Police witness appeal to crash in Chobham between two HGV’s

Message from Surrey Police Community Volunteer, David Howie about Surrey Police appealing for witnesses after a man was taken to hospital with serious injuries in Chobham.

Officers were called to the A319, between the Clappers Lane junctions, at 3.30am on 13 September after two HGVs were in collision.  One of the drivers was trapped in his vehicle, he was then freed and taken to St. George’s Hospital by ambulance. The driver of the second vehicle was uninjured.  Police worked alongside SECamb, Surrey Fire & Rescue and the Air ambulance, the road was fully open by 8.30am.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call Surrey Police on 101 quoting reference number P17232359.

Highways England state the M3 ‘Smart’ motorway is now open. Well, not entirely

The BBC reports that the 13.4 mile stretch of ‘smart’ motorway on the M3 from junction 2 to 4a is now open. Good news. Local residents have survived years of dislocation.

The BBC’s report and Highways England report say that there remains some work to complete the managed motorway project, such as testing the signals, and construction of the Woodlands Lane Bridge.

Forgive me for being a cynic. When the BBC reports,

Pranav Devale, project manager for Highways England, said the upgrade to the motorway has been completed on time.

and then in the same article says,

The 50mph speed restriction will be lifted and all four lanes will operate at 70mph in normal conditions once testing is complete, a spokesman for Highways England said. The testing phase is expected to last for up to three weeks.

and then through looking at the Highways England status report of the project, HERE, reveals the project isn’t yet finished, with ongoing road, and lane closures. Here’s one part of the report.

M3 eastbound within J3 | Eastbound | Road Works
Location : The M3 eastbound between junctions J3 and J2 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 3 July 2017 to 7 July 2017. Schedule : From 20:00 on 7 July 2017 to 07:00 on 8 July 2017. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 05:30 from 17 July 2017 to 20 July 2017. Schedule : From 20:00 on 20 July 2017 to 07:00 on 21 July 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Note the final words, all lanes will be closed. I know the project won’t have overrun by much. Better to be honest and admit the slight overrun.

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.

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.

Annual road maintenance survey for 2017 finds further decline in local road network

The 22nd Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey is published on 28th March 2017. I’ve followed this annual survey on the state of our roads for many years. We don’t seem to be making much of an impression on the road repair backlog.

Alan Mackenzie, Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), comments on the Local Government Association’s statement on 2017 potentially becoming a tipping point for local roads:

“Prolonged under investment, coupled with wetter winters, increased traffic and an ageing network, means that the resilience of our local roads is at a low point. Clearing the maintenance backlog is impossible without a significant increase in funding.”

“The fact remains that our local road network receives only a fraction of the funding allocated to the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and this disparity needs to be tackled proactively if further decline is to be prevented.”

The 2017 survey report contains plenty of data to digest. Here’s the table of the key findings from the report, click on image to expand.

Work fully underway to replace Woodlands Lane bridge

I’m sure you’ll know of the unfortunate saga about Woodlands Lane Bridge – a couple of my reports HERE and HERE. The bridge was demolished in November 2016, adding to traffic congestion on local roads. The planned re-opening of a new bridge is advertised as being in the Winter of 2017/18.

It maybe that you’ve missed seeing, on the M3, there’s work underway to replace the bridge. Below is my photo of the work, taken today. Subsequently, I visited the Balfour Beatty site on New Road to enquire as to when the work would be completed. See the latest Highways England progress report on the bridge replacement.

The answer  I received was they are hoping to complete by the end of 2017, perhaps might extend into January 2018 if things don’t go to plan. A key part of the work to be completed is to erect a bridge support pier in the central reservation.

The good news is that work on the replacement of the bridge is progressing, as it should be. Looks like it’ll end up as only 14 months without a bridge – still far too long.

Response to petitions for increase in parking spaces in Lightwater

shlocal-committeeAt the Thursday evening – 2nd March – meeting of the Surrey Heath Local Area Committee, held at St Lawrence School in Chobham, the committee noted the response to the petitions from Surrey Highways.

I know the response below was in the committee agenda, which many of you will have read. I just thought you’d want to know that this response was agreed by the committee, without objection.

SUMMARY OF ISSUE: The Local Committee received two signed petitions by local residents requesting the Local Committee provide additional parking spaces in Lightwater. One of the petitions read “To ask Surrey County Council to investigate the viability and options to increase the number of parking spaces in Lightwater Village Centre”.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The Local Committee (Surrey Heath) is asked to note: (i) Residents of Lightwater have met with Officers and Members of Surrey County Council with a proposal to increase the amount of parking in Lightwater centre. (ii) The proposal was reviewed and determined to have a substantial cost implication that cannot be met by the Local Committee in the current financial climate. (iii) Surrey County Council Parking Team will review introducing time limited parking bays within the highway limit during the next Surrey Heath parking review.

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS: The proposals reviewed by Surrey Highways Officers included works on private land and conversion of footway into carriageway. Both aspects of the proposal have significant financial implications that cannot be considered by the Local Committee at the current financial situation. However, it was agreed that introducing time limited bays at certain points would encourage a regular turnover of vehicles in the centre.