• From March 30, 1990

Twenty-five years ago, Government experts were weighing up a £25m bypass at Malden Rushett, one of several schemes designed to ease traffic around the village over the years.

Nearly 1,000 indignant letters from Chessington residents poured onto Transport Secretary Cecil Parkinson’s desk and made the minister reconsider plans for a red route in the borough’s southern tip.

He promised in the House of Commons he would look at alternatives to upgrading the Leatherhead Road into a priority red route.

The massive bill, estimated at £25m, was expected to have been shared six ways with part of the cost being paid by private companies.

In Kingston, roads supremo Dennis Bicknell met interested parties to draw up detailed plans for a possible route to divert traffic between the A3 and M25 around Malden Rushett.

He was optimistic about the chance of success.

He said: “This scheme has very great merit, with so many people benefiting.

“It renders the red route idea null and void in one fell swoop.”

It was hoped the cost would be shared among three public bodies – Kingston Council, Surrey County Council, and the Department of Transport – and three private firms: the Players’ Club, Chessington World of Adventures, and what was the as-yet unknown developer of the Epsom hospital site.

The Players’ Club agreed to contribute as long as it could have planning permission for a golf club. The theme park was uncommitted.

The bypass idea had been around for several years but was resurrected by protesters against Government plans to upgrade the Leatherhead Road.

Residents’ leader Jim Taylor said it justified the protest campaign, and was surprised by the amount of post sent to Mr Parkinson.

  • 50 YEARS AGO: March 31, 1965

The most sweeping piece of local government reorganisation ever to occur in Britain came into force this week 50 years ago.

Thirty-two London boroughs and a Greater London Council took over administration from the old complex of county, borough and urban councils, which for years ruled the metropolis.

  • 25 YEARS AGO: March 30, 1990

Kingston Basketball Club won its fourth trophy of the season, beating Sunderland 103-78 to lift the Coca Cola National Cup at Docklands Arena.

Earlier in the season, the Kings had already snapped up the Natwest Trophy, the World Invitation Club Basketball Trophy and the Carlsberg League title.

  • 10 YEARS AGO: March 30, 2005

A grandmother threatened to take a chainsaw to a tree in her own back garden – to head off plans to put up a mobile phone mast just beyond her garden fence.

The Surbiton resident opposed plans by Hutchinson 3G to install the mast as she feared it would blight her property and pose health risks.