Another accident on Red Road – cause for concern?

Recent changes to road safety along Red Road [B311] have included, repainting of the road markings, installation of additional hazard warning signs, cutting back of roadside vegetation, and most recently in the past few days the erection of 50 mph speed signs.

Red Road accidentSo, it can’t be said that the road lacks consideration about its need for road safety management. Heck, the amount of discussion about this at the Local Area Committee, and not least in this blog, is considerable.

So, what to do? Unfortunately the circumstances of each of the accidents is not made public. Therefore, it’s difficult for laymen to draw conclusions about whether its the nature of the road, or the lack of competence by drivers, that’s the key contributing factor. I guess a bit of both.

This latest accident, which occurred yesterday, appeared to be on the downward side of  Red Road hill, just prior to the large vehicle activated hazard warning sign instructing drivers to slow down.

Is the safety of Red Road a cause for concern? Of course. But what more can we do? That’s a question I’ll be seeking to answer by talking to Surrey County Highways, Police and road safety experts.

PS. Enter Red Road into the search box on the right if you’re keen to know more about what’s been written here on the topic.

19 thoughts on “Another accident on Red Road – cause for concern?

  1. “This latest accident, which occurred today, appeared to be on the downward side of Red Road hill, just prior to the large vehicle activated hazard warning sign instructing drivers to slow down.”

    Coming from Camberley or going toward it?


  2. Anyone who drives on UK motorways knows that messages on warning signs are usually out-of-date or just plain wrong. This must lead to a culture of ignoring the signs.

    Messages on cigarette packets have become more explicit over the years – we now accept that ‘Smoking kills’ is probably more effective than ‘Smoking may damage your health’. Yet we don’t take the same attitude towards road signs. Why not ‘Slow down or die’? Seriously.


  3. If the accident occurred coming from Camberley and before the vehicle activated sign, it happened on the “safe” side of the hill i.e. on the wide straight section well away from the S bends. None of the recent improvements you mention would be in play on this section and direction. So what could possibly be the cause?
    Excess speed is the easy suggestion but rarely the actual cause. If it happened early enough low sun could be a problem? I would also wager driver inattention, possibly compounded with poor visibility (low sun) is far more likely. Possible scenario – Distracted driver briefly looks away from the road ahead to deal with a ringing phone, spilling coffee, squabbling kids etc then looks up to see the car in front braking heavily (probably from a safe speed) because he/she has activated the sign. The legal limit is 50mph but the sign activates at 30mph!?! The distracted driver following loses control attempting to avoid the slowing traffic ahead crashing of the road.
    I.M.O. Camberley Society is correct that signs crying wolf lead to drivers ignoring them but I don’t believe that making them more “graphic” will help. As I’ve opined in responses to this blog before I think the recent revisions and improvements to this section of road were lazily thought-out and are poor. Competent drivers need to see and feel that the road section they’re travelling on is potentially dangerous and they will instinctively travel at a safe speed. Road signs indicating a safe speed limit are part of this as are road engineering (visibility, kerbs etc), road markings and lighting. The second of these was minimal while the latter two were not addressed with the latest “improvements”.
    Even if we’re not prepared to invest in the better road engineering, better driver training would help greatly. Specifically, retesting of drivers every 5(?) years, at their own cost, would ensure they are kept current with the rules, reminded of good driving practice and technique, and also reminded of the the dangers of poor driving.


  4. just unfortunate – an accident of which we have no details on a straight downhill section with no hazards … my neighbour was a few minutes behind and saw the occupant hanging out of the vehicle, but has no idea what occurred …. she certainly saw nothing untoward on the road ….


  5. The accident involved a 90 year old man, he wasn’t speeding, but unfortunately doesn’t remember what happened. The gentleman was not badly hurt, but, he will not be driving again.

    I believe the road could benefit for some lights at night-time, but as this accident occurred during the day I’m not sure what else can be done other than to lower the speed-limit.


  6. Thank you very much dumbblonde. Agreed, it’s unlikely the gentleman was speeding. Re lights, agreed also, accidents happen during the day. I can’t remember one happening at night. But maybe wrong here.


