Lightwater crash in the news

A serious traffic accident on the A322 Lightwater By-pass appears in BBC News. From the photo taken by Neil Toogood, – see below – it appears to have occurred at the crossover junction from the A322 into Guildford Road. This is a sad occurrence for the nine people involved, some seriously. Lightwater residents and others using the crossover will no doubt have witnessed near misses themselves.

Get Surrey has the story also.

Wide sight-lines at junctions improve traffic flow

It is a bold statement to make that wide sight-lines improve traffic flow.

My evidence for this is from observing the traffic flow at peak times at the junction of Red Road, the Maultway, and Upper Chobham Road in Camberley. These roads meet at a substantial traffic island.

All of the roads leading onto the traffic island have suffered from queues. Some road more so than others. There is available data on traffic flows, collected to assist in planning for the new housing at Mindenhurst in Deepcut. I’m not referencing that data here. My statement is from personal observation.

The road works at the island are significant, creating a filter lane from Red Road, turning left into the Maultway, and from the Maultway turning left into Red Road.

From my observations, and I stand to be corrected here by more regular users of the roads I mention, even with the ongoing road works and the dislocation that that causes, the traffic flows have improved, and traffic queues are less than before.

My conclusion is that the improved visibility at the island, from almost from all directions, is the main cause for the improvement. A significant number of trees and scrub has been removed, such that drivers now have a wider area of vision of the traffic. See my photos of the situation as of early yesterday evening. Click on images to expand.



Good news on the Maultway sarsen stone

Yesterday this little blog received over 1100 views. There were just two articles. The article on the sarsen stone, I believe, received almost all of those views, although I don’t have the exact records to show this.

It’s pleasing that so many residents are keen to know of the future of the sarsen stone in the roadside verge on the Maultway near the junction with Red Road.

I’ve learned of some good news on the future of the sarsen stone. A committee member of Surrey Heath Tree Wardens, who is in contact with the environmental manager at Skanska – the infrastructure developers of the Mindenhurst at Deepcut – learned about plans for the sarsen stone.

The good news is that Skanska is keen to find a suitable home for the sarsen stone. Wanting to protect the stone until the road construction is complete they intend to lift the stone and hold it in a safe place. One of their thoughts is to relocate the stone to be the centrepiece of the new island at the junction of the Maultway, Red Road, and Upper Chobham Road, or it could also be returned to the roadside verge after completion of the roadworks.

The good news is that the stone will be returned to close to where it is currently. I don’t have the information as to whether the stone has been previously moved. I doubt it, as it’s of a considerable size, with no knowledge as to how deeply it is buried. If it’s never been moved, then it’s been in that location for 10,000 years or more.

Update on road repairs and roadwork schemes in Surrey Heath

Helpfully, Surrey County Councillor Bill Chapman for Camberley East ward has provided an update on the road repairs and the roadwork schemes ongoing in Surrey Heath. His update covers the following,

  1.          Work at the junction of Red Road and The Maultway
  2.          Improvements to junction of Red Road and Macdonald Road, Lightwater
  3.          Repairs to A30 outside Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
  4.          Repairs to Church Hill / Upper Park Road, Camberley
  5.          Progress on the Meadows Roundabout
  6. Work on the A30 between Waitrose, Bagshot and the Jolly Farmer Roundabout

Work on A30 between Waitrose, Bagshot and Jolly Farmer Roundabout

This work is being carried out to install a cycle-path along the A30. There are a number of points which need to be made about the scheme:

The County Council’s dire financial situation has been widely noted and there is therefore very little money available directly from the Council to pay for roadworks.  A key point is that the cycle lane work is not being paid for out of Council Tax Payers money

As a condition of the development of the Wellington Park Estate money was set aside to fund improvements to local transport infrastructure to offset the additional traffic arising from the new homes that were built.  It is the remainder of this Developer’s money which is being used to install the cycle path.

But why a cycle path I hear you ask?  After all, it is true that there isn’t a great deal of cycling along the A30 at the moment.

However, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation in that the current lack of safe cycle paths acts as a deterrent to cycling.  Furthermore, it is highly probable that cycling will need to be encouraged more as we face up to the threats from climate change or depleted fossil fuel resources, whichever narrative you chose to believe.

For this reason Surrey Heath has developed a Cycling Plan which specifies a target for a network of cycle paths that we would wish to complete eventually.  The new cycle path will be one piece in the overall network, joining on as it does to the shared cycle and pedestrian pathway from the Jolly Farmer down to Camberley Town Centre and beyond  The intention is to fill in the most critical sections of the network as funding becomes available.

When agreeing to the work going ahead a key consideration for Local Councillors was that traffic should be disrupted as little as possible during the work. This has been made possible by the 3-lane width of the A30 along the stretch in question.

Work at the Junction of Red Road (B311) and The Maultway (B3015)

Modifications to the junction is one of the schemes to alleviate the traffic impact of the 1,200 new homes which will be built on the former Princes Royal Barracks site in Deepcut.

Work on the roads is usually funded and, more importantly, managed by Surrey County Council.  Surrey County Council provides good information to the public through the Council’s web-site.

However, the work at this junction is being funded and managed by the Developer and suitable information does not seem to be available at the moment.

