Ambulance and fire engine caught up in traffic chaos before Elton John tribute night in Cheam

Sutton Guardian: A fire engine has to drive on the wrong side of the road to get by traffic in Ewell Road A fire engine has to drive on the wrong side of the road to get by traffic in Ewell Road

An ambulance and a fire engine were held up in traffic chaos as major events in Cheam caused gridlock yesterday.

An open evening at Nonsuch High School in Ewell Road and a charity concert in nearby Nonsuch Park were both scheduled for yesterday evening and brought hundreds of cars to the area.

Sutton Guardian:

Traffic queues in Ewell Road yesterday

The park's management committee, led by Cheam Councillor Mary Burstow, has said the school failed to tell it the open evening had been scheduled meaning measures could not be put  in place to alleviate the traffic problems.

The congestion caused severe tailbacks in the area that led to both an ambulance and a fire engine getting held up.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "The fire engine had to go down the wrong side of the road to get by - it was on the wrong side of the road and had to go around a blind bend, it was very dangerous.

"The ambulance just turned round and went a different way.

"The traffic was backed up right up to Cuddington Croft School, it was dreadful."

Ewell Road

A second resident, who lives in Ewell Road, said: "I'm absolutely furious. I assumed the school would make other arrangements but it did not.

"The school causes problems at the start and the end of every day at the best of times but this made things ten times worse."

The traffic began to arrive for the open evening at about 4pm, while the concert started later in the evening. The traffic subsided at 8pm.

Coun Mary Burstow said: "The date of open day was agreed between Nonsuch High School and the other neighbouring secondary schools in Sutton and Epsom Boroughs, through the Secondary School Partnership. 

"The school says that because the partnership knew the date, Sutton borough knew the date and should have told Nonsuch Park - I have heard better excuses for not handing in homework than that!

"It is not the job of the Secondary Schools Partnership to know that Nonsuch Park is the neighbour of Nonsuch School.

"The School and Nonsuch Park have co-existed for over 80 years, she School should have been a good neighbour and told the park.

"Once the problem had been discovered, the school could very easily have offered to provide parking on its Playing Fields, but instead it decided to impose traffic jam and parking misery on local residents."

Prior to the event, Nonsuch high School said it had arranged its event well in advance and publicised it on its website.

The Sutton Guardian has not recieved an official statement from Nonsuch High School but has been appraoched by the school's network manager Nelson Abrunhosa who said: "Education is much more important than any concert."

Sutton Guardian: Photos from Sir Elton John's concert at the County Ground, Taunton, June 3, 2012

The event at the park was an Elton John and Abba Tribute night to raise money for the St Raphael's Hospice.

Both the fire brigade and the London Ambulance service have declined to comment.

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:31pm Fri 11 Jul 14

labyrinth says...

There you have it, from a Nonsuch school spokesperson: 'Education is more important than any concert.' One can only hope that when he made this remark, he was unaware that the concert was a charity one in aid of a hospice. What he actually meant, of course, was 'Nothing is going to stand in the way of selling our school to as many thousands of parents as possible, irrespective of how far they drive to get here and of any extra chaos it may cause for those who live near us.'

We all know how important Education is, but as the school well knows, that was not the issue here. Not only should the school have informed all the relevant parties in terms of the organization of the event, but they should also have let their neighbours know. Of course, when the majority of the school's population do not live in the area, it's hardly surprising that this kind of arrogance should develop. Nevertheless, it's a lesson in selfishness which is not a good one to be passing on to the young.
There you have it, from a Nonsuch school spokesperson: 'Education is more important than any concert.' One can only hope that when he made this remark, he was unaware that the concert was a charity one in aid of a hospice. What he actually meant, of course, was 'Nothing is going to stand in the way of selling our school to as many thousands of parents as possible, irrespective of how far they drive to get here and of any extra chaos it may cause for those who live near us.' We all know how important Education is, but as the school well knows, that was not the issue here. Not only should the school have informed all the relevant parties in terms of the organization of the event, but they should also have let their neighbours know. Of course, when the majority of the school's population do not live in the area, it's hardly surprising that this kind of arrogance should develop. Nevertheless, it's a lesson in selfishness which is not a good one to be passing on to the young. labyrinth
  • Score: 27

12:58pm Fri 11 Jul 14

sjsunny says...

I thought that schools were supposed to forging closer links within their local local communities - clearly not this one!
I thought that schools were supposed to forging closer links within their local local communities - clearly not this one! sjsunny
  • Score: 20

3:09pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Reggie of cheam says...

