Wise Up For Winter

Hambledon Parish Council has an Emergency Plan procedure in place in the event of harsh winter weather bringing disruption to the village.

However there are many simple precautions people can take to make sure they can cope with cuts to power supplies and phone lines, a problem that has affected Hambledon in the recent past and usually caused by high winds or heavy snow.

If power fails so to do household phones as many cannot function without electricity. As a safeguard, make sure you have a stand-by phone that does not need a power supply. The council has a small supply of such phones and if you require one please leave your details at the village shop.

Frosty Hambledon, November 30th, 2016

Mobile phones lines can also fail during severe weather and it is worth remembering that the public phone box outside the village shop does not require electricity and will continue to work unless overhead lines have been brought down. Operator, reverse charge and 999 calls are free but you will need to use a bank card for all other calls.

Keep torches handy and make sure that you have a supply of batteries. A battery-operated radio will also come in useful for listening to local radio bulletins. Tune in to BBC Surrey on 104.6FM or Eagle Radio on 96.4FM.

The village website will also carry updates at www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk.

Please keep an eye on your neighbours, particularly those living alone or infirm, especially during cold spells and weather-related disruption.

If conditions are severe the Emergency Plan volunteers will do their best to assist with any individual issues as well as deal with general problems around the village such as fallen branches/snow blocking roads, paths and drives and maintaining contact with external agencies.

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Orchard Farm Planning Application – Waverley To Decide

The planning application submitted by English Rural Housing Association to build 17 affordable and market price homes at Orchard Farm is expected to be considered by Waverley Borough Council next month.

ERHA is seeking permission to build 12 affordable houses – which would comprise a mix of shared ownership and rental properties – and five open market houses on the site at Lane End between Wormley Lane and Petworth Road. The site is within the Green Belt and in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Waverley must decide if the site meets the criteria to be regarded as a “rural exception site”, a policy which allows for limited development on Green Belt land.

Although Hambledon Parish Council, which has consulted widely on the proposal, continues to support the provision of affordable housing in the village, it has been unable to support the ERHA application for the following reasons:

  • The development is not small in scale;
  • It is not certain that it would prioritise people with strong Hambledon connections;
  • There are issues with drainage;
  • Traffic dangers are inadequately addressed;
  • The appropriateness of locating a development of this nature on this particular site;
  • Management and responsibility for the Open Space.

Surrey County Council has also recommended that Waverley refuse the application, expressing concerns over drainage issues. The Surrey Hills Board and the Campaign to Protect Rural England are among other bodies and organisations objecting to the scheme.

Comments on the application, including those by local residents, can be found by following this link

http://plandocs.waverley.gov.uk/Planning/lg/dialog.page?org.apache.shale.dialog.DIALOG_NAME=gfplanningsearc h&Param=lg.Planning&SDescription=WA/2016/1644&viewdocs=true

A decision on the application will be made by Waverley Borough councillors. A target date of November 10th has been given, but this may not be met.

 

 

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Ways to Improve Our Village Bus Service? Parish Council To Hold Talks

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.

Village bus 5 503 Sept 2012 1 - Copy

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.

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Surrey County Council Confirms 503 Bus Reprieve

Surrey County councillors have formally endorsed the recommendation not to withdraw the 503 bus service.

At a meeting of its Cabinet on Tuesday (May 24th) members approved the recommendations arising out of the council’s Local Transport Review, which originally proposed scrapping the 503, Hambledon’s only public transport service.

503 bus under threat again, January 2016 (2)

After public consultation and a campaign by Hambledon Parish Council and supported by residents, the review recommended retaining the 503, which operates three times a week, twice in each direction, and connects Hambledon and Hydestile with banks, surgeries and shops in Milford, Godalming and beyond. The 523 Godalming to Milford Hospital service has also been reprieved.

Both services are operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by Surrey County Council. SCC has been looking to make savings on the money it pays in support of rural bus services and the review has achieved this aim without necessitating the withdrawal of the 503 and 523.

