The Western Corridor is 6 miles of winding rural road that is single track in places and just not built for the volume of traffic it now carrys. It is unique in the Borough in that it is the only East-West route linking our only trunk road, the A3, with the huge concentration of new build house developments around Cranleigh and Dunsfold. It is also the most direct route to these developments nearest rail station at Milford.
250 residents of Milford, Hambledon, Enton, Busbridge and Loxhill have signed the Surrey CC petition to ask for action on their concerns about the exponential growth of traffic volume using the Western Corridor.
The photographs show the range of challenges and users of this route.
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 . Additionally we have the prospect of 200 new homes at Milford Golf Course on Station Lane. This road sees in excess of 5160 vpd using it at the Western end at Station Lane, and 2700 vpd in the rural sections despite it being unsuitable for such volumes.
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 a year before – 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.
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 put back on the A-roads.
What about the problem of HGVs?
There is very little that anyone can do to mitigate the impact of too many vehicles on this rural route. However a fair proportion of them are HGVs and the majority are using this route illegally as this and nearby lanes are protected by blue “Unsuitable for HGV” signs. These signs are routinely ignored as they are only advisory and the HGV driver’s get-out is to claim it is a ‘local delivery”.
Surrey Highways 2020 data has demonstrated of all HGV movements along the Western Corridor 89% are making through journeys – contrary to the designation “Road Unsuitable for HGVs“. HGV drivers realise blue signs are unenforceable as it is not a road traffic offence to disregard them.
HGV violations add significant damage to the road, our homes, and the environment. Surrey CC’s record of expensive spot road repairs on this route will show how this road is ill-designed for such tonnage. Safety of other users is also a real concern.