Highways and Transport
Being so close to greater London, Chipstead is inevitably exposed to traffic cutting through the village lanes in rush hours to avoid traffic jams on the neighbouring main roads. Heavy goods vehicles in particular cause damage to road surfaces and destroy soft verges. There are inconsiderate drivers determined to flout the law and travel at high speed, creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians. The absence of street lighting, whilst helping to preserve the character of the village, can make conditions worse during the hours of darkness.
To combat this problem, the CRA has successfully lobbied for a 30mph speed limit throughout the village. It has also been successful in implementing 'pinch points' at the village boundaries to restrict vehicles over 2m (6' 6") in width. Mini-roundabouts have been installed at dangerous junctions on Outwood Lane. Yellow line parking restrictions have overcome the chronic vehicle congestion in Lackford Road. All of these traffic calming measures have delivered some relief, but need to be backed up with enforcement procedures.
However, this has not tackled the underlying problem – that our roads were not built for and cannot accommodate the nature and the volume of traffic using them. Popular measures such as speed humps, one-way systems, road closures and parking restrictions come only at the price of inconvenience to villagers themselves, and involve unwelcome additional road signage and street lighting. The search for a solution continues, but is not easily found.
Highways and transport are the responsibility of the Surrey County Council. The availability of funds for road improvement and maintenance is greatly affected by the changing policies of successive Governments, and long periods of under funding can result in dangerous deterioration to our road infrastructure. Over the years, the CRA has lobbied hard for our roads, and has enjoyed the support of our local SCC councillor who is in a strong position to present issues of local concern to the SCC.
The CRA conducts regular surveys to determine the condition of the village road network, and maintains a list of recommended actions which is passed to our SCC councillor every 3 months. Remedial action is then carried out by the SCC Community Gang who carry out small repairs to road surfaces, repair road signs and other street furniture, and cut back foliage.
The CRA also supports the Surrey Police Community Speedwatch programme. Four times a year, the CRA instigates traffic monitoring surveys at critical points in the village road network using speed detection equipment. The results from the surveys are then forwarded to the Surrey Police for further investigation.