The Campaign Making Dorking’s Streets Safer for The Community
Dorking Safe Streets is a coalition of local parents, educators, businesses and community members who are campaigning for a safe, pedestrian controlled crossing at The Triangle stores on Chalkpit Lane.
We interviewed Aimee Fairhurst and Kathy Kyle Bonomini, parents at St Martin’s Primary School, who have been driving the campaign.
How did this campaign come about? And when did it start?
Originally this campaign started many years ago! Parents at St Martin’s and The Ashcombe have been calling for a safe crossing at this spot for a long time. A different group of amazing people created a petition back in 2015. This was submitted to Mole Valley District Council and Surrey County Council in 2016, and as a result the crossing was put on the council’s infrastructure plan but nothing has yet been built as they haven’t found the money for it. We came together in September 2020 to try and make this a reality for our community. We have been overwhelmed by the support from residents, parents, business leaders, and community partners. This is more than a “neighbourhood issue” – it is an issue of strategic importance to the town of Dorking.
What is the desired result for Dorking Safe Streets?
We have identified some funding for the crossing, which is sitting with Mole Valley District Council. We are asking for them and Surrey County Council (who look after Highways) to conduct a feasibility study into the building of a crossing, and to spend the funding that they have on this important scheme.
How will this campaign improve the community in Dorking?
The primary aim is about safety, for all of our community. Chalkpit Lane not only gets busy with local traffic, it is also the bypass for traffic travelling from the North to the South West (and vice versa) and a lot of industrial traffic comes down that hill! Another aim is about helping people to make better choices for our environment. From talking to the community, many have said that they would leave their cars at home if they had a safe place to cross here, and for older children they could walk/cycle to school independently if this crossing was put in place. And our business partners tell us that this crossing would help ‘join up’ the town – so the campaign is also about cohesion. If you want to travel on foot/bike/scooter East to West across Dorking this particular road is a real barrier. We feel that we are bringing the town together, making it safer, greener and looking to the future, for everyone.
What does the community have to say?
“My son was almost ran over at the triangles two years ago as someone felt the need of their mobile at a well lit crossing and paid (no) attention of a bunch of crossing children… to be honest, I can’t think of a much more important thing than to have our little ones safe!”
“A proper crossing here would be one contribution to enabling more parents to leave their cars at home, while enabling children to become more independent and healthier for the added exercise.”
“It’s happened so often! The speed the cars come down the hill ! It’s been far too many times that we have had a close call.”
How can the community in Dorking help the Dorking Safe Streets campaign?
Please get in touch to tell us why you want a safe crossing on Chalk Pit Lane – we are presenting to both Mole Valley District Council and Surrey County Council on Wednesday 9th December and we would love to include your voice in the following ways:
1. You can sign our petition at: https://www.change.org/dorkingsafests
2. You can become a partner and demonstrate your support to the council: https://dorkingsafestreets.com/partners
3. You can share a testimonial why you think we need a safe crossing by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. You can follow us on social media or share our video: https://vimeo.com/483762824