Road Information and Bus services

Road Information

  • Due to major works by Southern Gas Networks replacing the gas main, from 6th August to 10th October there will be traffic management in Randalls Road with multi-way signals; see SCC website.
  • Also in order that essential gas mains work to replace at risk iron pipe work, in Kingston Road from 6th August to 18th September, the road will be CLOSED from the junction of Dilston Road to the junction of Barnet Wood Lane in carriageway and footway, including the section over the rail bridge.
      Access to and from Cleeve Road will be unaffected.
    • The road will be closed in a northerly direction from Barnett Wood Lane (heading towards B & Q and Tesco) with a diversion signed using the A243.
    • The road will remain open in a southerly direction.
    • It is intended to maintain access to the industrial units to the south of the rail bridge from the A245 Kingston Road during the period of the one way system.

Note: I have been given three different dates for the completion of the Kingston Road works; the one above is that given on the SCC website.
 
Bus Information

  • At present I have been unable to find out how this will affect the bus services between Kingston Road and the Town.
  • There is a new timetable for the 479 bus service; from 2nd September there will be a new evening service and Sunday two hourly service.

Notice of Major Road Closures

I have been told today of two sets of roadworks that will involve major road closures. The details are on the Surrey County Council website and I provide links below. They are:

1. A24 Leatherhead Bypass 11th June to 16th June.

2. Kingston Road, Leatherhead 1st August to 12th September

Also, of course, there will be many road closures on the 28th & 29th July for the Olympic Road Cycling Road Races. For full information click on this link to the
Go Surrey website’s list of road closures.
 

Parking Problems


Ray Ward’s articles in the Autumn Newsletter "Parking inconsiderately" has a photograph of traffic parked on both sides of Kingscroft Avenue, making it difficult for larger vehicles to pass along the road, and impossible for fire engine to get through and causing problems for bin lorries. On at least one pccasion, I am told, "they sent a small vehicle on a Saturday morning and they threw all the refuse and paper/card in together!!"

This is hardly satisfactory. When restrictions were, quite rightly, imposed in Bypass Road some two years ago, could Surrey County Council (SCC) not work out that cars would simply shift into Kingscroft Avenue?

In response to the article, I have heard from a resident in Linden Road where – believe it not – when parking restrictions were introduced two years back in several roads (such as Bypass Road) "restrictions on parking in Linden Road were relaxed"! And guess what the resident went on to say? "… since then there have been no end of problems with inconsiderate parking." Was it really beyond the wit of SCC to foresee that would happen?

I am told that in response to complaints from residents in Linden Road, white ‘aitch-bars’ were painted in front of drives about six months ago; but as these things are not enforceable, "many drivers continue to park over them." More worrying still is the fact that this resident finds that when she tries to turn out of her drive "there is often … insufficient field of vision to do so safely (quite a concern with my two young sons in the car). There has been one crash and numerous near misses as a result."

Three times in the past, "Fulvius", one of the Blog’s contributors and a resident of Oaks Close, has blogged about the problems of that road. Incredibly, when restrictions were introduced on neighbouring rounds about two years ago, nothing was done about the road closest to the station! Surely even the dimmest person could work out that problems in Oaks Close would increase? It was either beyond SCC to work that out or it didn’t care.

I will not go over the problems with delivery lorries that Fulvius has high-lighted in the past. The problems with bin collections have continued and now the only way Mole Valley District Council can ensure refuse is regularly collected in Oaks Close is to have one side of the road coned-off every Tuesday evening and the cones removed the following evening. So, if anyone in Oaks Close is going to have their house on fire, they had better make sure it’s a Wednesday!

If it were not so serious, this would be farcical. And I think it likely there are other streets besides just these three that have experienced worsening problems over parking during the past two years.

It is not just that life is made difficult for delivery men, bin men and residents but people’s lives are being put at risk, whether because fire service or ambulance will be held up or because of a fatal accident as some one turns out of their drive. Do we really have to wait until there is a fatality or serious injury before something is done about the parking problems in these (and other roads)?

We said at the time the restrictions were introduced two years back that it would only push the problem into other roads. How right we were! When are we going to have a proper comprehensive parking strategy for Leatherhead?

Here we go again….

Once more because of thoughtless and inconsiderate parking, the bin lorry was unable to access the the higher part of Oaks Close. Once more we have space left only for a car to pass between the parked cars – forget about lorries or larger vehicles.


Long gone is the time when cars did not park on corners, opposite T-junctions and in other places where they were obviously likely to cause obstruction. Now, if there is not a double-yellow line, motorists will park there – to hell with anyone else.

For Surrey County Council to introduce parking restrictions on neighbouring roads in 2009 and do nothing about the road nearest to the station is, in my opinion, crass negligence. For years, cars parked only on one side of this road; it was so obvious that parking on both sides would block the roadway. Then about four or five years ago, as parking got more difficult, they began parking on both sides.

It is so patently obvious that double yellow lines should have been extended at least up to the turning circle on one side of the road. I have spoken with local police and with people from MVDC and everyone seems to be of much the same opinion. So why wasn’t it done? Why hasn’t it been done?

