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Letter: Does Surrey County Council Have A Short Memory?

Published on: 14 Dec, 2022
Updated on: 14 Dec, 2022

Image of London Road, Burpham, taken in August 2022. Google Street View.

From: Terence Newman

In response to: Will Burpham Roadworks Wipe Out Conservatives in Guildford?

Have those at Surrey County Council short memories about trying to impose its ill-considered cycle schemes?

In July 2020, an attempt to introduce a cycle lane in Reigate High Street [similar schemes were introduced nationwide as part of the pandemic measures, Ed] was abandoned due to the predicted traffic chaos that ensued.

The saga is neatly reported on the local MP’s (Crispin Blunt) website (see: Cycle Lane in Reigate High Street – Update). All the elements are there: warnings about potential chaos from local residents and businesses, absence of consultation, lack of advance communication etc.

Fortunately, the scheme was introduced using temporary bollards, and its abandonment after only three days left no lasting scars. How did sense prevail? The attendance of Cllr Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, to observe for himself the mayhem SCC had created, brought home the futility of persisting and led to an immediate withdrawal.

Crispin Blunt, reporting a conversation with Cllr Matt Furniss, SCC’s Cabinet member for Transport: “Of 25 schemes across Surrey I told him he and his officers might be allowed one dud…”.

Given that the local Burpham and Guildford residents have made all the same cautions, predictions and warnings about London Road, as were made about Reigate, why has this earlier disaster been forgotten after only 2½ years? Clearly the personnel involved have not changed, and so the apocryphal saying arises: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

 

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