A Vision for Weybridge

Town Square-01Many Weybridge residents have told me that they would like the town centre to have a focal point – what better than to pedestrianise the very centre of the town?  Give your comments.  it is just a very short strip between Baker Street and Churchfields Road but it would make a great difference to the look and feel of Baker Street, Church Street and the High Street. This would bring a whole series of benefits.

  • There would be a small piazza for people to relax in the quiet centre of town
  • Shopping throughout the town centre would be a more pleasant experience
  • Air pollution, which is current at or above legal limits, would be greatly reduced
  • More short-term parking would be available
  • Baker Street would no longer be a rat-run
  • Access to the town centre would be quicker as the through traffic would not be in the way
  • Buses would travel through the town centre unimpeded by cars.
  • The noise level would be so low that we could hear bird song rather than car engines.

It is likely that far more people could be sat across the new pavement between Cafe One and the Elmbridge Arms.  What a pleasant way to have a cup of tea or coffee in the sun.

This project would cost very little.   Many projects like this can takes years to put in place in England because of the way our governments are organised.  Responsibilities are spread between so many bodies that no-one takes the lead.

What about having a pilot first – just for next summer?  A temporary pilot would probably cost less than the consultation exercise required.  People would quickly experience the positive and negative aspects of the scheme.  Changes could be made as necessary through practical experience.  What is your view – take the survey.

Most people would consider that the biggest problem would be what happens to the traffic?  Clearly the through traffic will not be able to travel down the High Street.  Just like water, traffic always finds new ways through.  Surprisingly when changes like this are made a proportion of the traffic simply disappears but we would be wise to anticipate any problems and put in place appropriate mitigation measures.

This is simply a suggestion to set off your creative juices.  Another idea – much more expensive is here.

20 thoughts on “A Vision for Weybridge

  1. This would be a great idea, Weybridge has been spoilt by traffic over the years and it’s only getting worse. I am especially concerned about large HGV’s and coaches travelling through the town, the roads just cannot take that kind of traffic. Just the other day I was walking along Weybridge High Street when a van wing mirror hit my arm. I would love to see the High Street / Church Street closed to traffic. It would reduce the traffic considerably as most vehicles are travelling through the town rather than stopping in the town.

  2. I love the idea of giving Weybridge a focal point. Having lived here for over 20 years I feel that Weybridge has lost it’s way as a small town. It would be nice over a summer weekend to meet up with friends in town without the traffic noise and fumes. I’m sure the traffic would find it’s way and would perhaps encourage shop and office workers to park further afield.

  3. Closing off the High Street and the so called rat runs would result in all through traffic being routed from Temple Market up Hanger Hill to the station and then down Heath Road to the Balfour Road roundabout and vice versa.
    It really is disingenuous that you have not made this clear in the article – saying instead ‘Just like water, traffic always finds new ways through. Surprisingly etc, etc the traffic simply disappears …..’ – This is just nonsense.
    So what about all the pollution and traffic chaos you would just be moving to a wider group of residents in Weybridge.

    I also find offensive on the postings here your deliberate ‘misunderstanding’ of other people’s comments, e.g. the one about the M25, it was obvious what the person meant.

    Closing off Elgin Road is pure nimbyism brought up 10 years ago by a few residents on the road.
    The main traffic problem in Weybridge is that the only current east-west route is via the High Street. Of course a few people use more local roads when convenient. The main use of Elgin Road is in the mornings when huge numbers of parents are driving their children to Heathside School from the Oatlands area. During the rest of the day the traffic is minimal.
    Overall anything that forces more traffic around the station area would be a disaster for local residents since at peak times it is already dire with long queues on Heath Road and Hanger Hill.
    Oh and by the way Denmark has 1/10th the population of the UK and therefore related traffic issues!

    • Yes the traffic would go along the route you mention along with other routes. clear Weybridge needs a by pass or a least another bridge at the station.

      I think that you will find that population density is more important than overall population when dealing with transport problems. We simple don’t bother to send enough on our transport infrastructure – apparently the British prefer queuing in cars.

  4. I was unable to complete the survey on the proposed pedestrianizing of part of the High Street as I was required to rank all 6 options in question 1 and I found most of them irrelevant or totally absurd. Please use sensible options that reflect a wide range of opinions in any future surveys so that everyone can complete them or simply have a yes/no reply then a box to give reasons for the decision.
    I am not in favour of the proposal as I feel it will just move traffic onto residential roads that are unsuitable for buses, emergency vehicles and a higher volume of traffic.

    • Thank you for your feed back. I will attempt to take your points on-board in the next survey. Have you tried the survey on parking yet? I fully understand that you might not agree with the proposal but interestingly most of the respondents to the survey so far have agreed with it. As the picture shows emergency vehicles and buses would be able to pass though unhindered in a manner that occurs in many British towns and cities. Also I would imagine that all the run-runs would be closed off as part of the mitigating measures: Portmore Park Road, Princes Road, Pine Grove, Elgin Road, York Road – if the residents wished them to be.

