Green MEP: Leith Hill traffic plan issues remain unchanged and unworkable

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for Surrey, has reiterated his opposition to the Traffic Management Plan for Leith Hill ahead of the public consultation closing on Wednesday, 7 February.

The Traffic Management Plan was updated after a decision on a previous version was deferred by Surrey County Council — with councillors raising serious concerns about the operating firm Europa Oil and Gas’s conduct.

In a submission to the consultation, the senior Green MEP raises concerns about the air quality impacts of the traffic proposals, the environmental impact on the historic sunken Coldharbour Lane, the danger posed to cyclists and other vulnerable road users, the categorisation of peaceful protest as ‘force majeure’, and the lack of meaningful consultation with local residents.

Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment and Transport Committees, said:

“Residents have consistently raised serious concerns about the impacts Europa’s plans will have on Coldharbour Lane and its protected trees, local residents going about their daily lives, access for emergency vehicle and the many cyclists and other vulnerable road users who travel on this nationally important route.”

“Residents have also raised concerns about projections in the plan – timing and speed of lorries, numbers of lorries, the route from any mustering station – and the ability of Europa and its contractors to stick to the timings and length of the planning permission.”

“All these concerns still remain and the revised plan does little to address them. The plan is as unworkable as it ever was and provides no comfort that any real attempt to mitigate this disruptive and environmentally damaging plan has actually been made.”

“It also appears no genuine attempt has been made by Europa to engage with the residents most affected by their plans – in spite of Surrey County Council’s instructions. Despite claiming that they have spoken to households and business along the proposed access route, campaigners from A Voice From Leith Hill noted on the 21st of January that just one round of visits along Knoll Road appeared to have taken place — when most residents were out at work.”