Improving our town centre

I believe that we can make our town centre a pleasant place to be in despite the amount of traffic that flows through the town.  We can shorten travel time for motorists, increase trade for our shops, and make the roads safer for our children and the elderly.  Enable more people to cycle, which will itself also reduce congestion.  Allow people with disabilities and the infirm to navigate their way through the traffic and reduce their stress.  We can not only save but improve the heritage represented by our conservation areas in the Quadrant and Monument Green.  We could even save the London plane tree in Monument Hill.

Conventional safety experts will tell you that we need traffic lights, roundabouts, tactile bubble paving and a vast array of signs but it is simply not true.

The following video shows what can be done with the will and the imagination.  We have a great opportunity to make this happen by taking advantage of new developments in the town.  If the main road is to be remodelled let us make sure that it is designed to the highest standards.  Don’t let the naysayers sell us short.

If Poynton can achieve these excellent results then surely Weybridge can do so too.  What are your views?

One of the advantages that Poynton had was that the highway authority and the planning authority were the same – Cheshire East Council.  Our planning authority – Elmbridge – and our highway authority – Surrey – are separate but that does not mean that they cannot work together to provide the outcomes we need.

The problems can occur when changes are proposed and there is no discussion between the relevant parties – at the same time.

 

26 thoughts on “Improving our town centre

  1. Weybridge doesn’t have such a single, large intersection at it’s centre as Poynton does, it’s not comparing like with like. The smaller junctions at Baker Street, Churchfield Road, St James Church and Bridge Road aren’t traffic light controlled – at certain times of day it seems the traffic builds up due to volume of traffic not because of lights. Poynton looks interesting but it doesn’t seem applicable to Weybridge.

    • I agree that Poynton is not Weybridge. Incidentally the outfit which designed Poynton are very happy to come down to Weybridge to see what could be done here.

      Also I agree that the traffic signals themselves are not the problem. It appears that the traffic gets blocked in each direction when it merges with other traffic at the Balfour/Church Street mini-roundabout and the Temple Market mini-roundabout. If traffic exiting Balfour Road did not have to give way to traffic coming from the town centre then it would flow relatively easily. The same would happen at Temple Market – traffic from Oatlands Drive would flow down Hanger Hill without having to give way to Queens Road or Monument Hill (not often anyway). They would act rather like the Balfour Road/Portmore Park Park Road mini-roundabout.

  2. Weybridge need’s refurbishing to reflect the affluence of the town, it seems crazy to me that such a rich town suffers from bad street furniture. Considering Elmbridge borough council collects a larger than average council tax bill I would expect them to spend some money on improving the general feel of the town. It would benefit everyone who lives here.

  3. V interesting. We have a scheme which is much closer to home which shares the same principles as this along Feltham High Street- London Borough of Hounslow. It was put in probably 20 years ago now as part of the Feltham regeneration scheme and has been a great success. There was a pilot put in overnight so that traffic was not disrupted. Why not go and have a look? I’m sure the transport planners would be happy to talk to you. Otherwise contact Colin Chick at Luton Borough Council (corporate director- regeneration) who was responsible for the scheme. Be quick- he leaves on 16 Jan!

  4. A sheme like Poynton’s looks ideal for Weybridge. The relevant authorities should seek to employ the services of expert advisers, who have both appropriate experience and empathy for the surroundings.

  5. Found the Poynton scheme really interesting!

    Why can’t it work for Weybridge? The cost was reasonable-£4m. Pity
    about the new street lighting we have just had installed but maybe the
    shared space could work around the lights!

    Well done for spreading this idea-hope it gets lots of approval.

  6. The video was fascinating and really encouraging. I think Weybridge would benefit hugely from some careful planning of this nature. We definitely need to make the High Street more pedestrian-friendly – it would completely change the feel of the place and significantly improve the prospects for local shops. The change in road/pavement layout would be fantastic for Portmore Park Road, too, as it is becoming a rat run despite the speed bumps. The junction at the station would benefit from the Poynton treatment, too! If we can keep Morrisons small-scale then maybe there is a future for our town after all.

