Local Committee responses

The original petition March 2019

The petition target was achieved in 1 week with over 200 signatures.

Waverley Local Committee Meeting 22nd March 2019

LC Meeting Video, sequence starts at 20m:20s:


As petitioner I was able to speak for 4 minutes on the issues the residents face. The Councillors had viewed my video and were very sympathetic and concerned. A number supported action on this issue. One Councillor was worried about displacement into Holloway Hill. The Highways Officer’s response was 3 fold: “the Police won’t support any measures as they can’t enforce it, we have no money, and the HGVs are local deliveries so exempt”. It was put on the action list to invite the Surrey CC Portfolio Holder for Transport, Cllr. Matt Furniss to attend the next LC in June and consider options.

After the meeting Waverley Police Borough Commander Gary Smith suggests that a 7ft width restriction on Salt Lane would be the most effective way to stop HGV use of this route. We collaborate afterwards to firm up a proposal for such a scheme. So Highways’ 1st excuse for inaction is nullified.

Waverley Local Committee Meeting 28th June 2019

At this meeting Matt Furniss explained the constraints of managing Highways. Money was stated as not a problem. So Highways’ 2nd excuse for inaction is nullified.

Video of Matt’s response at LC meeting from 1:36:20. https://youtu.be/eOL_UiZBYwk?t=5782

1:37:16 “what I would say is the money is there if we are wanting sustainablesolutions.  It does come with development but it’s actually a lot of the the works that we do to are pushing for sustainable transport. With the rat runs which people people do sort of see an increase of that is because our main routes and connection points are not working as efficiently as they can be”

Matt Furniss

The reason they can’t act is “we can’t impose any restrictions if it pushes traffic into areas that are an AQMA (Air Quality Management Area)”. I asked: “where is the logic in that? – HGVs illegally coming off the A281 to use unclassified “D-roads” can not be re-directed back on the A-Roads where they came from because of an AQMA 5 miles away?” Matt denied this is what he was saying.

1:41:00 “What I was going to suggest with this specific case was that we actually do a destination survey to make sure that people are using it as a rat run actually have the evidence thereand then we can come up with some solutions, because if they are using this route where there is a better route that could actually be signed and posted to them.”

Matt Furniss

Side Note: After the meeting Cllr. Colin Kemp looked into the Guildford Society request for a feasibility study on a dual carriageway from Cranleigh to Milford cutting through Vann and Hambledon. Cllr. Kemp dismissed it as unviable.

“I have read a lot of paperwork and had many conversations on this matter to get a true understanding of the issue.
On the main point of the question which was a relief road, I believe the environmental and local impact would be too great and don’t believe this could be delivered and should not be pursued any further.
Having said that, it has become clear to me that with all the planned developments around this area we need to look at the road network and identify pinch points through the route and see if there are any local improvement schemes that would ease congestion and then see if we can identify funding for these.
I am sorry if this caused concern but I don’t believe is saying no just because somebody else did. If I am asked a question, I will always consider evidence before giving a formal response.”

Colin Kemp, Deputy Leader, Surrey CountySeptember 2019

I read that as meaning one of two things: Either road improvements at the narrow parts of the East – West route – around Marepond Farm and the hilly sections to the East – this will be expensive and extensive… OR perhaps taking up my proposal of imposing a width restriction of HGVs at one point to stop 7.5tonnes HGVs and above. The former will just make it easier for all road users to get from A to B, and will probably encourage more traffic to use the Western Corridor. The latter would stop HGV traffic, improve safety throughout, relieve some of the congestion issues of the narrow parts and damage to the roads. I would be inclined to press for the latter.

Local Committee Meeting June 2020

LC Video stream June2020

The Local Committee met a year later, and I raised the issue again asking for a progress report on the promised destination survey. The excuse from Highways was – “nothing has been done because we had not got any money to do the destination survey“.

Councillors were unimpressed by this answer, as was I. It was agreed that a motion proposed by Cllr. Peter Martin be actioned: to finance the £5000 required to do the CCTV survey.

Note: In the meantime I had conducted a CCTV survey of my own using 2 timecoded cameras. Over a week of logging it had shown 83% of HGVs travelling the Western Corridor were making through journeys.

December 10th- 17th 2020: the Surrey CC Highways contractors installed 6 CCTV cameras and ran the destination survey.

Local Committee Meeting March 2021

In March 2021 the Local Committee met again. Surrey CC Highways and WBC Planners have always stated that the majority of HGVs were local deliveries. That CCTV destination survey by Surrey Highways was done 4 months ago and whilst no officer had the courtesy to share the results we were able to hear a very basic summary of the findings:

Note: Surrey CC have now deleted this video (even though the matter is not closed!).

Surrey Highways’ Adrian Selby’s summary of their data is that 89% of HGVs are through traffic. So Highways’ 3rd excuse for inaction is nullified.

That % supported my own CCTV evidence of the proportion of through traffic (our 2 camera timecoded CCTV data returned a result that 83% of HGVs were through traffic).   Both sets of data support our repeated statements to the LC that the majority is through traffic, rat-running away from the A and B roads.

We am now pressing for a swift meeting between residents and Highways virtually to discuss the data and agree a plan of action for the future, and integrate a solution that fits with any plans for Hascombe HGV calming/ restrictions.

