Contact Us | Privacy

WEYBRIDGE

latest:  

Home | Local Campaigns | Grotto Road

BARBARA'S BLOG

Local resident Barbara Molony has now started a blog on the issue:

Grotto Road Junction blogExternal link

PETITION

Barbara has raised a petition, which we support:

We the undersigned are asking Surrey County Council to:

add a footpath to the north side of Grotto Road, KT13 8JW, at the junction of Grotto Road with Thames Street, and double yellow lines on both sides of the road for 10m from the junction.

Background

Barbara's original comments on this junction summarise the situation as follows:

"Dangerous junction at the corner of Grotto Road & Thames Street  

There is no pavement at the north side of Grotto Road at this junction.  This junction is regularly used by children walking to and from school, 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 of children at St Georges School 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.  

At 8am, 12 midday, 3pm and 4pm the junction becomes impassable with tempers flaring on a daily basis.   

The corner needs a complete footpath, double yellow lines all along the green and opposite the shop, and strict enforcement of same. " 

If you are interested in helping with this petition, please contact Barbara!

You can make an online pledge to support this action.

To have the biggest effect on Surrey, you can sign a copy of the paper petition being circulated locally. Click here to email for further information.

 

LID DEMS WORK FOR WEYBRIDGE ALL YEAR ROUND

Grotto Road Junction -- improving safety at the junction with Thames Street

Parking at the end of Grotto Road
Parked cars and no footpath at the end of Grotto Road

Safety at this junction has been a worry for several years. Local people and your local borough councillors have been pressing for urgent action from Surrey, with disappointing results so far -- despite a formal request from Cllr Macleod to the Surrey County Council Local Committee for action to improve the safety of the junction. Now local resident Barbara Molony has raised a petition -- which deserves strong support -- and has also put a written question to Surrey.

The junction is on a pedestrian route to school, but there is no footpath on one side -- the side on which most people arrive at the junction. And visibility for crossing  is obstructed at critical times by school-run parking.

Barbara used www.pledgebank.com/GrottoRdJunctionExternal link to gather support for her campaign.

Help get action from Surrey County Council

To have the biggest effect on Surrey, you can sign a copy of Barbara's paper petition being circulated locally.  Click here to email for further information.

Local borough councillor Miles Macleod has raised the Grotto Road junction issue with Surrey County Council repeatedly over the past year, and is continuing to lobby for action. A good response to Barbara's petition will help influence Surrey!

Story so far

The formal channel for requesting action is through the Surrey County Council Local Committee:

  • In June 2008 we put a specific question to SCC about the Grotto Road junction (see below), and received a response proposing no immediate action on the junction.

We have subsequently followed this up in multiple ways:

  • Miles Macleod wrote to the SCC parking team and our Surrey County Councillor Ian Lake (who is now responsible for the Surrey Transport portfolio, and also on the SCC local committee), saying why something must be done urgently.
  • We sent a copy to the Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge, Philip Hammond MP.
  • Miles has repeatedly reminded our Surrey County Councillor of the urgent need  for double yellow lines (at the very least) around this junction, and has been told that something will be done soon.
  • We are supporting Barbara's Grotto Road Junction campaign

Here are the questions and responses from Surrey:


SCC LOCAL COMMITTEE IN ELMBRIDGE – 06 JUNE 2008

AGENDA ITEM 8 - PUBLIC QUESTIONS

Question 1 – Cllr Macleod

Weybridge North Parking Issues
Will Surrey County Council take action on some specific urgently needed parking control measures needed in Weybridge North? Residents are very concerned about two issues:

1. Safety at junctions near schools. The most serious issue is the junction at the end of Grotto Road (where it meets Thames Street) where there is no footway on one side of the road. This is between two schools, and parked vehicles particularly at school drop-off times obstruct visibility and make the junction very hazardous. People are justifiably worried that there will be a serious accident. There are also problems with parking at school drop-off time at other corners along Thames Street. This is a safety issue, which needs urgent attention. Will Surrey County Council take action before someone is hurt?

2. A need for resident parking (CPZ extension) in some roads adjacent to the High Street. The most affected area is Holstein Avenue, Elmgrove Road and Oakdale Road, where all day ‘commuter’ parking makes life very difficult for residents. Residents of Holstein Avenue have a particularly pressing need, and are making a strong case for early action, in advance of the planned general consultation on the CPZ in Weybridge North. More generally, there is a widespread feeling that the true severity of the parking issues in these roads to the North of the High Street has not been recognized by Surrey County Council. Will Surrey County Council take early action to investigate the level of need in these roads?

Officers Response:

Thank you for your question on these two issues in the North Weybridge area.

As you will be aware, in recent years Surrey County Council has introduced traffic calming measures into this area, in a genuine attempt to reduce, if not eradicate the numbers of personal injury accidents occurring, and also ensures that drivers are discouraged from using the area at speed and as a rat run. A traffic order has also recently been made which will additionally allow the Highway Authority to sign much of area as a 20mph zone. The signs for this will be erected shortly, and it will allow the Police to prosecute drivers who drive in excess of this posted limit.

The Highway Authority also works closely with schools, the 56 or so in the Elmbridge area, to look at introducing improved safety measures outside schools, together with the introduction of reduced reliance on the private motor vehicle, and using other more sustainable methods of transport for these journeys. Subsequent to the traffic calming introduced outside of the school, amendments were made to the School Keep Clear markings and the location of the crossing patrol to afford all users greater safety in this location. The crossing patrol also places cones on the public highway in a genuine attempt to prevent parents from parking in such a fashion as to create safety implications for drivers, children, pedestrians and other road users. There are also flashing amber lights which operate three times a day, erected on the approaches to the school, together with triangular warning signs, highlighting to drivers the presence of addition danger at these times of day.

Obviously parents, who continue to park inconsiderately and in an unsafe manner, during school pick up and departure, are flaunting the law if they park on or near a junction. The Highway Code states that drivers should not park within 10m of the junction and can be prosecuted by the Police for doing so. At many of these junctions Surrey County Council have introduced white junction protection markings, to remind drivers of their obligation to the Code. However, Surrey County Council are not the enforcement authority and although measures are introduced to dissuade this behaviour, ultimately we are reliant wholly on Surrey Police to enforce the law.

It is always very difficult to strike a balance on the introduction of waiting restrictions near schools, as although it may discourage parental parking during the two short weekday periods of arrival and departure, the residents in the vicinity are then left with the restrictions during the remainder of the time. There is a scheme programmed to investigate parking in this entire area of Weybridge with a view to reviewing all the roads for this need. Controlled Parking Zones, limited waiting restrictions and other measures will be assessed as part of this review with full consultation with residents, businesses and other affected parties. The review is planned to commence early during the next financial year.

I hope the above apprises you of the situation and reassures you of our intentions.


SCC LOCAL COMMITTEE IN ELMBRIDGE – 27 JULY 2009

AGENDA ITEM 8 - 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:-

243

DO NOT stop or park

  • near a school entrance
  • anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
  • at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
  • on the approach to a level crossing/tramway crossing
  • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
  • near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
  • opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
  • where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
  • where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
  • in front of an entrance to a property
  • on a bend
  • where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities except when forced to do so by stationary traffic

244

You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.

[Law GL (GP) A sect 15]

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’s and St Charles have STP’s but not St. George’s.

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

"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:

"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".