I see complaints regarding the A322 are getting louder already! Even making allowances for the current resurfacing of the road (night closures, raised ironworks etc), people in nearby villages are complaining of re-phased lights (fancy talk for changing the timings for the lights to change) and tailbacks into Bisley and West End.
Suggestion was made that changes have been made to junction traffic lights to restrict flow onto the A322 from adjoining roads up the main A322 which seems daft until you consider that the Brookwood Farm development (in Knaphill) comes with a much-touted brand new (untested?) ‘traffic management system’ which will easily cope with over capacity on the artery road. Perhaps the numbers have been revisited and the only way to make that area work is to make adjustments all along the A322? Maybe this was all part of the masterplan? Who knows?!
I dug this report up from SCC – Congestion Programme report – from 2013. In it, (p63) the A322/A324 junction is identified as a main challenge:
The main challenges in the borough have been identified as:
Congestion in Woking town centre, Maybury, Knaphill and St Johns, and on the A324/A322 at Brookwood crossroads
Poor air quality in Knaphill
The railway line acts as a barrier to north-south movement in Woking town centre and also separates Maybury and Sheerwater, making it difficult to access the town centre and employment areas in Maybury and Sheerwater.
Clear as day that – the junction is a big problem. The report goes on to announce their proposed approach to solving this problem, which is to develop the Victoria Arch in Woking town centre and to provide improvements to the train station in… Woking town centre!
NOTHING to alleviate the stress on the A322. Oh yes and the funding will come, at least partly, from the CIL or s106 payments from the Brookwood Farm development (in Knaphill).
So as the KRA and numerous others pointed out to WBC, SCC, Highways and pretty much anyone that might be involved, the A322 is over congested and causing back ups and this is before people have even moved in to Brookwood Farm (in Knaphill…) and numerous other developments up the A322 have been built.
What will be done to alleviate the burden on the main road between the A3 and the M3 & M4? A couple of bike tracks. Maybe.
Not for Knaphill though. Despite footing the bill (a stretch I admit but Brookwood Farm developer payments should be spent on Knaphill infrastructure in my opinion) for a major development in the area, having the A322 identified as a major problem AND poor air quality, Knaphill village gets not so much as a pat on the back or an apology for being crapped on so often. Don’t expect any long-term improvement in air quality either. Even if measures are taken immediately to address the order currently issued for the top of Anchor Hill, as soon as people start moving in to Brookwood Farm it’s going to get worse again. Why? Because the exit from Sparvell Road forces traffic through the village due to a no right turn onto the A322 and people won’t want to wait at that Redding Way exit due to back ups.
As you might have picked up on, I am really cross about how Knaphill is repeatedly ignored by councils. The people that live here actually know the area and don’t rely on projections or unproven ‘traffic management’ methods. It wouldn’t hurt to acknowledge this and listen from time to time. If there are reasons for the decisions made that go in the face of popular opinion it wouldn’t hurt to state what they are and be open and honest about it, but I guess that’s just community minded thinking and we couldn’t have that could we.
In short, all the officials appear to know there is a serious issue with congestion on the A322 amongst other. They’re just not going to do anything about it.
‘Planned congestion’ aside, the recent build up of problems along the A322 can be attributed to the resurfacing works I’m told (thank you Eric!) and the damage to traffic sensors caused by the layer of road being stripped off.
These need replacing but might take weeks to arrange as it is not part of the planned works.
Comment from the council –
“When the carriageway was resurfaced it destroyed many of the vehicle detectors. These are coils of wire slot-cut into the carriageway surface on the approaches to the traffic signals which detect vehicles and register demands for vehicles approaching the junction. However, when these detectors are damaged they default to a permanent demand, resulting in the signals behaving as if there were a constant queue of traffic on the affected approach, regardless of actual traffic flows. This means that the signals can take longer to change. “
Pretty unbelievable that those charged with responsibility for doing this work did not plan for this. Surrey County Council who is ultimately responsible for the roads should know what is ‘installed’ on the highways they manage. Not withstanding that, the works would most likely have required some sort of survey before being done and so the coils already fitted into the highway should have been picked up at that point. Once again, the people who use the A322 are suffering at the incompetence of those charged with responsibility for managing this very highly used route from the M3 to Guildford. The road is simply not fit for purpose in its capacity for the volume of traffic that uses it, and which will be made much much worse when Brookwood Farm is completed. When it works it is bad enough, when it doesn’t, it is diabolical. Obviously nobody from Surrey County Council who makes the decisions has the misfortune of having to drive along it in the morning or evening rush hours.
It is most certainly a ridiculous situation. Money talks it seems with the Brookwood Farm Development. Traffic back to Bisley & West End is just awful during rush hour. With the recent closure of Bedlam Bridge Road in West End, yet more traffic will flow down the A322 road that already has a) too much demand b) existing roadworks c) traffic signal/sensor issues. You could barely make it up. The sad fact is that it doesnt seem to be such a priority for those whose responsibility it is to manage roads & traffic in the area.