While delivering in West End on the Saturday I took this photo of the potholes in Winterdown Road and passed it on to Surrey County Council's Highways team. The Conservative administration at County Hall has promised to bring all of the county's roads up to a good standard within five years, and is spending £25million for a blitz on potholes. Surrey residents can report any roads that are in need of attention by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday I was in Lower Green with local residents and Sharon Butler of Elmbridge Housing Trust (EHT), who own many of the properties in the Douglas Road area. We pointed out the lack of available parking which has resulted in residents having to park on grass verges, making them unsightly and having the potential to damage underground pipes. We made a case for additional parking bays to be created to address this existing problem, and warned that things will get a much worse when Cranmere School moves to land behind Arran Way and increases its intake from the current 390 to 630. This will bring hundreds of cars to these streets and could be unbearable for residents unless action is taken now.
The EHT view is that it has no money to spend on parking spaces but would be willing to accommodate Surrey County Council were the county to get its cheque book out. Muddying the waters a bit is the fact that many properties are in private hands and EHT would effectively be creating bays for those who are not its tenants (bays can be rented or sold to private residents of course, covering the cost). I personally believe BOTH Surrey and EHT will need to contribute to a solution and I will - with parents and local residents - keep up the pressure for a solution to be in place before the expanded Cranmere School opens in 2015. Surrey has said it will pay for bays along the railway side of Douglas Road, with a figure of 80 mentioned, but the location is less than ideal as space is limited and would require parents and children to get in and out of vehicles while exposed to the passing traffic (and lorries). A worrying situation.
A meeting is being arranged between all interested parties - parents, residents, police, EHT and Surrey - hopefully at Cranmere School in late April or early May. I'll post more details as I have them.