Better late than never, my Surrey Heath Local Committee report on highways issues

Surrey Heath Local Committee membersYes, yes, I know the goings on at the Surrey Heath Local Committee don’t figure on the radar of many people in the borough – perhaps it does for political geeks, councillors, and activists. It certainly does for campaigners on road safety, traffic volumes, and car parking.

Pretty much the whole meeting was about campaigns on road safety, traffic, pedestrian crossings, parking; all things connected with highways. I’ve already reported on my disappointment about the delay in re-surfacing Ambleside Road in Lightwater. This report is about all the other issues. Firstly the questions raised in the public question time, and then the agenda items,

  • Problems for residents and traffic caused by inconsiderate car parking around Bagshot Station, raised by June Green of the Bagshot Society.
  • Inconsiderate car parking along Freemantle Road in Bagshot associated with staff of businesses in Windlebrook House.
  • Need for management of traffic queues at junctions on The Avenue and Heatherley Road in Camberley, raised by Murray Rowlands.
  • Request for reduction of the speed limit to 30 mph on the A322 as it passes through Bisley, raised by Hester Clarke and supported by councillors on Bisley Parish Council.
  • Criticism of the provision for cyclists in Surrey Heath, raised by David Chesneau.

Next were the replies to written public questions and petitions,

  • Reduction of the traffic speed limit to 30mph on the A322 as it passes through West End, and the re-siting and upgrade of the pedestrian crossing by the Inn at West End. A petition was presented at the previous meeting by Mrs Tina Roberts. The Surrey Highways response is to raise the traffic speeds with Surrey Police, and to consider issues around the traffic signals in a later detailed report.
  • Issues of safety of children entering and leaving Pine Ridge Infant School subsequent to changes made by the school new ‘main entrance’. Surrey Highways response recommends the adoption by the school of a school travel plan, and that the head teacher reconsiders re-opening the school entrances on a trial basis.

Finally, there were the agenda items,

  • Petition for improved traffic calming and a pedestrian crossing on Kingston Road, Old Dean. Surrey Highways response is to carry out an assessment in the first term of the new academic year.
  • ‘Keep Bagshot Moving’ petition requesting a yellow box junction between London Road and Station Road in Bagshot. Surrey Highways response is to consider this in the wider review of the A30 traffic signals in Bagshot.
  • Sturt Road Bridge flooding. Success in getting Network Rail to maintain drainage for the first time in 25 years or more.
  • A petition to link the traffic signals on the A30 at the junctions of Waterers Way and Yaverland Drive in Bagshot. Surrey Highways response is that signal timings are to be adjusted in October.
  • A petition to implement safety measures to Middleton Road and Upper Park Road Bridge. Surrey Highways response assesses the signage and markings as adequate, though issues of overgrown vegetation will be addressed.

Still keen on Highways issues – then why not attend an evening public meeting on Highways issues in surrey Heath at Camberley Theatre on 21st July, at which the A30 bus lane will be discussed.

Talking to a young Greek man in London is instructive

Greek collateralGreece, its islands, Greek culture, and cuisine are among my favourites, with moussaka, baklava, taramasalata, tzatziki, pitta bread, and feta cheese, all irresistible to my palate. So, I’m favourably inclined towards Greece.

When in London last Friday I got talking to a young Greek man. It was an instructive conversation. He said that politics in Greece is polarised, between left and right wing parties, and also that conversations between peoples of differing views is hardly ever amicable, as it generally is here in the UK.

Most surprising was his admission of Greek political and economic naivety. Saying that there’s little understanding of economics in Greece, while also admitting that Greece and the Greek people spent to much, without thinking of the consequences when they entered the Eurozone.

I asked him about his family, and were they Ok? He said yes, they’re fine. His father is a well-regarded tailor. This allowed me to offer, with courtesy, my solution. That is to exit the Eurozone, reschedule/write down their debt, take the pain – which will hurt, and then seek to attract inward investment to rebuild the Greek economy taking advantage of a low unit labour cost. Sounds easy, I know. But I can’t see any other way. Oh, by the way. They’ve got to learn how to collect taxes.

For the Eurozone leaders to agree to pumping more money into Greece, and to lower their debt burden will only postpone the final solution, which is to set themselves free of the Euro straitjacket.

As ever Fraser Nelson in the Spectator is worth a read on the Greek Crisis.

Hat tip: Oh dear, I forget where I found this cartoon. Wherever, hope they don’t mind my using it.

