Director, Infrastructure and Development
Surrey County Council
Dear Ms, Monie
On behalf of the residents of West Clandon, the Parish Council wishes to express a number of concerns about the A247 through the village. The Council requests that the Highways Authority gives a response to each concern so that they can be communicated to residents.
- The recent collision at the junction of the A247 and the slip road to the A3 was very serious involving small children and a car on fire and it was fortunate that there was no loss of life. This junction has been problematic for a number of years and the scene of a number of collisions. Although some work was done in the recent past it is clear that the junction is no safer. Further measures are required.
- The speed limit on the A247 from this junction to the sharp bend at Lime Grove is 40mph. It changes to 30mph just before the bend. The speed of vehicles and the poor visibility because of the bend makes it difficult for residents to both enter and exit their properties. There is also no footpath on the West side at this point, forcing residents to cross the road to walk anywhere. The Parish Council has previously requested that the start of the 30mph zone should be moved to the North to be closer to the A3. This would help to slow traffic before the bend and give improved protection to residents.
- The speed of traffic has also been a concern for the school in the village. Although lockdown means that this issue is on hold, it will resume when the school starts again. The Parish Council would like to see a speed limit reduction on this part of the road. This should begin to the South of the sharp bend at the church.
- The Parish Council is aware that the developments at Burnt Common, Garlick’s Arch and Gosden Hill are under active consideration together with the proposed addition of 250 parking spaces at the station. Cumulatively, these have the potential to add significantly to the volume of traffic on the A247 and exacerbate the problems with the Station Road exit. The Parish Council has made submissions for possible mitigation measures including traffic lights at the station using the £1 million allocated to the A247 through West Clandon for such purposes in the Local Plan. The Council has not yet received any response or been made aware of any proposals or thinking on this subject.
- Although the lockdown has brought a welcome reduction in traffic on the A247 it has unfortunately led to a big increase in speeding. At weekends in particular, the speed of most motorbikes is well above the speed limit and in some case above the open road limit. The riders are also passing cars in the narrowest parts of the road which requires extremes of speed and is very dangerous. Most of the property entrances do not have good sight lines and this behaviour risks causing a serious accident.
Chairman, West Clandon Parish Council
Reply from Ms Monie
Thank you for your letter of 1st July 2020 expressing your concerns regarding several traffic issues in West Clandon. I have noted your comments and have investigated your concerns with the relevant officers. Please see below my reply to the points in the order that you raised them.
- I understand that this issue has been raised previously and the Vice Chairman of the Guildford Surrey Joint Committee discussed this with the Road Safety and Active Travel Team. As the Vice Chairman advised you, The Road Safety Working Group Team will look at this junction again at their next meeting in the autumn. They will investigate what additional safety measures can be considered, further to the recent safety works that have already been implemented.
- As you are aware, there have recently been some safety improvements in The Street, West Clandon. At the time the extension of the existing 30mph speed limit on a section of Clandon Road was considered, speed surveys were carried out. However, the results indicated that traffic calming measures would be required to introduce a 30mph speed limit on that section of the road. The police also did not support the speed limit reduction without any traffic calming measures in place. Unfortunately the allocated funding by the Guildford Committee was not sufficient for traffic calming measures as well as the other measures that were implemented. The lack of available budget remains the case however highway officers are aware of the wishes of the Parish Council for a speed limit reduction on that section of Clandon Road and have discussed this with the Transport Development Planning Team with a view to securing any future developer funding and implementing additional measures.
- In respect of lowering the current 30mph speed limit in the vicinity of Clandon Infant School, there are two ways that a 20mph speed limit could be introduced; a) 20mph speed limits or b) 20mph zones.
- a) 20mph speed limits by signs alone would be most appropriate where 85th percentile speeds are already low and further traffic calming measures are not needed. b) 20mph zones should be used where excessive speeds occur, and where traffic calming measures would be needed to ensure speeds are at or below 20 mph. For introducing a 20mph zone on this section of the road, traffic calming measures would be required. Highway officers will also discuss the possibility of any future funding from a developer towards this scheme with the Transport Development Planning Team.
- The Transport Development Planning Team are still assessing the impact of the applications on the surrounding highway network. They are aware of your concerns as well as those of residents and other Councillors. They will be seeking mitigation for the impact of each development but are yet to agree this with the developers. Their focus is likely to be on provision of sustainable modes of transport to reduce the reliance on the private vehicle rather than a signalised scheme at one location.
- Regarding the speeding issue in West Clandon, as I am certain you are aware, the police are the only authority who can enforce the speeding issue. Highways officers will however discuss this issue with the police with a view to enforcement, where possible. Unfortunately, in recent months we have received many complaints regarding speeding issues at various locations across the county.