There may be some alterations to the service, subject to further discussion (see earlier news item).

In the meantime the current timetable can be found on this website under the “Home” page link and then clicking on “Travel Info”.

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Hambledon’s 503 bus reprieved

Hambledon’s only bus service, the 503, is set to be reprieved by Surrey County Council, reversing a decision to scrap the route as a cost-cutting measure.

This is a victory for the campaign mounted by Hambledon Parish Council and local residents to save the service.

Following the SCC Local Transport Review earlier this year, aimed at finding savings on council-subsidised rural routes, the 503 was one of a number of services to be scrapped, subject to public consultation.

The parish council vociferously opposed the proposal and many villagers raised objections during the consultation process.  SCC has listened, and at a meeting of its Cabinet on May 24th, members are expected to endorse the review team’s recommendation that the 503 continue.

The parish council argued that it was wrong to withdraw the only bus route serving the village, leaving residents without any public transport. The 503 is a lifeline for a number of elderly or infirm residents who rely on the bus to get to shops, supermarkets, banks and surgeries in Milford, Godalming and beyond.

village bus

Agenda documents for the May 24th meeting, available on the Surrey County Council website, state that the council recognises “the important role that bus services play for our residents”, adding: “To address some of the concerns expressed during the public consultation exercise it has proven possible to recommend some enhancements to the original proposals.”

These include reversing the decision to scrap the 503. The 523 Milford hospital service from Godalming has also been reprieved.

Currently the 503 operates on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, twice in each direction, beginning and ending at Lane End. The recommendation is for the service to continue on at least Wednesdays and Fridays and possibly on another day to be determined.

The parish council has asked to meet with SCC planners to discuss ways of increasing passenger numbers, perhaps re-routing the service to take in new areas of development. In the documents the council states that it is “working to stimulate patronage on bus services and reduce the need for council funding.”

The 503 is operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by Surrey County Council. The transport review examined services across the county. Faced with cuts in Central Government funding, SCC is looking save £2 million on its transport budget by next year.

The recommendation to be voted on on May 24th will enable SCC to achieve the required savings needed from the review, documents state.

 

 

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MORE HOMES…NO BUSES?

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Hambledon residents have until this weekend to write in support of the village’s threatened bus service, the 503. The consultation period ends on Monday (March 14th) at 9am.

Surrey County Council, which subsidises the 503 and other rural bus routes, wants to hear the views of villagers before making a final decision on the fate of the service. It is reviewing all bus routes in the county as it looks to make cuts to its budget.

Details of the Local Transport Review can be found at https://www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-directorate-programme-group/ltr

Hambledon Parish Council strongly opposes the proposal to axe the 503. It is asking Surrey County Council to reconsider the issue and perhaps look to amalgamate the service with the 523 Milford Hospital service, which is also under threat. With more than 100 new homes being built beside the hospital, and a proposal to build affordable homes at Lane End, Hambledon, the council believes Surrey County Council should examine how to better integrate the service before making a final decision.

Here is Hambledon Parish Council’s submission to the Surrey County Council review.

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HAVE YOUR SAY ON HAMBLEDON’S THREATENED BUS SERVICE

Surrey County Council has arranged a public walk-in session in Godalming to discuss the proposed changes to local bus services, including its intention to axe the 503, Hambledon’s only bus service.

It will take place next Friday (February 26) at the Crown Court car park where representatives of SCC and the operators Stagecoach will be in attendance on a bus. Residents can drop in at anytime between 10 am and 12 noon to discuss the proposed changes and to express their views.

SCC, faced with budget cuts, is looking to further reduce the subsidy it pays to bus operators to keep rural routes operating.  Some areas will see alterations or reductions but Hambledon will be hit hard because it is proposed to withdraw the 503 altogether.

A final decision will be made after the current period of consultation ends on March 14.  Hambledon Parish Council is opposing the scrapping of the 503, which it regards as a vital link for many, especially the elderly, to reach shops, banks and surgeries.

