Chairman's Blog - July 2015


The Association opposed the installation of traffic lights at the junction of Cannon Hill Lane and Grand Drive. We took the view that they held up the cars unnecessarily trying to get from Cannon Hill Lane, and were not needed for safety reasons. 

For the past weeks they have been wrongly calibrated, so that traffic on Grand Drive is held up in both directions, with the result that for large parts of the day, and not only in rush hour, the traffic is virtually stationary from one end of the road to the other. 

The Council department dealing with this has been understaffed for years, and, despite our complaints, and those of our Councillors, nothing seems to get done. 

We were promised a review of the safety measures installed along the road, six months after the installation, but the lead officer retired, and this has never happened.  

The latest news, as discovered by our joint Secretary, Jan Bailey, and not publicised, is that, for the whole of July, Grand Drive will be dug up so that  replacement gas pipes can be installed. It will be closed to two way traffic from Blenheim Road to the lights at the Grand Drive/Bushey Road junction, and from the lights to the Station.  This will necessitate a one way system northbound along Martin Way and Cannon Hill Lane. 

The result will be absolute chaos, and standstill traffic for miles around. The traffic will be held back under the two railway bridges, and tail back along the slip road from the A3 and onto the A3 itself. 

It is disgraceful that no warning has been given of these proposed closures, which affect not only cars but bus routes.  


In collecting the subscriptions for this year in my area, I have been heartened by the many people who have spontaneously said how much they value our monthly A5 sized magazine, the Guide, and how useful they find it. It has, of course, been published in this form ever since the Association was founded in 1928, and funds itself through the advertisements it carries. 

The Guide has a different mix of articles, only some of which appear on this website. If you're not a member of our Association, click here, to make contact to join and receive The Guide monthly. 


The Friends of Cannon Hill Common organised a walk at twilight in early June to look at the bats on the Common. It was led by an expert, who armed the 20 people who turned up with detectors that can measure the different echo frequencies that bats make, and so identify them. It was fortunately a lovely evening, and these tiny creatures, once detected, could be seen swooping for insects around the hedgerows and trees. We learned that there are three species of bat on the Common. We saw the Common Pipistrelle and the Soprano Pipistrelle, but were unable to find the third kind - the Daubenton’s - which prefers the habitat over the Lake.    It was a lovely way to spend an hour on a summer’s night. 


John Elvidge

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