I am trying to find some simple key information on when roads will have restricted capacity or be closed and for how long.  When I find out I will pass the information on.

Improvements to Junction of Red Road (B311) and Macdonald Road, Lightwater

This junction is recognised locally as being quite dangerous, particularly for vehicles turning right from Macdonald Road onto the Red Road.

Over the years there have been a number of changes made on the Red Road to improve safety at the junction, including reductions in the speed limit and provision of better warning signage.  There is no doubt that there has been a massive reduction in the number of serious accidents all along the Red Road and at the Macdonald Road junction in particular.

However, the Council has recognised that safety remains an issue at the junction and consequently has provided money from ring-fenced road safety funding to address the issue.   Anti-skid surfacing has recently been installed and some additional warning bollards have been provided.

Local Councillors will be continuing to monitor the situation and we will press for further improvements if necessary.  One problem that we will face if we need to press for further improvement arises from the way that the Police record accidents.

Only accidents in which someone is injured are recorded.  These data are then passed to the Council for use in deciding between road schemes competing for the very restricted funding that is available.  The weakness here is that it can be just a hairsbreadth of misjudgment between an accident in which no one is hurt and something really serious resulting in personal injury.

Therefore we intend to monitor as many as possible of the accidents that take place and, where it is safe to do so, to photograph the damage to vehicles.

Repairs to A30 London Road Outside RMAS, Camberley

The road outside the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on the A30 has been in a very poor state for some time with the County Council unable to carry repairs because of well known financial difficulties.

Money has now been found and the road is scheduled to be repaired between 18th and 26th of October.  Work will take place over 8 nights form 8 pm to 6 am and the A30 between Grand Avenue and Sparvel Way will be closed to traffic. Timescales could slip depending on weather conditions.

  • Repairs to Church Hill / Upper Park Road, Camberley

The road at this junction is very badly worn.  It is on the list of work to be completed but has not yet been scheduled precisely.

Progress on the Meadows Roundabout Improvements

Work is on schedule to be completed by April 2019.

The work to install a cycle path on the A331 a year ago was a complete debacle, causing severe traffic jams in the area.  As a consequence Local Councillors insisted that money be found so that the Meadows Roundabout improvements could be carried out overnight.

More information can be found on the web-site, including how to subscribe for regular email updates.

A clamour coming for other roads to be rebuilt

I promise, really, really promise that this is the last post on the Ambleside Road rebuild [….he hopes so].

Having yesterday driven down Ambleside Road, I’m pleased to report that it’s open, and the surface is a major improvement on what went before.

It’s highlighted to me, and no doubt to many other residents, the poor state of other roads in Lightwater, notably Macdonald Road. The clamour increases for rebuilding it too.

On street parking review 2018 proposals for Surrey Heath

Surrey County Council’s parking team has reviewed on-street parking in Surrey Heath. Their proposals are presented to the Surrey Heath Local Committee, who will decide on their adoption. Prior to the next committee meeting on Thursday, 4 October 2018 at 7.00 pm, venue to be announced, there’s a public consultation about the proposals which concludes on the 12th September. The review identified changes which would benefit road safety and reduce instances of obstruction and localised congestion.

The proposals can be viewed HERE, and your comments can be submitted online HERE.

I’m aware of many of the pressures in on street parking in the borough, obviously in Lightwater, but also in Bagshot. Councillors have been particularly vocal in most of the proposals, pressing for parking restrictions in Lorry Ridge, Bagshot, and Lightwater Road in Lightwater. Of all the maps in the review, I’ve selected one for Lightwater, which shows the Lightwater Road proposed restrictions, about which the parking team say,

From the roundabout junction with Guildford Road to the junction with Derwent Road, introduce double yellow lines on both sides of the street to maintain traffic flow and sightlines for through traffic, particularly on the bend in the vicinity of the Lakeview Care Home, which has resulted in a number of complaints from members of the public with regards to traffic flow and sightline obstruction. The long extent of the proposed double yellow lines is to manage displacement of these parked vehicles, to ensure that they do not simply move to another more hazardous part of Lightwater Road. The displacement of these vehicles will need to be monitored following installation of the restrictions.

The saga of Ambleside Road rebuild nears the end

This may well be my last article on the rebuilding of Ambleside Road in Lightwater, for in my visits on Tuesday and Wednesday this week I’ve noted significant progress.

On Tuesday I took photos of the base layer middle part of Ambleside Road that was nowhere near as bad as upper part, which I noted had been prepared for it’s final layer of tarmac.

I also spent time chatting to one of the supervisors while the road gang were awaiting the arrival of tarmac. In the conversation he said he’d been in the team that resurfaced the road three years ago, and knew that the surface wouldn’t last long as they’d found the underlying surface was so poor.

He told me that in the rebuilding of the road in parts they’d dug down 450mm to find a solid surface, and also that the finished road surface would have 150mm of tarmac.

Yesterday, I walked along the road and a couple of the photos show the excellent result of their work. I imagine the final shortish stretch of road will be completed in a few days, and so the saga may come to and end. Along with a resident who joined our conversation, we thought vehicles would speed on the new surface, and before long there’d be road humps.