Fun, sun, and entertainment at Royal Logistic Corps open day

The Royal Logistic Corps’ open day at Deepcut is always good fun. For us, it’s the chance to chat with soldiers, and enjoy their company, while also watching them have fun too.

As the open days are outdoor events, it helps to have good weather. On Saturday it was a lovely sunny day. The buttons and medals on dress uniforms always look better in the sunshine.

Highlights of the day were; a pork and rice curry from the 10 Queens Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment; the tug-of-war competition; and the Fire Power Display of the 13th Air Assault Regiment; and sitting in a DUKW, the RLC Museum’s latest addition to its vehicle collection.

Here’s a short video of some of the day’s events, and also a photo montage.


Really interesting to see images of the broken Egham water main repair

I’ve not commented on the major water main failure and consequent water shortages in the six Surrey Heath villages, or in the neighbouring boroughs all served by Affinity Water’s Egham water treatment plant.

My reason was that it was well covered by other information sources, and also in that Surrey Heath had declared it an emergency, and were looking after the needs of the most vulnerable people in the borough.

Loss of water supply is a serious issue. Effective communication about actions to resolve the issue is as serious. Affinity Water’s communications via social media, and through their website, were relayed by Surrey Heath, numerous councillors, and concerned residents. Though I’ve not studied Affinity Water’s information output in detail, I’ve the impression that has been effective.

The images of the repair posted on Affinity Water’s website given a clear indication of the difficulty of the repair. I don’t imagine that many people had any idea of what was involved. To the extent that it might’ve been advantageous to provide these images, and a detailed description of the stages of the work, at an earlier stage.

Whatever. Looks like engineers worked hard to fix the broken main. It would be interesting to know the cause of the break.

Most disappointing, promised road repair in Lightwater severely delayed

At yesterday evening’s Surrey Heath Local Area Committee meeting I asked about the likely date for repair of Ambleside Road in Lightwater.

The answer was disappointing. No, it was not going to be re-surfaced any time soon, even though it has long been promised to be done in June 2015.

Why did I attend the meeting. Good question, these meetings aren’t what you’d call exciting, nor popular. I attended the previous meeting this year on 12th March, and asked about the repair of Ambleside Road under Project Horizon. So, when nothing happened on the promised date for the work to begin, I thought it was still my duty to ask why. Here’s the extract of the minutes of the March meeting,

Surrey Heath Local Area Committee: 12 March 2015: Open Public Question Time

There were 13 members of the public present.

1. Tim Dodds, SHBC Councillor for Lightwater: “Ambleside Road is scheduled on the Operation Horizon list of works as due to be resurfaced this year will this happen?”

Reply from Andrew Milne, Highways Area Manager (NW): “Ambleside road is on the Operation Horizon schedule and it is anticipated that the work will commence soon.”

The reasons given for the delay are that Project Horizon was impossibly ambitious, funding for the project is difficult, and management of the project has been poor. Honest assessment yes. Project Horizon has two years left to run – so when will Ambleside Road be re-surfaced? No clue. Still not acceptable.

Oddly, the short stretch of Guildford Road between Lightwater Road and Ambleside Road is announced on road signs as being due for repair. I guess the money for this comes from a different budget.

RMA Sandhurst Company Sergeant Majors demonstrate marching with a pace stick

At the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst recent Heritage Day in June, four Company Sergeant Majors demonstrated marching with a pace stick.

We’ve enjoyed the smartness and precision of CSM’s at earlier Heritage Days we’ve attended, and HERE I reported in detail on pace sticking.

Here’s a short video of the CSM’s demonstrating marching with a pace stick.

Helping to bring together Belsize vintage car enthusiasts from Australia and England

My part in this lovely story is small, though important. I photographed a Belsize car at the 2014 Bisley Strawberry Fayre. It had recently been bought by Tim Price, a Bisley resident. and he was displaying it at the Fayre. I do try to add a description to my photos, which I hope adds a bit of interest to the photos.

It’s this little bit of added information that turned out to be valuable. Now, Belsize cars aren’t common, the manufacturer having going out of business in 1925. Alan Ray, a car restoration enthusiast in Australia, acquired a Belsize car in need of restoration, believing that there were only two in Australia, Alan looked for information and assistance from Belsize owners in the UK. Doing a Google image search, Alan saw my photo, which then led him to track down Tim Price, and eventually to arrange to meet him to see the car.

That meeting was this week. I met Alan Ray, and his charming wife Annie at Tim Price’s home in Bisley to see the Belsize car. I recorded this brief interview with them all.