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.
Two petitions have been received:
· Petition to reduce traffic speeds on the service road off London Road North, Merstham, brought by the Residents Action Group for the Environment, (RAGE), which represents local environmental concerns of residents of London Road North and Glebe Road, Merstham.
· Petition to Surrey County Council to cut back and clear vegetation on or adjacent to bridleways around Reigate Heath, brought by Mrs Helen Slade.
The petitions and responses will be published in a supplementary agenda pack ahead of the meeting.
Declarations of Interest: None
Officers attending: Zena Curry, Area Highway Manager, Claire Saunders, Senior Countryside Access Officer
Petitions, Public Questions, Statements: Two petitions were received.
Mr Jeff Harris, Chairman, had to leave the meeting at this point so Ms Barbara Thomson, Vice-Chairman, assumed the chair for the remainder of the meeting.
Petition 1 – Mr John Goldney brought a petition asking to reduce traffic speed on the service road off London Road North, Merstham. Mr Goldney presented the petition on behalf of the Residents Action Group for the Environment (RAGE) - representing local environmental concerns of residents of London Road North and Glebe Road, Merstham, Surrey.
The petition had secured 20 signatures from the residents of the road. The petition and response were published as supplementary agenda papers.
During his presentation to the committee Mr Goldney made the following points:
· Increasing problems of congestion and pollution, as well as a growing safety concern;
· 50mph is too high for a short residential road with a blind bend;
· Drivers use this stretch of road as a rat run to avoid queuing traffic;
· Drivers do not realise the road is two-way;
· Pavement needs to be cut back as pedestrians are currently forced to walk on the road at points.
· Road should be 30mph with clear signage.
The Area Highway Manager stated that the first step, in line with the council’s ‘Setting Local Speed Limits’ policy is to undertake a speed survey. The sign will be changed to make it visible, and vegetation cut back.
Member Discussion – key points:
· Before leaving the meeting, Mr Jeff Harris, Chairman, noted that the divisional member was away for this meeting, but that he had expressed his full support for the petition.
· Members expressed support for the petition, and queried why the road was 50mph at present. The Area Highway Manager explained that speed limits nationally can only be 30mph if there are street lights, unless it has been expressly changed by the county council.
· The Lead Cabinet Member for Highways, Mr Colin Kemp, confirmed that speed enforcement is the role of Surrey Police, and that the council needs their support – they will not enforce speed limits that are not set in line with the council’s policy. The junction is being looked at with Highways England, as it does need reviewing. Mr Kemp agreed to take the petition with him to the next meeting with Highways England.
The Local Committee is RESOLVED to agree:
(i) That a speed survey in London Road North service road is carried out to assess whether or not vehicle speeds comply with Surrey County Council’s speed limit policy for a reduction to 30mph.
(ii) That the feasibility of relocating the existing two way traffic sign is investigated and that if this is not possible improvements are made to the existing sign.
Petition 2 – Mrs Helen Slade brought a petition asking Surrey County Council to cut back and clear vegetation on or adjacent to bridleways around Reigate Heath. Vegetation should be cleared to allow two horses to pass easily on the bridleway which is currently a hazard.
The petition secured 60 signatures. The petition and response were published with the supplementary agenda papers.
Mrs Slade presented the petition to the committee and made the following points:
· Good sightlines on the bridleways is important for the safety of all users of the heath;
· Gullies in some areas are 1-2ft deep, making it very difficult for horses to pass one another. Would the county council consider levelling the paths?
· Two further paths that are overgrown are Ricebridge byway accessed off Flanchford Road, and a second accessed off Wonham Mill.
The Senior Countryside Access Officer confirmed that the county council’s summer clearance programme has been much reduced, and they do rely on people reporting issues. She confirmed that the additional bridleways raised by the petitioner have been added to the final cut, and she would take the others away to look at.
Member Discussion – key points:
· The divisional member thanked the resident for bringing this petition. She noted that the map provided with the response was helpful to see the division of responsibilities between the public bridleways, and the permissive bridleways owned by the borough council. Reigate Heath does have a steering committee, and she is aware of a trench due to be refilled. She urged Mrs Slade to leave a full list of issues with her.
· Most of the heath is under borough council control. There are new rangers in post, and a new work programme, and much of what Mrs Slade has raised will feature in the 2018/19 work programme.
· Many bridleways and footpaths on the heath pass through areas covered by Higher Level Stewardship agreements with Natural England, and therefore SCC should liaise with the borough council’s Greenspaces Team given the sensitive natural habitat. The Senior Countryside Access Officer confirmed that SCC was indeed aware of these requirements.
The Local Committee RESOLVED to:
(i) Note the petition and officer’s response.