A traffic-free High Street; what the Local Area Committee said

As we wrote here yesterday, at the meeting that evening of the council’s Local Area Committee the Eye asked why fifteen years’ of promises to pedestrianise Camberley’s High Street had led to nothing.  Not even to partial pedestrianisation.

P1100749cThe suggestion that the borough and county councils might be embarrassed by the lack of progress was not received sympathetically by one councillor.  Another councillor pointed out that the road had to remain open for shop deliveries.  Also, that the intention was to create a rear access road but that this inevitably took time.  It was said that the council had acquired the derelict electrical spares building in Bissingen Way as part of the new road scheme.

The Eye is totally unconvinced by this argument.  We wrote over a year ago about the saga of the derelict building and pointed out that in 2007 the council granted planning permission for the building to be replaced by offices.  (Yes, we did object to the planning application, with no effect.)  We could have added that when the original permission expired,  the council renewed it!  So it’s sheer luck that the council has been able to acquire a derelict building rather than be faced with a much more expensive option of  buying a relatively new office block whose construction it should never have allowed.

Sorry, council, your explanation won’t wash.

You can read what we wrote a year ago here: http://wp.me/p3Dlu2-18y

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5 thoughts on “A traffic-free High Street; what the Local Area Committee said

  1. Dear Camberley Eye,

    It would be useful if you could name the unsympathetic councillor so their constituents could contact them and complain personally about their views.

    On the matter of the roadworks outside Frimley Park Hospital, I and my local councillor Bill Chapman have been complaining since the work started about the initial lack of information and then the incredibly slow rate of work (when there were even workmen on site). I have copied the last correspondence below, I won’t bore you with the whole file!!

    >> From: Rob Thompson >> Subject: Fwd: Customer Enquiry : ME-155817 PORTSMOUTH ROAD CAMBERLEY >> Date: 1 December 2015 at 2:19:32 pm GMT >> To: Bill Chapman >> >> Well Bill, >> >> Apparently all of you councillors were kept fully informed!!!!!!!!!! You may like to question exactly who he kept informed. It is still not true what he is saying, the original work did start in Feb and was expected to complete in 12 weeks according to the original signs, wish I had taken a photo now. Also it seems we should be grateful the work has started at all, thank you very much Sir. >> >> Funny how I had not received a response until I forwarded your note and my original complaint to Hamish Tunnell last night also noting I had not received a response in 18 days and then bingo, something appears. >> >> Still, nearly over now. >> >> Best regards, Rob. >> >> >>> Begin forwarded message: >>> >>> From: Harold Parr <harold.parr@surreycc.gov.uk > >>> Date: 1 December 2015 at 1:34:44 p.m. GMT >>> To: rthompson@ntlworld.com >>> Cc: Olivia Nawa <olivia.nawa@surreycc.gov.uk >, Edward Faunch <edward.faunch@surreycc.gov.uk > >>> Subject: Customer Enquiry : ME-155817 PORTSMOUTH ROAD CAMBERLEY >>> >>> Dear Mr Thompson, >>> >>> Further to your email below, we appreciate your comments however there has been several obstacles to overcome to ensuring the project is carried out with minimal disruption. >>> Statutory utility investigations start in March and each service has to be allocated before any civil work commenced. These are major services adjacent to a major hospital in Camberley and would have caused a disaster if any of these services had been hit during our works if it wasn’t for due diligence by the council. >>> You quite rightly say the actual work hasn’t affected the traffic and once the civil work actually started, the programmed has only slipped by 2 weeks from the original programme. Throughout the project, we’ve had continuous communication with the hospital and councillors with weekly progress updates and with minimal complaints. It is more relief that the scheme is being implemented. >>> The works will be substantially completed on Friday 4th December 2015 with minor snagging works after to sign off and complete the scheme. >>> >>> Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further concerns. >>> >>> Regards, >>> >>> Harold Parr >>> Senior Engineer >>> STRATEGIC PROJECTS TEAM >>> Environment and Infrastructure >>> SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL >>> >>> >>> >>> >>> Good morning Mr Parr, >>> >>> As a local resident who passes this stretch of road on a regular basis >>> and also a member of the Highways Customer Panel, I have been following >>> this scheme with great interest. >>> >>> Initially it was next to impossible to get any information on the timing >>> and progress of this scheme which as you will be well aware actually >>> started around the end of February and the first sign-age quoted 12 >>> weeks to complete, rapidly changed to 24 weeks. So your bulletin that >>> quotes the work started on 28 May does not quite show the whole picture, >>> but I assume it means the scheme looks as if it is more on track than in >>> reality. I understand the issues around services not where they were >>> expected to be, but I doubt that is the first time that has happened. >>> >>> Since then the completion date has regularly moved out, last one I saw >>> today was 4 Dec 15 on the Surrey Roadworks in my area, your last >>> bulletin quotes winter 15/16. Judging by the speed of work taking place >>> (on the occasions that workers are actually on site and the work is >>> simply abandoned) I doubt the 4 Dec timing. >>> >>> This has probably been the most poorly undertaken piece of roadwork I >>> have come across, and I used to drive 30-40k miles a year so have seen a >>> lot. By the time it is completed it will probably taken the better part >>> of a year to widen a relatively short piece of extremely important road. >>> When you consider what the implications of the traffic issues caused, >>> not by the work but by need for the work, patients late for appointments >>> at Frimley Park Hospital with all the attendant waste of NHS resource. >>> This scheme should have been given a higher priority and better, more >>> accurate estimates of timing. >>> >>> Regards, >>> >>> Rob Thompson >>> 12 Hillcrest Rd >>> Camberley >>> GU15 1LG

    >>

    To his great credit, Bill Chapman is asking for an inquiry into why this work took so long. However if Mr Parr’s response is anything to go by (in my view it contains a number of, let’s be generous and call them inaccuracies) then it will be a waste of time.

    Many thanks and keep up the good work.

    Rob Thompson.

    >

  2. Whether it is the continuing stagnation of Camberley development, or almost any road project managed by SCC it is is never ending tale of talk, talk and a line of excuses and ultimately disappointment and lack of delivery to the residents who are affected. The roadworks by the hospital are a disgrace. Why have the taken so long? Why hasn’t this project been managed to include night time working in the summer months? isn’t it obvious to the council “managers”( for want of other words) that the shorter the project timeline the less the cost to the project and consequently much reduced losses caused by the disruption. ?????

    Camberley town stagnation , and the coming gridlock caused by the new cheap housing at Deep cut, will be the epitaph for the current incompetency of those at SHBC and SCC who have failed to deliver.

      • …which is why I am very concerned about the Frimley Road/A30 improvement following the development at 371 London Road…

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