Well as appears to be the norm with this school of late they had absolutely no regard for people who live in Cheam. They had apparently advised the parents attending this school to use public transport/walk (probably a bit difficult if you are travelling from Banstead!!!!) and the parents obviously were either to stupid to understand this or just chose to be blissfully ignorant and ignore the advice given. To add insult to injury for anyone dining early at the Grumpy Mole may have found themselves missing their reservation due to the amount of parents quickly filling up their car park until I phoned them to let them know what was happening!!!. This school appears to be totally out of control and oblivious to the feelings of the local residents in the area.
Well as appears to be the norm with this school of late they had absolutely no regard for people who live in Cheam. They had apparently advised the parents attending this school to use public transport/walk (probably a bit difficult if you are travelling from Banstead!!!!) and the parents obviously were either to stupid to understand this or just chose to be blissfully ignorant and ignore the advice given. To add insult to injury for anyone dining early at the Grumpy Mole may have found themselves missing their reservation due to the amount of parents quickly filling up their car park until I phoned them to let them know what was happening!!!. This school appears to be totally out of control and oblivious to the feelings of the local residents in the area. Reggie of cheam
  • Score: 18

3:10pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Mr S.P Williams says...

As a resident who who lived in the affected streets last night I can confirm it was complete stand-still last night. There were sirens hooting shouting, it was chaos I could hear it from my house. The school did nothing to try and avoid the traffic chaos, they had no parking contingency, they had not bothered to inform the park (or the residents), who's car parks/parking bays they just expected to use.
It doesn't surprise me that two emergency vehicles were caught up in the chaos the Ewell Road is regularly used by emergency vehicles.
You don't invite in the region of 1500 people to an event without arranging parking its just absolutely ludicrous. Its not really the fault of the prospective parents, as quite frankly they had no idea what to do, they were milling around asking residents where to park. The school knows most of the parent applying to the school are not local, its not rocket science to think that most of them will come by car.
Last night just demonstrated the schools completely thoughtless attitude to its community!
As a resident who who lived in the affected streets last night I can confirm it was complete stand-still last night. There were sirens hooting shouting, it was chaos I could hear it from my house. The school did nothing to try and avoid the traffic chaos, they had no parking contingency, they had not bothered to inform the park (or the residents), who's car parks/parking bays they just expected to use. It doesn't surprise me that two emergency vehicles were caught up in the chaos the Ewell Road is regularly used by emergency vehicles. You don't invite in the region of 1500 people to an event without arranging parking its just absolutely ludicrous. Its not really the fault of the prospective parents, as quite frankly they had no idea what to do, they were milling around asking residents where to park. The school knows most of the parent applying to the school are not local, its not rocket science to think that most of them will come by car. Last night just demonstrated the schools completely thoughtless attitude to its community! Mr S.P Williams
  • Score: 16

3:31pm Fri 11 Jul 14

thedude_xyz says...

I hit the traffic at 5:30 and turned off down a side street and avoided it all - little bit of local knowledge goes a long way...
I hit the traffic at 5:30 and turned off down a side street and avoided it all - little bit of local knowledge goes a long way... thedude_xyz
  • Score: -5

5:26pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Lewis2014 says...

I am astounded by the utter incompetence or arrogance (I am not quite sure which best describes it) of the school regarding last nights monumental traffic and parking mess last night. As Mary Burstow rightly says they knew in advance this was going to be a problem, once it was highlighted they could have used their large playing field for parking! They are quite happy to plough it up to build a huge Dome on it after all!
I am astounded by the utter incompetence or arrogance (I am not quite sure which best describes it) of the school regarding last nights monumental traffic and parking mess last night. As Mary Burstow rightly says they knew in advance this was going to be a problem, once it was highlighted they could have used their large playing field for parking! They are quite happy to plough it up to build a huge Dome on it after all! Lewis2014
  • Score: 12

5:54pm Fri 11 Jul 14

maltacat50 says...

Yet again residents around Nonsuch High School are treated with utter contempt, not even a note through the door - I'm sure some of the older students are quite capable of posting 'warning - apologies in advance ' letters through neighbours doors.

Well done to the charity event for their planning of their event.
Yet again residents around Nonsuch High School are treated with utter contempt, not even a note through the door - I'm sure some of the older students are quite capable of posting 'warning - apologies in advance ' letters through neighbours doors. Well done to the charity event for their planning of their event. maltacat50
  • Score: 13

5:57pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Neill Denny says...

