5 Dec 2023
Alun Jones with tinsel covered traffic light

Some witty residents have decorated the temporary traffic lights on the Croydon Road in Caterham Valley, highlighting that this is the lights’ second Christmas after Surrey Highways is heavily lambasted for extending the licence again! 

“We don’t need an Elf on the Traffic Lights to see who’s been naughty - it’s Surrey Highways” says Local Councillor Alun Jones.

On Friday, local residents and Councillors discovered that there would be a further delay to the roadworks and temporary traffic lights on Croydon Road in Caterham where Lidl and Clarion are developing a new supermarket and 48 apartments.  The road works and “temporary” traffic lights have been in place for almost a year and a half, with them originally due to have been removed in May this year.  The road works are now in their second Christmas in Caterham, with local residents decorating them and adding a festive Christmas hat due to the amount of time they have been in place.  

Cllr Alun Jones, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Valley ward says. “We don’t want to have to start planning for their third Christmas as we will need much more tinsel”.

“They were due to have been removed in May this year; that then became September, 1st December and now 22nd December.  Councillors had a meeting with Surrey Council on 30th June where Council Officers committed to the work being completed by the end of September.  From what we can gather the delay was originally caused by Surrey Highways not completing a Highways Agreement with the developer, followed by the developer dragging their feet and being allowed to get away with it”.

Cllr Jenny Gaffney, who is also a Valley Councillor, says “the disruption of caused by the continued extension of these traffic lights is beyond a joke.  Residents suffer chaos every morning and evening.  I’m not surprised that they have been decorated as it is their second Christmas in Caterham.  I’ve had residents jokingly suggest we apply for listed status from English Heritage given they have been there so long.

“I can’t understand how or why Surrey Highways can allow chaos to continue for so long and to keep granting extensions to the builders who can’t seem to get their act together.  Lidl, Clarion and Surrey Highways really need to take control and finish the works now.”

The former Rose and Young development originally commenced in 2018 and the temporary traffic lights have been in place since August 2022.  All of us have had enough excuses