Tag Archives: Haslemere

Flexi Season tickets now available for South Western Railway customers

  • A new Flexi Season ticket is available to buy from today and can be used from Monday 28 June. 
  • This new product will offer SWR customers more flexibility – enabling people to travel on any eight days in a 28-day period – and could lead to significant financial savings.
  • From today, SWR customers also can change advance ticket bookings to a different date or time for no extra cost.

South Western Railway (SWR) customers who split their time between home and the office are set to save money and enjoy more flexible travel thanks to a new ticketing product which is available to buy from today.

The new Flexi Season ticket will replace SWR’s Carnet tickets and enable customers to travel on any eight days in a 28-day period. From Monday 28 June, customers will be able to enjoy unlimited travel between the same two stations on their chosen days, with the product being valid across the SWR network and beyond.

Part-time commuters could benefit from the new product through significant financial savings. For example, a Flexi Season ticket holder travelling between Woking and London Waterloo on two days a week would save over £250 a year when compared to the cost of daily tickets.

Flexi Seasons will be entirely contactless, meaning customers will need to obtain a SWR smartcard before purchasing the new product through the SWR app, website or a ticket office. To activate one of their eight day passes, customers are required to place their smartcard on a gate or smartcard validator, allowing them to travel between their chosen stations.

SWR is urging customers to check a new season ticket calculator to confirm which type of ticket is best for them. This tool is available here: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/season-calculator.aspx

In line with the rest of the industry, SWR is also taking part in the new ‘Book with confidence’ initiative, which allows advance ticket bookings to be changed to a different time or date fee-free, until 31 December 2021. The change, which is also introduced today, means that SWR customers can book train tickets safe in the knowledge that that they won’t be out of pocket if plans or circumstances change.

Commenting, SWR’s Commercial Director, Peter Williams, said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer the new Flexi Season ticket, which is on sale from today and available to use in a week’s time.

“This product will offer the flexibility and value for money that so many of our customers need in the aftermath of a pandemic which has fundamentally altered working patterns.

“We are also pleased to be part of the ‘Book with confidence’ initiative, which enables our customers to change the date and time of Advance tickets for free. We have all got used to plans changing quickly and unexpectedly, and we want to do all we can to ensure that our customers don’t lose out when they do.

“As these and other improvements show, we are determined build back a better and more flexible railway, fit for the post-pandemic world”.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“Our railways work best when they are reliable, rapid and affordable.

“As we kickstart the biggest reforms to our railways in a generation, flexible season tickets are the first step. They give us greater freedom and choice about how we travel, simpler ticketing and a fairer fare.

“With a season ticket calculator to see which option works best for you, and a book with confidence guarantee to make journeys stress-free, the future of fares is flexible”.

Contact Information

Toby Williams
toby.williams@swrailway.com

Notes to editors

Flexi Season ticket – pricing:

  • Flexi Season tickets have been priced relative to the options passengers already have on their route.
  • That means they provide better value and convenience for most commuters travelling two to three days a week, compared to existing daily tickets or traditional season tickets.
  • The Flexi Season ticket will offer a minimum 20% discount on the equivalent monthly season ticket.

‘Book with confidence’:

If your plans change, you can amend date and time of Advanced tickets fee free up until 6pm the day before you travel, and until 31/12/21. Fare price difference may apply. Advance tickets purchased online can be exchanged for a voucher for future journey. Fee free changes also apply to Off Peak and Anytime tickets, up to the date of departure.

For more information on Flexi Season tickets, visit: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/train-tickets/season-tickets/flexible-train-tickets

Noisy Club Session this Saturday 22nd May

Ultra-X Trail running races at recreation ground this Saturday!

(Notice from Haslemere Tennis Club)

Expect some loud music and activity at the recreation ground this Saturday whilst our morning club session is on.

