Deepcut residents are celebrating following the Deepcut Liaison Groups Traffic Study e-petition success at Surrey Heath Borough council. The petition reached over 700 signatures of residents from Deepcut & surrounding villages.
Angela Mitchell, Chair of the Deepcut Liaison Group made the following statement to Surrey Heath Borough Council Executive which was followed by a debate of local councillors:
“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen I am here to ask the Executive of SHBC to endorse the wishes of the local residents of Deepcut, Frimley Green, Mytchett and Heatherside and to ensure that SCC commission an independent traffic survey of the local roads affected by the development of the PRB site.
Local residents have completely lost confidence in SCC Transport department. The Maultway and Red Road round about is an example of a recent junction improvement that went wrong. At the June meeting in Guildford Andy Stokes admitted, in the presence of SHBC councillors, that he had signed off the plans and SCC had got it wrong. This supports the strong feeling amongst residents that “tweaking” roundabouts will not solve the traffic problems.
SCC is not taking the resident’s concerns and views seriously. Andy Stokes and Mike Green were clearly dismissive of residents at the public meeting earlier this year. They are also giving us a lot of supposed evidence which is contradictory. We have, as an example, been told that there is no problem, the traffic mitigation will solve the issue. However, in the “Transport evaluation for Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Core Strategy” produced by SCC for the core strategy, problems are identified (document number 3380/SHBC/01 version3). On page 57 of the document the first entry at the top of the page shows B3015 Deepcut Bridge Road would be over its nominal capacity in scenarios C and D (Deepcut development; and Deepcut development plus DERA development.) This clearly means that there will be a problem on Deepcut Bridge Road.
SCC have also reported in their FAQs that the PRB development will produce only 400 additional traffic movements in the morning peak period and 700 in the evening peak period. This is unbelievable when there are 1200 new homes and therefore 3360 additional cars going on the site(2.8 per household is the average for Surrey Heath). The “Transport evaluation for Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Core Strategy” document clearly shows that there will be 1024 additional movements in Zone 365 during the period 8.00-9.00am. 400 movements is therefore clearly nonsense.
The lack of credibility of SCC transport Dept. leads to a total lack of faith in SCC quality assuring the traffic study commissioned by the DIO.
In addition in February 2011 the inspector in “evaluating” the SHBC Core Strategy was very surprised that SCC was relying on the traffic study produced on behalf of the DIO.
Residents are very concerned at traffic across a wide area. The ramifications are across the whole of the east of the Borough, not just Deepcut Bridge Road, Bellow and Blackdown Roads. To name just a few of the roads and junctions of concern:-
- Wharf Road / Frimley Green Road,
- The Maultway / Red Road
- The Maultway / London Road
- The M3 junction 3
- Frimley Green Road
- Sturt/Mytchett Road
- The Hospital area
The traffic study is a vital piece of work that needs to be done thoroughly. Residents want to see the best possible traffic flow. They want meaningful road improvements which will give significant additional capacity across the area and produce substantial improvements in traffic flows. This is in addition to putting meaningful traffic mitigation and calming on Deepcut Bridge Road, Bellew and Blackdown Roads and the building of new roads of sufficient substance to take some local traffic through the PRB development in a controlled way.
We are not traffic engineers and therefore cannot say exactly how this can be done. In January at the public meeting, local MP Michael Gove said that as the MOD is making a lot of money from the sale of the PRB site they must be made to put something back for the local residents. Again at this morning’s breakfast meeting he repeated that the MOD are making a lot of money. They should not be allowed to dump lots of houses in the area and then walk away from their infrastructure responsibilities. There should be no cost cutting on infrastructure. The local residents should not be left to pick up the pieces. We are ratepayers and need to be able to rely on a truly independent survey”.
Following the statement, members of the executive and councillors discussed the merits of the e-petition and unanimously agreed to set money aside for a ‘Traffic Impact Assessment’.
Petition signitories received the following email today:
The Executive considered the petition at its meeting on 27 September 2011 and resolved the following:
(i) support the petition; and
(ii) commission a traffic impact assessment in relation to the development of the Princess Royal Barracks at Deepcut as part of the planning application process.
Minutes to the meeting can be downloaded here.
Angela Mitchell said “this is a fantastic result we are delighted. I would like to thank SHBC for listening to us and to the Surrey Heath Residents Network for helping us spread the word to the community about our e-petition. The fact we got so many local signatures shows the strength of feeling in the community about the number one issue when it comes to the new development and that is traffic. This is really only the beginning of the hard work as we will need to keep up the pressure on all our points when the army consultation starts and the planning application comes in, but we have made significant progress”.
Paul Deach ward Councillor for Mytchett & Deepcut said “This is a great result and a brilliant example of community activism at its best. Members of the Deepcut Liaison Group have worked tirelessly for the benefit of the wider community and that hard work has paid off. It just goes to show what can be achieved when the community pull together. Congratulations to all involved. I also think that we should recognise that Surrey Heath Borough Council have listened to residents feedback which shows they are in touch with the major local issues”.