Nikki Barton – Independent councillor for Surrey County Council (Haslemere Ward) and Haslemere Town Council (Haslemere South Ward). Serving community interests and not political interests. Haslemere first.
For your information can I advise you of emergency works
being carried out on Lower Street, Haslemere (Jct with Tanners Lane).
BT need to renew the cabling to restore customers’ service. This section of cable serves 1200 customers. The traffic management that is placed is Multi-Way Signals and the estimated end date is the 28/10/2020.
We have requested manual control between 06:30-09:30 &
16:00-18:30 to minimise disruption as much as possible.
I had a site meeting this morning with SSE management to discuss their works on Lower Street.
Lower Street will be opening on Monday morning, with traffic light controls as there is still work to carry out on one side of the carriageway as they have major hurdles to overcome- including extremely old multiple service pipes.
Traffic lights are expected for 2-4 weeks.
High Pavement works will then follow.
It’s disappointing that SCC Highways were not able to take the opportunity to resurface this stretch of road during the closure.
I thought it would be helpful to share this letter following my request that the planned major utilities (SSE Major cabling upgrade) works on Lower Street are brought forward. I have consulted with my fellow town councillors and the Haslemere Chamber of Trade and Commerce, and agreed that the works should start as soon as possible in the hope that the works are completed before businesses in town are able to fully reopen.
This is the text of the letter:
I believe you are aware of the SSE Major cabling upgrade works on Lower Street which will require a Road Closure. These works were originally planned to take place this Summer Holidays, however I’ve been informed that you’ve asked if these works could be brought forward whilst the shops are still closed.
I’ve spoken to SSE and they can bring these works forward and have provided me with a planned start date of the 01/06/2020 (provided that you’re happy with this). The duration of the works will be 6 weeks (with the end date being 18/07/2020), however this is the worst case scenario and SSE are confident that they can complete the works quicker than this.
If they do get the go ahead, the Advanced Warning Signs will be placed on Monday 18th May and Letter drops carried out also on this date which gives members of the public and local residents/businesses plenty of notice.
The diversion route will be Tanners Lane, West Street, High
Street which has been used before and works well. The parking bays outside the
shops on West Street will have to be suspended.
Please could you advise if you would be happy with this?
This morning, I spoke on site with the Scottish Power project coordinator and crew who are working in Haslemere and have set up the temporary lights by the Lower Street and Tanners Lane junction.
They tell me they have extended their road closure licence until the 24th April for the temporary traffic lights. 24th April is the worse case scenario end date for the lights.
I explained that the current signage states the work will finish on 5th March and that it would be helpful to set expectations by amending the details on the board. They have agreed to do this.
The project has taken longer than expected due to complications. These have included cables at one building that were 8m down and required deep excavation, some pipes that had pushed into drains and, the poor weather.
They tell me the lights will be recalibrated in the next few days as the company will move their works to the other side of Lower Street.
I have arranged a further meeting with the site manager for next week to discuss further.
Several residents brought to Surrey County Council’s attention the overflowing drain in Lower Street.
I have been out with the jetter at the Lower Street crossing, investigating the drainage problem. The drain has been jet washed and a camera probe sent down, revealing a blockage in the pipe under Lower Street. The team think it is probably a water utility pipe.
Next steps… SCC highways to obtain a street works permit to excavate the road in order to repair the problem.
I am sharing an update regarding works on Lower Street, Haslemere. The works within Lower Street itself are complete and the team have now moved into the garage area.
Prior to the works starting the
team carried out site investigations of both the pipe systems and ground
conditions. The ground condition survey had
shown mild asbestos levels that were not sufficient to cause concerns with
regard to safety. However, when the team started digging in the garage
forecourt today, they found much higher concentrations of asbestos. As a result of this works had to cease.
The team now need to get positive
confirmation it is asbestos, then assess the risks posed, and then proceed with
appropriate measures in place to safely continue their works – this process may
take some time. In the interim period the team will be working in other areas
to maintain progress of the overall job at hand.
you for getting in touch. Firstly I would like to provide some background on
the purpose of this work and the complications this scheme has presented.
works on Lower Street involve construction of new drainage and are primarily to
remove a flood risk to a property where the highways drains pass beneath it, by
rerouting our pipes. This involves digging a new pipe through private land in a
restricted area, between two houses and a garage parking area, through a
retaining wall, along a footpath and to a chamber.
