But, Inspector Gary Smith, borough commander for Waverley, said: “With regards to a magic wand about what we can do, I’m afraid I haven’t got a clue.”
No doubt he will do something when he knows our Wannabe Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt lives in Markwick Lane? Perhaps there will be a flyover over Mares Pond?
Councillors are calling for action to stop HGVs using rural roads as rat-runs through the Surrey Hills.
They claim Surrey County Council is not taking problems seriously enough and needs to act on the issue of heavy lorries. thundering through rural lanes.
Prompted by members of the public, councillors want Matt Furniss, SCC’s cabinet member for highways, to meet them to discuss what can be done about lorries using rural lanes including Markwick Lane, Hascombe and the Shere Road over Winterfold as shortcuts. Lorries are regularly stuck in the Shere Cut.
Resident Paul Osborne presented a 250-signature petition calling for a 7.5-tonne weight restriction on HGVs on Waverley’s rural roads which revealed how bad the situation had become between Milford’s Station Lane to Markwick Lane, Loxhill. (SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt lives at Mares Pond.) Mr Osborne wants planners and highways to enforce construction traffic management.
He said residents were concerned about the “exponential growth of traffic” between the A3 at Milford and the A281 in Cranleigh. “Surrey CC Highways has ignored the cumulative impact of extra traffic generated on this route by construction traffic from 3,000 new homes now being built in Cranleigh and the eastern villages, and those proposed at Dunsfold Park, and Milford Golf Course.
“If Cranleigh tip closes it will create an extra 15% traffic using this direct route to Witley tip. This east-west route will suffer a severe environmental and safety impact. This needs to be addressed urgently.”
Mr Osborne had been monitoring road usage revealing that more than 3,000 vehicles a day, with 45% being commercial users were using the road and drivers repeatedly ignored the ‘Unsuitable for HGV” signs.’
Cllr Richard Seaborne (Bramley) said: “I drive down that road and find it a most uncomfortable experience. HGVs certainly cause the worst of the problems. The Surrey Hills is full of examples of this.
SCC member Cllr Andrew Povey said: “I think we are not taking the issue seriously enough in the county council. It’s a problem on a wider scale.”
Cllr Denis Leigh had stopped using Markwick Lane said: “I am not prepared to put my car through the damage.” He claimed there were “serious tensions” in communities and a “disconnect” between what residents experience and what highways authorities reported.
Highways officers and police officers said it was hard to enforce a weight restriction. Frank Apicella, SCC area highway manager, said: “We have many roads like this in the Surrey Hills with the same problem, narrow lanes not suitable for this type of vehicle.” Saying there were already signs warning drivers it was unsuitable for passing.
Inspector Gary Smith, borough commander for Waverley, said traffic officers would need to look at the whole problem and not just one road in isolation, but warned their resources were stretched. “Our biggest issue is reducing road death. That’s not to belittle this. I use the road regularly so I know what a problem it can be. While we want to do our bit, it would not be top of the list for priorities for Surrey police traffic enforcement.”
“With regards to a magic wand about what we can do, I’m afraid I haven’t got a clue.”
Mr Osborne said enforcement was not the reason for the weight restriction, but signs would act as a deterrent and a warning to drivers to stay away from using the rural roads as a rat-run through the Surrey Hills.
Committee chairman Cllr Victoria Young said the problem was a concern for the whole of the borough and should be looked at in a “more holistic manner.” She said she will contact Cllr Furniss and ask him to attend a meeting.
A video compiled by Mr Osborne showing the scale of the problem in one part of the Surrey Hills was shown to councillors before the meeting. It can be seen here http://www.gu8superfast.co.uk/