ECHO COMMENT: Are Air Balloon Roundabout changes worth it even for six months of chaos?
NEVER can there have been quite so much fuss about a proposed change to a roundabout.
But as more people come to terms with the reality of what the six-month trial at the Air Balloon roundabout could mean, the protests just get louder and louder.
The Highways Agency proposes to ban the right turn for vehicles travelling on the A417 from Cirencester.
First it was those living in villages nearby who fear becoming rat runs as vehicles try to bypass the new layout.
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Then commuters and other regular travellers voiced their fears their journeys were about to become more difficult and more expensive without any noticeable improvements at the junction.
Now, as we report on page 16, in Cheltenham itself, parish councils are vowing to unite to try to force a change of heart.
And who can blame them when it could lead to people in areas like Leckhampton having to make a major detour if the change is implemented.
The concern in Leckhampton comes after parish councillors in Charlton Kings also highlighted significant potential problems in their area.
Backers of the proposal are still calling on people to have an open mind, with Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown on record as saying that, as it is only a six-month trial, it can be scrapped if it doesn’t work.
Fears seem to be growing that it would inevitably mean six months of total chaos. And that would be bad enough.
IT would be easy to think that with most people choosing to be cremated these days, the amount of burial space available in any community would be an irrelevance.
And when space for 26 graves was left at Horsefair Street cemetery in Charlton Kings for the next 10 years, it was clearly thought that would be more than enough. But, just two years on, only five spaces remain.
The reason for the unlikely demand has not been explained but it is an issue for which a solution is going to have to be found.
It may be a morbid subject that many of us choose not to even think about. But better to do so than to leave your loved ones facing the dilemma. Particularly if there may not be any room at the graveyard.