Update: 21st April 2021

I meet with County Councillor Victoria Young, Frank Apicella, Surrey Highways and Kristian Wilcox, Highways on a Zoom call to discuss the detail of the Destination Survey and to explore the actions required as a result. Highways state that the 89% of HGVs are indeed rat-running ( so the residents were correct 3 years ago). But Highways also say the level of traffic at 525vpd is too low to warrant action and that there is no money, and red sign >7.5 ton restrictions don’t work. (so now three new excuses after their previous excuses have been dismissed.)

I question their figures as 525vpd appears to record only 20% of the daily movements recorded in the previous 3 years of traffic surveys.

It is agreed Frank will looking into getting funding for a wider research of the need for HGV restrictions on local rural roads. The raw survey data is also to be sent to me for review.

Update: May 2021

Note: After a deep delve review of the raw data and the Highway’s report it was clear that the Destination Survey had undercounted vehicles – capturing an average of only 1 in 5 vehicles (20%). That success rate diminished to just 4% of all vehicles passing the cameras after 3pm. The review of the Survey’s failings is here.

My summary of the traffic data that casts doubt on Surrey CC Highway’s flawed data

Local Committee Meeting 3rd September 2021

The issue of HGVs in the Western Corridor and Hascombe appears to have been neglected. I submitted a question for the Local Committee:

“Following the 250 signature petition in 2019, there is an open action in the last minutes addressing the excessive traffic volumes on Markwick Lane, Salt Lane, Station Lane. Following the CCTV Destination Survey in December it was determined that 89% of HGV traffic was through traffic and contrary to the advisory “HGV Unsuitable” signage.  What is the progress on getting funding for a greater deterrent with a TRO for a >7.5t restriction on this route and through Hascombe?”

Paul Osborne resident

Adrian Selby Highways replied:

‘It would be at the discretion of the new member for the division Kevin Deanus to decide how best to proceed. We have advised Mr Osborne that SCC and the Police would not support an isolated HGV restriction on this road and that the area needs to be considered holistically as to avoid disruption in other rural roads. Markwick Lane has numerous ‘unsuitable for HGV’ signs already in place which I have personally checked and they are ok. The area is well signed.

Some funding to look at an area wide scheme was identified from the Dunsfold Park development, however, as the site is no longer going ahead at present the funding in no longer available. It is likely that when the site is sold the new owners will need to consider HGV impact on the rural network as part of planning conditions.

We have discussed with Kevin so he is aware of this and he is planning to discuss with the local Parishes that would be affected by a formal restriction to gauge opinion on the proposal’.

Adrian Selby Surrey CC Highways

Almost everything in this answer is misleading or incorrect.

This written answer was not communicated to the Committee, nor me, although the Chair Cllr. Harmer had seen it. I was invited to ask an informal question prior to the full meeting. I pointed out that this issue has been with the LC since March 2019 and we had agreed an action. A destination survey was completed and it shows the HGVs are rat-running – so now it needs a response. I expressed dismay that Highways have changed their objections and now that money is the reason for inaction – and that I dispute that. Adrian Selby also cites Police “lack of support for an isolated restriction” but Adrian ignores the point that discussions with him have always been on the basis of a scheme that included Hascombe B2130 as well as Markwick Lane.

I added that with the prospect of 400+ houses possibly being approved at Springbok there is a pressing need for swift action.

The Chair asked for comments and Cllrs. Deanus, Robini and Follows all stated the need for action swiftly, in tandem with others in the area to ensure a holistic approach to any restrictions. It was pointed out that lack of money from Dunsfold Park is not a reason to dismiss action on HGVs as money will be forthcoming. Cllr. Baker was not allowed to speak because this was an informal question, not for debate and it had been answered in the negative by Adrian Selby’s written answer (which the members had not seen).

Cllr Baker wished to state that the minutes of the last LC included traffic volume data from the Destination Survey that were wrong. The Chair prevented the minutes recording that there was a dispute of the figures as the minutes should reflect what was said, and rather than it was disputed.

The informal question session (not broadcast on YouTube) was concluded with a short discussion about having a wider area survey to establish what HGV movement impacts. The Chair shut down the discussion to move onto the formal meeting (which was recorded)

At the end of the formal LC meeting, Cllr. Follows asked for clarification on the action agreed on Markwick Lane and Hascombe. (see video)

Video 2h:05m:59s. https://youtu.be/FOXuEWUoR2Y?t=7559

Cllr Harmer said the “negative responses” from Highways to my informal question supersedes the previous LC actions on HGVs at Markwick and Hascombe.   Cllr. Follows points out in the chamber that this negative from Highways was “no money” which is agreed not to be the case. Note: The only other negative (that was not specified by Cllr. Harmer) was and lack of Police support – which is unfounded.   The previously cited “Police can’t enforce” excuse for inaction has been used against plans for change so often – yet red HGV restriction signs require no more Police enforcement as the current blue “unsuitable” signs. The key difference is that Red signs are a deterrent whereas the blue advisory ones are not.

The meeting concluded with no real action other than go back to Highways and do a wider reaching survey of HGV impacts. So we are back to square one. The issue of illegal HGVs has been kicked into the long grass by the inaccurate boots of Adrian Selby.

Note: the Highways Dept.’s Destination Survey was reviewed by residents and seen to undercount – only 1 in 5 vehicles were counted rendering the volume data unrelaible. The review of this Survey data is here.