I've lived in Cheam for over 40 years, on and off, and last night was the single worst traffic jam on the Ewell Rd I have ever seen. I saw the traffic backed up to the junction with West Drive, which is 3/4 of a mile from the cross-roads in the village, and at its peak the queue apparently stretched to the roundabout at St Paul's Howell Hill, just over a mile. Drivers who lacked local knowledge would have been in that queue for at least 45 minutes.
All traffic from the school, as well as any from the park itself, the Mansion House, and the Grumpy Mole exit on to the same 200 yd stretch of narrow road. The geography is unforgiving - yet the school are also planning to build over their remaining playing fields with what amounts to a second sports centre on the site, attracting visitors and traffic from across Surrey and South London. For an institution dedicated to learning the school seems to find it surprisingly hard to grasp the simple fact that a limit to development has now been reached, as last night's farragio so amply demonstrated.
Nonsuch seems to beleive its responsibilities to the community and to Cheam end at its front gate. They had over a week to move their open evening to avoid the clash with the charity concert and they failed to do so. The new Head needs to get a grip before the school completely loses touch with the community it once served.
I've lived in Cheam for over 40 years, on and off, and last night was the single worst traffic jam on the Ewell Rd I have ever seen. I saw the traffic backed up to the junction with West Drive, which is 3/4 of a mile from the cross-roads in the village, and at its peak the queue apparently stretched to the roundabout at St Paul's Howell Hill, just over a mile. Drivers who lacked local knowledge would have been in that queue for at least 45 minutes. All traffic from the school, as well as any from the park itself, the Mansion House, and the Grumpy Mole exit on to the same 200 yd stretch of narrow road. The geography is unforgiving - yet the school are also planning to build over their remaining playing fields with what amounts to a second sports centre on the site, attracting visitors and traffic from across Surrey and South London. For an institution dedicated to learning the school seems to find it surprisingly hard to grasp the simple fact that a limit to development has now been reached, as last night's farragio so amply demonstrated. Nonsuch seems to beleive its responsibilities to the community and to Cheam end at its front gate. They had over a week to move their open evening to avoid the clash with the charity concert and they failed to do so. The new Head needs to get a grip before the school completely loses touch with the community it once served. Neill Denny
  • Score: 13

6:30pm Fri 11 Jul 14

labyrinth says...

maltacat50 wrote:
Yet again residents around Nonsuch High School are treated with utter contempt, not even a note through the door - I'm sure some of the older students are quite capable of posting 'warning - apologies in advance ' letters through neighbours doors.

Well done to the charity event for their planning of their event.
We have just received a long list from Nonsuch, of all their future events - it was addressed 'Dear Resident' rather than 'neighbour' & there was not one hint of any apology. It simply states what they are going to do, and that 'a significant number of parents' will be visiting. It smacked of sarcasm to us, since it includes even one-year-group parents' evenings, which have very little effect on traffic and go on all the time. Presumably it was given out so that they can say they do tell us. Bit late now!
[quote][p][bold]maltacat50[/bold] wrote: Yet again residents around Nonsuch High School are treated with utter contempt, not even a note through the door - I'm sure some of the older students are quite capable of posting 'warning - apologies in advance ' letters through neighbours doors. Well done to the charity event for their planning of their event.[/p][/quote]We have just received a long list from Nonsuch, of all their future events - it was addressed 'Dear Resident' rather than 'neighbour' & there was not one hint of any apology. It simply states what they are going to do, and that 'a significant number of parents' will be visiting. It smacked of sarcasm to us, since it includes even one-year-group parents' evenings, which have very little effect on traffic and go on all the time. Presumably it was given out so that they can say they do tell us. Bit late now! labyrinth
  • Score: 11

6:33pm Fri 11 Jul 14

labyrinth says...

Mr S.P Williams wrote:
As a resident who who lived in the affected streets last night I can confirm it was complete stand-still last night. There were sirens hooting shouting, it was chaos I could hear it from my house. The school did nothing to try and avoid the traffic chaos, they had no parking contingency, they had not bothered to inform the park (or the residents), who's car parks/parking bays they just expected to use.
It doesn't surprise me that two emergency vehicles were caught up in the chaos the Ewell Road is regularly used by emergency vehicles.
You don't invite in the region of 1500 people to an event without arranging parking its just absolutely ludicrous. Its not really the fault of the prospective parents, as quite frankly they had no idea what to do, they were milling around asking residents where to park. The school knows most of the parent applying to the school are not local, its not rocket science to think that most of them will come by car.
Last night just demonstrated the schools completely thoughtless attitude to its community!
The school does not think of us as its community. Most of its pupils & staff drive in here a.m. and drive out p.m. That's why they think it's fine to build a monstrous sports dome & add yet more traffic as well as wrecking the park - they can use it & go home, leaving us to suffer the consequences.
[quote][p][bold]Mr S.P Williams[/bold] wrote: As a resident who who lived in the affected streets last night I can confirm it was complete stand-still last night. There were sirens hooting shouting, it was chaos I could hear it from my house. The school did nothing to try and avoid the traffic chaos, they had no parking contingency, they had not bothered to inform the park (or the residents), who's car parks/parking bays they just expected to use. It doesn't surprise me that two emergency vehicles were caught up in the chaos the Ewell Road is regularly used by emergency vehicles. You don't invite in the region of 1500 people to an event without arranging parking its just absolutely ludicrous. Its not really the fault of the prospective parents, as quite frankly they had no idea what to do, they were milling around asking residents where to park. The school knows most of the parent applying to the school are not local, its not rocket science to think that most of them will come by car. Last night just demonstrated the schools completely thoughtless attitude to its community![/p][/quote]The school does not think of us as its community. Most of its pupils & staff drive in here a.m. and drive out p.m. That's why they think it's fine to build a monstrous sports dome & add yet more traffic as well as wrecking the park - they can use it & go home, leaving us to suffer the consequences. labyrinth
  • Score: 13