Ultra-X have kindly given us notice that they will be starting their series of 4 races from 06:00 through until 10:00am on Saturday morning, with some loud music and a generator to power their electrics, gazebos set up and a start/finish arch set up at the Northerly end of the rec. It should be quite a spectacle and hopefully won’t interfere too much with your tennis concentration! 🙂

Have fun this weekend!
Best Regards
Haslemere Tennis Club Committee

A message from South Western Railway as passengers return to the railway

From: SWR Stakeholders
Sent: 17 May 2021 18:22
To: nikki.barton@haslemeretc.org
Subject: A message from South Western Railway as passengers return to the railway

Dear Nikki,

I thought you might be interested in the below press release, which sets out the work we at South Western Railway have completed since the start of the pandemic to improve and upgrade our network. As you can see, improvements range from extra waiting shelters to better Wi-Fi. 

As restrictions lift further and people begin to return to the railway, I am sure that this announcement will be of interest to your constituents 

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Best wishes,

Phil Dominey
Senior Regional Development Manager

South Western Railway (SWR) is looking forward to welcoming customers back to a more punctual, reliable and energy efficient network, following a year-long programme of extensive improvements made possible by low passenger numbers.


Since the first national lockdown in spring last year, passenger numbers on SWR’s network have remained consistently low compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, SWR has continued to run reliable services for people who need to travel and stepped up cleaning regimes to keep customers safe.
At the same time, SWR took the opportunity to work on initiatives that would have otherwise taken much longer to deliver, and created more disruption, had they been attempted when passenger numbers were at 100 per cent.


To list a few:
• 1456 train doors have been checked – and, if necessary, fixed. Doors that don’t open and close safely and smoothly can cause delays.
• Seven “Duty Control Managers” have been employed to lead the Control Room and make journeys smoother.
• 48 stations have been completely repainted, brightening up customers’ journeys.
• 280 new benches have been rolled out, 40 new waiting shelters have been installed across 30 different stations and 15 waiting rooms have been refurbished, allowing for a more comfortable passenger experience.
• All 187 SWR stations now have Wi-Fi, and there has been a 23 per cent increase in onboard connectivity speeds, meaning better access to the internet.
• 10 stations have been made more accessible, and safer, via automatic doors, smoother pavements, sturdier handrails, new ramps, and anti-slip tactiles and treads.
• 160 additional cleaning staff are helping to keep trains and stations clean, with thousands of litres of a long lasting disinfectant being used.
• And 16,180 light bulbs have been changed to LEDs, reducing energy use across the network by 21 per cent.
This comes as RMT members voted overwhelmingly for a deal to end the long-running dispute over the role of the guard last month, which had caused significant disruption to customers.
Claire Mann, SWR’s Managing Director, said:
“While our customers were away, we’ve taken every single opportunity to improve our services.
“We have made real progress and continue to work hard to transform what is one of Europe’s busiest networks. We’re investing heavily in our network, our people, and our local areas to improve the quality, safety, and reliability of our services, and better meet the needs of customers and our communities.
“We exist to connect people – with family, with friends, with employment, with experiences, and with opportunities – and we can’t wait to welcome our customers back to the railway as soon as they are ready to travel with us again.”


Mobile Coronavirus testing facility in Haslemere

A mobile Coronavirus testing facility is being established in Weydown Road Car Park, Haslemere, from Tuesday 18 May to Thursday 20 May.  

Testing is available to all those with COVID-19 symptoms, but must be pre-booked online. Booking for this site is open from 5pm the evening before and on the day.

Residents should book on the national testing portal: visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call the NHS on 119.

Those without an appointment will be turned away.

You can walk into the testing centre, but will still need a pre-booked appointment.

Tory town plan jibes a bit rich, says Barton

Last week, I submitted a letter to The Haslemere Herald which formed the basis of a front page story in the paper here. Here is my letter in full:

Dear Editor, 

In their recent letter to the Haslemere Herald, former Conservative Town Councillors Fay Foster and Cyndy Lancaster questioned my endorsement of John Robini in the forthcoming elections. They stated that the process of the Neighbourhood Plan was apolitical and that Cllr. Robini’s record of leading the working party over the last two years should be kept out of the campaign trail.   

