Road Works and Highways Update – Cllr. Jeff Harris

Last Thursday saw unprecedented rainfall in our area with estimates of a months rain in just 6 hours. Whatever the figures, I’ve never known it so bad in such a short period of time.

I’ve reports of 6 ‘sinkholes’ appearing in the last week in our area alone, with three just in Tadworth Park, others in Preston Manor Road, near the Sports Centre, and Marbles Way and one in Sandilands Road, Walton on the Hill.

But by far the worst and the one that’s affecting almost everyone-especially local businesses an residents is the A217 Brighton Road, near the Church in Burgh Heath. There are actually a number of separate ones currently, and these appeared before the deluge on Thursday.

I’ve pushed for more information on your behalf and the latest is this:

On Monday 10th August in the late afternoon it was noticed that the road surface was sinking. Emergency works were implemented and as you know the southbound carriageway was closed, and has remained so ever since.

The site of one of the SEVERAL sinkholes is almost identical to one that occurred last year. The ‘foamed concrete’ used to repair that one has actually washed away. We do not know the cause.

Thames Water and SES Water have various pipelines under the road in that location, and both been on site and done their investigations but neither have apparently found any leaks which would cause the sinkholes. Surrey Highways have had specialist civil engineers on site and used various imaging equipment, but again, other than identifying the size of the holes, and the number, far more than first thought-which in itself is disturbing, no obvious reason has been found.

We are now awaiting the final results of a ‘ground-radar’ investigation and once that is known-and its being chased up-then works can begin work out a solution and then to finally re-fill the sinkholes. Obviously, its not quite as simple as just filling it all in and re-surfacing the road.

I’m also aware of the number of ‘rat-runs’ locally where drivers ignore the sign-posted diversion, which does not help residents locally. I’ve also asked that the signage is checked daily.

I’ve spoken to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and the Director for Highways at Surrey and both asked me to pass on their personal apologies for the situation, but also emphasised that everything that can be done, is being done.

I did say that the perception is that nothing is happening on site…

I have asked for personal updates and as soon as I receive anything, I will let you know.

Once again, my apologies for the lack of communication from Surrey Highways.

Kind Regards,

Jeff. Harris

County Councillor Tadworth, Walton on the Hill, Burgh Heath and Kingswood.

August 2020

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