a crossing or other improvements for Walsoken there are two things you can do that would actually help. (1) Lead a BID for this year's round of the Minor Highways funding. I have no doubt the rest of Town Council will support you, if you actually get on and do it. (2) Encourage Cllr Clapp, as County Councillor and responsible for Highways, to arrange a meeting with the Highways Officers at Shire Hall and find out what roads in the area are already on the schedule, and how they are all scored. It may be that he can show some incorrect scoring and push them up the agenda. Two simple solutions which would be a great start. And hey - you've already got a petition to show them. Go for it!

    Report this comment

    Steve Tierney

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Firstly - why is Cllr McLarens comment repeated FIVE times? Secondly , it seems obvious that the two councillors are all talk and no do as there is no record of either of them contacting anyone (except once) about this need for a crossing. Now yet another councillor is trying to get in on the act and get her name (and picture?) in the papers again by joining in without actually DOING anything. There ha been no end of advice on how to proceed on this but none of them takes any notice. Whatever your views on Cllr Tierney he has been doing this job for many years and has got A LOT done in the wards he represented. Why not listen to him?

    Report this comment

    Brenda

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • As usual Mr Tierney is up to his usual political tricks,i have had to block him from my facebook page.All we are trying to do is make things safe for all here in Walsoken.The situation about the need for a crossing was only raised to myself this month.I have raised issues of poor parking ,and speeding on numerous occasions in the past.The Parking of cars on the pavement is that bad that i raised it with FDC about installing some bollards,they said that they had no monies for this,so Cllr David Patrick and myself paid for two bollards to be installed on the payment.Since then these bollards have been hit by drivers ignoring the single yellow line which is enforceable next to them whilst trying to park.I have also raised this matter on several occasions to the police but never seen any enforcement to date.The police have also been invited on two occasions,once in the month of March,secondly in April,to our community forum which is held Walsoken village hall the first wednesday of the month between 6 and 7pm,they have failed to come and not sent any oppollogies .I am trying to keep this non political as i feel it does not need to be. Cllr Mclaren.

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Great to see local councillors working together. That's what it's all about. Very difficult to work with those who just continually snipe if you're not Conservative. . Most people never knew until these comments that you and Dave Patrick paid for the bollards yourselves.

    Report this comment

    Virginia

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I am disappointed to discover that councillor McLaren has in real terms delayed any resolution to the appalling traffic conditions in Walsoken. It is difficult to understand why the correct procedures were not followed as public safety should be uppermost in the mind of every elected official.Mr Tierney deserves a public thanks for clarifying the situation as so much misinformation was being posted. A petition it seems is simply another time wasting exercise achieving only another photo opportunity. Those of us that live in the area deserve better than this...we deserve representation by those that care...not by those that care only for themselves.

    Report this comment

    Rita Thornton

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • I'm sorry Rob, but you say that you're keeping it non political, so why do you feel the need for publicity at this stage?! Nothing has been achieved yet, yes you've collected signatures but it stinks of look at me look at me, look what we're doing for you?! And yet as Steve said this could have been funded and arranged via a more simpler route but of course you wouldn't have had the attention then?! If you are as proactive in your ward as it appears, please tell me why you hadn't realised YOURSELF a crossing was needed? And have waited until it was brought to your attention?! Surely if the situation was a dire and urgent which it undoubtedly is....you should have been on this when you arranged for the bollards?!

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bligh

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I read this and have to agree that my first thoughts were about why not use the Local Highways Improvement Fund, and if the County Councillor cares so much why didn't he do something, as highways are under County Council control. However, I can see that I will be moaned at very shortly for making a political point - but the replies by Steve seem to show that Robert is mistakenlyingexaggerating the effort he has made so far and now gone to more effort of doing a petition, rather that using the fund that is there specifically for this sort of purpose - where most of Wisbech Town Council would probably have supported the application!

    Report this comment

    Stephen

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • As usual Mr Tierney is up to his usual political tricks,i have had to block him from my facebook page.All we are trying to do is make things safe for all here in Walsoken.The situation about the need for a crossing was only raised to myself this month.I have raised issues of poor parking ,and speeding on numerous occasions in the past.The Parking of cars on the pavement is that bad that i raised it with FDC about installing some bollards,they said that they had no monies for this,so Cllr David Patrick and myself paid for two bollards to be installed on the payment.Since then these bollards have been hit by drivers ignoring the single yellow line which is enforceable next to them whilst trying to park.I have also raised this matter on several occasions to the police but never seen any enforcement to date.The police have also been invited on two occasions,once in the month of March,secondly in April,to our community forum which is held Walsoken village hall the first wednesday of the month between 6 and 7pm,they have failed to come and not sent any oppollogies .I am trying to keep this non political as i feel it does not need to be. Cllr Mclaren.

