I attended (as a member of the public) the Surrey Heath Local Area Committee (LAC) meeting last Thursday night. It’s something I’ve done regularly for more than two years – in fact I have a better attendance record than some of the committee members!
The first half an hour is open to questions from the floor, and you can hear what was asked as I recorded it for the Surrey Heath Residents Network.
I would encourage everyone to go along, as the committee – made up of our six County Councillors plus six Borough Councillors – discuss things of real interest and impact on the Borough.
You can find the agenda and supporting material for Thursday’s meeting HERE – it was a monster pack on Thursday night with over 170 pages of attachments. Click on “1 Oct 2015” to get the info – you might want to bookmark this page for future dates and agendas.
There were several areas of interest but I want to focus on two;
Firstly, the planned introduction of traffic lights in place of the roundabouts in Frimley Green.
This is the subject of a petition set up by Cliff Hilton HERE which is due to be presented at the next LAC public meeting in December – so make sure you sign. But on Thursday, the committee were obliged to respond to a written question from Graham O’Connell. His question, and the committee reply, can be found by clicking on the link below.
[Update: It seems the pdf is upside down! Right click the page and you’ll get the option to rotate it]
The URL given for the details is VERY unhelpful, if you click HERE you will be taken to it.
What is interesting is the table which gives numerical details of the impact of the traffic lights planned. I’ve not gone into all the planning data from the link to see which section of road is “Frimley Green Road N” and which is “Frimley Green Road S”. Nor do I know what the numbers represent – one assumes numbers of cars queuing, but this is the first time I’ve seen figures quoted.
The response given at the meeting was that based on all the modelling it’ll be OK.
At this point I challenged the committee that if this were the case, why not put in some temporary lights now and prove it. Set them up for a week and demonstrate to everyone that it is fine. This will satisfy our concerns as residents and we’d be happy. On the flip side, if it proves to be a disaster there is still plenty of time to consider alternatives. Needless to say, my suggestion was not taken further.
As far as I’m concerned, the biggest danger with the “trust me, I’m a town planner” approach is that if it all goes wrong it will be too late to fix, or cost a fortune and disrupt us all in Frimley Green for months (if not years).
The other item that caught my attention was changes to parking regulations across the Borough (Page 47+ in the agenda).
Many of you may have been caught out last Christmas with the changes on the A30 slip-road where additional permit holder only bays were added. In fact over 1000 people were fined as a result.
Well this year, one of the biggest changes will be to the service areas around The Mall in Camberley Town Centre. Many of these are available for people to park in between 6pm and 8am and on Sundays – this is all going to change, and they will become permanent No Parking areas.
There was some concern from a couple of committee members (Dennis Fuller and Rodney Bates) that these changes had the potential to be a repeat of the A30 slip-road fiasco and implored the highways people to make sure;
- Plenty of notice was given,
- Signage was bigger, better and clearer than last time,
- That a longer grace period was given between implementation of the new rules and the issuing of tickets.
It remains to be seen if any of these suggestions are taken up, but if you are someone who parks in the service areas of The Mall you have been warned.
There are lots of other changes too – so well worth reading through Pages 47 to 57 (and the maps) of the agenda in case they impact you.
The next LAC is on Thursday 10th December at High Cross Church, Knoll Road (next to the Theatre). From 6:00 – 6:30pm there is an open mic for anyone to ask a question of the committee. The meeting formally starts after that.
Hope to see some of you there.