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Monday, 06 September 2004
I don’t like cricket

Oxted Master Park

So August slips into September and we are enjoying some balmy late summer weather. Quel surprise!

These guys lend a picturesque presence to Master Park, which will next week host a picnic-prom.

Details can be found under Music in the first column of events, here.

Posted by bigblue on 06/09/2004 at 06:09 PM
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Sunday, 05 September 2004
What are we looking at?

Oxted joke oak

We all know what happens if you stand in a public place and stare intensely at the sky. Everyone around starts to think there must be something interesting up there and join you in staring at the sky.

I think this is what happened here. I was taking a photo of some buildings in Station Road West.  My photo was of nothing in particular, certainly nothing interesting. I was taking my time because I couldn’t find an interesting angle. But these people walked past, and saw me holding what looks like a camcorder. They must have thought I was filming something.

Posted by bigblue on 05/09/2004 at 01:54 PM
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Wednesday, 01 September 2004
Oxted Traffic Saucer

Chichele Road

This is a view of the new “traffic saucer” from the opposite side of the road (Chichele Road).

I have marked with a dotted red circle the place where a manhole cover seems to have resulted in the saucer being placed off-centre, and provided a blow-up of this in the solid red cut-out.  As a result of the way the saucer is positioned it is very difficult to turn around it on the one side. 

I suppose that is why it is a saucer - you can simply drive over it rather than having to circle around it.

Update: 2/9/2004
Oxted traffic circle

Here’s a photo of the traffic saucer in action. As you can see the cars coming from the station end all go over or around the saucer on the wrong side.  I have heard a rumour that this saucer as well as the railings opposite and 3 speed humps down Bluehouse Lane (towards Oxted school) cost the Surrey County Council �100,000.  The rumour goes that they reduced their funding for Oxted School by this amount in order to cover the costs of upgrading the road outside the school.

I will try to confirm whether this rumour is true.

Update: 3/9/2004
Oxted traffic circle

Here’s another photo of the cars cutting over the off-centre traffic saucer. 

I lodged a query with the Surrey County Council concerning my questions of yesterday, and today I received a response:

3 September 2004

Dear Mr. Ramsden

C81 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted � Road improvement works

Thank you for your enquiry dated 31st August 2004 regarding the new mini roundabout and zebra crossings in and around Bluehouse Lane, Oxted.

The objectives of the scheme were two fold.
- To clarify priorities at the junction of Bluehouse Lane, Station Road East and Chichele Road.
- To provide a safe route and crossing points for children walking to school.

The location of the mini roundabout is not centrally located at the junction because the junction is not perfectly square. The position of the mini roundabout has been determined using vehicle movement software which shows swept vehicles paths.

The design of a mini roundabout is to enable vehicles, if necessary, to drive over the central island. With the majority of new highway schemes it can take a few weeks for drivers to become familiar with a revised layout. This scheme will undergo a final Safety Audit process following completion whereby officers assess the effectiveness of the scheme and agree on any necessary remedial works.

With regard to your questions concerning cost, we do not have the final accounts yet as the scheme has not been completed. I can, however, confirm that the scheme has been jointly funded between the Local Transportation Service and the Education Authority.

I trust that this answers your query at this time.

Yours sincerely

Kerry Henderson
Engineering Assistant

Notwithstanding what s/he says about vehicle moving software I believe that the position of the manhole had something to do with the positioning of this saucer. 

Update: 4/9/2004
Oxted traffic circle

To continue with my latest obsession, the above photo shows the railings that were constructed as part of the C81 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted � Road improvement works, presumably to keep the young people from drifting onto the road and being knocked down.

I didn’t mention that this is a site of severe traffic congestion during the morning and afternoon school run and I still have to see this spot in action during a busy period. 

Update: 10/11/2016

I found out today that the information from Surrey Council (above) is misleading. To be honest, at the time I assumed it was blatantly misleading, because they didn’t want to move the drain and justified this (incorrectly) as being because of the “non square” nature of the junction, and claimed that their decision was based on traffic flows. In other words: What idiot designs a mini roundabout in a non-central location, “based on traffic flows” when this results in the traffic flowing to the right of, or over, the mini roundabout?

So where they have been additionally misleading (untruthful) is that there is a clear law on mini roundabouts, which someone pointed out to me is as follows:

Highway Code: Rule 188

Mini-roundabouts. Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. Avoid making U-turns at mini-roundabouts. Beware of others doing this.

Laws RTA 1988 sect 36   & TSRGD regs 10(1)    & 16(1)

Is it surprising that they have designed the mini roundabout in a way that no normal vehicle can can avoid passing round the central marking (saucer)? They did not have to do this, but it would have (presumably) entailed moving the manhole cover.

Posted by bigblue on 01/09/2004 at 06:09 PM
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