The meeting commenced with a minute’s silence to remember Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll.
A247 Existing Slip Road After much persistence from the Parish Council, Surrey Highways (represented by Mr Duncan Knox) presented with a revised scheme for the A247 slip road. The new scheme proposes that traffic from Send will be brought much nearer to the junction before turning left down the slip road – the current ‘sweeping turn’ will be replaced. Although not road experts, the PC members were much happier with this proposal.
The PC drew attention to the fact that a number of incidents of people (travelling from the opposite direction) trying to turn down the exit from Tithebarns’ Lane had occurred, which may not feature in accident statistics but nevertheless could lead to more serious accidents. The Parish Council asked Mr Knox to consider what could be done to reduce the likelihood of this. He undertook to have the designers look at possible measures. It was though that the work could begin in December.
New Slip Roads proposal – A247 could become preferred route to the A3 National Highways (NH) have also been busy and their representatives met several Parish Councillors to give us a preview of their proposals for slip roads at the A247/A3 junction.
We were told that NH policy is to maximise the use of the strategic highway infrastructure by making access easier for local traffic to roads such as the A3. This appears to be a reversal of policy. Not many years ago, the policy was to prioritise through traffic on strategic roads and upgrade local roads for local traffic. NH were keen to point out that these proposals are a Department for Transport (DfT) initiative and are not being driven by Guildford Borough Council, Surrey County Council or Taylor Wimpey (for Wisley). Any scheme would be paid for by National Highways but that did not preclude contributions from developers.
It was stressed that the schemes are at the moment unfunded and unapproved. For any scheme to be built, it would first have to pass several screening stages and demonstrate an adequate cost-benefit. If these are satisfactory, it would be included in a “pipeline” of projects to be considered for action in the period 2025-2030. This process takes some 2.5 years and by no means all projects get approved.
In essence the three options all involve slip roads to/from the A3. Two of the proposals would have roundabouts either side of the A3 overbridge on Clandon Road. The third proposes a roundabout on the south side of this bridge for the south bound off-slip but the north bound on-slip (protecting Ripley) would be near the current A3 off-slip at Woodhill Lane. In two of the proposals, the junction of the A3 off-slip with the A247 would be controlled by traffic lights. The roundabouts would be larger than the one proposed at Garlick’s Arch. This and the junction discussed in the first paragraph would be completely replaced if the National Highways scheme goes ahead.
Public displays and consultations will be held over a 6-week period in October/November at venues in West Clandon and Send among others. These will be well publicised and we do hope as many residents as possible will attend.
Parish Council members were told that traffic modelling had not yet been completed but the results would be available for the public meetings. It was clear however that significantly more traffic could be expected-after all, the purpose of the slip roads is to make access to/from the A3 easier.
The Parish Council has written to National Highways pointing out the problems with the A247 through the village and the potential consequences of the road becoming a preferred route to the A3. NH stated that they were aware of some of the issues and that they were being taken seriously. They had noted the photos of large vehicles mounting pavements n the narrow part of the A247, posted on the village website.
Taylor Wimpey has submitted a planning application for the Wisley development and it is much as expected. The long-awaited detailed proposals to manage the impact of traffic generated by the site are included. Taylor Wimpey’s modelling purports to show that not only will there be little or no impact from additional traffic but even that, in many roads, traffic will reduce! Partly this is brought about by restricting the rural roads near the site to 20mph to encourage cycling.
This it is believed will cause motorists to seek other routes or modes of transport (in frustration?) There will also be improved bus services from the site which, when the site is fully developed, are claimed to be self-funding. Taylor Wimpey claim that slip roads at the A247 are not necessary for their development. They do acknowledge that there may be a bit of a problem in Ripley but they state that this is to be dealt with by National Highways as part of the M25 Junction 10 works.
The adult fitness equipment on the recreation ground was being installed on the day of the meeting and the toddlers’ bucket type swings are now in use.
The final version of the Risk Policy and Risk Register were presented and approved for adoption by the meeting
The bus shelter on the A246 at Glebe Cottages has been repaired and bolted down.
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday 12th October at 8:00 pm in the Village Hall.