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East Horsley Road Closure Shows a ‘Callous Disregard’ says County Councillor

Published on: 3 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 4 Dec, 2021

No cars at the station parade of shops at East Horsley. Normally motorists are lucky to find a parking space. “The village is dead,” said one shopkeeper, Terri Wood.

By Hugh Coakley

Fears that a planned road closure by Surrey County Council would dramatically affect trade for local shops appear to have been borne out.

The road closure of the Ockham Road North in East Horsley for utility connections to one private new house remained in place today despite pleas for it to be delayed until after the Christmas trading period.

“Everybody is incensed,” said ward borough councillor Catherine Young.

Local traders in East Horsley had estimated their losses would be around £140,000. Businesses and the public in West Horsley will also be affected according to a local businessman.

It’s a similar story on the other side of the road where the post office/convenience store, which acts as a community hub, is located

In a letter to The Dragon, Adam Aaronson, owner of the Glassblowing Studio next door to Squires Garden Centre, West Horsley, said it would impact on his business and others as well as the parents and teachers at Cranmore School. He said: “It will undoubtedly mean that many people won’t get their deliveries on time.”

Cllr Catherine Young

Cllr Young (R4GV) said she had spoken to the SCC cabinet member responsible for transport issues, Cllr Matt Furniss (Con, Shalford), to seek assurance the utility work being carried out would not need to be repeated for the other three adjacent new properties being built, resulting in further disruption.

She said: “The shops are really quiet. The Post Office shop was empty when I visited today and there were no queues outside the butchers as would be expected at this time of year.”

She said Cllr Furniss had indicated the road was too narrow to have traffic lights allowing traffic to use the road in a one-way system but she added: “Traffic lights have been used on this road before”.

Cllr Colin Cross

County councillor for the area Colin Cross (R4GV, Horsleys) accused SCC leader Tim Oliver and Matt Furniss of being “incapable of good judgement and looking at such problems in the round”.

He said: “The hard-pressed retailers in East Horsley, having survived the Covid pandemic, are being crushed by their own county council, with no consultation, just a callous disregard.

“SCC remain silent on any compensation or an offer of an alternative plan to shorten the road closure time. There has been no justifiable explanation or apology for this massive misjudgement and its dire impacts.”

In a statement to The Dragon, a spokesperson for SCC said: “It has been necessary to put this closure in place to connect supplies to properties at the new development site, so that people can move into their homes before Christmas.

“Dates for the works have had to be coordinated around other works in the vicinity and the volume of works across Surrey’s entire road network means it is not always possible to simply defer to a later date as this may result in clashes.

The 12-mile diversion route shown on the SCC website.

“We will ensure that an officer is regularly monitoring progress on-site to ensure that the closure does not stay in place for any longer than required. If works complete earlier, the closure will be lifted immediately and if it is possible to lift the closure and continue works under temporary signals when some phases of work have been completed, we’ll also ensure that any possible changes are made at the earliest opportunity. We are also arranging for “businesses open as usual” signage to be installed ASAP this week.”

See East Horsley Road Closure During Christmas Trading “Beggars Belief”

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test One Response to East Horsley Road Closure Shows a ‘Callous Disregard’ says County Councillor

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    December 3, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    I thought lessons had been learnt from the sudden road closure of Clay Lane to enable the but connection of water supply to Burpham Court Farm. But I guess you can’t teach some people. Why are those in charge not more aware of consequences and “what if” scenarios.

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