Following efforts by the parish council and several Hambledon residents an assurance has been given that the proposal for a new relief road to be built across the Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty will not be pursued.
An organisation called the Guildford Society had put forward the idea as a means of relieving traffic on the A281 when Dunsfold Aerodrome is developed into a large housing estate. It proposed a new road should be built linking the development with an enlarged Milford station and the A3, routed through the Surrey Hills at Burgate Farm, Feathercombe and Hydestile. See earlier news story here:
The idea was presented to a meeting of the Surrey County Council Waverley Local Committee and Colin Kemp, deputy leader of SCC, said he would ask his officers to consider whether to conduct a feasibility study into the proposal.
This is an update on an earlier news item regarding a suggestion by the Guildford Society for a relief road linking the proposed housing development at Dunsfold Aerodrome with Milford Station and the A3. Please see http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=11482 for background.
At the time of publishing this news item a response was awaited from Colin Kemp, Surrey County Council deputy leader, who had indicated he was prepared to consider whether a feasibility study should be held into the Guildford Society proposal. Cllr Kemp has since responded in the following terms:
“Although I was aware this idea had been looked into before I was not up to date with this proposal or the details. I am not above being open and re-looking at any proposal to make sure the correct decision that as originally made was correct at the time and the situation has not changed, I will not just say no because somebody else said no, if I am asked a question I will review the situation before giving a response.
This will entail me asking officers to brief me on the original report and findings, I will then ask questions and wait for responses and this is what I am in the process of doing. I will report back to the local committee when I have done this work.
I can only imagine the upset this proposal caused and for that I apologise but I have been asked a question and I will do the work before responding.”
A proposal to drive a new road through the heart of the Surrey Hills at Hambledon to relieve anticipated traffic congestion and HGV issues when Dunsfold Aerodrome is developed into housing is being fiercely opposed by Hambledon Parish Council.
The suggestion from the Guildford Society was presented at a recent meeting at Waverley council and despite Surrey Highways officers rejecting the idea, county councillors agreed to give the matter further consideration.
It envisages a new highway from Loxhill on the outskirts of Dunsfold at Hook House Lane, across the hills and fields of Burgate Farm and round the flanks of Hydon’s Ball to emerge on to the Hambledon Road at Feathercombe. It would then use Hambledon Road and Station Lane to reach a new “Milford Parkway” station and the A3
The Guildford Society, a registered charity with the stated aim of preserving and enhancing the environment of Guildford, submitted a written question to the Waverley Local Committee, which comprises members of both Surrey and Waverley councils.
In a covering letter, Alistair Smith, chairman of the society, wrote: “The link scheme we propose, some 12 kms long, is likely to be complex, expensive and controversial, as part of it would necessarily pass through some sensitive countryside and would need to be treated appropriately”.
Surrey County Council has been told that its cabinet member in charge of highways must be called to address issues of safety, rat-running and heavy goods vehicles on the narrow cut-through of Salt Lane at Hydestile.
In what is a significant achievement for local resident and campaigner Paul Osborne, a joint meeting of county and Waverley Borough councillors agreed that further consideration should be given to measures to mitigate the increase in traffic along the cut-through route of Station Lane, Hydestile Crossroads, Salt Lane and Markwick Lane.
Paul had successfully petitioned to have the issue added to the agenda of the SCC Waverley Local Committee meeting held on March 22nd. He needed 30 signatures before SCC would agree. In the event he had 251, most of them Hambledon and Hydestile residents, which demonstrated the extent of concern about the east-west route linking the A3 and Milford Station with Dunsfold Park, the A281 and Cranleigh.
In a powerful video presentation, seen by committee members before the debate, Paul sought to demonstrate how a narrow, rural lane with passing places was already at beyond capacity, and the problem would only get worse with the prospect of major new housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome together with others at Milford Golf Course, Milford Hospital and in and around Cranleigh.
For the second day running there has been a crash at the Hydestile Crossroads, and another collision just a few hundred yards away has completely blocked Salt Lane which is now closed to traffic.
Police closed Salt Lane at its junction with the crossroads to all traffic at around 9am today (Wednesday January 30th). It is closed along its entire length to Markwick Lane and beyond to Loxhill.
The crash at the crossroads itself involved two vehicles, and was relatively minor. The crossroads, and its approach down Salt Lane, is covered in ice and road conditions are treacherous.
The second accident was more serious as it has blocked the narrow, rural lane just above New Road. Two cars, traveling in opposite directions, have collided. Injuries appear to be minor. Police are in attendance.
As with the crossroads crash yesterday (see earlier news report), icy conditions are likely to have played a part. But it emphasises the need for Surrey County Council Highways Department to pay heed to the initiatives suggested by Hambledon Parish Council to tackle road safety in the village and its outlying rural lanes.
Salt Lane, on the Hambledon parish boundary is used by many as a cut-through between the A281 and the A3. With the likelihood of a major new housing development at Dunsfold, this narrow lane with passing places will inevitably become even more congested.
As for the crossroads at Hydestile, this has been regarded by locals as an accident black spot for many years and the parish council is in discussions with the highways authority and police to try to implement road safety measures along the length of Hambledon Road, from the Hydestile approach and though the village to Lane End.
The developers of Milford Golf Course are holding an exhibition with an outline of the proposed 180 home re-development of the Golf Course on the South side of Station Lane. With Station Lane and Milford crossroads already congested at peak times, such a development will put pressure on the infrastructure in our area. With the prospect of the doubling of traffic on this road once Dunsfold Park is built it is vital that residents make their views on record at this exhibition. All are invited to view on Tuesday 22nd between 3pm and 8pm at the Golf Club in Station Lane.
The Waverley Local Plan, which was subject of a Public Planning Inquiry earlier in the year, has been revised following the Planning Inspector’s report. This revised plan is now open for comments from the public – a deadline has been set for the 20th October.
The Local Plan revisions are on the WBC website, HERE although it is confusingly displayed and commenting appears cumbersome. A summary of changes is shown on the Protect Our Waverley website, with guidance on how to comment by post or email.
Hambledon Parish Council is to hold talks with Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council to press for a review of the way the village bus service operates in the hope it can be made more commercially viable.
Suggestions from villagers would be welcome, either by leaving a website comment on this article or posting suggestions in the Forum section.
The 503 route, which is the only public transport service available to residents, connects the village with Milford, Godalming and Guildford and is especially important to the elderly and infirm wanting to visit shops, banks and surgeries. It is shown here in the picturesque setting of the farm buildings at the Hydestile Crossroads as its leaves the village headed for Milford.
It is operated by Stagecoach but is heavily subsidised by Surrey County Council. Recently it faced the axe, only to be reprieved after the parish council and residents lobbied for it to continue.
The council is keen to see if changes can be made to increase revenue and prevent another cost-cutting exercise threatening its existence the next time SCC reviews its subsidised bus operations.
Currently the 503 operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, twice in each direction, beginning at Lane End at 9.15 and 12.15. Although a vital service for older residents its timing and infrequency means it is of no use to school children or commuters, despite its route taking it past Milford Station and local schools.
Surrey County Council has indicated that it is prepared to discuss the route with the parish council and others and it is hoped this will happen soon.