Surrey County Council
I’ve been informed by Surrey County Council that the area around Oriental Road, Heathside Crescent and Station Approach will be subject to temporary traffic closure on the evening of Monday 2nd May, from 9pm to 6am, to allow BT access to carry out repairs and install new customer connections. As is usually the case, access will be maintained for pedestrians, residents, and emergency services, while advanced warning signs will be displayed ahead of the work being carried out.
I hope that this work will not be too disruptive for people living near the station but if residents have any complaints then please do let me now and I will be happy to raise any issues with the utility company.
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.
There has been a great deal of disruption in the last few days following traffic signals being placed at the junction between White Rose Lane and Old Woking Road. This is due to the emergence of a sinkhole which was caused by a broken sewer connection. The repair work is expected to take about a week, and motorists driving along this route towards Byfleet or Old Woking should expect delays.
The problem with the sewers in this area are well known and I have spent some time trying to get the utility companies to address ongoing concerns, including recurring unpleasant odours and backed up drains. I will be meeting residents from the lower end of White Rose Lane next month to discuss proposed flood alleviation work and how this might assist in securing more accessible footpath access towards Hoe Bridge School, and it is likely that these issues will also be on the agenda.
At a meeting of the Joint Committee between Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council last night, officers were asked by local resident Marianne Meinke whether it would be possible to carry out speed monitoring along Oriental Road.
There are some specific challenges regarding parking and speeding at Oriental Road, with the street being very congested both at the bottom end near Woking station, and at the top end by the entrance to the Shah Jahan mosque and the Lion Retail Park. Due to the large number of cars which park on the pavement near the mosque, pedestrians often have to walk on the road at this point, while the lack of a crossing or design features means that vehicles can travel quite fast along the middle stretch of road. This is particularly dangerous given how narrow the pavement is, and the fact that this route is used by schoolchildren and those walking into town.
Through the Joint Committee my Conservative colleagues and I have been able to deliver traffic calming measures in places like Park Road and Old Woking Road, and I successfully pressed for the County Council to commit to feasibility studies for speed restrictions on Mount Hermon Road, East Hill and Maybury Hill in the next financial year. Oriental Road is already being monitored through the council’s Speed Management Plan, while the Joint Committee’s work programme contains a proposal to try and alleviate problems with speeding traffic.
Should I be re-elected in May then I will continue to press both the county and borough authorities to commit resources and do more to tackle problem areas on roads leading into and out of the town centre.