Cllr Ruth Reed on the The Run Common Saga
By Cllr Ruth Reed
"Newly tarmacked road leads to Badger Sett, Bridge and DNA of Great Crested Newts… delays, you could not make it up…"
"Run Common Road, out of Cranleigh is still closed."
'What exactly are Surrey County Council doing to enable Residents to access Run Common Road as one of only two roads out to a main A road, the A281?"
"My Residents and I would like to hear that you have a detailed plan of action within a specific time frame; their patience has almost run out."
This is what I had written out of considerable frustration, as I have been following this issue and asking many questions over the last two years. My first remonstration was made to the Former Conservative Surrey County Councillor for the Cranleigh and Ewhurst Division; if you all remember not only was Run Common Road closed but so was Amlets Lane. Added to that there were also at least two sets of Traffic Lights along Cranleigh High Street.
'Businesses, Residents, Local and County Commuters and those doing the School Run are all being compromised; it is especially bad at rush hour.
I will quote just one business:
'But traffic lights? two sets in one High Street? Surely that's not right.
Just what are Surrey County Council Highways planning to do to both bring about a swift and effective solution?
First flooding, then a whole series of road works in the High Street and around the common, weeks of closures for Run Common Road and now Amlets Lane.
'This whole situation can hardly be tolerated after all we have been going through; it is hard enough to run businesses after Lockdown. I have every sympathy with our residents and their complaints and wholeheartedly support our ever-struggling businesses.
Only after my email, were the Traffic lights paused, but there still remained the issue of Run Common Road…
The County Councillor responded and said that the road work, 'could not begin without permission from the appropriate body, due to the presence of badger setts under the bridge.
I informed him that the residents had run out of patience and that I knew that in the past there have been issues with subsidence just beyond the bridge and that this had been addressed, barriers put in place and the road level made up, so why were there still delays in the reopening of Run Common Road. Meanwhile, you will see by the photographs that Highways had made a new tarmacked surface that only went as far as the bridge in both directions.
Not only were businesses being compromised, but diversions sent all traffic around and through narrow roads, causing, not only time delays, but also unwanted and unnecessary air pollution, as traffic crawled through the Surrey Villages.
The story does not end there.
I put the same question to Matt Furniss, the Conservative County Councillor responsible for Highways, he then informed the newly elected Conservative County Councillor for Eastern Division, who responded to me. He gave exactly the same story, not only about the badgers but also that work could not even commence then, because the DNA of protected Great Crested Newts had been detected in the general area. The works have now been paused whilst that issue is managed and to comply with the requirements of Natural England, resulting in a further delay.
The current date for completion of the scheme is the beginning of October 2021, but do not hold your breath.