Recent Traffic Chaos in Frimley Green – A Glimpse Into The Future

Many of you will have been witness to the traffic problems in Frimley Green a couple of weekends ago caused by the temporary lights erected by BT Contractors.

In case you didn’t get caught up in the queues, below is the summary of the situation that I sent to James Chapple at Camberley News & Mail which he used as the basis for his report.  You can also see accompanying pictures here;

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Traffic Chaos in Frimley Green – A Glimpse Into The Future

This weekend Frimley Green had the opportunity to experience the future.

If the development of the Princess Royal Barracks (PRB) and the accompanying traffic mitigation measures are implemented, the two roundabouts in the centre of Frimley Green will be signalised to automate the flow of traffic from Frimley Green Road, Wharf Road, Guildford Road and Sturt Road.

This weekend, as contractors carried out work in the centre of the village, they put up a four-way set of traffic lights that mimic those proposed by the developers – and the result was chaos.

I passed the queue going south along Sturt Road at around 11:00am Saturday – the line of cars stretched back past the entrance to Frimley Lodge Park. After I returned from my trip into Farnborough I ventured out again with my camera to record the scene.

Some points to note from what I saw –

      1. The queue to the north of the village regularly led back past the Buckhurst Road mini roundabout.
      2. As I mentioned, the queue south had earlier in the day reached Frimley Lodge Park although when I was watching, it only got as far as the railway bridge.
      3. One of the biggest issues was the chaos on the corner of The Green by the Tesco One Stop – cars tried to turn in and out and there were several near-misses as cars edged through the queues. Motor bikes shot up the outside of the queue to save time.
      4. Cyclists and pedestrians were similarly at risk.
      5. The traffic on the corner wasn’t helped by the fact that the Tesco One Stop was having a delivery and the P&H van was forced to park just off the corner, hampering vision and the ability to pass safely in either direction.
      6. Having finished delivering, sensibly the driver decided not to reverse out onto Sturt Road but instead chose to drive round The Green. He got past the Church OK but as he drove past the Children’s Nursery he was unable to pass the car parked there. He waited for 5 minutes or so, sounding his horn to attract the attention of the owner but no-one came out and he was forced to reverse back to the corner of the Hatches (again sounding his horn to warn others) before turning and driving back past Tesco One Stop and on to Sturt Road.
      7. And he wasn’t the only one using the usually quiet roads around the green as a short cut. In the few minutes I watched, scores of cars travelling north on Sturt Road turned left past the Tesco One Stop when they saw the traffic lights on red. Similarly cars coming south turned right and again used The Green as a bypass.
      8. Guildford Road was well served and little traffic built up there, but Wharf Road didn’t fare so well with queues consistently building up back to Wharfenden Way.
      9. As with The Green, when queues started to build on Wharf Road people took the ‘rat run’ route down Beech Road and Buckhurst Road.

Remember, this is at 2:00pm on a normal Saturday afternoon. Just imagine the same roads in a busy rush hour, then add a percentage of the cars from the 1200 new homes proposed at PRB and you are looking at a really desperate scene.

This is as clear an indication as we’re going to get that the mitigation measures proposed by the developers are ill-conceived and likely to lead to traffic misery for the village and villagers of Frimley Green and the surrounding area.

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As I said, I sent the above to James Chapple at CN&M and he used this as a starting point for the basis of his article.

A couple of days later I realised that last Thursday there was a Local Area Committee (LAC) meeting – where our elected County Councillors and some of the Borough Councillors meet with the public to discuss local issues – so I tabled the following question;

“Given the traffic chaos witnessed in Frimley Green recently due to the temporary lights placed on the mini-roundabouts around the green that mimic the mitigation measures proposed for the PRB development, will the council promise to look again at the potential traffic problems and carry out their own investigations into the mitigations proposed, to prevent Frimley Green and nearby areas becoming gridlocked with traffic?”

In tomorrow’s update I’ll tell you what happened . . .

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