To receive any petitions in accordance with Standing Order 68. Notice should be given in writing or by email to the Community Partnership and Committee Officer at least 14 days before the meeting. Alternatively, the petition can be submitted on-line through Surrey County Council’s e-petitions website as long as the minimum number of signatures (30) has been reached 14 days before the meeting.
Details of petitions to be presented are attached.
Petitions were presented as follows, responses being tabled as Annex 1.
1. A petition presented by Ms J Rawlings requesting the bus stop in Ewhurst to be reinstated outside the school or the terminus of the 53 service from Guildford and Cranleigh to be at The Glebe and not at the Bull’s Head green.
Ms Rawlings explained that the bus service is a lifeline for older residents of The Glebe and Downhurst Road as a means of accessing shops and services. While recognising that the removal and relocation of the previous bus stop at the school had been well intentioned, the petitioners felt that the safety and welfare of older residents had not been recognised and there had been no consultation with them. The new arrangements had resulted in an extended walk for older people which would cause increased difficulties in poor weather. Ms Rawlings understood that the council did not wish to reinstate the bus stop at its former location, but proposed that a solution could be found in establishing The Glebe as the terminus, after turning the bus at the Bull’s Head green. It was suggested that the underlying problem in Ewhurst is inappropriate vehicle speed and this needs to be addressed.
The Area Highways Manager confirmed that the former bus-stop and lay-by had presented dangers to pedestrians and their removal had been well received by many users. However, the council will continue to work with Arriva to seek a solution to the problem of reversing buses at the Bull’s Head green and to identify an appropriate terminus. Mr A Young, as the local county councillor, reinforced the importance of responding to the needs of older residents and to continue to pursue a solution; he will also give attention to concerns about vehicle speeds in Ewhurst. The chairman confirmed that the committee will receive a full report on the matter at its December 2015 meeting.
2. An online petition submitted by Mrs N Foskett requesting that the county council urgently review and improve road safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on Chapel Road and The Avenue in Rowledge.
Mrs Foskett drew the committee’s attention to the risks faced by pedestrians and cyclists on the local network of narrow and busy roads; residents using the network in this way to access the school, shops, hall and surgery are vulnerable to fast-moving vehicles. The 2011 Village Plan identified road safety as its top priority. Motorists are unaware of the significance of the buff-coloured walking route. Clarity was requested on the County Council’s ownership and enforcement arrangements for hedges and verges as these could offer a safe walking space for vulnerable users. Adjustments to signage and lining could assist motorists in understanding the shared nature of the road and assist in the reduction of speeds. It was hoped that the planned maintenance would be a full resurfacing, rather than surface-dressing.
The Area Highways Manager clarified the position relating to boundaries and verges: while all boundary hedges, fences and walls fronting the public highway are privately owned and maintained, verges between road and such boundaries form part of the highway and are maintained at public expense. He explained the enforcement arrangements for overgrown hedges and undertook to investigate verge-clearance and signage. Mr D Munro, as the local county councillor, welcomed the petition and referred to differing views on the matter amongst residents of Rowledge. He felt that most owners of overgrown boundaries would respond positively to a polite, low-key request to cut back their vegetation, but recognised that formal enforcement arrangements may be necessary in a minority of cases. He commended the work of Patrick Giles (Community Highway Officer) in liaising effectively with residents. The chairman hoped that further discussion amongst all parties, including the residents’ association, would yield a rapid solution.
3. A petition presented by Ms A Emersic requesting the county council to investigate and complete the resurfacing originally scheduled for The Street, Thursley with the addition of Highfield Lane hill including the church hill up to the end of the grass verges, in a manner which is in accordance with the British Horse Society and County Councils’ joint guidance pamphlet Horses and Highways Surfacing, to which Surrey County Council is a contributor.
Mr D Harmer, as the local county councillor, expressed surprise that the resurfacing had not been completed and recommended that consideration be given to resurfacing the Highfield Lane hill in such a way that the situation is not made worse. The chairman asked that the Haslemere and Western Villages Task Group consider the matter.
4. A petition presented by Ms Lucy Weldon requesting the local committee to support new traffic calming measures along Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh, in particular in and around the priority road system over the Wey and Arun Canal.
Ms Weldon requested new signage (including vehicle-activated equipment) to give motorists clear warning of the hazards at this location. Ms Weldon reported the support of Cranleigh Parish Council for traffic-calming measures and the concern of Surrey Police about the risks in the vicinity of the bridge. The road is heavily used by many types of vehicle and cyclists, travelling to a variety of local destinations. Signage is insufficient to reinforce the 30mph speed limit or to alert drivers of the unusual length of the single-carriageway section, obstructions and poor sight-lines. Ms Weldon asked the committee to agree that this section of road is a high priority for attention and to progress appropriate measures to address the problems.
The Area Highways Manager reported that discussions with Surrey Police and Ms Weldon’s family have taken place. It is envisaged that a scheme involving revised signage and Vehicle Activated Signs will be developed to assist drivers. Mr A Young, as the local county councillor, welcomed the petition and confirmed that finding a solution is top of his list of infrastructure needs for Cranleigh. The chairman confirmed that the Cranleigh and Eastern Villages Task Group would consider the matter when developing its priorities for the 2016/17 programme of improvement schemes.