They are correct that the Haslemere Vision team has managed the process with the utmost independence, objectivity and professionalism for many years prior to his leadership. However, Mrs Foster and Mrs Lancaster should not forget that the previous Town Council, the formal ‘sponsor’ of the Neighbourhood Plan did not uphold these same rigorous, non-political standards.  As the only non-Conservative out of 18 Town Councillors between 2015 and 2019, and as a founder member of Haslemere Vision, the community group with a cross section of more than 80 volunteers that developed the draft Neighbourhood Plan, I had a ring-side seat.  I witnessed the ‘old-guard’ Conservative Council actively work against Haslemere’s best interests, as clearly expressed by the community in the wide-ranging public consultations carried out by Haslemere Vision. 

In Conservative run Town Council meetings I witnessed protected greenfield sites being promoted for large scale housing developments with no meaningful reference to public consultation or to the Neighbourhood Plan team. Haslemere Vision’s surveys, completed by many hundreds of residents demonstrated the community’s categoric desire not to permit development on the town’s highly valued green ring of countryside and its acknowledgement that the trade off to meet housing need numbers was a higher density of building within the settlement area of the town. Indeed 89% of the surveyed public voted against any large housing developments on that countryside.  

I witnessed the Conservative Council’s same blatant disregard for the public’s views as Waverley Borough Council prepared the new Local Development Plan (LPP2), which sets the course for the town until 2032. With rare exceptions, Haslemere’s then Conservative Borough Councillors pushed for protected greenfield sites to be included in LPP2 in direct contradiction to the community’s stated priorities.  The first version of LPP2 was indeed so flawed in relation to Haslemere that the Conservatives’ own Waverley leaders had to stop it going to final approval and send it back for more consultation. 

Fast forward to May 2019 and I am no longer a lone voice on the Town Council because, following the elections, the previous working party of just two Conservative Councillors was replaced with a cross-party mix under John Robini’s leadership. Glaring questions were soon asked as to why the previous working party had only supported bringing forward the Neighbourhood Plan for its next stage of consultation by insisting on the settlement boundary being moved to eat into protected countryside.  Why were they not concerned with reflecting the community’s wishes and why did the draft LPP2 not reflect those wishes either?  These concerns were amplified in the context of a local declaration of a Climate Emergency with its implications for protecting our countryside and the environment. 

Thankfully the new Council, under the leadership of Mayor Robini, provided more balanced support for the Neighbourhood Plan process. The working party was expanded and included councilors from all parties who worked closely with each other and with Haslemere Vision to genuinely listen to the community once again and finalize a draft Neighbourhood Plan that reflected residents wishes to the greatest extent.    

I am at a total loss as to why certain Conservative Councillors would persist in actively working against their own community’s wishes and argue for large scale development on protected greenfield land and support both specific and general proposals that local residents vociferously reject.  The arrogance can at times be astounding as we saw when 2 Conservative Councillors tried, at the 11th hour, to overturn the community endorsed Neighbourhood Plan to revert to their earlier version which included the development of our green fields.   

If former Conservative Councillors Foster and Lancaster really want to understand why I am endorsing Councillor Robini for the County Council, they only have to look at the indefensible approach of the Conservative Council that has not respected the priorities of their own residents.  I am not party political, nor a member of any political party but  I can endorse John Robini as an individual who has listened to the community and who has acted with integrity to support the last stages in finalizing the Neighbourhood Plan and the principles of protecting our precious countryside against unacceptable development.  

Cllr Nikki Barton 

Sun Brow Litter Pick

I was delighted to go out litter picking on Sun Brow on Friday with the Love Haslemere Hate Waste team, Transition Haslemere and councillor colleague, Claire Matthes.

This was the first time using the grabbers, portable bins and safety gilets I was able to fund with my Surrey County Council Members Community Allocation.

Huge thanks to the brilliant girls who worked so hard to clean up our town- all from St Bartholomew’s Primary School.

Sadly there was so much litter so, there are plenty more litter picks planned.

Statement: Retiring as Haslemere’s Surrey County Councillor

As Haslemere’s retiring first Independent Surrey County Councillor, I am delighted to have been asked to share some perspectives on representing the town at County Hall. 

My message to the next County Councillor is that a community mindset trumps any political affiliation.  

My own experience shows that being free from the constraints of party politics has enabled me to challenge and speak up for the best interests of our community. 

Having as my only motivation the desire to serve the town has enabled me to bring together positive and collaborative partnerships in projects and initiatives that serve our town.  