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • As usual Mr Tierney is up to his usual political tricks,i have had to block him from my facebook page.All we are trying to do is make things safe for all here in Walsoken.The situation about the need for a crossing was only raised to myself this month.I have raised issues of poor parking ,and speeding on numerous occasions in the past.The Parking of cars on the pavement is that bad that i raised it with FDC about installing some bollards,they said that they had no monies for this,so Cllr David Patrick and myself paid for two bollards to be installed on the payment.Since then these bollards have been hit by drivers ignoring the single yellow line which is enforceable next to them whilst trying to park.I have also raised this matter on several occasions to the police but never seen any enforcement to date.The police have also been invited on two occasions,once in the month of March,secondly in April,to our community forum which is held Walsoken village hall the first wednesday of the month between 6 and 7pm,they have failed to come and not sent any oppollogies .I am trying to keep this non political as i feel it does not need to be. Cllr Mclaren.

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • You didn't already "say" Rob. I have screenshots of our original Facebook conversation, if you'd like? In fact, you ignored the questions I asked you just like you ignored the advice I tried to give to help you get something done. Even if you did not know a crossing was needed, you have said (repeatedly) that you've been trying to get Highways improvements "for years" for Walsoken. And so you could have put a bid in for something else. Pavement improvements. Signage. Speed control measures. All sorts of things. Could have been a big help, don't you think? I would have stayed out of it and let you just get on with your obvious publicity stunt. But you accused Officers who are unable to defend themselves of "ignoring you" and I thought that was a bit rotten and needed a response. I know facts are uncomfortable but there you are. Anybody can check the Minor Highways bids or the Wisbech Town Council minutes and see for themselves.

    Report this comment

    Steve Tierney

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Steve Tierney,i'm sure i had already said but how can i put a bid for money in November for a crossing in Walsoken,when i did not know it was required till this month.And all this because someone try's to help in their ward.

    Report this comment

    Robert Mclaren

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Poor old Robert McLaren! Getting stick for trying to sort out a problem in his Ward, and he's not even up for re-election for another 13 months, so surely not electioneering? What amazes me is that a Councillor of several years standing and who actually, per the Town Council's Website, lives on Kirkgate Street had to have the issue drawn to his attention - his words "“Will Lewis brought to my attention how bad the centre of Walsoken had become for pedestrians,” said Cllr McLaren .

    Report this comment

    Nick Meekins

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Rob McLaren said that he had been "pushing" for more than enforcement. He suggested he had been ignored by The Police, Fenland District Council and Cambs County Council in regards to the all the problems with highways in Walsoken. I asked him for the names of the people he had contacted as a Councillor, so that we could find out why they were "ignoring" him. He was unable to provide any. Then I asked County Council to provide a list of the contacts they had received from Councillor McLaren over the last year, so I could determine who had been doing all this "ignoring." Their response was that he had only contacted them once, recently. Finally, I pointed out that Cllr McLaren could have encouraged a bid for some of the work the petition calls for - as could Cllr Clapp - from the Local Highways Fund last year. They could have already secured the funding for their Zebra Crossing. Neither of them did and Cllr McLaren's response appears to have been to block me on Facebook so I can't ask him any more difficult questions. Some might suggest the purpose of their petition had less to do with securing help for Walsoken and more to do with publicity. No surprise it appears in the paper a few days later then. Shame they didn't just bid for the cash and there'd be one less problem to start a petition for now.

    Report this comment

    Steve Tierney

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Rob's response to anything anybody says is that it is a "party political trick." The fact remains that he could have led or encouraged a bid for ANY of these things he claims he has been trying to get for years in last year's Minor Highways Bids and he would now be looking at an imminent solution. He did not, so he is not. Don't take my word for it. Check the minutes of the Town Council meeting in November. He didn't propose anything or speak to the item on the agenda at all. If anything is a "party political trick" it is holding a petition for something you could have already solved. I really hope the local people in Walsoken see through it. If somebody has an accident on that road this year, it might be that it could have been prevented by the improvements that Rob McLaren says he has been fighting for, but didn't put in a bid for. All those "near misses" that he saw while collecting signatures were near misses that could have been prevented by the bid he never submitted.

    Report this comment

    Steve Tierney

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • You gotta love politics.. me jumping in will be accused of playing politics but independents acting as a party isnt. Rob also blocked me for asking who the petition is going to...i dont think thats an unreasonable question if he wants councillors involved as he says

    Report this comment

    Samantha Hoy

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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