Surrey County Council rejects claims it failed to respond to Nescot College appeals for crossing in Ewell

This Is Local London: The scene of the crash in Reigate Road in Ewell on February 6 The scene of the crash in Reigate Road in Ewell on February 6

A council has rejected claims it failed to respond to appeals by a college to introduce another crossing on a dangerous road.

In the aftermath of a crash involving a student on Reigate Road, Ewell, this month, Nescot College issued a statement saying Surrey County Council (SCC) had rebuffed lobbying by the college on the issue.

The college said: "Although there have been some improvements such as the reduction in the speed limit on Reigate Road, the college has been unable to persuade Surrey County Council to provide an additional controlled crossing."

But an SCC spokesman hit back, saying: "We're rather surprised by the principal's assertion that the college has been unable to persuade us to provide an additional controlled crossing, as we have no record of it ever being discussed."

A Nescot student was discharged from hospital two days after being hit by a car and suffering head injuries in Reigate Road on Thursday, February 6.

There have been 10 accidents on the road since the council reduced the speed limit to 30mph three years ago. The tally is down from 15 accidents in the three years prior to the speed reduction.

The council spokesman said: "During the past 12 months we have replaced and upgraded the street lighting and altered the speed limit on the Ewell bypass so that it now includes the pedestrian crossing and roundabout."

The college and its partner have submitted controversial planning applications to build 91 homes and a retirement village on fields currently used to care for farm animals in Reigate Road.

The development would fund renovations to its campus and Nescot said: "Plans for the redevelopment of the college include a mini-roundabout and a pedestrian crossing, which we believe will make the area safer."

But many residents fear the development could worsen traffic. Nearly 100 people attended a meeting over the plans which was hosted by four local Residents’ Associations on Thursday, February 13.

Keith Lugton, chairman of Nonsuch Park and District Residents’ Association, said concerns ranged from strains on education and health services and loss of green space to the impact on flooding and the possibility of Roman remains.

But Mr Lugton said: "The major concern was traffic, particularly on Reigate Road, as it has been all the way through. If you are concerned about these applications then it’s up to you to tell the council."

Some residents believe the development would make the road safer. In a letter to the Epsom Guardian, Mr R Knight from Reigate Road said he did not understand the objections to the development work.

Mr Knight said: "First, the anti-group say that it will make road conditions more hazardous for pedestrians and drivers. Surely the opposite will be true.

"With the proposed new mini roundabout, and pedestrian crossing, traffic flows which I agree may be larger, will be slower and therefore less hazardous for everyone."

He said the residential development would also bring new customers to support ailing businesses in Ewell Village and the surrounding area.

Comment on the planning application at http://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/ before Thursday, March 13.


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