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.

Surrey Reuse Network furniture reuse campaign

Surrey County Council will be launching the Surrey Reuse Network furniture reuse campaign next week which aims to increase the amount of furniture and white goods that are reused, aiming to divert 2,000 tonnes going into landfill.

The Surrey Reuse Network offers a wide range of good quality items at affordable prices. Made up of a group of six charities, the network aims to find new homes for donated furniture and kitchen appliances, as well as offering training and employment opportunities and helping local families in need. Buying reusable furniture and kitchen appliances is great value, good for the environment and hidden treasures may be found.

Visit to see what sort of information Surrey Reuse Network are communicating.

Improvements to Leatherhead Community Recycling Centre and Waste Transfer Station

I am writing to let you know that improvements to Leatherhead Community Recycling Centre and Waste Transfer Station are due to begin in January 2012. The site will close on 9 January and the work will take around eight months. The nearest alternative community recycling centres are at Blenheim Road, Epsom, KT19 9DL and Ranmore Road, Dorking, RH4 1TL. The nearest waste transfer station is also at Blenheim Road. Both sites are around seven miles away from the Leatherhead waste facility. The site is being redeveloped to provide Leatherhead residents with a modern, accessible and user-friendly facility. The improvements will include:

· Improved parking and road layout to help site users to move around the site more easily and help to reduce queuing;
· Separate entrances for the public and site service vehicles to help reduce congestion at the site entrance;
· Drop off area for garden waste carried in trailers.

Other alterations planned also include:

· Redevelopment of the waste transfer station to include a fully enclosed building for household waste from borough councils;
· Improved traffic management with the complete separation of neighbouring Grundon and Thames Water vehicle access, as currently they pass through the site.

Yours sincerely,

Beverly Sheridan,
Project Manager
SITA Surrey

Your Buses, Your Say…Surrey Bus Review Phase 3

Surrey County Council will shortly be consulting on bus service changes in Epsom & Ewell, Mole Valley, Waverley and some services in Guildford. This will be phase 3 of the County Councils 3-year Bus Review Programme, which started in 2010.

We will run a three-month public consultation from 1 November 2011 to 31 January 2012 for your comments on the proposals that we put forward. Comments from the actual bus users form an important part of the process and will assist us in designing the revised network. We would therefore like to hear your comments and views.

Feedback from the consultation process and the costs of the revised services will then be included in a proposal that will be submitted to Surrey County Council’s cabinet, who will make the final decision. Changes to services will take effect in September 2012.

From 1st November 2011 details about the proposals to bus services, how to feed your comments in to the review and further information about the review process will be available at This website will also have details on the consultation sessions that will be held locally to discuss the proposals and listen to your individual views and suggestions.

Surrey Waste Partnership: Get composting

Spring into composting

Whether you’re a keen gardener or just want to choose the greenest, most natural way to deal with your food and garden waste, composting is the perfect solution.

Grass cuttings, dried leaves, twigs and vegetable peelings are just some of the ingredients that can go into a compost bin or heap to make peat-free compost – ideal to use in potting or planting in your garden or allotment.

Getting started is easy. All you need is a compost bin or a small space in the garden to create a heap. Then just follow our easy guide to creating your own supply of natural food for your garden.

Get composting today – for a greener tomorrow.

Why compost?

Compost is a natural, nutrient-rich food product for your garden. It will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil’s PH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease. It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil’s condition and your plants and flowers will love it!

Because home-made compost is peat-free, it’s good for the environment outside your garden too. It reduces the need to buy peat products, which have been commercially sourced and extracted from peat bogs, resulting in the release of stored carbon from the bogs.

A step-by-step guide

1.Find the right site. Site your bin or heap in the garden on bare soil. If space is limited, put your bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs; but make sure there’s a layer of soil or existing compost on the bottom so garden creatures can colonise.
2. Add the right ingredients. Fill your kitchen caddy with the right ingredients such as tea bags, taking care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish.
3. Fill it up. Empty your kitchen caddy and your garden waste into your bin or heap. A 50/50 mix of greens and browns is the perfect recipe for good compost.
4. After 9-12 months. The ingredients you have put in your bin or heap should have turned into a dark brown, earthy smelling material at the bottom of the bin, which can be dug out, with the newer material being left. But don’t worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshells – this is perfectly normal. Simply sift out any bits and return them to your bin or heap.
5. Ready! Once your compost resembles thick, moist soil and smells very earthy, it’s ready to use.
6. Collect the compost. Instructions will be delivered with your bin. But all you have to do is lift the bin slightly or open the hatch at the bottom and scoop out the fresh compost with a garden fork or spade. If you have built your own, simply rake out the ready compost.
7. Use it. And watch your garden bloom. Compost can be used for all your planting needs – vegetable plants for allotments; general potting (if mixed with something like ordinary soil); flowerbeds and enriching new borders by mixing in existing soil; or around trees by spreading a layer around the roots. Or use it as mulch material, mix with a layer of soil, and help prevent plant diseases.

Get started

To find out more about how to build yourself a compost heap, or to buy a bin, starting from only £14.00 visit or call 0844 571 4444. You’ll also find lots of other helpful tips and information there too.

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?

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.