A petition to repair a verge on Slipshatch Road that has sunk away from the road surface has been debated at a Surrey County Council meeting, but with no date given as to when the problem might be assessed or fixed.
Forty-nine people have signed the petition, which says that there is a “deep ditch” in places at the side of the road, adding: “The road is narrow and when you get a vehicle coming the other way it gets very scary to be so close to the edge.
“There is no run-off, so if you come off the tarmac you will most likely crash or possibly roll over which we have seen recently.”
The response said that the “poor condition of the verge” had been behind one accident involving a slight injury, in the three years to the end of March.
The document added: “It is not immediately apparent what has caused the verge to sink along certain sections of Slipshatch Road, or what would be the most effective method to raise the level of the verge and prevent it from sinking in the future.
“Therefore it will be necessary to carry out a detailed assessment to examine options and to agree on the most appropriate solution.”
The committee was told that the assessment would need to go onto a list of items “for consideration for future funding”, in the next financial year.
Officers would work with councillors to find funds, including any outside match funding.
County Cllr Essex asked why the central county highways budget couldn’t be used, given that it was a county road. He was told that central money could only be used for the road itself, and not the verge.
County Cllr Barbara Thomson, whose division covers Slipshatch Road, also supported the petition, but queried whether work would happen “in my lifetime”.
The meeting also discussed which budgets covered what, amid evident confusion.
Committee chair County Cllr Jeff Harris said: “To be quite blunt, I don’t care what [the list] is called, provided something gets done.
“I’ve been chair for over two years now and I’ve yet to see anything that we’ve put on a list come to real fruition.”
He said committee members would get an update at their next private meeting on what had been done on petitions over the last two years, so that councillors could “tell their communities we’re not just a talking shop.
“Because otherwise we might as well not be here.”
Cllr Harris added that he wanted the committee to “keep our promises to people, appreciating obviously that money is always going to be a problem.”
County Cllr Zully Grant-Duff said the informal meeting should also look at what schemes were being funded centrally and not just those using local funds.
The committee agreed to put the verge assessment on the list for possible future funding, as recommended by officers.