No improvement works to congested Brookwood junction until after 2019
By mattcollison | Friday, March 08, 2013, 14:46
A HEAVILY congested road junction in Brookwood might not get improvement works for another several years, councillors have been told.
Traffic jams look set to plague Brookwood crossroads until at least 2019.
Surrey County Counci has agreed a feasibility study into the improvements will take place between now and April 2014.
Residents have been calling for long awaited improvements to Brookwood Crossroads where traffic snarl ups cause major delays.
But improvement works to the junction, where the A322 meets the A324, might not go ahead until at least 2019, Surrey County Council (SCC) has said.
The delay was announced to councillors at the Woking local committee meeting at the Civic Offices on Wednesday night (March 6).
Iain Reeve, SCC assistant director, said between £6 - £12 million year would be available when a new funding stream called local transport bodies comes into operation from 2015, giving local authorities access to funds for major schemes.
He said: "The good news is that we have a chance of funding that we didn't have a few years ago. The bad news I'm afraid is the timing. This isn't quick and these things take a lot of time to develop.
"The second bit of bad news is we have a programme for the first part of funding from 2015-2019 and these are schemes all across the county which haven't had the improvements we have seen here in the last ten years. We have had to prioritise and taking the view across the whole county we have had to put these schemes first.
"I can't offer to put it ahead of the other schemes in the county because local committees with other schemes will be rather annoyed that they've been leapfrogged but what we are saying is let's put it in the programme, let's consider it."
Improvements to allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross safely were installed at the Brookwood Crossroads junction ten years ago.
But while safety has improved, traffic congestion has become worse with motorists using Blackhorse Road as a "shockingly dangerous" rat-run.
Councillor Kevin Davis, Conservative member for Brookwood, said: "I do accept there are issues to funding and how long things can take, but I find 2019 so far away it's unbelievable. We already know that the junction is operating above capacity. It has an enormous impact on roads all around Brookwood and into Knaphill.
"I am going to have to go back to my residents and say they are going to spend another six, seven years waiting over 20 minutes to get out of Brookwood at either end because of problems caused by the crossroads."
Cllr Davis said he was frustrated how Surrey Highways had not previously taken into account how new developments such as Cala Homes recently approved planning application for 297 homes at Brookwood Farm and a new school could increase congestion.
He said: "Waiting until 2019 before there is any chance of doing anything is just extremely unhelpful. I also question why, with all this knowledge about how congested this area is, Surrey Highways in the recent planning application for Brookwood Farm and the outline permission for the school were able to say they didn't believe there would be a significant impact. It's clearly obvious there will be a significant impact."
Phil Stubbs of Knaphill Residents Association, said: "Brookwood junction is already trying to operate with traffic levels above the junctions capacity.
"According to data supplied by transport consultants for Cala Homes once the housing development is complete there will be an eight per cent increase in traffic trying to cross at Brookwood crossroads."
He added: "The recommendation being put to this table offers very little with a very long time span. If I was a cynic I would say the party involved were trying to kick the issue of congestion into the long grass."