Villagers Invited to Trial New On-Demand Bus Service

As Hambledon’s 503 bus service enters its final months of operation, more details have been announced about its on-demand replacement.

Over the past year, Surrey County Council has been rolling out “Surrey Connect”. It will arrive in Godalming in September, when the Hambledon to Milford, Godalming and Guildford timetabled route will cease.

Instead of Hambledon’s scheduled service, which operates just three days a week, passengers can instead request an accessible electric mini-bus to collect them from designated pick-up points in the village to anywhere in the Godalming zone.

It is already available for journeys to and from Cranleigh.

The new service will operate Monday to Friday from 7am to 7pm and on Saturdays between 8am and 6pm. Proposed pick-up point include the village shop, Malthouse Lane, Merry Harriers and the Hydestile Crossroads.

This type of bus operation is known as Digital Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT). Passengers need to registered for an account, and then can use either a call centre number, a mobile phone app or go online to book a single or return journey.

All journeys must be within the greater Godalming area (boundaries yet to be announced) with an adult single fare ranging from £2 to £6, depending on the distance travelled. For onward journeys, passengers would need to request a DDRT from a neighbouring zone.

Advance booking is requested and a destination and preferred arrival time provided so that the operators can arrange the journey, which may be shared with others who have booked from nearby locations.

When this service was first announced it was intended that collections would be from individual homes, but this has proved impractical. Instead, agreed collections points, similar to conventional bus stops, will be agreed and Hambledon Parish Council will ask for suggestions and negotiate with Surrey Connect.

In the meantime, Surrey Connect has already arrived in Cranleigh and Hambledon is just inside its zone. If you want to request a journey there to see how it all works you will need to register; either online at www.surreyconnect.org.uk, via the App “Surrey Connect” or by ringing 01428 681710 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Members of the parish council will be undertaking some trial journeys to put the new service to the test and would be interested in hearing the experience of other villagers. Please contact parishclerk@hambledonsurrey.co.uk to share your experience. Any feedback will be given to Surrey Connect ahead of the introduction of the Godalming zone. Currently, the service is operating locally in Farnham, and parts of Guildford as well as Cranleigh.

Hambledon Parish Council has successfully lobbied in the past for the retention of the 503, operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by Surrey County Council. Its service and passenger numbers have declined over the years and it is now limited to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with just one outward and one return journey.

Surrey Connect represents a big change, but its promoters say that it will open up more flexible public transport compared to the restrictions of traditional rural bus timetables. To find out more please visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/surreyconnect.

If you take a trial journey to Cranleigh, please let the parish council know how it went. And if you have any suggestions for pick-up points in the village other than those previously mentioned, please let us know.

Annual Parish Assembly This Thursday Night at Village Hall – Please Come Along at 7.30pm

If you care about Hambledon and the many activities and organisations that make such a significant contribution to village life, then please come along on Thursday evening to the annual Parish Assembly.

Hosted by the Parish Council, this is a social occasion as well as an opportunity to hear brief reports from all village groups on how they have fared in the last 12 months.

These range from the village sports clubs, social activities such as Bridge, book club and cycling, through to the volunteer run shop, nursery school, village trust, community fund, website, parish magazine, church and parish council.

The report from St Peter’s church will be particularly pertinent this year as it seeks urgent help in order to maintain weekly services and a vicar living in the village, And, of course, to cater for Hambledon weddings, Christenings and funerals.

And the new owners of the Merry Harriers may even find the time to drop in to update on the recent major refurbishment of our village local. It has been a busy time for Alex Winch, Sam Fiddian-Green and their staff after a three-week closure and the pub is due to re-open tonight (Wednesday April 24) at 5pm for locals and in full tomorrow.

The Parish Assembly is an inclusive and informative occasion, beginning with wine, soft drinks and refreshments from 7.30pm at the Village Hall tomorrow evening (Thursday April 25th) followed by presentations at 8pm. The event is usually concluded by 9.30pm.

All are welcome, and if you have moved to Hambledon in the last 12 months, you are especially so.

  • As is customary, the Assembly is followed on Saturday morning (April 27) by the annual village clean-up, concluding with a parish council hosted barbecue on the green outside the shop at noon. Arrive anytime after 9am to be given bin bags, litter pickers and safety jackets and an allocated area to tidy. This is a fun, family occasion, so please sign up and come along.

Parish Assembly – Thursday 25th April – Agenda

Hambledon Parish Council will be hosting the annual Parish Assembly on Thursday 25th April from 7.30pm in the Village Hall. It is a great evening to hear about all the latest news from the wide variety of groups and organisations in the village. It is an informal event and all are welcome.

The doors open at 7.30pm with an opportunity to have a drink and chat with neighbours. The meeting starts at 8pm when the Chairman, Cllr Stewart Payne, will give a brief update on the Parish Council’s last 12 months. Representatives of each of the many different organisations will then give a short report on their last 12 months.

There will also be an opportunity to sign up to the Community Litter pick taking place on the following Saturday 27th April from 10am. Hi viz jackets and litter pickers will be provided. The litter pick finishes with a barbeque for volunteers at 12pm outside the village shop.

The agenda for the evening is below.

Continue reading

Rock Hill UPDATE – ROAD OPEN

An update to yesterday’s new item below…Hambledon Road reopened at around 4pm this afternoon (Thursday March 14th).

It had been closed for several days at Rock Hill. Thames Water work, which had been delayed, was completed today. The road closure signs have been removed and a member of the workforce told the parish council that no further work is required and the road will remain open.