Do we have to resort again to making our own unauthorized notice asking cars not to part on one side so that the bin lorry can get through? Do we have persuade the local press to highlight our case again?

Repairs to Footbridge from Ashtead to Leatherhead over M25 & A24

From Surrey County Council:

Regarding providing illumination for the footbridge above the Leatherhead-by-pass, we are not in a position to install new lighting due to restrained budget at present. Further information will be available in the next couple of weeks on our website concerning additional street lights. Please visit:

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Street+lights?opendocument

We notice surface conditions of the footbridge is deteriorating. Repair has been scheduled on 2 December between 7p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day. Please be aware the footbridge will be closed during operation.

Today a delivery lorry -tomorrow an ambulance?

Here are two photographs I took earlier this afternoon as the latest ‘victim’ to be denied access to Oaks Close gets stuck.

      

A bit stuck there on the left! Any better on the right? Well, no! It’s stuck there as well. A bit frustrating though, after loading up and bringing the stuff from Sutton.

Wasting people’s time loading and trying to deliver undeliverable loads and keeping people waiting at the other end as they wait for supplies to continue work is one thing. But supposing the vehicle had been an ambulance; the delay while the vehicle is abandoned and paramedics have to make their way on foot could be the difference between someone’s life and death!

Doesn’t Surrey County Council Care? Could not the Councillors and officers have worked out that if they introduced parking restrictions in neighbouring roads but did nothing in the road nearest the Station it would only exacerbate the already existing problems in that road? Couldn’t they?

The cynics say they knew exactly what they were doing. Being piqued because not everyone was happy with their proposed simplistic ‘solution’, they will let us stew in our own juice so that we will willingly accept whatever they want to impose on us.

My own feeling is that having given up on their proposed solution they simply could not be bothered and let the thing fall by default. In other words it was thoughtlessness and negligence.

Mole Valley District Council, to its credit, is doing what it can about bin collection. MVDC Environment Department are advising cars & vans on Tuesday afternoon that vehicles preventing bin collection on Wednesday will be ticketed by Surrey Police and possibly removed; and the Department is monitoring the situation on Wednesdays. Also if, despite these efforts, no bin lorry is able to get through on a Wednesday, they will send out a lorry on the following Saturday. This use of personnel on Tuesday afternoon & Wednesday morning must cost money and, of course, if a bin lorry has to be sent out on a Saturday even more expense will be involved – extra cost to MVDC thanks to the ineptness of SCC.

We appreciate the efforts of our MVDC Ward Councillor, Bridget Lewis-Carr, in helping to find a solution to the bin problem. How about our SCC Councillor helping resolve the access problem?

What are we to do?

You may have read "Road ‘blocked by Commuters’" in the 4th August edition of the Leatherhead Advertiser. It tells how on some weeks bin lorries have been unable to access the road because of the insistence of commuters on parking on both sides of this narrow road. This is clearly a health hazard and a failing by Mole Valley District Council to ensure regular refuse collections.

Because of this, one of the residents took it upon herself to produce a sign saying "ON WEDNESDAYS DUST CART UNABLE TO PROCEED. PLEASE DO NOT PARK THIS SIDE." For a few weeks this was largely successful; occasionally a lone car did ‘disobey’ but not so as to block the bin lorry. However, it was only a matter of time before commuters realized the notice had no legal status and disregarded it. This happened, in fact, on Wednesday, 3rd August, as you can see from the photograph taken that morning. Commuters have parked in full on both sides, despite the notice being out there from Tuesday evening onwards.

Once again the bin lorry was denied access and bins were not emptied.

When a resident, on the next day, asked cars not to park on one side he found most were sympathetic but one person said he was not prepared to look anywhere else, was not breaking the law and was not prepared to pay £4 to park in the Randalls Road car park. In other words, he could not care less whether bins were emptied or not, whether or not life was lost because ambulance and/or fire engine was denied access. How selfish can you get!

Some, who are as old as I, will remember the days when causing an obstruction was an offence – the days when police did issue warning notices and, if necessary, prosecute when people parked in such a way as to cause an obstruction. In those days of common sense double yellow lines were not needed (and, indeed, not invented). Now it seems police are loath to act unless those yellow lines are there! We have been let down by Surrey County Council and not so far helped by Mole Valley District Council*.   Will the police help us? Will they, as a resident has asked, put comes up one side of the close on Wednesdays to allow refuse to be collected (that would not, of course, help in case of fire or other emergency)? Will they?

What are we to do?

Did you read what the Surrey County Council spokesman said? They had proposed a one hour restriction in the morning. Sure, that would get ride of the commuters. But what about those residents who did not have usable drives – who had to park on the road? What were they supposed to do?

When residents’ only parking was suggested, the reply was that this could not be considered until after the trial in Minchin Close. That just beggars belief! Are not Surrey County Council aware that residents’ only parking has been long established in many places for some time now? I am told that residents’ only parking even exists in some other parts of Surrey. Yet in Leatherhead, it seems, it cannot be done until it is seen if it works in Minchin Close. It seems to me that when SCC deals with Leatherhead all logic is abandoned.

