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Normandy Residents Launch Safety Campaign to Curb Dangerous Drivers

Published on: 28 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 30 Oct, 2023

By David Reading

Residents of Normandy have banded together to demand action that will deal with the serious traffic dangers that they encounter on Westwood Lane – the scene of the tragic death of a motorcyclist on October 14.

Westwood Lane runs from the Hog’s Back to the A323 Guildford Road and although there is a 30mph speed limit in force in the built-up part, residents say that every day they witness vehicles travelling at a far greater speed.

The goal of the Reclaim Westwood Lane campaign is to persuade Surrey County Council to introduce effective traffic calming measures.

A search carried out by the organisers shows that from 2003 to 2023 there were 15 serious accidents on Westwood Lane including two fatalities. There were many more accidents described as “slight”.

Anecdotally, residents have recounted many stories of near misses and speeding through the residential part of the lane, from the Green Lane/Flexford crossroads to the railway bridge.

Campaigners Maureen Deacon and Rio Rossarne

Campaign spokesperson Rio Rossarne said: “People here have chosen to live in a mostly rural community and while we appreciate that there is a lot more traffic now on the road, there needs to be calming measures in place through the residential section.

“Unfortunately as motorists descend from the A31 on Wanborough Hill and Westwood Lane many are still driving at the speed they were travelling at on the A31. And with the mid and lower part of Westwood Lane being wide and somewhat straight, they race along it, without care that it’s a residential area.”

She said one man who lives next to the railway bridge has recounted multiple near misses when he tries to exit his driveway, to the point that he has installed a mirror opposite because of the dangers.

Rio said: “My office faces the road and all day long I see vehicles speeding, not doing anything close to the 30mph limit. My house literally shakes sometimes with the size and speed of vehicles travelling by.

“The residents are fed up with constant speeding and dangerous driving that we encounter every day when we step outside our homes.”

Many local people remember well the accident that resulted in the death of two horses in Westwood Lane in 2017. A woman was convicted of careless driving.

In the recent serious accident on October 14, the rider of the motorcycle, a man in his 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene. This happened at the upper end of Westwood Lane towards the Hog’s Back. A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Map of the October 14 collision location in Wanborough, near Normandy. Apple Map

On social media, Normandy people have been sharing their recollections of accidents in Westwood Lane, including the following:

“Car through garden wall, Westwood Lane, Wanborough. Minor injuries.”

“Car into small tree, same location. No injuries. ”

“Two-car head-on collision, same location. Both drivers injured.”

“Car came down the hill and smashed my car (luckily no one in it).”

“Car crashed and rolled off into the farmer’s fields.”

Representatives of the Reclaim Westwood Lane campaign will be meeting Surrey county councillor Keith Witham (Con, Normandy/Worplesdon) in November to seek firm action.

Cllr Keith Witham.

Cllr Witham told The Guildford Dragon: “Any road accident that results in a fatality heightens concerns as the recent motorbike fatality in Wanborough has done. Fortunately, accidents that result in a fatality are few and far between, the last one in Westwood Lane being nearly 20 years ago in 2004.

“The police record all Road Traffic Accidents that involve personal injury and are attended by the emergency services. After each investigation they then categorise each incident as minor, serious, or fatal, and that information is then uploaded to a database that the Highways Authority has access to when it is considering any possible  future traffic calming measures.

“The residential stretch of Westwood Lane has recently had two Vehicle Activated Signs installed to make drivers more aware of the 30mph speed limit, and I will discuss with residents what other measures may be possible. We need to get a proper record of speeds in Westwood Lane, which I am discussing getting done by Surrey Highways  in conjunction with Normandy Parish Council.”

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Responses to Normandy Residents Launch Safety Campaign to Curb Dangerous Drivers

  1. Maureen Deacon Reply

    October 28, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    It would be interesting to know how many more accidents (including fatalities) there have to be before Surrey County Council introduce traffic calming measures or average speed limit cameras in Westwood Lane.

  2. Ouida Knapp Reply

    October 28, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    It seems that it’s ok with Cllr Witham because fatalities are “few and far between!” What about all the injuries and PTSD trauma that living on this dangerous stretch of road inflicts? SCC needs to pay attention and do something to calm the traffic immediately.

  3. Peta Malthouse Reply

    October 28, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    20 years ago the parish council engaged with the residents to put forward suggestions to deal with the many hazards we have on our village roads. At that time the county were keen to look at village safety schemes

    When Normandy submitted theirs the cash ran out and the budget cut. Most of it was used to put parking bays and humps in the road outside the primary school. Then they declared 30mph limits on much of the main roads. Signage remained an issue.

    The death of two horses on our road has clearly slipped our councillor’s mind.They were being ridden at the time.

    Good luck to him in his campaign. It remains dangerous even to simply cross the road to speak to a neighbour.

  4. Stephen Lee Reply

    October 28, 2023 at 10:14 pm

    In the last six years the two ‘Normandy’ signs on the southern approach to the Flexford Road/Westwood Lane junction have been hit by speeding vehicles that left the road on two different occasions.

    The 30mph signs need a large yellow surround; not just the basic sign, which is often obscured by vegetation.

    Much of Westwood lane is unsuitable for overtaking and needs double white lines.

    The post for the southbound junction road sign rusted away years ago and is now leaning and lost in the hedge.

    Apart from much needed new traffic calming measures, SCC needs to put right all existing and missing local road signs.

  5. Ian Oates Reply

    October 29, 2023 at 11:43 am

    I could build a car out of the car parts from accidents outside my property. Replaced fence panels at least three times in the last couple of years where cars have ended up in my garden. Also the post with the sign “SLOW HORSES” is still laying on the verge outside the house.

    Just place a temporary or community speed check area there and you will soon see the need for traffic calming.

  6. Juliet Lee Reply

    October 30, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    We witnessed the tragic accident that sadly resulted in the death of two beautiful horses outside our property at the Christmas Pie Crossroads. This would never have happened had proper signage or traffic calming measures been in place.

    Motorists seem to be unaware that Normandy is a village with a 30mph speed limit. Cars, vans and heavy lorries come hurtling along Westwood Lane at reckless speeds. As they enter the residential area from both the Wanborough Hill and the Aldershot Road directions, the drivers appear to have no thought for villagers attempting to cross the road or for residents attempting to pull out of their driveways.

    I suggest that SCC should seriously consider installing speed tables, cameras, and whatever else it may take to ensure that Normandy residents, particularly in Westwood Lane, Flexford Road and Glaziers Lane areas are safe places for the local villagers.

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