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Campaigners optimistic over changes to 'dangerous' Reigate road

By Surrey Mirror  |  Posted: March 23, 2013

By Jenny Seymour jenny.seymour@essnmedia.co.uk

SAFETY CAMPAIGN:  Residents are hopeful appeals to make Gatton Park Road safer will bear fruit  RELM20120925-001 Photo by Liam McAvoy

Residents are hopeful appeals to make Gatton Park Road safer will bear fruit RELM20120925-001 Photo by Liam McAvoy

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RESIDENTS are hopeful changes will be made to a "dangerous" road after they took their campaign to the county council.

Concern over safety in Gatton Park Road, Reigate, in September, prompted those living in the area to launch an appeal for changes.

A petition, calling for the removal of existing traffic islands and the introduction of cycle lanes, speed signs and a new island at the junction with Carlton Road, gathered 163 signatures and was considered by Surrey County Council's Reigate and Banstead committee earlier this month.

Just days after it was launched, a 13-year-old girl was seriously injured when she was knocked down by a car in the same road.

Although area highways manager John Lawlor said there was no current budget to remove existing traffic islands between Wray Lane and Carlton Road, and the road was too narrow for the safe introduction of cycle lanes, he did commit to investigate options including a crossing at Carlton Road and some vehicle-activated speed signs.

Petition founder Jill Mansfield, 39, a mother-of-two, said: "I think the committee was quite positive, certainly a couple of things are a real possibility.

"They recognise it is an issue and that is one of the main things I wanted – to get a sense they take it seriously.

"I think we are not the only people who have been making noise about this.

"Both my husband and I use the road every day and it is a very scary experience. We spoke to neighbours and realised others shared our views so we started the petition."

It was a dreadful coincidence that, within days, a Royal Alexandra and Albert School pupil was seriously hurt in a collision and airlifted to hospital. The girl has since returned to school.

A police traffic speed survey carried out north of Carlton Road in July last year revealed almost half of drivers drove faster than the 30 mph limit.

In Mr Lawlor's response to the petition, he said removal of existing traffic islands would increase speed and accidents, and there was no funding allocated for such a scheme.

However, he did make the proposal that officers should carry out "further investigation".

The committee could consider funding a £4,000 vehicle-activated speed sign in its two-year forward action programme.

"A pedestrian refuge [at Carlton Road] as suggested by the petitioners would assist in reducing the speed of vehicles turning into Carlton Road and would also help pedestrians crossing," he said, adding that officers would carry out an assessment and if appropriate, suggest it for funding.

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