I am an accidental politician, drawn to stand for the first time in 2013 having been so appalled as I witnessed Surrey County Council (SCC) planning to install parking meters throughout the town. 

Revenues from the parking meters were estimated to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds annually, with no clear benefit to the town and obviously negative impacts on local people and businesses.  

I was appalled that such a radical and negative change to our town could be ushered in by the back door with minimal public engagement, so I decided to challenge the closed shop and back room deals of the then one-party politics in Haslemere. 

They were exciting times – some may recall Haslemere’s second street demonstration since 1912, when hundreds of residents marched through the town to protest against the parking meters in support of our local traders and independent businesses. 

The event that sealed my decision to fight for the community was a Surrey and Waverley Local Area Committee meeting in Witley Village hall where local councillors were going to approve the parking meters in the town. 

Posters and banners were forbidden so we wore yellow t-shirts printed with the slogan “Haslemere demands a proper process and consultation”.

I had in my possession copies of letters from the clergy in Haslemere objecting to the installation of parking meters around churches.  

I was shocked to hear the committee chair state that there were no objections to the proposals, so I stood up twice and challenged this.  

Much to the amazement of the crowd, in response to my request that objections from the churches be properly considered, the Chair called for a security guard to physically remove me from the meeting and I was escorted out the building. In today’s world of zoom meetings, I am sure this would have gone viral, Handforth-esque! 

Following the meeting, a letter was sent to the Leader of SCC, setting out the case for a judicial review due to the total failure by SCC our then County Councillor to listen to the community… the meter plans were dropped. 

So shocked at what I had witnessed, I decided at the very last minute to stand for election as the first Independent for Haslemere.  

I did not expect to win but wanted to fire a shot across the bows of the tribal politics, to demand that Haslemere’s electorate deserved better.  Stunned, I won by the narrowest of margins, just 20 votes.

Much of my first term was spent challenging the established ways of local politics and being innovative including using social media (@HaslemereFirst). 

Although I will have been seen at first as an irritation to the party-based groups in the town, at Waverley as well as at County Hall – evidenced by fellow councillors often coughing comically and rudely rolling their eyes when I spoke – my desire to create a mindset of community-focused and transparent representation for the town resonated with local residents. 

My majority in 2019 increased from 20 to 1500, more than all the votes cast for the other party-political candidates put together.  This mandate has given me greater confidence to speak out for the town and to push back when decisions are not in the town’s best interests or do not faithfully represent the wishes of local residents.

I am proud to have called for public scrutiny of many issues, including challenging: councillors who vote against the wishes of their constituents on protecting our green spaces, cuts to the fire service in our area, lack of adequate budgets for mental health provision in Surrey and proposals to saddle the town with massive debts for an unnecessary multistorey car park. 

I have not been afraid to stand up for, and support residents and community groups, for example, where I played a lead role in the successful campaign to save the Alzheimer’s Centre, now The Hunter Centre and successfully lobbied SCC to enable the outstanding Stepping Stones school to expand into Undershaw in Hindhead. 

Throughout my term of office, I have consistently spoken up on the key issue of climate change and sustainability.   As a member of the SCC Climate Change working party developing the recent Climate Change Strategy, and on the Highways and Environment committee, I continually pressed for rigorous policy making to reduce carbon emissions. More locally, as a founder member of Haslemere Vision, the Neighbourhood Plan and as a member of the Town Council Neighbourhood Plan working party, I have supported the clear priorities of the community to protect the precious green countryside, rich in biodiversity that surrounds the town.  

I have also supported Shottermill Infant school’s innovative green waste scheme – funding hot bins to compost school lunch waste instead of it being thrown out for landfill won an SCC award – and was a founding member of Haslemere South Residents Association.

My efforts have also secured funding for critical road safety and improvement projects across Haslemere and Grayswood including building a safe network for pedestrians and cyclists across town and major road resurfacing under SCC’s Project Horizon. . A key priority has been to improve Haslemere for walking and cycling, and gradually positive steps are being taken through bringing together Surrey Highways and our local community Active Travel group

I have thoroughly enjoyed establishing and Chairing groups such as the Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership – this extended the local partnership to link Haslemere with other stations on the line to promote Haslemere as a gateway to the South Downs, Surrey Hills and National Trust countryside – and liaising closely with the community to make sure I distributed every penny of my members allocation funds to support the activities of a wide range of local groups.