There are a great deal of utility services underneath the road surface (please see below pictures and map) and ultimately it is these services which actually dictate what is possible. Due to the significant amount of underground services the team are using a vacuum excavator as this is a far safer way for our team to remove spoil than a conventional digger. Using this equipment mitigates any risk to their personal safety, which is of utmost importance to us.
have gatemen present at each end of Lower Street, their role is to remain at
either end of the road and ensure the public do not enter the live works site.
The area the team are working in is outside of a property called Tisa Cottage.
Whilst they may not be visible from either end of the road, I can assure you
that the team are on site, working extremely hard on a daily basis and are
Monday I was advised that the team had got to a point where they have found the
unknown buried pipe and this has determined the level for the rest of the
works. Our engineer believes they have found a route through the services to
allow installation of the new pipework and the team on site are working towards
this. There are difficulties with some of the existing pipes which the new
pipes need to be connected to, as they are encased in brick. This may mean that
the team have to dig further to achieve the connections or do something a
little differently. The excavations are a bit larger than initially hoped for
but unfortunately this is unavoidable. Please see attached a copy of the
original plans for this scheme which should demonstrate what the team set out
at the original plans it is clear that this a particularly difficult site with
many utility services, this makes progress slow and the design has to be
adapted to suit what is unearthed. The team had previously investigated as
thoroughly as possible having camera surveyed the drain runs and used ground
probing radar to identify services and hence a probable route for the new
pipes, however it is only when the ground is actually excavated that the
realities of the situation are revealed.
equipment being used, the width of the road and the size of excavation required
mean that a road closure is necessary. Another reason, that may not be
immediately obvious, is that live traffic cannot run too close to the hole due
to the pressure that is transmitted to the sides of the excavation by vehicles.
We really don’t want to close roads unless we have to and do not make the
decision lightly. There are many variables we have to consider including the
site operations, the size of the road and the safety of both the travelling
public and our work force. For Lower Street this criteria meant a closure.
Please see attached site diaries from the 7 and 8 August which detail work progress with photographic evidence of work taking place. Please be advised these site diaries belong to one individual on site and their start time does not necessarily reflect the time that everyone was on site.
lead engineer on this project is satisfied with the progress on site.
Considering the difficulties the team have faced, they are working extremely
hard and going the extra mile where necessary to support the residents living
in the works area, whilst carrying out their work to a good standard. I hope
this help to reassure you and your residents that work is taking place and
progress being made.
view of the above, I will be updating our road works map pop-out with a PDF
document that explains the work and has pictures of our progress so far. I hope
that this will highlight to the public the challenges the team have faced on
this scheme and the extent of works being carried out. I’m hoping that
explaining what we are trying to achieve will justify the length of time we
need for this work and why it is essential that the road is closed whilst we
carry out the work.
would be very grateful if you could direct your residents to the information on
roadworks.org and if there are further queries please could they be sent to us
in the Works Communications Team.
Surrey County Council is proposing to install 3 bus shelters (see image below this paragraph) along the back of the bus layover bay on Lower Street next to Haslemere train station. The shelters will each have a perch bench for seating and lighting. The Haslemere Community Rail Partnership and the South Downs National Park have agreed to provide town maps and images of the South Downs National Park for the back walls of the shelters. (I wrote about this in my most recent county councillor update here.)
Mock Up of Bus Shelters in Lower Street outside Haslemere Train Station
Together the shelters will provide 12 metres of covered, lit waiting area for those waiting to be picked up or dropped off before catching the train or school buses. The need to provide alternative sheltered, lit pick up zones in order to reduce congestion at peak times in the station forecourt was identified as a priority by the Haslemere Station Travel Plan.
Please would you get in touch with me by 8th February if you have any feedback on these plans. My e-mail address is email@example.com