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Suzie Wilde and Joff Lacey are here with today’s roundup of local news and information for Petersfield and its villages.

Plus, how you can help us bring live church services to lonely and isolated people in our area as we launch a Crowdfunder Appeal at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/petersfields-shine-radio

For people who cannot get to church, we’ll bring the church services to them.

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Send your information updates, and questions to team@petersfieldradio.uk or phone 01730 555 500.

Information transcript

The Petersfield Post is reporting that a new survey has shown growing support for pedestrianising Petersfield High Street.

The survey, hosted by the Petersfield Pulse Facebook page, has shown nearly 60 per cent of those who took part backed pedestrianising the High Street.

This would prioritise access for people on foot, cycling and those with less mobility. Now the campaigners are appealing to Petersfield Town Council, East Hampshire District Council and Hampshire County Council to address the issue ‘boldly’.

And a recent community Zoom meeting saw hundreds of residents explore the idea of Petersfield becoming a 20-minute neighbourhood – an idea that prioritises active travel so people can walk or cycle within 20 minutes to access the majority of what they need including school, recreation and work.

And there’s more on this story in this week’s Petersfield Post.

Network Rail is now appealing to residents to help find a home for Petersfield signal box as it wants to use the land it sits on to rebuild the railway crossing, as we reported last month.

The building is Grade II listed, meaning it can’t just be demolished, and Network Rail hopes Petersfield residents can help find a future for it – which could include taking it down and re-erecting it elsewhere.

A Network Rail spokesman said:

It is well-loved by the people of the town and those who work in it and maintain it. But we are about to replace the signalling on this part of the Portsmouth line, including rebuilding the level crossing.

“Unfortunately it would not be possible to give any public access to it in future, as access is via the railway itself. We would be delighted to work with the people of Petersfield to find a solution to what to do with it, as its location puts it – and us – in a difficult position.

Network Rail

Some listed signal boxes have been moved intact to heritage railways such as the Watercress Line, in Alresford, and The Railway Heritage Trust gives grants for their maintenance.

Residents with workable ideas, or heritage groups with serious proposals, should email Network Rail at southernregioncomms@networkrail.co.uk.

There’s unrest in the Meon Valley.

Residents angered by a perceived failure by the South Downs National Park to address their concerns over a ‘nitrate capture’ scheme at Whitewool Farm, in East Meon, have confirmed they are seeking a Judicial Review of what they described as a “deeply flawed” proposal.

Mark Rogers, the chairman of Warnford Parish Meeting, claims the South Downs planning committee has failed to respond in a meaningful way to widespread concerns over the future of the River Meon and residents are now forced to resort to legal means to halt plans, until what he described as ‘proper consultation procedures’ have been followed.

Hampshire police have issued five further fines to people for breaking coronavirus restrictions in the past month of records, newly released figures have shown.

Data published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council shows five fixed-penalty notices were issued by Hampshire Constabulary between 18 August and 21 September – bringing the total number of fines since 27 March to 253.

Congratulations to Ditcham Park School, which is a finalist in the Independent Schools Association Awards 2020 in the category for Outstanding STEAM Provision – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Music …

The School’s STEAM programme was endorsed by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, in February, and was commended for the focus on STEAM in its report. It read: ‘Pupils throughout the School show very strong creative skills, both in using technology and in more traditional forms. The School is very successful in meeting its aim in this area.’

The winners will be announced next month.

Travel

Lots going on around the town today. But the main works to be aware of are expected to cause delays so bear them in mind at peak times.

Adjustments remain in place around The Square and along the High Street, with limited traffic access and a number of closed parking bays.

Traffic signals remain at the Winchester Road/Princes Road junction while a controlled pedestrian crossing is installed by Hampshire County Council. And the diversions remain in place while SSEN continues its work on the old A3 at its junction with the A272 Midhurst Road.

You can also expect slight delays in Sussex Road until Monday – the county council again at work there. And it’s also give and take in Cranford Road until the weekend.

On Ridge Common Lane in Steep there are traffic control boards in place enabling Hampshire County Council to carry out repairs. There are also works taking place on Andlers Ash Road, in Liss, resulting in the closure of the level crossing.

And if we’re not saying what you’re seeing around town, let us know: call us on Petersfield 5 55 500 or email team@petersfieldradio.uk.

Do stay with us through the day at Petersfield’s Shine Radio.

You can join us on the brighter side by listening on any connected device at petersfieldradio.uk. You can also ask Alexa to enable Petersfield’s Shine Radio on an Amazon Echo smart speaker, or you can search “Petersfield” on the Tunein App.

Don’t forget you can catch the latest episodes of the P pod, with Claire and Joff, and Growing Together, with Claire and Ann-Marie Powell, throughout the week or by visiting petersfieldradio.uk, where they are available on demand.

Join us again tomorrow morning, for the first day of the rest of your life.

Have a brighter day with Petersfield’s Shine Radio… where YOU make it shine.