London driving instructor 'shocked' at poor road conditions at Redhill test centre

Driving instructor Martin Pitchley, 57, complaining about the \'dangerous\' roads in Redhill. (Credit: Martin Pitchley/Road Rules Driving)Driving instructor Martin Pitchley, 57, complaining about the \'dangerous\' roads in Redhill. (Credit: Martin Pitchley/Road Rules Driving)
Driving instructor Martin Pitchley, 57, complaining about the \'dangerous\' roads in Redhill. (Credit: Martin Pitchley/Road Rules Driving)
A driving instructor said he’s on a “one man crusade” to fix the roads around Redhill Aerodrome Driving Test Centre.

Martin Pitchley, 57, said he was “shocked” at the road conditions in Redhill, Surrey.

Unreadable road markings, overgrown hedges blocking speed signs and poor road conditions were some of the issues raised by the driving instructor.

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“It’s not very fair for students taking their test with all these problems with the road which is caused by poor road management by the [county] council,” Martin said.

Road Signs Hidden In Bushes. (Credit: Martin Pitchley)Road Signs Hidden In Bushes. (Credit: Martin Pitchley)
Road Signs Hidden In Bushes. (Credit: Martin Pitchley)

Emailing Surrey County Council (SCC) on June 3, Martin said nothing has been done to fix the issue.

A SCC highways maintenance officer said the vegetation covering road signs will be removed as part of the rural cut back of Earlswood and Reigate South on July 19 . Fixing chevrons and replacing speed signs have also been requested on a list of works to be done.

Students who are just about to take their driving test come out of the centre not knowing what the speed limit is on that road, according to Martin. He claims a speed sign had been knocked over and lying down in a hedge for over six months.

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Outside the driving test centre is the 40mph Kings Mill Lane, but Martin says there is no signage until a good few hundred yards up the road.

He said: “It’s not fair to be giving students tuition and telling them there should be a speed limit here but there’s not one, or it’s knocked down.

“It’s an unsafe speed for that road” he added, “It’s got so many sharp bends, and big lorries yet students are expected to drive 40 mph up there.

“It’s like a one-man crusade really. It’s not really fair for the students going up to the test centre and taking their test with all these problems with the road.”

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Not only worried for his driving students, Martin said he was concerned for the general public including pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.

“They are very severe and dangerous [roads] for any motorists, either for a learner or a full-time experienced driver,” he said. “They have to drive up these roads and find there’s a big steep dip in the roads or uneven roads that will make them steer awkwardly or crash their car.”

According to Crash Map data, seven ‘slight’ accidents and two ‘serious’ incidents with vehicles have occurred on Kings Mill Lane between 2018-2022.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), Martin said the county council has had enough time to fix the issues with the road and wants to see change. He said: “I just want this issue to be resolved so students can go up to their driving test, get a fair test, and members of the public are not going to get hit by a speeding car.”

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A SCC spokesperson said: “We appreciate the concerns raised and our Highways officers have been in communication with the individual to talk through the issues.

“The grass verges in question will be cut as part of our twice per annum rural cuts – information on where and when these take place are available on our website.

“Requests to replace speed signs in the area have been raised, however these need to be prioritised against other requests across the county and officers will review this as soon as they can.”

Website link: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roadworks-and-maintenance/trees-grass-and-hedges/grass

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