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Surrey County Council to look into A217 'safety boards'

By Surrey Mirror  |  Posted: February 15, 2012

The 'safety measures' on the busy A217 Reigate Hill

The 'safety measures' on the busy A217 Reigate Hill

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COUNTY council bosses say they will consider removing "safety measures" on a busy road if casualty figures back up drivers' complaints that they are dangerous.

The wooden panels are intended to stop drivers coming up Wray Lane and Gatton Bottom, pulling onto the A217/Reigate Hill too early, but have been described as a "farce".

The Mirror reported last week how, since the panels were put up in January, there have been at least six accidents there, accounting for more than a third of reported crashes at the junction in the past year.

Michael Hale, 62, of Brighton Road, Salfords, uses the A217 daily and is also a member of nearby Reigate Hill Golf Club.

He said: "It is unbelievably senseless to have put these clumsy big boards up. They do nothing but increase the probability of adding to the string of prangs already seen on this road.

"In the last couple of years I guess I've witnessed at least five crashes, where cars have pulled out from Wray Lane or Gatton Bottom and been hit by a car coming along the main road. This can only be made worse now because the boards obscure their vision further."

Mr Hale described the boards as a "farce to safety" and added: "I think those most likely to have a crash are people who are used to the road, because all of a sudden they're confronted with a blindspot, but they're used to being able to swing out onto the M25 and won't take caution."

Rebecca Wright, of Cockshot Hill, Reigate, said: "I am always wary when driving towards the junction because loads of times I've had to break suddenly when a car has pulled out from Wray Lane. But now I can't always even be sure if a car is coming and it's probably the same for drivers coming towards the main road from Wray Lane."

The Mirror conducted its own survey between 9 to 9.30am on Monday. Our reporter witnessed three cars travelling along the A217, having to break suddenly, due to vehicles coming from Wray Lane or Gatton Bottom.

And one car had to come to a complete standstill when a mini-van pulled out of Gatton Bottom to turn right onto the A217. During the half-hour stint another two cars and a lorry had to sound their horns at the junction.

A Surrey County Council spokesman said previous measures to reduce casualties at the junction including signs and lines hadn't had the desired impact.

He told the Mirror: "We are grateful to those who have drawn to our attention the January incidents. Once we've received that month's casualty data from the police, we will be in a better position to comment.

"If our monitoring suggests that drivers are having problems as a result of the scheme, which was introduced to reduce casualties, not cause them, we will remove the panels," he added.

However, the council says it may not receive all "damage-only" collision data as this is not required to be reported to the police.

What do you think about this issue? Let us know in the comments below, or email editor@surreymirror.co.uk

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  • 1stephen  |  February 15 2012, 5:39PM

    There is one solution to the problem of crashes here because drivers from Wray Lane turning right 'take on' the faster moving traffic towards Reigate Centre. Neither gives way and 'bang' - bent metal, cuts and bumps and no doubt bruised egos. The cheapest solution is for County is to ban right turns from Wray lane. This would stop Wray Lane being used as a cut-through to avoid Reigate Town Centre. A more expensive solution would be traffic lights backed up by cameras for those who view red traffic lights as 'an invitation to stop'. No doubt others will have positive solutions to this problem rather than rants against County officers, with limited financial resources, trying to solve problems caused by careless or wiful driving .

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  • mvmashtead  |  February 15 2012, 11:01AM

    "We are grateful to those who have drawn to our attention the January incidents. Once we've received that month's casualty data from the police, we will be in a better position to comment." This is typical of what's going on today with the legions of three year honours degree graduates now being given the task to sort out what in reality is an extremely dangerous situation and instead of using any initiative, these clip-board waggling bureaucrats are making life even more of a misery for us all. "However, the council says it may not receive all "damage-only" collision data as this is not required to be reported to the police." The fences that were erected around the roundabout / junction of the A243 / A244 on junction 9 very quickly disappeared due to continued pile-ups and this ridiculous situation at the top of Reigate Hill is just as bad, if not worse. Surrey County Council are going down hill very fast and the bottom line is, listen to people you moron's and don't wait until someone gets killed.

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