Residents in the rounds at the northern end of Frenches Road have today received a letter (text transcribed below) outlining the timetable for the previously announced trial lowering of the bus gate (bollard) on Frenches Road, which was agreed by the Surrey County Council Local Committee last December.
In summary, once traffic surveys of the current situation have taken place and the necessary legal work has been done, the bollard will come down during the week of 28 May, and will remain down until late November. During that period further traffic surveys will be done and there will be public consultation. A decision on the future of the bollard will then be taken by the Local Committee on the basis of the evidence.
Councillor Rois Amiah, who has lobbied Surrey County Council to undertake this evidence based review of the bollard, said:
I am very glad that the County Council has written to residents to set out clearly the process for the trial suspension of the bollard. They will have to collect proper evidence of how the traffic patterns are affected by the lowering of the bollard, and take into account the views of local residents.
“I will play my part to ensure that the final decision is based on this evidence.”
Full text of the letter:
Frenches Road – Trial Suspension of Bus Gate
In December 2011, the Surrey County Council Reigate and Banstead Local Committee approved the suspension of the bus gate at the northern end of Frenches Road on a trial basis and that residents would be informed of the proposal before carrying out any work. The trial will involve leaving the bollard locked in the down position for six months to permit access for all traffic through the bus gate.
There has been a delay in commencing this trial, for which I apologise, but the necessary arrangements are now being made for the trial to commence. I am writing to inform you of the process that will be followed and the expected timescales.
It is important we have a clear understanding of traffic movements in the area before the trial commences. To this effect, traffic surveys collecting information on numbers and types of vehicles, and turning movements, will be carried out over a complete week at the following junctions:
Ormside Way/Frenches Road
Frenches Road/Trowers Way
Nutfield Road/Holmesdale Avenue
The existing arrangements at the bus gate restrict access to all traffic except buses and pedal cycles and were put in place through the legal process of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). To allow all vehicles to use the bus gate, the current TRO must be suspended on an experimental basis. This requires the publication of an advertisement in the local newspaper and the display of notices on site. The bollard can then be lowered for the trial period to commence.
There will need to be minor changes made to the road markings and signs at the bus gate. As the road narrows to a single lane at the bus gate, priority will need to be given to traffic approaching from one direction to avoid conflict. It is proposed that priority will be given to traffic approaching the gateway from the northern (Ormside Way) end of Frenches Road, with traffic from the other direction having to give way.
Once the trial has started and a period has elapsed to allow traffic movements in the area to settle, full consultation with local residents will be carried out. This will be in addition to the statutory six-month period given as part of the TRO process for receipt of comments. Further traffic surveys will be carried out to enable us to quantify changes in traffic patterns. Following the end of the trial, a further report will be taken to the Local Committee to inform Members of the outcome of the trial and to seek a decision based on the traffic data and the views of local residents, on whether to remove the bollard permanently.
The expected timetable for this work is given below. Whilst every endeavour will be made to keep to the dates given, please note they may be subject to slight change.
‘Before’ traffic surveys mid May
Advertisement of TRO 17 May
Trial start week commencing 28 May
Formal consultation week commencing 9 July
‘After’ traffic surveys late September
Trial end week commencing 26 November
Report to Local Committee 3 December
The trial will allow officers to quantify the changes to traffic movements in the area and enable you to base your comments on the actual impact of the opening up of Frenches Road to all traffic.
I will be working closely with your local Councillors during the trial and will write to you again later this year.
Senior Engineer, South East Area Team