7:07pm Sat 12 Jul 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

The school seems to have forgotten something that they could have learned from the tribute concert nearby. Sorry seems to be the hardest word.
The school seems to have forgotten something that they could have learned from the tribute concert nearby. Sorry seems to be the hardest word. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 11

11:10am Mon 14 Jul 14

RollT123 says...

Does one evening with a bit of a traffic jam really warrant such whining? Seriously, there are more important things to be concerned over. Perhaps this should be looked at in a little context.
Does one evening with a bit of a traffic jam really warrant such whining? Seriously, there are more important things to be concerned over. Perhaps this should be looked at in a little context. RollT123
  • Score: -3

1:03pm Mon 14 Jul 14

maltacat50 says...

No one is whining over a bit of a traffic jam, we are complaining about Nonsuch High Schools inability to liase and talk with its neighbours.
The so called bit of a traffic jam caused a lot of stress and inconvenience to a lot of people.
No one is whining over a bit of a traffic jam, we are complaining about Nonsuch High Schools inability to liase and talk with its neighbours. The so called bit of a traffic jam caused a lot of stress and inconvenience to a lot of people. maltacat50
  • Score: 3

1:32pm Mon 14 Jul 14

RollT123 says...

maltacat50 wrote:
No one is whining over a bit of a traffic jam, we are complaining about Nonsuch High Schools inability to liase and talk with its neighbours.
The so called bit of a traffic jam caused a lot of stress and inconvenience to a lot of people.
It's interesting to see some comments including reference to the selective nature of the school. I have no affiliation with the school, nor do I live in the immediate vicinity, but I wonder if there would be such uproar if places at the school were going to local children?
[quote][p][bold]maltacat50[/bold] wrote: No one is whining over a bit of a traffic jam, we are complaining about Nonsuch High Schools inability to liase and talk with its neighbours. The so called bit of a traffic jam caused a lot of stress and inconvenience to a lot of people.[/p][/quote]It's interesting to see some comments including reference to the selective nature of the school. I have no affiliation with the school, nor do I live in the immediate vicinity, but I wonder if there would be such uproar if places at the school were going to local children? RollT123
  • Score: 1

3:08pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Reggie of cheam says...

RollT123 wrote:
maltacat50 wrote:
No one is whining over a bit of a traffic jam, we are complaining about Nonsuch High Schools inability to liase and talk with its neighbours.
The so called bit of a traffic jam caused a lot of stress and inconvenience to a lot of people.
It's interesting to see some comments including reference to the selective nature of the school. I have no affiliation with the school, nor do I live in the immediate vicinity, but I wonder if there would be such uproar if places at the school were going to local children?
I live in the immediate vicinity and do not have children of my own, but as a local resident this is not whining if you lived anywhere near you would understand how frustrating this school is. There is no regard for it's neighbours by the school or the parents who send their children there.
[quote][p][bold]RollT123[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]maltacat50[/bold] wrote: No one is whining over a bit of a traffic jam, we are complaining about Nonsuch High Schools inability to liase and talk with its neighbours. The so called bit of a traffic jam caused a lot of stress and inconvenience to a lot of people.[/p][/quote]It's interesting to see some comments including reference to the selective nature of the school. I have no affiliation with the school, nor do I live in the immediate vicinity, but I wonder if there would be such uproar if places at the school were going to local children?[/p][/quote]I live in the immediate vicinity and do not have children of my own, but as a local resident this is not whining if you lived anywhere near you would understand how frustrating this school is. There is no regard for it's neighbours by the school or the parents who send their children there. Reggie of cheam
  • Score: 2
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree