With Brooklands becoming a distribution centre for more and more companies, including Amazon, there are now more HGVs travelling through Weybridge and using the Balfour Road mini roundabout to turn into and out of Church Street. This is causing traffic jams, damage to barriers and pavements, and is dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians when the lorries mount the pavements to turn.
Neither Church Street nor the mini roundabout have been designed for this type of traffic and there have been 2 incidents with fatalities in the last 5 years on Balfour Road.
A petition to Surrey County Council was submitted in autumn 2022 to try to stop HGVs coming through Weybridge on the A317, received 270 signatures but was rejected on the grounds that it is a Surrey Priority One network with the comment that there “are no plans at this time to introduce a weight restriction.”
However, undeterred and seeing the escalation of the problem, we have joined with our St George’s ward councillor colleagues to promote a petition to introduce an 18 ton HGV weight limit on Brooklands Road. This is a B road and, if implemented, would achieve the aim of banning HGVs over 18 tonnes from using Heath Road to and from the town centre. There is still time to support the petition through this link or use the QR code below: https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=541
The petition is due to close on the 29th December.
2023 was the year of our new King and for Weybridge, a new festival. The week long programme started with a dinner catered and served by Brooklands College students and finished with the Community Fair on the 24th June. An exhibition by local artists, photographers and sculptors spanned the halls and walls of the library and Oatlands Park Hotel; concerts and plays, restaurant and cafe lunches and dinners, literary and art talks and a quiz, were enjoyed by many all over the town.
Over one hundred stalls, two stages hosting local choirs and soloists, a beer tent run by Weybridge Vandals and the best cream teas hosted by the Soroptimists and the local Ukrainian population in the Community Centre, all came together at the Community Fair based on Churchfields Recreation ground.
Councillor Judy Sarsby, who worked with the Weybridge Society to organise the Festival, said “an estimated 8000 attended these events and to see churches, schools, sports clubs and local organisations supporting each other was truly inspiring. We are very lucky to live in such a giving community.”
The River Thames Scheme (RTS) has produced a new animation to provide a straightforward summary of how the project will protect against flooding.
Entitled “How a Flood Channel Works” the video explains how the proposed new river channel and associated weir improvements will work by making the comparison with a road bypass and junction upgrades.
The RTS covers an area from Egham in Surrey to Teddington in Greater London and includes a new flood channel, built in two sections, that will reduce the risk of flooding to homes, businesses and infrastructure. The easterly section will meet the Thames opposite Elmbridge Canoe Club in Weybridge.
The scheme will also provide habitat for wildlife and a new feature in the landscape for recreation, including on Desborough Island. Footpaths and cycleways will run along the channel and through the new public spaces, linking different landscape elements with communities and providing better connections within and across the area.
The project is being delivered in partnership between the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council.
Your local councillors participated in one of the more pleasurable parts of the job in June and July, that of deciding how to allocate money to organisations that had applied for ‘CIL’ money. Every new development is liable to pay a small proportion of the costs as a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to the council to mitigate the effects of the development on local infrastructure. The sums totalled over a year are allocated only to the local area, in our case Weybridge Riverside, St George’s Hill and Oatlands and Burwood Park wards via the Local Spending Board made up of all the ward councillors.
Councillors were pleased to be able to support the following projects in Weybridge:
St James’ Church ‘Access to All’ to finish installing a ramp, an automated new ramp and kitchenette;
Elmbridge Canoe Club for a balcony extension to provide an outdoor land-based training space;
Manby Lodge to refurbish and extend a garage on site to provide an additional activity space;
St James’ School to improve an under-used outdoor space as the first phase of a mindfulness garden;
Weybridge Town Business Group for installing three totems in key spots along the High Street;
Weybridge Vandals rugby, cricket and netball club to provide two female changing facilities.
How can Haines Bridge be made safer for pedestrians?
It has been observed that Haines Bridge, which carries the Queen’s Road over the railway, puts pedestrians at risk since the bridge is so narrow. This leads to restricted width lanes for vehicles and thin strips of pavements. Queen’s Road is a busy main road and, if pedestrians coming from different directions have to cross on the pavements, it makes it very challenging for people to pass; this is particularly difficult for people with child buggies.
A local resident also pointed out that the parapets are below regulation height. