Camberley Society’s Public Meeting with Surrey Heath Council on its development plans

The Camberley Society is always keen to promote a Surrey Heath residents perspective on Surrey Heath Borough Council’s development plans.

To which end, the Society has arranged a public meeting with borough council officers and councillors in the Council Chamber at 7.0 pm on Monday 26th June 2017. The key topics the Society is concerned about include:

  • Proposed developments in the town centre and the Mall
  • Forthcoming road improvements
  • Camberley’s rail service
  • Frimley Health proposals for health and care

M3 motorway closures cause absolute mayhem

I hadn’t thought to report on our journey home on the M3 on Wednesday evening this week. Arriving at J4a at around 10.0pm, and around 10 minutes from home we were diverted off the motorway. Silly of us for not remembering that the motorway would be closed for overnight road works.

It’s happened to us before, and we’ve chosen to return via Fleet and Farnbourgh – a longish diversion. This time we decided to try the A30 diversion. Big mistake. The A30 and the Meadows roundabout was almost total gridlock. Squeezing through the traffic we found the route, back to Lightwater, via the Portsmouth Road past Frimley Park Hospital was accomplished in 40 minutes, not the less than 10 were the M3 to be open.

Why recall this typical M3 story, well, because again the M3 is closed for the whole weekend, from 9.opm Friday 16 June until 5:30am Monday 19 June. Local roads will be a nightmare.

Message from Highways England M3 Closure

We will be closing the M3 at two locations this weekend in order to carry out critical works.

The M3 junction 2 link road from the M25 junction 12, clockwise and anticlockwise, to the M3 southbound will be closed for a full weekend from 9.0pm Friday 16 June until 5:30am Monday 19 June in order to install a new drainage system and low noise surfacing.

In addition we will be closing the M3 between junctions 3 and 4 in both directions overnight in order to carry out low noise re-surfacing works, between 8.0pm and 7.0am on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June and between 10.0pm and 5.30am Sunday 18 June.

These closures are weather dependent and subject to successful safety checks.

Diversion routes for these  will be clearly signposted throughout the duration of the closure.

We advise all motorists to plan ahead, consider alternative routes if possible and allow extra time for their journeys.

How is the Waterloo station upgrade progressing?

When I travelled to Waterloo Station this week and viewed the ongoing work to create 5 new temporary platforms in the former Waterloo International Terminal, I wondered whether they’ll meet their target to have the new platforms ready for August 5th.

That’s only 11 weeks way, and there appears to be lots of work still to do. It’s only through the photos I’ve taken since last September that I’ve come to this conclusion – an erroneous view it may well be. I don’t like being negative, but can’t help thinking it a tight target. Here are a couple of my photos, on the left, my from March 21st this year, and the second from May 15th. [click on photos to expand – also my February article this year has the links to Network Rail information on the upgrade]

Surrey Heath Borough Council’s update on Camberley Town Centre developments

Surrey Heath Borough Council update on Camberley Town centre projects, [click on images to expand]

Exciting progress has been made in crucial Camberley Town Centre projects over recent months.

  • The Mall, Camberley
  • Following the Council’s purchase of The Mall last year, work is now underway to begin updating and transforming the shopping centre. Haskoll have been appointed as architects to oversee an exciting refurbishment scheme, and designs are being finalised for the interior. The work will be phased, with the first phase starting in mid-summer in Grace Reynolds Walk, followed by The Square, then other parts of the centre. In the meantime repainting of the roof has already begun as part of the work to brighten up the shopping centre.

    Changes are also underway to the branding, with a temporary website already available (, and further work is underway to improve the marketing of the shopping centre both to customers and potential retailers when it is relaunched later in the year.

  • Ashwood House, Pembroke Broadway
  • As previously announced, Berkeley Homes has been appointed as developer of the site. The upper floors of the building will be transformed into high quality residential accommodation, comprising around 100 flats, subject to planning permission.

    A planning application is due to be submitted in June 2017 following public consultation, with the aim of starting on site at the end of the year.

  • Public spaces in Princess Way and the High Street 
  • Plans for improvements to the ‘public realm’ and amenity areas have progressed with surveys of services and ground levels in the High Street completed. Design work is underway, with public consultation to begin shortly on ideas for changing these areas of the town.

  • London Road Block
  • Consultants have been appointed to undertake feasibility work for the new development and submit an outline planning application by the end of 2017.

  • Pembroke House, Frimley Road
  • As with Ashwood House, Berkeley Homes has been appointed as developer for this scheme, which has the potential to offer around 25 flats and ground floor retail space, subject to planning permission. It will provide affordable housing for local people and retail space for Camberley’s businesses.
    A planning application is due to be submitted in June 2017 following public consultation, with work on site aiming to commence at the end of the year.

    In another significant development, SHBC have appointed Paul Ramshaw in a new role, Head of Investment & Development. Paul’s previous roles include Head of Regeneration and Planning Policy at Eastleigh Borough Council. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive, he will head up a new team, including an applications planner, procurement officer, accountant and lawyer, to deliver the Council’s property acquisition and development plans.

    Paul said: “I am delighted to be joining Surrey Heath at an exciting time in terms of property acquisition and development, and look forward to helping drive forward the regeneration of Camberley Town Centre as one of our key priorities.” SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan said: “As can be seen, our work continues to make Camberley an even better place to live, work and enjoy. We look forward to making announcements about further significant plans and developments in the near future.”

Reporter in Wonderland riding the Tube

Having spent time, though must say not recently, I’ve seen the aging infrastructure in America – mostly with their bridges and railways. It contrasts with their world leading position in science and technology. Oh, and the two other things we’re hopeless at, and at which, in my opinion, they excel: public address systems and air conditioning.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the New York Times has published this article – New York City Transit Reporter in Wonderland: Riding the London Tube.

The Evening Standard finds that Londoners baffled by New York Times article branding the Tube a ‘wonderland’ that ‘runs like clockwork’.

The 34 and 35 bus routes from Camberley to Guildford thru Lightwater

Having the 34 and 35 bus routes pass through Lightwater is a huge convenience. Though bus travel is a rarity for me, I’ve found the 34 and 35’s connection between Lightwater and Woking Station handy on occasions. The changes to the bus routes in Surrey seem not to have made much difference in Lightwater – only slight changes.

Thought you might like the map of the routes of the 34 and 35 buses. Their timetable is HERE.

Difference between road surface delamination and a pothole

My earliest blog articles, in March 2007, were about potholes. I think I’ve written well over over 30 on potholes and roads.

I learned quickly how to identify a pothole and a road surface delamination. Both make for uncomfortable driving. Obviously potholes are the more serious, especially for motorbikers or cyclists. I can’t find the definition of a pothole on the Surrey County Council website. I think I once found out the definition on their website – greater than 3 deep and six inches wide.

More common is road surface delamination. This is where layers of the road surface are worn away. The Maultway in Heatherside currently has large areas of delamination.

Yesterday, in Lightwater, I drove over a potholes in Guildford Road and delaminated surface in Briar Avenue. It’s not just Lightwater suffering, it’s everywhere, as the latest Annual Road Maintenance survey shows. Here are my photos of the potholes and delamination. I’ve yet to report the potholes, which is an easy process. I’ve just got to get round to do it.