  7. Hmmm… so we’re allowed “unfortunate accidents” when speeding isn’t involved and yet still think lower speed limits (dumbblonde and timdodds) are the answer?
    I can’t argue that you’d have a smaller “accident” at lower speed but where do you draw the line. It’d be difficult to roll a car at 1mph, although driving in to a ditch would still do it, but then going everywhere at 1mph wouldn’t be much use to anyone.
    This may sound like I’m all for speeding, I’m really not but I am all for getting where I need to be, safely, in reasonable time.
    I don’t know the competence of the elderly driver in question but it sounds like there was some health, skill or competence gap. I believe drivers self certificate their competence beyond 70, every 5 years? Hardly the most reliable indicator of their real status. However in my experience age is no indicator of a drivers of competence.
    I saw Edwina Curry on “Loose Women” yesterday discussing her driving (in) competence. She features in an upcoming TV program about bad drivers. The panel and audience seemed to think her self confessed poor driving was funny… until she crashes into their son/daughter/husband/wife/brother/sister etc.
    ,I.M.O. slowing everyone down to walking pace is not the answer, better diving standards are, and ALL ages should be regularly tested.


  8. MarkC, I’m not for lowering the speed limit any further, as I don’t think speed is necessarily the issue with accidents on Red Road.


  9. I have lived in lightwater for 9 years now and every weekday i do the hair raising right turn to get out of lightwater onto the red road to go to work in farnborough. I have noticed over the years the traffic seems to be getting heavier and faster and therefore making it harder and harder and to get out. (I am talking about the road at the bottom, not macdonald road, the thought of turning right there fills me with dread) On thursday I spent a good 20 minutes just trying to get out and don’t even think about leaving lightwater between 5 and 7pm.. Do you think the council will ever put in either traffic lights or at least a roundabout there to help us get out safer?


  10. Dear Andrea – I too did that from 1990 to 2002 every day – using both MacDonald & Briar Road junctions. Ridiculous that they remain uncontrolled – esp compared to the three junctions on the Guildford road that benefitted a few years ago …

    We wont get two controlled junctions – so I think the focus has to be on the MacDonald Rd ‘life-in-ones-hands adventure’; lets keep lobbying Tim & Adrian Page (listen to his Podcast on the SH Residents site, where he specifically talks about a mini roundabout at the MR/RR junction to help manage traffic flow and speed) oh, and the very local to that junction CC – Stuart MacL, lest he feel left out of the accolades !


  11. The MacDonald Road//Red Road Junction is the one that should be prioritised for control as it has far worse sighting and is closer to the dangerous S bends. In fact this is what they should have implemented rather than the recent “improvements”.

    PLEASE let the control be via a roundabout rather than traffic lights though. The previously mentioned Guildford Road traffic light junctions have proved disasterous for traffic flow.

    I suspect that traffic lights at the Lightwater Road/Red Road Junction would turn a 20 minute wait into a 30 minuite wait!


  12. There are no traffic lights on the Lightwater section of the Guildford Rd ?

    I was referring to the mini-r’bouts on the Guildford Rd @ Lightwater Road, Broadway Road & Ambleside Road


  13. I am not so worried about the wait it is the worry of being hit in the side especially when you get someone over take someone else turning left into lightwater!


  14. Interesting to read of the Guildford Road/Broadway Road mini roundabout. It’s worth spending a little time watching the northbound traffic in the morning turning right into Broadway Road. I reckon 95% of the cars ignore the roundabout completely, effectively going the wrong way into the roundabout. If you’re driving south and have the timerity to enter the roundabout safely, you’ll find yourself cut up by a car coming at you on the wrong side of the road. And they reckon they’re in the right. This should be a give way, not a roundabout for absolute clarity.


  15. Good point.

    I think a lot of people have problems with 3-way r’bouts – cant seem to grasp that ‘give way to traffic coming from the right’ still holds true for straight ahead ie ‘logical’ right …

    If you follow me !


  16. I do!

    Incidentally, I’ve now logged three reports with Surrey Highways on this point over the last year and have got no response whatsoever. I’m not a pain in the whatisit, just someone who can see that this isn’t right and as a ratepayer would like to see it put right. It’s a poor design and not a challenging fix.


  17. Join the SHLAG !

    Campaign for #RedRoad Junction controls, and updates to Guildford Road junctions signposting to better indicate Priorities …..

    watch for campaign Posters and local promotions ……


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