Residents who wish the service to continue are urged to make their views known. They can do so online at www.surreycc.gov.uk/transportreview or by phoning 0300 200 1003 to request a copy of the questionnaire to be sent to their home. Copies can also be obtained from libraries and council offices.

  • If you know of someone who will be affected by the withdrawal of the 503 who is unlikely to read this online story, please contact them and pass on details of the drop-in session and the public consultation.

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Possible Roadworks in Hambledon Road/Clockbarn from 15th Feb

As part of the resident-funded installation of broadband to Hydestile, Openreach and their contractors have been working hard this week in Home Farm Road, Busbridge, at the Crossroads and at Hydon Heath.
Technically there have been some challenges in Hambledon Road and an underground duct will need replacing – we are told there will be roadworks next week, and a possibility of emergency road closure of Hambledon Road (north of Clockbarn Lane).  This is because of the very narrow parts of Hambledon Road which prevent safe working.  The closure will be short notice and hopefully for a short time.   We have leveraged our good relationship with Surrey CC Highways to expedite matters and have been negotiating to reduce the inconvenience but safety trumps most arguments.  So please be understanding if you should encounter a Road Closed sign – it will be for a very valid reason.

More detail at www.GU8Superfast.co.uk

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Hambledon 503 Bus service under threat… again

Surrey County Council is proposing to axe the 503, Hambledon’s only bus service.

Having won a reprieve in 2012, once again the county council is making further spending cuts including the subsidy that keeps the 503 operating.

This time the village faces a big battle to keep its bus, even though the need for the service remains as great as ever.

If you want to comment on the proposal then please complete the Surrey Council questionnaire online at www.surreycc.gov.uk/transportreview or fill in a paper version available in libraries and local council offices.  Or you can request a copy in the post by calling 0300 200 1003. The deadline is Monday March 14.

SCC will then consider responses to the consultation and final proposals will be debated on May 24. The outcome will be announced in June and changes will come into effect in September.

If you care about the future of Hambledon’s bus, which provides the only public service link to shops/banks/surgeries in Milford, Godalming and Guildford then please take part in the consultation. SCC is suggesting the bus could be replaced by a dial-a-ride service.

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Many older residents in the village rely on the 503, which currently operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, twice in each direction.

A handful of residents join the bus in Hambledon and others board as it stops the in Manor Fields and Chapel Lane estates in Milford.

Because of its importance to these passengers, the Stagecoach-operated service is subsidised by Surrey County Council to keep it running. But continuing cuts in funding to local authorities by Central Government are taking their toll.

And this at a time when the need for public transport, and the energy and environmental savings it brings, could not be more important.

Additionally, an affordable housing development at Orchard Farm is currently under consideration. The 503 starts on its doorstep at Lane End. The bus also travels close to the new 100-homes development off Tuesley Lane. Continue reading

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Winter Weather Precautions for Hambledon

A major cut of trees close to power lines was completed this year by Scottish and Southern Energy in an effort to reduce the frequency of electricity supply disruption to Hambledon.

SSE has also upgraded and refurbished power lines into the village and promised better communications in the event of outages.

Nevertheless, it is wise to take precautions in a rural area that has suffered from extensive power failures in recent years, usually caused by trees and branches falling onto cables during high winds.

003SSE has provided the Parish Council with a quantity of telephones that do not require a power supply to work, wind-up radios, battery-operated magnetic lamps, safety lightsticks, compact foil blankets and heat packs for warming cold hands.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from any of these items they are available free for collection from the village shop.

It is important to remember that many modern phones require power to operate so a stand-by phone that simply requires a connection to the telephone line is an essential.

Stock up on batteries for torches and radios.

In extreme weather electricity and telephone lines may fail as may mobile phone networks.  Snow or fallen trees can isolate the village. Although such an outcome is rare it has happened. The Parish Council has an emergency plan in place to help cope with such an event.

