The impact of developments to the East of Milford
There is no planning strategy nor budget to deal with the inadequate road infrastructure on routes East- West, yet Waverley Borough have painted themselves into a corner, and by consenting to the 1800 homes without a strategy to cope, nor approval of Surrey CC Highways department, the Dunsfold Park development will have an significant intolerable impact on all of us.
This is a matter of quality of life for everyone in the villages of Hambledon, Hydestile, Enton, Milford, Witley, Brook, Busbridge and Godalming.
My main concern is that the developer and WBC evidence avoids acknowledgement that the principal route to employment is the direct road route East – West to the A3 and to the nearest mainline railway at Milford – a single track road with passing places with blind bends, steep hills and pinch points for much of the 9 miles. This is the unclassified road the developers describe simply as “60mph limited” but this road can not cope with a significant increase in traffic. I have no confidence in the quality of transport studies submitted by the developers of Dunsfold Park, particularly the Markwick Lane East-West route (link 31) estimate of “1 additional vehicle a minute” as a result of the DP development. This is a monumental under-estimation of the most likely inundation of additional vehicles on the only East-West route for commuters travelling to the centres of employment. Let me explain.
I maintain that 88% of resident’s of Dunsfold Park will commute (Dunsfold Park’s own projection). If the typical price of a 2 or 3 bedroom semi in Dunsfold Park is £600,00 that excludes many potential purchasers – unless they have joint earnings in excess of £120,000pa to secure a mortgage. Indeed there is an implication that it is a pre-requisite of purchase to already have a job. That income isn’t coming from a new local job on the Dunsfold Park, so it is a reasonable assumption that the majority of residents will need to commute to work to major areas for well paid jobs : London, M3 corridor, Farnborough, Godalming, Woking, Farnham, Camberley and Guildford. For all except Guildford, the shortest route to those centres is via the East-West road (Markwick Lane) to the A3, and mainline trains – the closest stations to DP (in order) are Milford, Witley and Godalming (all will mean driving and parking at stations).
So despite what the developers may say about sustainability and links to public transport, all commuters’ journeys will inevitably start by car, and will take the shortest route to those areas. There are no mitigation measures planned for this route, and there are no viable mitigation measures that can be applied to this unclassified road with steep inclines and blind bends. Indeed Surrey Highways state it is unsuitable.
I make a very conservative assumption that of 1800 homes there are 2650 employed residents. 88% (as in Camborne example) are needing to commute (2332 vehicles). Few are multiple occupation vehicles
50% (1160) go West to get to mainline stations or A3 via Markwick Lane,
30% (700) go North to Guildford via A281,
20% (470) East or South.
That is 2300 extra commuter car movements every workday morning, and the same every evening.
Add a very conservative estimate of 20% ontop of those figures for trips in cars to schools in Cranleigh, Godalming and Guildford and you get to a total estimate of 5600 extra car movements every day. The direct route West to the A3 or Milford station for those 1400+ cars each morning is via Markwick Lane. During a 60 minute rush hour that is 23 extra cars every minute, on a single track road with passing places. (not 1 per minute as restated by Miss Lamont)
Whilst attention seems to focus on the A281, I suggest that link 31 will see the biggest change in traffic levels – becoming impassible at peak times. There are pinch points in Markwick Lane, Salt Lane, Station Lane, Milford rail crossing, and Milford crossroads and these are currently vulnerable to blockage as current drivers will attest. If you travel Markwick Lane and meet a large van, LGV, HGV, or more than 4 successive cars then the single track will become blocked. Milford Crossroads currently has significant queues at peak times.
There are no alternative East-west routes to Milford other than via Chiddingfold (extra 4 miles) – or via Godalming (extra 2 miles) both face infrastructure challenges.
Alternative routes to employment:
Those naturally trying to find an alternative, easier way to work, via Witley Station. will come to an impasse at Hambledon village (with single track and very limited passing spaces) If you resort to trying Godalming the traffic is currently log jam within a half mile radius of the rail station at peak times. Guildford centre is acknowledged as a no-go area in peak time so that doesn’t offer an option of access to A3 or the mainline trains.
The resultant inundation of traffic will severely impact on our way of life – in Hambledon, Hydestile, Enton, Milford, Witley, Busbridge and Godalming.