  5. As usual ill thought out. Road chaos would ensue with the High Street closed ( I assume Emergency Vehicles would be able to get through?) with the result of a significant increase in traffic on Portmore Park Road and Heath Road which are already badly affected by on road parking causing yet more delays. Signposting changes would have to take place at Woburn Hill roundabout etc advising no through route and also locations.
    A more simple solution would be to make the lower half of Baker Street pedestrianised although it would be great if current traffic in Weybridge could be reduced, for a start by closing Morrisons.

    • Noel – do you think that an A road should go through our High Street? We have a problem of poor air quality in the town centre caused by traffic. As the picture shows emergency vehicles and buses would be able to pass though unhindered in a manner that occurs in many British towns and cities. Also I would imagine that all the run-runs would be closed off as part of the mitigating measures: Portmore Park Road, Princes Road, Pine Grove, Elgin Road, York Road – if the residents wished them to be. Signage would be required to direct traffic but no more than they have in Hersham. Closing Baker Street was another option in the survey. Both are popular than doing nothing and closing Church is more popular than closing Baker Street. I suppose that is because closing that little stretch of Church Street would also stop rut-running Baker Street.

      The idea is simply a starting point for debate – perhaps you would consider instead this proposal instead?

      You might be surprised how fast Surrey would fix the gyratory at the station if through traffic could no longer use the High Street.

  6. I think pedestrianising the lower part of Baker Street sounds interesting but the notion of closing a portion of the High Street doesn’t seem such a good idea – the level of traffic which passes through the High Street is high and I cannot imagine where it would ‘disappear’ to without impacting massively on residential roads. As commented, water finds a way through and traffic would I feel become impossible.

  7. Do it!
    It works so well in many continental towns. There is a huge bonus to be had if people learn to leave their cars at home. Instead of travelling from one traffic jam to another in order to find a leisure destination, why not turn Weybridge town centre in to an attractive, pollution free, sociable place to relax in.

  8. Like the idea of making some changes. A temporary – pilot — change might be concentrated on a closure of Baker Street to traffic. This would not require through traffic to be faced with unexpected diversion signs. Such signs are probably a requirement on an designated road.

    A full formal diversion to implement your suggestion might involve using Heath Road, the station roundabout and Hanger Hill as the alternative route … but would need some thought to more control of this – already non-standard, awkward – roundabout!

  9. I would suggest that the bottom half of Baker St is pedestrianised rather than cut off the High St. A lot of traffic uses the High St accessing the M25 and if the street is closed to through traffic this would lead to rat runs particularly along Portmore Park Road.

    The Churchfields car park should have a free spaces sign on the High St and Churchfields car park should be time limited to say 4 hours with the removal of season ticket holders to another site.

    Definitely CPZ all the roads between the High St and the river but do not make it an all day restriction. This would make the residents car parking permits on road very expensive. I would suggest as in some London boroughs 11-1. This will cut out the all day parking from Morrison’s and others who would have to provide parking for their workers.

    Morrison’s should also be allowed to increase free parking to 2 hours at a minimum to allow people to use the shops on the High St free of charge and also encourage foot fall into their store. I have never seen the car park full!

    Cutting out the rat run on Baker St would improve the traffic flow through the town and improve the lives of Baker St residents.

    • Some very good suggestions here. I agree that any main road closure would have to include the stopping up of rat-runs at the same time. The main ones are: Portmore Park Road (many residents have suggested it be blocked at the junction with St Albans Avenue); Princes Road; Pine Grove; and, Elgin Road.

      Pedestrianizing a little part of Church Street will also stop Baker Street being a rat-run.

  10. And how would the traffic en route through the centre of Weybridge to and from the A317 and the M25 go? Is some moron proposing its diversion through residential streets?

    • Are you referring to traffic Walton to the M25? Which non “A” or “B” class street did you have in mind?

      • I’d be most concerned about the increase of traffic along Heath Road and Hanger Hill, and the number of cars who would be turning right at the Station roundabout. Heath Road is already very unpleasant for pedestrians in the rush hour with traffic fumes as it’s quite narrow and you are close to the traffic. I don’t think it would be a good idea for schoolchildren going to Heathside to be subjected to this atmosphere. If this idea is to receive serious consideration, all the consequences need to be really well discussed and thought through, even before a pilot is attempted.

        • You are correct. Every aspect would need to be examined carefully. Heath Road near the station is being reviewed now and there plans to change the layout (minimally) at the stations. I have proposed laying a wider footway and also a cycleway from the school to the station – currently Elmbridge refuses to make the land available.

          As the pilot would only begin once Heathside Closes for the summer and would end when it opens The

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