  • Remember, if you are reading this on the day of this update being posted, it is the Hambledon Heritage Society annual meeting at the village hall tonight, 7.30 for 8pm start, and all are welcome to hear an illustrated talk given by parish resident Paul Osborne on the fascinating history of the King George V and St Thomas’s Hospitals at Hydestile.

((Original news item) Hambledon Road remains closed at Rock Hill between the Merry Harriers and Church Lane, despite a Thames Water information board stating it would reopen today (Wednesday March 13th).

The road is impassable to vehicles, with a trench across part of the road and a parked digger. No workers were on site for a second day and no activity taking place. Pedestrians and cyclists can get through.

The pub and the nursery school can be accessed, but only from the Godalming/Hydestile direction.

The Parish Council is attempting to get an explanation from Thames Water for the delay and confirmation of when the road will reopen.

The photo below was taken at 3.30pm this afternoon, showing the closure but no Thames Water staff on site.

Hydestile Crossroads: Safety Concerns Discussed with Surrey County Highways

The Hydestile Crossroads, where accidents occur with regularity, has long been a safety concern to Hambledon residents. The parish council secured a site meeting with a senior highways engineer from Surrey County Council to see if improvements could be made.

SCC has maintained that all signage and road markings are in accordance with statutory regulations and that nothing further could be done. However, it agreed to meet at the crossroads to investigate further.

Some progress was made. SCC will repaint the road markings, which have become obscured at the bottom of Salt Lane, and will support vegetation cuts which would allow for the provision of an additional sign, warning of the Give Way junction ahead.

This would be installed on the right-hand side of the approach to the junction on Salt Lane, where a narrow strip of verge on the right will be cut to provide space for the post-mounted sign.

A dying ash tree opposite the bus shelter can also be removed and a bramble patch beside it has already been cut. The intention is to improve sight lines for motorists at the junction.

Most accidents are caused by vehicles crossing over from Salt Lane towards Milford, and from Station Road across to Salt Lane, in front of cars travelling with a right of way on Hambledon Road. Some drivers have claimed that they were unaware of the junction, although misjudgements clearly play a part.

The engineer said that the junction did not meet the criteria to change it from a Give Way to a Stop, nor would Surrey CC consider changing priorities or installing a small roundabout. He conceded that the steepness of the banks and lack of a verge on the approach on Salt Lane meant that the existing signs were difficult to see. But he insisted that the signage was at the correct statutory distance.

Several issues emerged from the meeting, which was attended by Stewart Payne, parish council chairman, and Councillor Robin McKeith, who has responsibility for highways issues, together with several Hydestile residents.

SCC data on road accidents – upon which decisions are based – does not include the many minor non-injury accidents, which occur. And budget restraints mean that many scheduled works get put back. Inspections on vegetation growth and the state of white lines only take place annually.

It was agreed that the parish council would endeavour to report all issues on-line as they occur and the suggested vegetation cuts and the provision of the additional sign would also be requested with an assurance that approval is likely be given.

The removal of the dying ash, however, will present a budget issue for the parish council. It is likely to take three years for the council to undertake the task. If the parish council were to do it, it would require engaging a private contractor and a road closure while the work is carried out.

  • In the meantime, discussions continue over a proposal to impose a ban on HGV’s using the extremely narrow Salt/Markwick Lanes. Local resident Paul Osborne, Hambledon Parish Council and our SCC Ward councillor Kevin Deanus are pressing Surrey Highways to implement mandatory restrictions and a plan, which would involve rerouting HGV away from narrow and unsuitable lanes in Hambledon and neighbouring areas, is currently being considered.

Are you in favour of slower speed limits in the village?

Hambledon Parish Council is collecting feedback on potential changes to the speed limits throughout Surrey County Council. Traffic authorities have been asked to consider more 20mph limits and zones in built up village streets in order to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Any changes will be subject to extensive consultation prior to implementation.

Hambledon Parish Council would like to hear from you:

Do you support the introduction of some 20mph limits to the village.

Are there any roads in particular you would support this change on.

Please get in touch with the Parish Clerk if you have any views either way: parishclerk@hambledonsurrey.co.uk

Have your say on Surrey’s Rights of Way

Surrey County Council is responsible for around 2164 miles (3482 km) of public footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways, and byways open to all traffic across the whole of the County. A new Rights Of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) is being drafted which sets out how Surrey County Council can make sure the public rights of way network meets the needs of the public, now and in the future.

Hambledon Parish Council will be giving feedback on what improvements can be made within the Parish. We are looking for additional feedback from those who use the network, please get in touch with the clerk if you have any thoughts you would like to add.

Suggestions may include:

  • gaps between almost adjacent rights of way,
  • sections of footpaths which become all but impassable to those on foot,
  • sections where a right of way is severed or is busy that could benefit from being bridged.

Please get in touch via email: parishclerk@hambledonsurrey.co.uk by Friday 26th January 2024.

Surrey County Council have also provided a questionnaire that you can fill out that goes directly to them: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/rowip-public  . This questionnaire closes on 10th March 2024.

Public Meeting with Thames Water next Friday 15th December

Following the recent water outages a public meeting will be held with Thames Water next Friday, 15th December. A number of representatives from Thames Water will be present including the Interim Co-CEO. The meeting will be opened by Angela Richardson MP and chaired by Jeremy Hunt MP. It will be necessary to register your attendance in advance.

The meeting will mostly address the most recent outages and what caused it. Hambledon was not impacted by this incident, but it may be of interest as the meeting will also cover what action the company is taking to ensure our water infrastructure is resilient for the future.

Continue reading