Fringe Box



Letter: No Notice Given of Road Closure

Published on: 4 Jun, 2021
Updated on: 5 Jun, 2021

No notice road closure on Clay Lane

From: Jim Allen

Returning home to Burpham via Jacobs Well, I came across a traffic queue. I had left my home in Bowers Lane via Burpham’s centre and there had been no indication of any road closures.

Progressing down Clay Lane I came to a barrier and had to return via Old Woking, Send and then down the A3.

Five hours later, I was unable to contact anyone who could make sense of the mess and after 19 minutes on hold on the SCC phone line, I spoke with the operator who said the road will be closed overnight but signals would be placed there tomorrow.

So this was an unadvertised potential five-day closure, when no one had been warned the road was to be fully closed, no letters sent to local residents, no proper signage deployed and no indication that Clay Lane was going to be closed for up to two days.

My online enquiry entered under the “Emergency fault notification” elicited a response which says a response will be within 28 days.

Response from Lib Dem county councillor for Guildford East, George Potter

George Potter is the new deputy leader

“Affinity [a water supply company owned by a consortium of Allianz, HICL and DIF Tamblin] do have a permit for the road closure itself. However, I have been told by highways officers that a condition of their permit was that they should have done letter drops to nearby households giving advance notice of the work and they were to put up signs warning of the work. Multiple residents, both in Burpham, on Clay Lane and in Jacobs Well, have confirmed that they received no such letters and saw no signs on the road until today.

“By 4pm today (June 3) there were no workmen left on site, the trench had been filled in with soil up to 4 inches below the road surface but it hadn’t been capped (temporarily or permanently) with tarmac meaning that the road closure is continuing overnight. Signage warning of the road closure before people got to it didn’t appear until around the same time.

“The closure coincides with temporary traffic lights at the Stoke Road crossroads and road closures by Affinity in Send (including Potters Lane) which meant that there was congestion on all possible diversion routes.

“I’m going to try to speak to the management of the Streetworks team at County Highways about this as it is absolutely mindboggling that all these works were permitted to go ahead at the same time, that the permit Affinity has apparently would allow them to close the road for five days, that Affinity has apparently been able to flout the permit conditions about giving advance notice, and have also failed to provide proper signage warning people of the road closure.”

Surrey County Council have been asked to respond.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: No Notice Given of Road Closure

  1. Brian Holt Reply

    June 4, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    It’s not only the neighbouring local residents, but residents from large area of Guildford who use Clay Lane to get to and from the A3.

    Why was there no advance warning signs of road closure displayed at both ends of the road?

    Today, Friday June 4, nearly all roads in Guildford area are at a crawl, and one motorist said it took them one hour to get through Send, which also had road works, and down the A3 to Burpham, arriving at the store where they work one hour late.

  2. Martin Elliott Reply

    June 4, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    These roadworks were published in the SCC Weekly Works Bulletin which is posted by several councillors in social media community groups.

    However, I agree with Jim Allen that as this is a busy route, SCC should have checked that at least a week’s notice of the closure was posted on the route.

    As to leaflets for residents, yes that is in the blurb from SCC, but what’s the protocol? A road in Bellfields, which is the only route possible for a required journey from my address, has been closed five times this year. There used to always be always one-week notice warning signs, and sometimes a residents’ leaflet on the website. I have not received a paper copy of the residents’ leaflet.

    In any case, what use to most drivers is a leaflet sent to nearby residents for roadworks on main routes like Clay Lane or Epsom Road?

    This is just one of several incidents of poor planning and communication of roadworks in East Guildford, including the virtual isolation of Merrow Park.

    I have communicated with Cllr George Potter and suggested that he requests, giving the recent examples, a proper review of the procedures for considering and approving roadworks, communications and monitoring. Then to review those procedures against identified deficiencies and revise them.

    I’m not sure about Surrey County Council, but my experiences with GBC are that any investigation only checks incidents against procedures without examining the procedures themselves. Apparently, GBC procedures cannot be incorrect or need revision. I think Cllr Rigg has found this too.

    • George Potter Reply

      June 7, 2021 at 9:41 am

      I agree that the problem appears to be with the process rather than individual council staff, given that this kind of thing keeps happening.

      A letter drop to residents living in Jacobs Well, Burpham and on Clay Lane certainly would have been helpful but the main fault here was the fact that a) the utility company had been given permission to close the road for five days, and b) that there were no warning signs put up in the days and weeks before the closure to warn people of it.

      George Potter is the Lib Dem county councillor for Guildford East

  3. Alan Haskins Reply

    June 6, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I had an utterly miserable day trying to work as a mobile engineer between Woking and Guildford. With Potters Lane shut and Clay Lane shut, slow-moving roadworks in Merrow and more, I had no choice but to sit on Send Road for an hour staring at yet more roadworks.

    I’m disgusted at Affinity’s lack of care in carrying out unannounced roadworks on Clay Lane, but even more so because they knew full well that Potters Lane was shut too. They need to be punished in some way to highlight their lack of care and to try to stop them from doing the same again in the future.

    This added to the debacle of the appalling state of Surrey’s roads has made commuting around Surrey a thoroughly soul-destroying experience. Affinity seriously needs to up its game. The council need to get a grip of their contractors including Kier, who do most of the road repairs. They need to up their game too.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *