Residents of Milford, Hambledon, Enton, Busbridge and Loxhill have concerns about the exponential growth of traffic volume using the West-East rural route from the A3 to Cranleigh – the unclassified rural road from Milford Crossroads to Cranleigh Crossroads on the A281. This road sees in excess of 5160 vpd using it at Station Lane, and 2700 vpd in the rural sections despite it being unsuitable for such volumes.
The photographs show the range of challenges and users of this route.
It appears Surrey County Council Highways have repeatedly ignored the cumulative impact of extra traffic generated on this route – most recently by the projected commuter and current construction traffic generated by recent new housing developments in Cranleigh, Alfold, Loxwood and Dunsfold, and from the proposed >1800 homes to be built on Dunsfold Park and the added traffic once Cranleigh tip closes. Additionally we have the prospect of 200 homes at Milford Golf Course on Station Lane.
Waverley Borough housing developments have been approved for 3500 homes to the East. This is in an area that has no viable public transport infrastructure. Commuters will be forced to drive to the nearest station at Milford or Witley… or travel to nearest trunk road, the A3 at Milford.
This means that this East-West route will suffer a severe impact. This is a single track road in places with crests and blind corners – it is not suitable for such volume. None of the traffic studies seem to acknowledge this route as the primary route from Cranleigh and Horsham, to Milford, the A3 and the nearest rail network. Traffic is already intolerable, with 2700 vehicles a day using Salt Lane, of which an average of 28% is commercial traffic – including HGVs. Commercial use peaks at 44% of all vehicles during the early morning. There is also a significant increase in the number of commercial vehicles using this route compared to 2018 – 28% more.
If 3500 homes creates 7000 employable residents – and 88% commute (Camborne case study) then that will create a conservative estimate of 5000 extra vpd on Markwick and Station Lane. That is 166% increase in vehicles trying to access the rail network or the A3 at Milford.
Cranleigh Recycling Centre Closure – an extra million miles a year?
Our additional concern is that the majority of the Cranleigh amenity tip traffic will be displaced to travelling along Markwick Lane / Salt Lane / Station Lane to Witley Tip. The potential closure of the Cranleigh tip will put yet another pressure on a route that is most certainly unsuitable for extra traffic. Closure also appears short sighted with 3000 new homes expected to be built within 3 miles of the closed Cranleigh Tip.
The impact of the tip closure will be seen at Milford and the Station Lane. route. Surrey CC’s tally of 1400 Cranleigh residents using the tip weekly equates to 400 extra journeys every day along Markwick Lane to Witley Tip. That is an extra 15 miles per resident trip to the tip. 19600 extra miles per week. That is 1 million extra miles of emissions a year.
Unsuitable for HGVs – ignored
This route is currently designated “Unsuitable for HGVs” but the advisory signs are routinely ignored by a large number of commercial vehicles.
Despite the weight of evidence of 100’s of HGV violations and considerable damage to the road, our homes, and the environment are repeatedly impacted by HGVs. Look at the expensive road repairs on this route in the last 18 months. Safety of other users is also a real concern. Just what is LORD for?
Surrey Highways have a LORD initiative – “Lorries Off Rural Detours”. If there was a route that is an ideal candidate for LORD then Markwick Lane is it.
This catalogue of HGVs is a procession of commercial vehicles that are clearly not making local deliveries. They are taking a short cut and ignoring the Unsuitable advisory signs. You can make your own judgement on how many are construction vehicles.
This rat run is the scene for many road accidents – the narrow lanes with commercial vehicles often forces oncoming vehicles into the bank or into potholes. Residents often cite two particular issues: Lorries in the centre of the road force oncoming traffic into the bank or kerb – causing damage to wing mirrors, wheels and suspension, and to the roadside. Secondly there are many potholes in the driving line and deep gullies at the tarmac edge – mainly caused by heavy vehicles – these are hazards as cars swerve to avoid the holes.
The Surrey CC pothole reporting and repair process is efficient, however we have evidence of poor standard of repairs and some potholes have been repaired 3 times in a year. This will be a recurring issue until the HGVs are taken off this road.
Traffic Data for Station Lane
Traffic Data for Salt Lane
Impact of future demand
Curse of White Van Men
If there was any doubt the recent increase in traffic is generated by construction traffic just view a day in the life of Marwick Lane – but only the Vans.