Hambledon Parish Council has held talks with Surrey County Council highways engineers and Surrey Police road safety officers in order to press home its case for measures to reduce the speed of traffic through the village.
At the same time, it also raised concerns about road safety at the Hydestile Crossroads and along the narrow Salt Lane and Marwick Lane, already a rat-run and likely to become even more of a danger if and when the approved new homes are built at Dunsfold Aerodrome.
It emerged that Hambledon is unlikely to get a 20mph speed limit through its centre – which some villagers have been asking for – as neither Surrey County Council or Surrey Police have any evidence that speeding is a problem. And they do not have data to indicate injury accidents have occurred with any frequency.
Nevertheless, the parish council stated that there was anecdotal evidence to indicate speeding was an issue. The outcome of the meeting was that speed data recorders will be temporarily installed at key locations along Hambledon Road to measure traffic speed.
However, the council was warned that this exercise may demonstrate that there is no significant speeding in the village, despite perceptions. And severe budget restraints may limit or exclude any steps that could be taken to implement traffic calming.
It was also suggested that Hambledon could consider implementing its own community speed watch. Police would provide villagers with approved speed detection devices. Drivers of vehicles caught speeding are sent warning letters.
The council has been investigating whether a 20mph speed limit could be introduced in the centre of the village, and in particular in the narrow section outside the Merry Harriers pub and the village nursery school, both of which have expressed support for traffic calming measures.
Parish councillors Mary Grove and Stewart Payne secured a meeting with Surrey County Council and Surrey Police. Only SCC has the authority to approve road changes and reduce speed limits, and only Surrey Police can enforce the limits.
The meeting took place on Tuesday (February 26th) and was attended by Adrian Selby, senior SCC highways engineer, Graham Cannon from Surrey Police road safety traffic management office and PC Steve Milford, casualty reduction officer. Councillors Grove and Payne and Julie Fleney, parish clerk, showed them around the village and highlighted areas of specific concern.
Mr Selby had previously written to the parish council stating it was “extremely unlikely” that Hambledon would meet the criteria for lowering the current 30mph limit in the village centre. He also stated that SCC data did not indicate that any “particular safety problem exists” and that he was not able to recommend any engineering measures such as changes to road surfacing or road narrowing.
Despite this, Hambledon Parish Council has persisted and the meeting provided an opportunity to show SCC officers around the village and to discuss its concerns face-to-face. Continue reading