Making a request for highway improvements

What kind of requests do we receive?

As the highway authority for Surrey, we receive many requests for us to carry out work. Last year this figure averaged at over 1000 enquiries per week.

Some requests are for maintenance work, which could mean repairs to a pothole or cutting a tree back however we also receive requests for new safety improvements or changes to the highway. These requests are dealt with differently to the requests for maintenance work. Examples include;

This page will tell you all you need to know about how you can submit a request for improvements to us and what you can expect to happen.

How do you submit a request to us?

To submit a request, please fill out our online form. If you have any difficulties with the form, please use our contact details to get in touch via phone or by post.

What happens next with your request?

Once you submit your request to us, it will be passed to an engineer who will assess it, taking into account various factors such as road safety, the environment and maintenance implications.

We aim to respond to your request within 28 days, and we will let you know the outcome.

We proactively work with councillors, and local bodies such as parish and town councils or residents associations, across the year to identify possible improvements, so when you get in touch with us, we can also tell you if your proposal is already being considered.

When does the change happen?

We will determine what is the most appropriate and safe thing to do for your particular situation. Dependant on the assessment, the right answer may be to do nothing or to provide a different solution to the one you had in mind.

If we decide that there is a justifiable need for some work to take place, we will add it to our list of schemes.

These schemes are presented to the Local and Joint Committees each year for decision. Your county councillors are responsible for deciding which schemes to prioritise and where to allocate resources. County councillors will take into account representations from the public, the advice from our engineers and the availability of funding. You can find out more below about your Local or Joint Committee.

The available budget and the type of schemes required will determine how quickly we can work down the list.

For 2018/19, we have an average budget of £36,000 per district/borough, though this amount can vary from area to area dependant on factors such as population and the number of miles of roads running through it. Here are some typical costs for frequently requested improvements:

  • Traffic island refuge £15k or less
  • Speed limit changes £15k - £30k
  • Zebra crossing £50k (average)
  • Puffin / Toucan crossing £100k - £250k

It is important to note that the number of requests we receive is always higher than the budget we have available to make the change. Finally, even if a scheme is approved and funding is available, it can still take some time before the improvement is actually made. This is because there are a number of essential steps we have to take first, such as having the scheme designed and checked for safety. The Local or Joint Committee might decide, in the first instance, to allocate some funding to a feasibility study before considering full implementation in a future year.

What is the role of the Local Committee or Joint Committee in these changes?

Your Local Committee or Joint Committee* makes important decisions about the area that you live in and has the role of considering schemes for improving the road network. This will involve balancing competing priorities against finite budgets.

It is where your local councillors meet to discuss and decide on many of the issues that matter to you and the people who live, work or study nearby.

Local councillors put the community's interests at the heart of every decision they make. They value the opinions of local people. The more councillors hear from residents, the more confident we can be that issues have been considered from various angles and that the wider community is likely to benefit as a result. That is why we actively encourage local people to interact with councillors and their local committee to make sure that their voices and opinions are heard.

You can raise issues, ask questions, or take petitions to your local or joint committee. To find more information on how to do this, please see our pages about how to get involved in your local area.

* Joint committees operate in Guildford, Runnymede, Spelthorne and Woking.