It is worth remembering that the phone kiosk at the village shop will continue to work in a power failure. The pay phone no longer accepts coins but you can dial 999 for free. You can also dial 100 for the operator to make reverse charge calls.

If you, or someone you know, may be considered vulnerable during a power cut, you can register with SSE’s Priority Services Register on 0800 294 3259. There is a leaflet in the shop explaining this service.

The following telephone numbers and addresses should be kept handy.

SSE – Scottish and Southern Energy (power cuts and emergencies): 0800 072 7282.

Surrey County Council (for on-line updates and advice): www.surreycc.gov.uk/winter.

Latest travel information: https://twitter.com/SurreyTravel

Waverley Borough Council: For general information, refuse collections etc, go to www.waverley.gov.uk adding the word weather to the search bar if your inquiry relates to this issue. Also, for latest news and emergency updates from the borough go to www.twitter.com/waverleybc

Radio updates will be broadcast on BBC Surrey on 104.6FM and on Eagle on 96.4FM

Hambledon village website will also carry updates: www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk

In the village, the Hambledon Emergency Team is:

Stewart Payne – 07831 393561, Tim Coleman – 07838 763767, and Nick Watson – 07770 553686

In the event of severe disruption and communication failure the emergency team will be on hand around the village, centred at the village shop.

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Superfast Broadband – Equal Access for All

Superfast broadband is being rolled out across the country, primarily by BT Openreach but in Hambledon’s case assisted by government via Surrey County Council. Superfast, with its new fibre optic cabling to roadside cabinets, enables far greater broadband internet speeds for those residents that take up the superfast fibre service.

Superfast is becoming important to many residents. As more devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions connect to the internet, the speed of the line is critical. In addition, lack of superfast broadband is impacting house prices as buyers are increasingly checking broadband speeds before buying properties.

There is good news for those of us on the Wormley (01428) exchange who live within about 1.8kms of BT’s cabinet 6 (at the A283/Lane End crossroads). Those Hambledon residents have a choice to sign up for superfast broadband today – simply contact your internet service provider to upgrade immediately. The monthly cost is about the same as the older service. BUT there are a number of villagers on the 01428 exchange who are too far away from the cabinet to be able to receive superfast.

The Parish Council is therefore asking all villagers to complete the following “Expression of Interest” form so that it can quantify those who already can – but in particular those who currently cannot – benefit from superfast. This information will assist it in lobbying BT and Surrey County Council which is shortly going to carry out a review to ascertain how to connect the “hard-to-reach” properties and enable all villagers to receive superfast.

Responding to the “Expression of Interest” does not mean that you have to take up the service. It puts no obligation on anyone but it could help determine future needs and benefit many villagers.

Superfast Broadband in Hambledon

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 18.41.44In 2012 Surrey County Council awarded a contract to BT to ensure a superfast broadband service to all Surrey residents and businesses.  Those living adjacent to the Hydestile Crossroads have already discovered that there are limits to the coverage;  but it was hoped that the up-grading of the BT cabinet at the A283/Lane End Crossroads at the end of 2013 would enable everyone with an 01428 telephone number to connect to superfast.

Yet again this is not delivering in practice and a group of concerned residents is therefore trying to create a picture of where the service drops off.

To enable the group to put pressure on Superfast Surrey to install another cabinet to serve those on the edges of the village (excluding Hydestile/Feathercombe Lane which are being dealt with by a separate campaign) data is needed from as many residents as possible to create a picture of available speeds.  In theory, those living within 2 km. of the Lane End cabinet should be able to access superfast but not all of them can and those living outside that radius almost certainly cannot.

Some villagers will have already received an e-mail from Louise Rhodes asking them to carry out speed tests.  If you have not heard from her, do please get in touch (louiseerhodes@aol.com) so that she can let you know how to do the tests.  The more information she receives, the more likely it is that Hambledon will get good superfast coverage – and remember, even if you don’t want superfast, your successors certainly will!

