To receive any questions or petitions.
The public retain their right to submit questions for written response, with such answers recorded in the minutes of the meeting; questioners may participate in meetings to ask a supplementary question. Petitioners may address the Committee on their petition for up to three minutes. Guidance will be made available to any member of the public wishing to speak at a meeting.
1. The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (Friday, 10 September 2021).
2. The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting(Thursday, 9 September 2021)
3. The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and one petition has been received.
Two public questions and a Member question, together with a petition, were received in advance of the meeting. The details, including responses are provided below:
Public Question from Elizabeth Daly, Mole Valley District Councillor for Bookham South
It is great news that Surrey Highways with the backing of the Leader of Surrey County Council is supporting a 20mph zone on the A244 through Oxshott. Will the Committee encourage Surrey Highways to support communities that wish to adopt 20mph speed limits as a default in other Surrey towns and villages - by removing current costly procedural obstacles to such schemes?
Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure stated that the County Council are currently consulting on a new Local Transport Plan (LTP4) which places greater priority on a sustainable travel hierarchy with walking and cycling at the top. To support this, the LTP4 advises making 20 mph the speed limit for shopping and residential streets where appropriate. This is already happening in a number of locations. For example, there is already a 20-mph speed limit in Reigate town centre, and several roads adjacent to Guildford town centre bounded by Woodbridge Road, York Road and Stoke Road have recently been reduced to 20 mph. Also, work is also taking place to develop 20 mph schemes for Farnham, Caterham and Weybridge town centres.
It was right and proper that local communities and local councillors be consulted and have their say on the speed limits set for their roads where they live, within the framework set by the County Council, and in consultation with the police. There was also a need to follow the correct procedure set by central government to advertise local speed limit legal orders. There were no procedural obstacles to such schemes – instead the County Council’s process ensured that local people were consulted appropriately, and new schemes were effective in managing vehicle speeds.
Member Question from Catherine Baart
Surrey County Council applied to the government for £1.697m Tranche 1 funding, to support the rollout of emergency travel measures during the pandemic to encourage more cycling and walking. When the Council was only granted £848,000, it decided to match the government funding with a further £848,000 from its own resources. However, the Council subsequently withdrew its match funding to focus on an application for Tranche 2 funding for larger scale permanent improvements to the highway network. Please confirm that the £848,000 remains earmarked for active travel improvements, in addition to Tranche 2 funding?
Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure said that he was pleased to confirm that after a successful bid the County Council received £6,445,750 of tranche 2 government funding to introduce eight permanent active travel schemes. Details of these were on Surrey Council website. The Council had also submitted an ambitious bid for tranche 3 funding of £8,130,796 and hoped to learn the outcome of this bid in the new few weeks. Tranche 1 funding was primarily for temporary measures associated with the pandemic – helping people socially distant/reducing the need for public transport and the Council delivered 21 schemes with the grant of £848k. The Council was now focusing its efforts on long lasting improvements. With the successful bids to government, the proposed match funding for tranche 1 was not needed but would be made available if required to support further tranches.
Public Question from Paul Kennedy, Mole Valley District Councillor for Fetcham West
I am grateful to Andrew Matthews for submitting his petition to the Committee asking Surrey County Council to respond to the current consultation on future rail services by South Western Railway (SWR), in partnership with Network Rail and the Department for Transport, by calling on them to:
a) abandon proposals to make permanent cuts from December 2022 to SWR rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley;
b) restore SWR rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley to pre-pandemic levels as soon as conditions allow; and
c) adopt a fairer and more joined-up approach to building back rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley.
In responding to his petition, and considering Surrey County Council’s response, will you please bear in mind that:
1. A separate petition to SWR, Network Rail and the Department for Transport seeking the same three outcomes has now been signed by over 2,000 people online and on paper; this is the link to the separate petition, https://www.mvld.org.uk/restoreourtrains
2. SWR’s claim to be maintaining 2 peak time trains per hour from each of Dorking and Bookham is in fact an hourly service supplemented by one extra morning train from Dorking, and a 45-minute gap at Bookham in the morning;
3. SWR’s claim that just 5 passengers were using off-peak trains from Bookham in May 2019 ignored passengers who travelled through Bookham on trains between Guildford, Leatherhead and Epsom;
4. SWR’s webpage on “Train and station overcrowding” dated 21stJuly 2021 identifies its services from Epsom and Mole Valley to Wimbledon and London Waterloo – those which it proposes to cut - as its busiest services:
Services through Stoneleigh, Worcester Park, Motspur Park & Raynes Park through to Wimbledon, Clapham Junction & Waterloo are currently the busiest in the morning peak. Please consider travelling on different services where possible. At Motspur Park and Raynes Park in particular, services from Chessington are likely to be quieter than services from Epsom.”
5. These proposals undermine all our efforts to restore jobs and local communities after the pandemic, promote active travel, secure adequate infrastructure for new housing, reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and fight climate change?
Petition from Andrew Matthews
The following petition about the Surrey County Council’s response to South Western Railway (SWR)consultation was received from Andrew Matthews.
‘We, the undersigned, call on Surrey County Council, as well as other Surrey councils, residents, businesses and community groups, to respond to the current consultation on future rail services by South Western Railway (SWR), in partnership with Network Rail and the Department for Transport, by calling on them to: a) abandon proposals to make permanent cuts from December 2022 to SWR rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley; b) restore SWR rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley to pre-pandemic levels, as soon as conditions allow; and c) adopt a fairer and more joined-up approach to building back rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley.’
Responses to questions from Paul Kennedy and a petition from Andrew Matthews listed above were taken together under agenda item 5, South Western Railways Timetable Consultation, as they related to the same topic.