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Newsletter - Fri 23 Feb, 2024


  • M25 lights switched off to help meet carbon targets

  • Council tax figures confirmed

  • March opening likely for Italian restaurant Storia

  • East Surrey Hospital stood down from critical incident

  • March concert at St Mary’s by English Arts Chorale

M25 lights switched off to help meet carbon targets

  • (Image credit: Google)

If you’ve noticed the overhead lights are off on a section of the M25 in our area, it’s been done to help meet National Highways’ carbon reduction goals.

Junctions and slip roads will continue to be lit.

A final assessment of the switch-off will begin in summer next year, before a decision is taken on whether to remove the lighting permanently.

A spokesperson for National Highways told reigate-uk this week: “The lighting along approximately 10.4 miles of the M25 between junctions 6 and 9 was turned off in November 2023.

“This decision is part of our efforts to meet National Highways' net zero targets and align with government climate change and carbon reduction goals.

“Where lights have been switched off, the lighting columns will stay in place for 18 to 24 months to allow for post switch-off safety reviews of the areas. Signs are in place to notify motorists about the switched-off sections.

“National Highways prioritise safety on our network, and the choice to switch off street lighting followed a thorough safety review before it was affected, which considers the necessity of the lighting and the potential impact of its removal.”

The spokesperson added: “There are currently no plans to turn the lighting back on in these sections.

“A final assessment will be conducted starting from June 2025 before deciding whether to remove the lighting permanently.

“However, areas around junctions and slip roads will remain lit to help drivers adjust between different light levels on the M25 main carriageway and local roads.

“Our evidence on the M25 network suggests that turning off lighting reduces incidents. This not only supports the government's Net Zero strategy but also benefits the environment, helping wildlife and reducing light pollution.

“Switching off these lights will contribute to saving around 676,800 kg CO2e. This is equivalent to removing over 400 cars from the road annually or the energy use of 85.3 homes in a year.”

Details of National Highways’ lighting appraisal process can be found here (Opens in a new window), and their net zero aims here (Opens in a new window).

Council tax figures confirmed

Tuesday’s full council meeting at Reigate & Banstead confirmed its relatively small portion of local council tax will rise by 2.99%.

As previously reported, when added to the police and county council elements, from April there will be a total rise of 4.65% for most residents in the borough, or an annual bill of £2,339.35 for a Band D property. That’s made up of:

Total annual figures by property banding will be:

  • Band A: £1,559.56

  • Band B: £1,819.50

  • Band C: £2,079.42

  • Band D: £2,339.35

  • Band E: £2,859.20

  • Band F: £3,379.06

  • Band G: £3,898.91

  • Band H: £4,678.70

Residents who come under Horley Town Council will pay an extra £54 a year on a Band D, while those in the Salfords & Sidlow parish area will pay an extra £32.10 on a Band D.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Reigate & Banstead has published a statement (Opens in a new window) about its revenue and capital budget. Among the details, it says there was an eight-week public consultation process on the draft proposals.

The council says anyone finding it difficult to pay their council tax should visit its cost of living pages (Opens in a new window), with more support having been made available in the budget.

The authority is also reminding people that it’s now possible to sign up for e-billing (Opens in a new window) rather than paper bills.

The borough collects council tax on behalf of itself and the other authorities.

(Image credit:

March opening likely for Italian restaurant Storia

  • Impression of the new premises (credit: Storia)

Storia, an Italian restaurant, is “cautiously optimistic” at opening “mid to late March” at the old post office building in London Road, Redhill (where Prezzo used to be, over the road from Sainsbury’s).

The company can’t give an exact date because things are dependent on the arrival of key materials and items.

“We chose Redhill as we really liked the town and the site, and are excited for Storia to become part of the local community,” a spokesperson said this week.

The site has been vacant since Prezzo left in April last year.

Storia (Opens in a new window) already has branches in Radlett, Tring, Maidenhead, Shepperton and Woodford Green.

  • A previous version of this item incorrectly stated “telephone exchange” instead of “post office building”. Apologies for the error.

Critical incident stood down at East Surrey Hospital

A “critical incident” at East Surrey Hospital’s intensive care and high dependency units, resulting from a power outage on Monday (19 Feb), has been stood down (Opens in a new window).

During the power outage patients were “safely evacuated” from the two units.

Dr Ed Cetti, chief medical officer at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said on Tuesday (20 Feb): “We have now stood down this Critical Incident and I want to thank the public for their support as we worked to get the two units affected back up and running. I also want to thank all our teams, our system colleagues, and the ambulance service, for their immense efforts in ensuring we were able to continue to provide safe care for all those in need.

“Despite the challenges we faced, our essential services remained open throughout.”

Dr Cetti added that the trust expected its full elective lists to operate as planned from the following day (Wednesday 21 Feb).

March concert at St Mary’s by English Arts Chorale

The English Arts Chorale will be performing at St Mary’s Church next month, on Saturday 23 March at 7.30pm.

The group says: “On the eve of Palm Sunday, the EAC sings two works with profound religious origins expressed through captivating melodies and poignant harmonies.

“Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ was originally written as an orchestral work, and was premiered in 1787. The choral version we are presenting in this concert was arranged in 1796.

“Cecilia McDowall's Stabat mater was first performed in 2004, and has been described as 'an outstanding work of great solemnity and poignancy' (Tempo, 2013), and a sophisticated alternative to more well-known settings'.

“The programme also includes Elgar's enchanting Serenade for Strings written in 1892.”

Tickets and more details are here (Opens in a new window).

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