Delegates gathered to mark the completion of a scheme to improve traffic flow, safety and the attractiveness in the centre of an East Staffordshire village on Friday.
The £450,000 Better Barton scheme was drawn up by Barton-under-Needwood Parish Council and the county council. It has been delivered in three phases and the main part of the project will form the village’s lasting commemoration of the centenary of the end of World War 1. It was officially opened by 100-year-old Barton-under-Needwood resident Ruby Hall.
The project included the installation of new kerbs, paving and road resurfacing in the area around St James’s Square.
In addition to the original planned works, more drainage works have been carried out as well as improvements made in the area around the war memorial. This included the installation of new bollards and kerbs.
New timber bollards have been installed along the length of Main Street within the square, the road width reduced and raised surfaces installed to reduce traffic speed. New street lights and benches have also been installed.
The first phase of the project saw a new mini island created, the road layout altered, footpaths widened, new signs installed and a series of gateway features built on the main roads approaching the village.
Barton Parish Council chairman Sue van Daesdonk said:
Barton Parish Council is delighted with the works done over the summer period and thanks to the hard work of all involved.
We feel the works done pay a fitting tribute to the 36 men of the village who gave their lives between 1914 and 1918 and will provide a focus in the village centre in this the centenary year of the end of the First World War and indeed for years to come.
We hope the traffic calming measures will help ensure vehicles that have to pass through the village will do so at safe speeds, whatever the time of day.”
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said:
The Better Barton project was drawn up with the parish council and the community input has been invaluable in ensuring this is the right scheme for the village. The main element of the scheme has been in the square with most works taking place during the school summer holiday.
We are pleased with the way scheme has turned out. It will not only help improve road safety and traffic flow but will also improve the gateway into the village.
Barton-under-Needwood is a busy village and the improvements being made will all help to provide a more welcoming visitor experience and help to reduce congestion. It’s a great example of what can be achieved when local communities and other partners come together.”