Surrey County Council claims it is changing Cranleigh High Street to improve road safety and enhance public spaces.
But some Cranleigh folk and others who use the town claim that not all proposed measures are popular with residents or traders.
However, the public should go down on bended knees and thank Surrey County Councillor Liz Townsend for having a say because we hear the county authority wanted to do the work without consulting anyone!
WW understands some Cranleigh councillors want to go further, saying tinkering at the edges with high street improvements will not solve gridlocked traffic. They want the high street widened! Ye, Gods, is that the sound we hear of Cranleigh’s famous maple trees being felled!?
One trader told us:
I wondered if this is something you have on your radar WW. Seems like a monumental waste of money to me and the consultation appears to have received no publicity in the local area which feels unacceptable.
Others claim it may improve the town’s coffee culture but will make life harder for the pop-in-shoppers, and traders will ultimately suffer.:
Some of the changes include:
- Better quality and wider pavements
- Increased areas for pedestrians to walk, sit and meet
- New street furniture
- Installation of a drinking fountain
- Planting and trees
- Drainage improvements
- Junction improvements
The most unpopular proposal to remove the access road fronting Cranleigh Post Office has already been dumped. Town users yelled a big NO! NO ! to any suggestion that the road be paved and trees planted. The daft suggestion to remove all the bus bays has also been trashed, as there was a massive outcry that stationary buses would block the high street and prevent free-flowing traffic.
“How the hell are we supposed to carry heavy parcels into the widely used post office when most others are closing locally? said one.
A long walk from the Village Way car park and the cost of parking there brought an avalanche of opposition, with residents asking,
Do any of these highway wallers actually live,work or shop in the village.”
BTW: Just for information, it is not the WW that has renamed the village a town. It is the President of Cranleigh Chamber of Trade, aka Mr Chat Controller – Martin Bamford. The Chamber has backed the project from the outset, including wiping out bus bays and on-street parking.
Anyone who disagrees with Mr President on his local Cranleigh Conversations Facebook page is immediately thrown off, according to one Cranleigh businesswoman who has bitterly opposed some “of the previous ill-thought-out” measures which have now been trashed.
Many say they have opposed the removal of the mini roundabout at the junction of Cranleigh High Street and Horseshoe Lane. Others are asking how much the so-called improvements will cost and whether it would be a better use of taxpayers’ money to resurface “the shocking state of the roads and lanes leading into Cranleigh, rather than lily gilding the high street.
Said an Ellens Green resident:
Travelling from Rudgwick into Cranleigh now resembles one of the bumper car rides I once enjoyed at Bensons funfair! I started to use the A281 Horsham/Guildford Rd, and enter down Wildwood Lane – even worse – now I shop in Horsham instead and avoid Cranleigh altogether.”