Latest Steps to Tackle HGV Problem in Hambledon’s narrow lanes.

New steps have been taken to drive forward the initiative to prevent large and unsuitable heavy goods vehicles from using Salt and Markwick Lanes.

Kevin Deanus, Hambledon’s Surrey County Council Ward member, has given an undertaking that action will be taken in an attempt to resolve the problem.

The inappropriate use of Station Lane, Hydestile Crossroads, Salt Lane and Markwick Lane by heavy goods vehicles has become a growing menace. This narrow country route is used as a cut-through between the A3 at Milford and the A281 Guildford to Horsham Road near Cranleigh. It is classified as a “D” road and therefore not designated or suitable for HGV use.

Rat-running construction traffic – on Salt Lane

Nevertheless, lorries use this route on a daily basis, causing damage to trees, verges and banks, and causing congestion, as in many sections there is insufficient room for large vehicles to pass in opposite directions. There are signs stating the road is unsuitable for HGVs, but these are routinely ignored and are only advisory, and not enforceable in law.

Hambledon resident Paul Osborne, who lives on Salt Lane, has been pressing Surrey County Council, as the highways authority responsible, to take action and has gathered much evidence in support of measures to stop this menace. He has been supported by Hambledon Parish Council and other neighbouring parishes.

He has proposed red signs, enforceable in law, barring HGV from using these lanes, but SCC has resisted. The subject did make it on to the agenda of the Waverley/SCC Local Committee and a “destination survey” was carried out to seek data on whether lorries were making local deliveries or mainly using the route as a cut-through. The evidence showed the latter was the case.

However, the local committee was recently stripped of its highways function and the issue was once-again in limbo.

Cllr Deanus has now taken it up and on July 18 he hosted a video call attended by representatives of local parishes, Waverley and Surrey councillors and Adrian Selby, a senior traffic engineer with SCC.

Mr Selby outlined why the authority was unwilling to take further measures. He said that if HGVs were barred from the route, they would seek other nearby roads which would simply move the problem to another area. And he said Surrey Police did not have the resources to enforce the ban.

This was challenged by many attending the forum and he was told that signs warning of the HGV ban should be placed at points where HGVs were still on A and B roads, in other words in Milford close to the A3 and at the A281 crossroads. Mr Selby was urged to find solutions not problems.

Mr Selby said that if the idea of a ban was to be further explored, it would be necessary to carry out what he called a “zonal study” to examine what the implications would be on the wider area. He said this would cost in the region of £30,000 and would have to be contracted out as SCC did not have the resources to do it in-house.

Several participants at the meeting expressed dismay at the negative approach being taken by SCC engineers, and Cllr Deanus was supported by Paul Follows, leader of Waverley, and  David Harmer, a SCC councillor with responsibilities for highways issues, who both agreed the matter should be progressed.

Local parish councils, including Hambledon, will consider whether they can help in the funding of the zonal study.

In conclusion, Mr Selby was asked to investigate the idea of the study and to report back by September when the forum will meet again. Mr Deanus said: “I am determined that something will be done”.

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David Hall
David Hall
12 days ago

There are similar challenges on the route from the Petworth Road via Lane end and Hambledon Road to Salt Lane. Perhaps these should be included.

There was a rat run in Milford from the cricket green to the old A3, that was sorted out 2 months after a County Councillor moved in! Road junction redesigned, no through road signage included. We have an MP, shouldn’t that help?

Stewart Payne
Stewart Payne
11 days ago
Reply to  David Hall

Hello David, Our MP Jeremy Hunt is well aware of the issue. He actually lives on one of the roads, Salt Lane, and I think he has to consider the consequences of being seen to be actively involved in an issue in which he has a direct and potentially beneficial outcome. So, a bit tricky. As for Lane End and the problems of HGVs going through the village itself, this is also under consideration and any resolution has to take into account the wider issues. Stewart

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
4 days ago

Last evening, 11th August, at about 10.30, I was driving south through Malthouse Lane and encountered a very large articulated lorry coming the other way. Luckily for me he saw me coming and stopped by the entrance to St Dominic’s and I was able to pass him. As I drew alongside the cab I asked why he was there but I could not understand his reply in very broken English. As it was dark I could not see the name on the lorry, but nor would he have seen signs saying Unsuitable for HGVs (if he had understood them). I… Read more »