    Thank you so much for passing this on.

  7. Very didactic – any workable scheme that can improve traffic flows in Elmbridge at affordable cost, is worth considering.
    Above all, any new development that will have a significant impact on traffic flows – and that can often occur with a relatively small increase in volume – should never be implemented without a simultaneous development to eliminate any such impact.

  8. Wonderful to see that a council have embraced such an imaginative and creative scheme. It just shows that we can trust far more in the decent, courteous side of human nature and that without countless signs, street markings and lights traffic flow can be improved and streets made safer.
    I’d love to see some drawings for a proposed Weybridge solution.

  9. It looks great and it actually it works!

    I also like the paving stones instead of the usual asphalt, which gives it less a ‘highway’ look and should also help to slow down traffic. Weybridge High Street is wide enough to create seperate cycle paths.

  10. Great idea if you can get rid of the need for pelican crossings which massively disrupt the flow of traffic on the High St itself. I’d be interested to see the proposals for how you could improve the mini roundabout at the church end of the High Street as that appears to cause a significant proportion of the jams, certainly in the morning. That already seems a slow, consensual kind of junction; ditto at the top of Monument Hill. Weybridge is essentially a High St trapped between those two bottle necks, not a four lane through junction, which would require a different solution I would have thought.

  11. This is a brilliant idea. It seems almost too good to be true, but if it could work for Weybridge let’s do it.

  12. Looks good, but are we dealing with the same volume of traffic? My feeling is that as a ‘S E town’ the flow through in Weybridge is much greater than Poynton, and the ‘back up’ traffic would cause problems probably as far as M25, A3, Walton on Thames etc. A very detailed survey of traffic is required. Consider what could be done about huge juggernauts delivering to the town- would shops/ properties need to be demolished?

    • Actually the through traffic in Weybridge is higher and involves far fewer HGVs. In Poynton it 25,000 vehicles a day and in Weybridge High Street it is around 18,000. No demolition is envisaged or required.

      • Hi – just come across this thread.

        Walked into Poynton last year (from the Macclesfield Canal) …a local resident warned us of the ‘shared space’ concept. Apparently – even if there is a fatality now … in terms of accidents/year it will have proved SAFER than before,

        Observed the roundels .. traffic slow (but never actually stops). Traffic does treat it a bit like a roundabout, i.e. ‘give way to the right’ but the guy from the right does not ‘rush in’ to assert his authority. The video shows this well.

        The main shopping ‘road/street’ is also shared space with patterns in the surface that suggest multiple ‘preferred crossing’ positions, each of which was very wide. The two ‘lanes’ marked for vehicles meant that the ‘pavement’ areas in front of the shops were very generous.

        Weybridge traffic queues are result of stop/start due to various junctions from ‘Sullivans/Queens Head’ past the Church and the five controlled pedestrian crossings up to the roundabout at Monument Hill. The pedestrian crossing lights interrupt this traffic randomly.. but when the traffic is actually stopped it is possible to cross the designated road anywhere by passing between the cars — although drivers do not often like it when I do this!

        As there are so many separate ‘stop events’ they act against one another … and maybe an overall ‘Poynton’ solution would be worth trying. Traffic could hardly be worse off!

  13. This looks amazing, it would make the town center a much more pleasant place to be, how do we get it here? Sarah

  14. This is fantastic. What do the people of Weybridge need to do to influence the street and traffic designers? Vicki

  15. Wonderful, peaceful, and hopeful. It shows what fresh eyes and a bit of imagination and thinking can do. I note that parts of Addlestone High Street are planned to become pedestrianised. This would have similar effect.

    Stephen

  16. Andrew

    this is exactly what I was talking about in one of my previous note to you.

    I think its excellent!

    My question is how far could it be extended throughout Weybridge

    From Sullivan’s all the way around to Focus??? Further?

    I hope it gets some momentum. All the best with it

    Graham

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