Jane Woolley, Hambledon Parish Council Clerk

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Superfast Broadband – for those haven't got it… yet

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 17.12.32Update from Webmaster, Paul Osborne.

Superfast broadband should be covering all of Surrey by now – that was the ambition of Surrey County Council back in 2014 – with promises of 99.7% being able to get 15Mbps or above.    That promise had a caveat that wasn’t mentioned by Surrey Council… that they aim to enable only cabinets –  not all residents‘ homes.  Those living more than 2km from a cabinet won’t be getting Superfast. That leaves large numbers of residents of Surrey discovering that they can’t get Superfast broadband and there is no plan for them to be enabled in the immediate future.  In our area there are homes to the East (Vann) and North of Hambledon (Merry Harriers area) that are beyond 2km from the cabinet on the Petworth Road – Superfast Surrey (Surrey County Council) say they are reviewing this (see letter below).  Areas of Milford are also excluded.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 15.07.02Residents of Feathercombe, Hydestile and Hydon Heath are also too far from their cabinets and specifically excluded from Surrey CC intervention.  Those residents have clubbed together to pay Openreach a substantial amount to install new cabinets to bring the promised Superfast to those hamlets… in Spring 2016.  Their self-funded superfast project website is here: www.GU8Superfast.co.uk

So the Surrey CC dream is not quite reality.  There is a faint glimmer of hope for those left behind. Surrey County Council have announced their OMR (Open Market Review) – a plan to see who is left behind without Superfast capability.   One could ask how they commissioned many millions of pounds worth of broadband expenditure without knowing the scope of their intervention.

In response to one of our determined residents, Superfast Surrey sent this letter below. That resident also urges everyone to spend 30 seconds filling in the form to tell Openreach that they haven’t got Superfast capability: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/faq/contact-us-form.aspx

Surrey County Council has now finished the main phase of its Superfast Surrey Broadband programme to bring fibre broadband to those areas in the county not included in commercial roll outs.
In December 2014 it was decided that before any further decisions could be made with regards to the outcome of slow speeds review, the Superfast Surrey team had to focus on the completion of the main phase of the contract and identify options for using any remaining funds to enable a decision to be made on the future scope of the programme.
Options were developed that not only acknowledged Openreach’s analysis of premises with slow speeds in the Superfast Surrey deployment area but also took into account feedback from residents and businesses in the commercial rollout area that were not covered by the fibre network or who were on slow speeds.

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Bus Review – What Parish Is Doing To Keep The 503

The consultation period for Surrey County Council’s Local Transport Review has ended and the authority is now considering the future of subsidised rural bus routes, including the 503 Hambledon service.

Details of the review process can be found here – https://www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-directorate-programme-group/closed-copy-of-ltr

As part of the consultation Hambledon Parish Council made a submission in support of retaining the village’s only bus service, which is operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by SCC. Here is what the council said.

alt“Hambledon Parish Council is grateful for the opportunity to comment on the Local Transport Review following the request by Surrey County Council for feedback from stakeholders.

The Parish Council is aware of the pressures faced by SCC with regard to funding and the need to review spending.

However, it urges SCC to ensure that Hambledon’s only bus service, the 503, remains in operation as it is a vital means of transport for a number of our more vulnerable residents, mostly elderly, living alone and without cars. (It also hopes for the retention, as a daily service, of the 71.)

Please consider this: Hambledon is a small rural village. It has a community store, but otherwise no shops, no banks, no supermarkets and no doctor or dentist surgeries. None of the above are within practical walking distance. To access any of these residents must use a car, or the bus.

The 503 only operates three days a week, twice in each direction.  This means it cannot be used by commuters or schoolchildren. So its passenger numbers are inevitably limited and this must be taken into account when assessing its financial viability. Continue reading

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Household Waste – Surrey County Council Wants Your Views

altSurrey County Council is seeking the views of residents on how it can better manage waste and recycling services.

