Traffic and Transport Management Plan for Horse Hill unworkable, say campaigners

Press release from the Weald Action Group

A plan for lorries to access the Horse Hill drill site in Surrey day and night for 20 years poses a real risk to other road users and means disturbance for local residents, says the Weald Action Group [1].

Under the plan – yet to be agreed by Surrey County Council – there would be no restriction on HGV permitted hours while oil production was going on – that’s 20 years of the planning permission.

Lorries accessing the site already swing over to the other carriageway, and fencing hard by the edges of the road gives other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, no room to avoid them.

The Weald Action Group has objected to the Traffic and Transport Management Plan commissioned by Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) in support of its planning permission for 20 years of oil production at the controversial Horse Hill site in Surrey [2].

Vicki Elcoate said: “This plan is unworkable. Wide turns by HGVs on a narrow but fast rural road pose a risk to other road users. The long hours of operation, day and night, will cause noise and disturbance to residents, farm animals and wildlife. Horse Hill Developments Ltd already has a poor track record of compliance with the conditions imposed on it. Residents fear a lack of monitoring and enforcement means the current poor situation will go on for years under this badly thought out plan”.

The objection also covers:

Impact on other road users, including cyclists: Horse Hill is part of the Surrey Cycleway, a network of country lanes on which Surrey County Council actively promotes cycling.

Failure to demonstrate permission for holding areas and police facilitation: The Plan relies on the use of holding areas for HGVs waiting to access the site – but no evidence is provided that the operators of motorway services or other suitable sites have assented to this. Similarly, there is no evidence that Surrey Police have agreed to facilitate traffic.

Commitments without detail: The Plan touches on issues including car-sharing and shuttle buses to the site, surveys of the road condition, and creation of new parking spaces on-site, which would appear to necessitate the removal of woodland and mature trees. No details are supplied on any of these issues.

The plan is open for consultation until 31 January 31.

 

Notes to Editors

[1] The Weald Action Group is an umbrella for local groups campaigning against all forms of extreme extraction of oil & gas across the Weald and the Isle of Wight in the South East of England.  Download the Weald Action Group’s objection

[2] In September 2019, HHDL obtained planning permission allowing them to drill and test four new oil wells, drill a water reinjection well, and produce oil for 20 years (a decision that a local resident is seeking leave to challenge in a Judicial Review, with the Weald Action Group’s support). One of the conditions of the planning permission is the production of a Traffic and Transport Management Plan, which Surrey County Council must approve.  Download the TTMP and access the consultation here: https://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?AppNo=SCC%20Ref%202019/0196

 

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