Sunday, 10 April 2016

Some more good news!


It's only been 7 years since I started my campaign to get the junction at Grotto Road and Thames Street improved, but I have just noticed a new post on Councillor Andrew Davis' website which has cheered me up no end.

A footpath on both sides of the road is a possibility!

http://www.andrewdavis.me.uk/2016/04/grotto-road/

Watch this space!

Now.... if we could only get the speed limit down to 20mph and some speed humps on the roads in this area, our children would be a lot safer!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Success!

Fingers crossed the attached proposal will be approved at the next committee on June 24th

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Dangerous junction at the corner of Grotto Road & Thames Street




There is no pavement at the north side of Grotto Road at this junction which is regularly used by children walking to and from school at St James and St Georges and St Charles Borromeo primary schools, and visiting the corner shop.
Even with no parked cars, visibility is poor turning into the road from Thames Street, and pedestrians are regularly confronted with near misses there. It is only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured or killed.

Parents at school drop off times seriously worsen the problem by parking all the way along the green at the corner of Grotto Road, right up to the junction, thereby making the road too narrow for traffic to navigate, let alone pedestrians.
They appear oblivious to the Highway Code and ignore the white lines that have been painted nearby to try and prevent parking on corners. To add insult to injury the recently introduced 20mph speed limit ends at the entrance into this road.
The corner needs a complete footpath, double yellow lines all along the green and opposite the shop, and strict enforcement of same.


I initially reported the problem to Surrey County Council on the website Fix My Street.com however I didn't receive any response. I then contacted our local Councillor Miles Macleod who has raised the problem at this junction with the council at previous Surrey County Council Meetings with little success.

My next step was to set up an online petition with Pledgebank.com to see whether other local residents agreed with me, and I was overwhelmed by the support that I received with very little publicity. I collected 69 signatures from local residents protesting about this junction and many expressed disappointment that this long standing problem has still not been resolved.

Having received so much support, I submitted a question to the Surrey County Council Committee in Elmbridge meeting on the 27th of July, focusing initially on the provision of double yellow lines at the junction, however their response was not very helpful. Their response to my supplementary question was a bit more positive, I will post both below with some photos.

SCC LOCAL COMMITTEE IN ELMBRIDGE – 27JULY 2009 Public Questions

Question 6: Ms Molony

Junction of Grotto Road and Thames Street, Weybridge

Will Surrey County Council take action on urgently needed safety issues at the junction of Grotto Road and Thames Street?


There is no pavement at the north side of Grotto Road at this junction which is regularly used by children walking to and from school at St James and St Georges and St Charles Borromeo primary schools, and visiting the corner shop. Even with no parked cars, visibility is poor turning into the road from Thames Street, and pedestrians are regularly confronted with near misses there. It is only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured or killed.


Parents at school drop off times seriously worsen the problem by parking all the way along the green at the corner of Grotto Road, right up to the junction, thereby making the road too narrow for traffic to navigate, let alone pedestrians. They appear oblivious to the Highway Code and ignore the white lines that have been painted nearby to try and prevent parking on corners. The 20mph speed limit ends at the entrance into this road.


The corner urgently needs double yellow lines all along the green and opposite the shop, and strict enforcement of same. Fifty local residents have recently signed up to collect signatures for a petition about this junction and many expressed disappointment that this long standing problem has still note been resolved.


Officer response:


The lack of footway in Grotto Road was raised when the traffic calming was introduced in the area. In a genuine attempt to afford some improvement in the situation an extended kerb build out was introduced, outside the shop, which afforded the additional small section of footway to be constructed on the corner, complete with tactile paving, to improve sight line visibility, and allow safer access to the existing footway on the other side of Grotto Road.


The principal obstacle to providing a continuous footway at this location is the existing road width along Grotto Road. There is not currently sufficient width within the public highway boundary to accommodate a new footway, and there is no ‘quick and easy’ solution other than the re-opening of Elmbridge Housing Trust’s private pathway. Highways have discussed this with them, but in the light of the problems of noise, litter and vandalism experienced, they were understandably reluctant.

The following is an extract form the Highway Code:-


Section 243

DO NOT stop or park

opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space

As you will see from the above it is an offence to park either opposite or within 10m of a junction, and this is even in the absence of yellow line waiting restrictions. This applies additionally in front of a pedestrian drop crossing where the kerb has been dropped to assist pedestrians, or indeed on the footway itself.


Advisory white junction protection markings have been introduced previously to deter motorists from parking close to junctions and remind drivers of their responsibility under the Highway Code, and this additionally assists the Police enforcement. Many of the pictures you have kindly submitted clearly show offences being committed, in direct contravention of the above, which the Police have powers to enforce very quickly and effectively, and a sustained regime would deter many persistent offenders.


Surrey County Council’s Elmbridge Community Travel advisor visits schools on a regular basis and assists in the production of their School Travel Plan (STP), for which the school receives a government grant of some £7,000. Both St James and St Charles have STP’s but not St. Georges.


The School Travel Advisor will be writing to all Surrey schools at the beginning of the summer term with details of the road safety and sustainable travel services on offer. These 3 schools may wish to utilise the services offered in order to improve road safety at the school, including some ideas to discourage parents from causing unsafe parking situations.


The issue of waiting restrictions will then be discussed with the schools and if deemed appropriate, this will be added to the list of sites for the next annual amendment order of waiting restrictions.


Supplementary Question (By Barbara Molony in response to the above)


Thank you very much for your response to my question which was submitted with the support of 69 local residents who have serious concerns regarding the safety of their children at this junction.


You recognised that the pictures which I submitted clearly showed parking offences being committed, however I can not see any information in your response which indicates that you are planning to take any action at all.


Given that double yellow lines are very much more effective as a deterrent to unsafe parking, could I ask whether the council will make a commitment to introducing these as soon as possible given that the children will be exposed to this danger again in September when they return to school?


Officer response: (made by Frank Apicella, SCC Local Highways Manager)


"It is the responsibility of the Police to deal with enforcement related issues.

The Surrey County Council Travel Advisor will be contacting the schools shortly with details of the road safety and sustainable travel services on offer. If the schools raise this junction as a high priority problem, then the area could be added to the list of roads to be assessed for waiting restrictions. This list is reviewed on an annual basis. If area was then approved for yellow lines, a traffic order would need to be placed.


This is a slow process, the earliest yellow lines could be put in place is approximately 12 months".

Where would the new footpath go?

Some people have expressed concern about how narrow the road would be with an additional footpath, and indeed widening the road will be complicated because there are services there such as a phone box, letter box and most importantly a Telecommunications service point, which apparently can not be easily moved.

Surrey County Council do not want the expense of adding a footpath, and the only option they have considered is the re-opening of Elmbridge Housing Trust's private pathway from Grenside Road
-->. This does not address the problem of no pavement for children visiting the shop, and is not popular with the residents or Elmbridge Housing Trust due to noise, litter and vandalism.

My suggestion was that the existing footpath be diverted around the corner BEHIND these services, and then the road could be widened a footpath width on that side of the road, compensating for the loss of width on the north side. What do people think about this solution?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Photos of the problem junction






Surrey County Council's response to previous questions regarding the junction, mentioned that they had painted 'white junction protection markings' to remind drivers that they should not park within 10m of a junction. These photos show the white lines simply do not work!