The list could go on, but perhaps the key point about my tenure as County Councillor is that, as we emerge from Covid and look forward to a brighter future, the principles of openness, transparency and the independent mindset that is not constrained by any political party is the most effective way for Haslemere’s voice to be heard and the most effective way to make differences for the town that matter.

My challenge is for the next County Councillor to leave their party politics behind, to encourage the post-pandemic spirit of the community working together and simply put Haslemere first.  

I look forward to continue serving Haslemere as an Independent Town Councillor for the Haslemere South ward.

(An abridged account appeared here in the Haslemere Herald last week.)

Surrey Heartlands Covid Partner Newsletter

From: COMMS (NHS SURREY HEARTLANDS CCG) <syheartlandsccg.comms@nhs.net>
Sent: 10 March 2021 17:34
Subject: Surrey Heartlands Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Partner Update 10th March 2021

  Partner update 10th March 2021  
 
Welcome to our regular Covid-19 vaccination update.  This short update will be published and circulated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, in addition to our weekly vaccination newsletter.  If you wish to subscribe/unsubscribe please email us at:  syheartlandsccg.comms@nhs.net  
 
  Large-scale vaccination service to move from Epsom Downs Racecourse to Sandown Park

From 17th May, our large vaccination service at Epsom Downs Racecourse – which people book via the National Booking system – will be transferring to Sandown Park Racecourse.  As the country moves out of lockdown restrictions and plans to phase the return of horse racing events at Epsom Downs emerge, we need to relocate the vaccination centre from Epsom Downs to Sandown Park.   Vaccination appointments for those eligible will continue at Epsom Racecourse until 15th May.  From 17th May all appointments will take place at Sandown Park. Once invited people should continue to book their appointment for the vaccination centre though the National Booking system. We expect the move to Sandown Park to be made without disruption and are grateful to the Jockey Club for their commitment to continue supporting the vaccination programme in Surrey. Local people booking appointments now may receive their first dose at Epsom Racecourse and second dose at Sandown Park. Details on appointment bookings can be found on our FAQS.   The site at Epsom also accommodates a Local Vaccination Service which is managed by local GPs. This service will also re-locate within the same timeframe and it is expected to remain within the local Epsom area.    

National Booking system trialling text invitations for Covid-19 jab

Yesterday NHS England announced that the NHS national team will now start texting people inviting them to book their Covid-19 jab, making it quicker and easier to get an appointment.  Previously all invitations via the National Booking system were made via letter.  Nationally, almost 400,000 people aged 55 and over and 40,000 unpaid carers who are now eligible for the vaccination will receive an invitation by text as well as by letter.   Similar to text messages which are already sent out by many local GP-led vaccination services, the message will include a web link for those eligible to click and reserve an appointment at the large-scale vaccination centres of pharmacies.  The service will also send text reminders 2-3 weeks after the original alert to encourage people to make their appointment if they haven’t already.  Texts will arrive in advance of the standard letter, meaning if the trial is successful the solution could enable the NHS to react faster to changing vaccine supplies and fill appointments quickly.  This will help increase uptake of the jab, particularly as the NHS moves on to younger age groups.  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
 
  You can find a comprehensive set of FAQs on the local programme on our website here  
I have had my first vaccination. 
Do I still have to wear a face covering when shopping and can I hug my grandchildren?
Having the first vaccination jab does not guarantee we cannot catch coronavirus but it should reduce how seriously we are affected by the virus if we catch it. This means that even after you have had your first vaccination you could still catch and spread coronavirus to your family and the people you come into contact with. It is therefore really important that you continue to follow current guidance to stay at home as much as possible, continue with social distancing, wear a face covering and regularly wash your hands.  
 
     
  Useful links ·       FAQs ·       NHS.UK Covid-19 vaccine ·       GOV.UK Covid-19 vaccination programme ·       Data release ·       Information on priority groups  
  ———————————————————————————————————————————— Surrey Heartlands Communications Team, 10th March 2021