In a statement it said: “Dealing with the huge amount of waste generated in Surrey homes is the challenging and costly job undertaken by the Surrey Waste Partnership, which is made up of Surrey County Council and the 11 district and borough councils in the county.

Surrey’s Plan For Waste Management outlines what we do with the county’s waste. On a regular basis we take a fresh look at the plan and update it to make sure we’re continuing to manage waste in the best, most cost effective way.

To help with this year’s update we need you to tell us how we can help you reduce, reuse and recycle more of Surrey’s waste.”

To find out more, and to complete the questionnaire (before October 12, 2014) please use the following link:

https://www.surreysays.co.uk/ei-waste-development-team/waste-plan-residents-survey

 

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Hambledon Broadband not as far reaching as we were led to believe

Residents with phone: Wormley 01428 …
A number of residents of North Hambledon on the Wormley exchange have contacted me – they should be able to get superfast broadband Infinity now that Wormley upgrade to fibre is complete, as promised by Superfast Surrey (Surrey CC). However residents are gradually discovering, one by one, that they won’t get super fast broadband at all.  This is mainly for people 1.5km beyond cabinet 6 on the Petworth Road on the edge of Hambledon.  This means anyone near the Merry Harriers or North of there, or outlying areas such as Vann will not ever get super fast.

My message to residents in such a situation is to contact me Email me  and I’ll happily put you in contact with others in similar position.  My advice is also to contact the Superfast Surrey Team and ask in strong terms: “where’s my Superfast? – you promised 99.7% of Surrey would be covered?”   The person to contact is the Senior Digital Officer Lucie Glenday.  She will delegate but in my experience all her team are not empowered to answer questions other than the FAQ on their website – which don’t tell us anything new.  They say there is a review going on, but one could ask why they did not anticipate so many people were not covered by their Superfast plans that requires them to have an additional review. (we calculate over 2000 in SE Godalming alone). Their website also says they plan to develop alternative solutions for the excluded residents.   I have yet to get anything tangible from them to qualify exactly what Superfast Surrey consider as an alternative.  As of July, they have no alternative solution.
Contact Surrey CC:    lucie.glenday@surreycc.gov.uk

Paul Osborne, Webmaster and part of Cabinet 26 Campaign

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Superfast Community Action is a success

Our First Success!

Following our intervention, Openreach recently agreed that they will fibre upgrade street cabinet no.26 at the junction of Rake Lane and Station Lane. This is a complete reversal of their earlier decision not to do so. It has undoubtedly been achieved because of the strong resident support that we received, with over 90% of the 140 Enton/Rake Lane area households and businesses who will now benefit having signed up to our campaign.  Community power does work. We are thankful too for support from Peter Martin, Deputy Leader of Surrey County Council.

So what now?

There are a further 80 households and businesses currently served by cabinet 26 that are simply too far from it to benefit from the upgrade when it happens later this year. In addition, there are another 59 properties served by street cabinet 48 (located towards Busbridge, and which is already fibre-enabled), that have seen no benefit. Properties beyond about 1.5 to 2 km from their street cabinet see little or no advantage from fibre upgrade as any speed benefits are lost on the final “journey” from the street cabinet to the front door as data passes along copper or aluminium wire.

Our campaign focus is getting a solution for these 139 households/businesses spanning 13 different GU8 post codes. So far, we have an average of 68% of those households/businesses signed up to our campaign. This is a significant achievement but we are making efforts to increase it.

Where are we with BT/Openreach?

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Bus Stops return to Hambledon Road

Bus stop signs and timetables have been reinstated along the route of Hambledon’s 503 bus service.

Only long-standing residents knew where the village bus stops were located following removal of the post and flags over the years. Earlier this year Hambledon Parish Council requested that the signs be reinstated as part of an initiative to raise the profile of the 503 service that links the village with Milford, Godalming and Guildford.

After a visit by Surrey County Council engineers it was agreed that three posts and flags would be re-erected; outside the Village Hall, beside the Merry Harriers and at the bus shelter at the Hydestile Crossroads (pictured below).

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