One of the most frequent issues that people raise with me is the number of potholes in Woking and the state of our roads, despite the fact that highway maintenance is not a responsibility of Woking Borough Council. Unfortunately there are many demands for pothole repairs and resurfacing in and around Woking, and it is always a fight to secure budget for any necessary work and to push certain roads up the list of priorities.
My colleagues on Surrey County Council have sought to put a stronger focus on the need to invest in our roads and highways. In 2013, the Conservative administration agreed ‘Project Horizon’, an ambitious five year programme with £200m of funding to address the root causes of road disrepair across Surrey. Alongside this, central government recently announced a further £50m in grant funding to local authorities to tackle potholes, with £1m of this allocated to Surrey.
Locally in Woking, our Conservative County Councillor Liz Bowes and I have been successful in securing the resurfacing of particularly troublesome roads in recent years, including East Hill, Pembroke Road and Onslow Crescent. My fellow ward councillor, Cllr David Bittleston and I are diligent and proactive in reporting potholes to the highways authority, but we need residents’ assistance to flag these up, since the council is unlikely to take any action if it doesn’t have the data or evidence to show that a particular road is causing problems.
I would therefore encourage anyone who is concerned with the state of their road to report any potholes online here, and to contact me directly, since the more representations I receive the easier it will be for me to make the case to Surrey County Council for remedial or repair work.
I’ve been informed that there will be further diversions around Onslow Crescent, Shaftsbury Road and Pembroke Road for two weeks from Tuesday 11th August, so the County Council can take forward highway maintenance and resurfacing. The work will take place between the hours of 8:30am and 5:30pm and is not expected to take longer than two weeks.
As with the repairs on White Rose Lane, access will be maintained for residents and emergency services although any other vehicle found to be obstructing the highway will be moved to a suitable location after all reasonable efforts have been made to contact the owners.
While I appreciate this will cause some inconvenience, I am told that the work is necessary and residents will of course benefit from the resurfacing of parts of these roads, which is long overdue.
Surrey County Council plans to introduce a series of traffic calming measures to improve safety and reduce vehicle speeds along Pembroke Road, Onslow Crescent and Shaftesbury Road. This follows an ongoing campaign by myself and County Councillor Liz Bowes for more effective restrictions on speeding through this part of Woking, as well as the diligent efforts of local SpeedWatch volunteers.
Among the proposed features are speed cushions outside Beechwood and Ferndale, and at the junction with Onslow Crescent. A road table will also run along Pembroke Road from Woodside and Ringers Oak.
A copy of the plans showing the location of each speed hump and the road table can be examined at the civic offices in Gloucester Square, or at Quadrant Court on Guildford Road. If you have any comments or wish to object to the proposals, you should send your representations to the Traffic Regulation Orders Team, Rowan House, Merrow Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7BQ no later than the end of the month.
Earlier in the summer a number of residents expressed concern about an application for a fire road across the northern boundary playing field of St Dunstan’s school to provide emergency access from Onslow Crescent. It was felt that the proposed access road will take up an unacceptably large proportion of the main playing field, limiting future recreational activity.
Residents also sought reassurances that the school would limit this road to fire access only. Onslow Crescent is already congested at pick up and drop off times, and there were fears that the proposed new access route could be used as a relief road, further exacerbating the problem.
Following these representations my fellow Mount Hermon East ward councillor, Cllr David Bittleston, raised the matter with planning officers and was able to secure a condition which confirmed that the access road will only be used for fire or emergency access. A series of protective restrictions were also put in place, with the council being required to approve any pruning or removal of trees, to ensure taht there would be no loss of amenity for residents.