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Monday, 13 July 2020 07:48

Active Travel Scheme Proposal - Update

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Last week's article "A very interesting proposal from Surrey County Council!" certainly generated the degree of interest we anticipated. At the time of its publication and, given the tight time limits (see para 5 of the SCC email below), it was only possible to put it out there and steer readers to make their views known by email to SCC direct.

The sheer volume of emails received has prompted the Area Highway Manager to send the following reply to LOSRA:
 
"Thank you very much for your comments regarding the Emergency COVID 19 Active Travel Measures in Lower Sunbury.  We have received a high level of feedback from the local community.  The vast majority of feedback is from people who are opposed to the proposed scheme of tactical road closures and modal filters.

"We have reviewed the feedback with Cllr Tim Evans, and it has been decided that we will not implement the scheme as it currently stands. The feedback we have received has identified a number of specific transport issues that we may be able to address, and so we will continue to engage with local stakeholders.  We are hoping that through continued engagement we may be able to develop new options to address these issues.  This may result in a different scheme being proposed in due course.

"The background to this is that the Government has asked Highway Authorities to develop and deliver schemes to assist with social distancing, and to promote active travel (cycling and walking).  The Government is expecting us to take road capacity away from motorists and reallocate this for other modes of transport.  For example in Farnham town centre we have narrowed roads and widened pavements to provide more space for pedestrians to assist with social distancing and promote active travel.  There is more information about this on our website here:  www.ourroads.today/activetravel.  The Government is encouraging Highway Authorities across the country to be radical, and we appreciate that this will cause concern for local communities.

"Nevertheless we would like to implement schemes that are supported by local communities wherever possible, and to listen to any feedback that we receive when developing and implementing these schemes.  We have heard very clearly that the local community in Lower Sunbury does not want the proposed scheme to go ahead, so we are going back to the drawing board.

"A number of people have asked why we have not consulted the community in the way that we normally would.  This is because the timetable set by the Government to deliver the first tranche of schemes was 8 weeks from the date when funding was announced.  This did not give us time to undertake the kind of comprehensive consultation we would normally do.  Instead we have tried to use local networks to let as many people as possible know what we were considering, and thereby give as many people as possible the opportunity to respond.

"We will now work with local stakeholders, including local schools, local councillors, and the Lower Sunbury Residents’ Association, to assess what alternative options might be available to alleviate transport issues in Lower Sunbuecond tranche of the Government’s active travel programme.  The timescales for this second tranche have not yet been announced, but we are hoping there will be time for more extensive consultation.  It is also possible that other priorities elsewhere in the County will take precedence depending on the level of funding we receive.

"I would like to thank you for taking the time to write to Surrey County Council.  If you have any further queries please could you direct them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.".

Yours sincerely,
Nick Healey
Area Highway Manager
Surrey County Council

2 comments

  • Comment Link Elleke Tuesday, 14 July 2020 09:51 posted by Elleke

    What is certainly VERY reassuring that they also listened to the objections submitted by the residents which included nearly 1000 Sunbury Facebook members including a Change.org petition set up by one of them! Brilliant what can be achieved when people come together with a common goal.......

  • Comment Link C S Story Tuesday, 14 July 2020 07:10 posted by C S Story

    SCC have learnt their lesson from Reigate High Street scheme which started 3rd July and was stopped on 6th! Farnham scheme has been going before Covid19 and adapted over time. We can only hope that, by the time SCS get to Lower Sunbury in the second tranche, a more suitable plan is proposed. One that will not turn us into a ghost town cum Veladrome but meet everyone's needs.

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