Update 14 July
The works here are complete. The road is fully open.
Frequently asked questions
Why did the road have to be done now?
The deteriorating condition of the road has meant that the works could not be delayed and whilst I recognise this has caused considerable disruption at times, Surrey Highways have been working closely with the businesses directly affected to mitigate the issues as much as possible. Additional signage has been installed at either end of the works to inform that businesses are open as usual and deliveries accommodated.
Why have we carried out these works whilst Run Common Road was closed?
The works here were expected to be complete by the time this scheme started. However due to delays from badgers on the site causing all work to stop last year, we have found Great Crested Newt DNA on site and have had to stop all work again.
We initially checked on Run Common Road closure, but due to Great crested Newts a licence alone could take a further two months before structures works may start, so moving beyond that is not practical for our work at this point. Horsham Road was deteriorating, and the works needed to be carried out and could not be delayed any further.
Why do we need a license on Run Common Road for the Great Crested Newts? Why is this delaying the works?
Some species including Great Crested Newts (GCN) are designated and protected as European protected species (EPS). EPS receive protection under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.
It's an offence to deliberately capture, injure or kill or deliberately disturb them. All authorities and developers must comply with the legal protections of GCN.
Great crested newts are a protected species. It is an offence to capture, kill, injure or disturb them or their habitat without a wildlife licence from Natural England. Licences are only issued for certain purposes, set in law, where there is a valid justification and no other satisfactory solution can be found. We are working with them to find a solution and carry out the works as soon as possible
There is a government website on guidance for Great Crested Newts - Great crested newts: advice for local planning authorities - GOV.UK
Would Run Common have been used as the diversion if it had been open?
No, Run Common has two bridges along it. One of the bridges is a single carriageway and would not be suitable for all traffic including buses and HGVs to be diverted on to.
Why have we chosen the diversion for the A281 that we have?
SCC plans all diversions for works carefully and takes into consideration the type of traffic that will be using it. Ideally we would use roads of the same classification for diversions, in this instance all A roads. However, for these works the diversion would have been considerable and it is unlikely that vehicles will have followed it. We are unable to enforce a diversion route of that size and the use of Sat Navs and local knowledge means that vehicles would have found and used alternatives. The route chosen is the most practical and most likely to be followed by vehicles, is a B classification and an existing bus route and therefore suitable for all vehicles.
Why can't all the works be carried out at night?
The surfacing which is required on the Horsham Road needs to be carried out during the day (works cannot be carried out at night as there is insufficient lighting to be able to achieve the correct specification and comes with additional safety risk). We don't want to go back and redo any surfacing due to not having been laid correctly due to poor light.
Why did we changed to night working for one week?
This was to try and relieve some of the day time disruption we have looked at limits where sections of binder are required (that does not require the same specification as the surfacing), and we have carried out further risk assessments to determine that we can carry out areas at night all be it limited.
How are we now able to work nights?
We can lay the binder course during the night. In these areas we will now require additional traffic management to make sure operatives are working in a safe environment (With the multitude of overhead cabling), again not ideal but this seems a sensible option at this point to at least reduce some of the disruption where we are able, for a limited time at least.
Working nights for the binder works should allow longer hours to complete these sections faster. And allow the following weeks of surfacing to concentrate on completion within the restricted hours (9:30am – 2:30pm)
Why didn't we work days and nights at the start?
The surfacing for safety and construction reasons needs to be during the day, normally you wouldn't change shift patterns for the binder as it usually works back to back with the surfacing. However, this has given us an option to change the phase plan to try and get the programme dates moving forward rather than backwards which is beneficial for the work being completed on time.
Why isn't the work being carried out in the school holidays
The need to carry out these works meant that we were unable to wait until the school holidays. In addition there are a huge number of works taking place on the highway every day across Surrey and before any work can take place a permit must be obtained. This applies equally to us and utility companies such as Thames Water and British Gas. The demand for road space is high and we must ensure there are no conflicting works at the same location or on the diversion route. Unfortunately, even if the works could have been delayed we would not have been able to obtain a permit for the holidays due to other works.
I hope that the above information will be useful in explaining why these works have gone ahead and ask you to bear with us whilst this important work is carried out.