Highways and Footpaths

Proctor Gardens – Chilmans Drive Footpath

This footpath became very overgrown with nettles and vegetation and was impeding access. This is a regularly used footpath and a request was made by the BRA for it to be cleared. Surrey County Council are responsible for the maintenance of this footpath and the feedback from SCC is with the current financial constrains within the Countryside Access budget that resources are not available for this work. Therefore Michael Agius from the BRA and Mr McKenzie from Sheridan Road joined forces and cleared the vegetation with their strimmers. Another example of volunteers working for the betterment of the village. If a footpath near you is getting overgrown then take the initiative and cut if back!


Roads

Michael Agius

As previously reported, Surrey County Council (SCC) has developed a five year programme of major road repairs called Project Horizon. This includes Eastwick Drive, which, now that drainage problem areas have been resolved, is scheduled to be resurfaced this year.  In addition the following roads are programmed to be resurfaced between now and 2018: Crabtree Lane; Little Bookham Street; Meadow Way/The Copse (Eastwick Drive to The Copse), Willow Vale (The Copse to the end) It should be noted, however, that Little Bookham Street will require considerable investigation and resolution of drainage problems over most of its length, before resurfacing can be carried out. Details are given in the drainage report. Apart from Project Horizon SCC continue to carry out works under their Integrated Transport Maintenance Scheme (ITS) and recently Pine Dean, off Eastwick Road, was resurfaced.

Under ITS funding design will be carried out this year of schemes to provide kerb build outs and crossing ramps at the entrances to the Eastwick Schools on Eastwick Drive and Eastwick Park Avenue, in order to control parking and make safer crossing points.

The BRA are still in discussions with SCC for the need for improvements to Rectory Lane, to provide a footway on the east side of the road from The Grange south to the A246 and widening of the carriageway to a consistent width. In answer to BRA’s question to the recent Local Committee, SCC said “topographical surveys have been carried out and an initial design has been drawn up for the proposal. However, in order to construct this footway, land from outside the highway will need to be purchased and currently no funding is available for this. Therefore negotiations have not commenced with landowners. However the scheme remains on the Mole Valley Integrated Transport (ITS) List for consideration for future funding”.

Meanwhile Gracewell, the developers of the Preston Cross Care Home, have commenced constructing a west side footway along Rectory Lane from the Grange to Lower Road at the instigation of the BRA. BRA consider that crossing points in this length, for residents from the Grange and the new Care Home, as well as all the Bookham children who walk to and from the Howard on a daily basis, should be improved. In answer to BRA’s Supplementary Question at Local Committee, SCC have agreed to study the matter but do point out that, even if improvements are deemed necessary, they would have to be prioritised amongst many other similar schemes, in an amount of ever decreasing funding. Part of the review will hopefully consider whether limited parking restrictions in the vicinity of the Rectory Lane/Lower Road junction would improve safety for those crossing the road.

Sutton and East Surrey Water Company are currently replacing their mains in several roads in Little Bookham and BRA are keeping a close eye on the reinstatement of trenches. Part of the problem in this area is that the original road construction was concrete which has subsequently been surfaced with a thin layer of ‘black top’. Reinstatement has to be sympathetic to the original construction. BRA are liaising with SCC’s Streetworks Team to ensure any problems that arise are quickly resolved.

As a general safety measure BRA have asked SCC Highways to repaint the road markings at The Squareabout which have become somewhat faded. This results in certain drivers not realising that all approaches to the junction are subject to Give Way restrictions. In answer to BRA’s question to the recent Local Committee, SCC replied that “an order has been placed for the refreshing of all the road markings at The Squareabout.  It is hoped that the refresh works can be carried out by the end of this financial year.  It should be noted that the delivery of road markings is weather dependent as they are best put down on a dry carriageway surface”.

With regard to road markings, after many years of lobbying SCC, in conjunction with Effingham Parish Council (EPC), SCC have at long last imposed parking restrictions, with the requisite double yellow lines, on Lower Road at the bends between The Vineries and The Howard of Effingham School.

Visibility around the bends has been dramatically improved, as well as allowing a length for vehicles to pass and not have to back up, as constantly happened in the past. BRA are continuing to lobby EPC and SCC to improve visibility even more, by grubbing up all vegetation in the verge on the inside of the bends.

If you have any highways problems near you, the best way to report it is to go to www.surreycc.gov.uk and use ‘Report It’, or phone 0300 200 1003.