The spokesman also mentions an "access only" proposal. He says, "this is not appropriate for this type of road", despite the fact that the original suggestion came from a SCC source. The spokesman also adds that the police informed the Council it was unenforceable. Why? From searches I’ve made on the Internet, it does appear that "access only" is not entirely clear cut and police do not seem to like it. But I discovered one Lib Dem Council had the courage to implement this on a trial basis for a road that, like ours, suffered parking problems. Why could not SCC at least have implemented this for a trial period? Why could not Oaks Close have been a trial in a similar way to Minchin Close?

At the very least, they should have restricted parking to one side only in the narrow part between the bend before numbers 1 & 2 and the turning circle half-way up the close. Their failure to do this is incomprehensible. Now, of course, the plea will be that there is no money. But, if as a result of this failure, life is lost because a fire engine or ambulance cannot access the top part of the close, we know the money would be found! Why must we wait for this? Why do residents have to continue to put up with uncollected refuse and the spread of flies and maggots?

What are we to do?

* I have, since first posting this, been told by Cllr Bridget Lewis-Carr, one of our MVDC councillors for North Leatherhead, she has had a promise that MVDC will ensure that the road is kept clear to allow bin lorries through on Wednesdays. I am very grateful to Cllr Lewis-Carr for her efforts and await to see how things work out next Wednesday.

Too much piecemeal and incoherent planning

Thanks to one of the residents, the bins in our road were emptied again yesterday. A month or so back, most residents in the road, a cul-de-sac, went for three weeks without any bin collection simply because the bin lorry was unable to squeeze between the cars parked by commuters on both sides of the road! So an enterprising resident made a notice asking cars not to park on one side on Wednesday so that bin collections can be made. So far, to be fair to commuters, the notice has worked.

But why should it be left to a resident to do this? Is this an example of David Cameron’s "Big Society" at work? To save the Council both money and the awkward job of having to make a decision?

When proposals for parking restrictions were proposed for certain roads over a year ago, our Chairman pointed out that this would only push the problem onto other roads and that what was needed was an overall plan for parking throughout Leatherhead. He has, of course, been proved right.

To make matters worse, Surrey County Council in it wisdom decided not to implement any restrictions in two of the designated roads. What a surprise that the situation has got worse! Meanwhile we do what we can to get our bins emptied. But on any other weekday, I see no way delivery lorries, fire engine or ambulance could get up our road. Tradesmen who have come to our house have been amazed that such a situation has been allowed to arise when a solution is so obvious.

Now we have once again talk of yet another revamp of the High Street and the bit of Church Street between the barrier and the High Street. In view of the history of the various past attempts, can we have any confidence that the current efforts will be any more successful? Or will it be another patching up job? And what about the rest of Church Street? Coming into the town past empty shopping premises is not exactly a good advertisement for the town.

What about Bridge Street and North Street? Shouldn’t we be thinking about the whole of the town centre, not tinkering again with just part of it? Would it not make more sense to have an overall strategy for the whole town centre? That of course, must involve parking, which is what I started with.

In my opinion Leatherhead has suffered too much from piecemeal and incoherent planning: we need an overall and coherent strategy for parking for Leatheread as a whole together with a coherent strategy for the whole of the town centre.

Little wonder that some people look back with nostalgia to the days of the Leatherhead & Urban District Council. Give us back out town!

Proposed revocation of existing, amendments to existing & provision of new waiting restrictions & on-street parking places in the Leatherhead area

Doubtless many residents have already seen notices on lamp posts in certain streets concerning Surrey County Council – District of Mole Valley proposals for the above.

This is the result of consultation exercises in certain roads earlier this years when the inhabitants of those roads were given the opportunity to comment on proposals made by the Council. To the best of my knowledge, the roads are:
Epsom Road, Oak Road, Linden Road, Leret Way, Garlands Road, Kingston Avenue, By-Pass Road, Oaks Close, Poplar Road, Randalls Road, Windfield, Kingston Avenue, Park Rise, Minchin Close.

A copy of the proposed Orders, together with plans showing the lengths of roads to which those Orders relate and a statement of the Council’s reasons for proposing to make these Orders, together with a statement of the Council’s Guidelines for the Acceptance of Objections to the Traffic Regulation Orders, may be inspected free of charge at the Help Shop in the High Street, at Leatherhead Library and at MVDC Administrative Centr, Pippbrook, Dorking.

Anyone wishing to object to the proposed Orders must send in the grounds for objection in writing to J Russell, Head of Surrey Highways, at County Hall in Kingston (quoting ref. 21684/MV/AK) by 12th November 2009.

There will be an opportunity to air views at our Open Meeting on Monday, 2nd November; the matter will also be discussed at our Committee Meeting on 4th November.

These proposals, if implemented (possibly with revision in some case) will no doubt improve matters in some roads; but many of us fear it will only push the problem into other roads. It is the opinionof many of us that a comprehensive review of the parking problems of the Leatherhead area as a whole is long overdue.

Surrey County Council Road Information

From 27th July to 18 September there will be road works from Leret Way along B2122 Epsom Road and A242 Bypass Road. Involving Footway widening: kerbing at junctions and provision of back edging and overlaying of footway. New footway to link with pedestrian bridge.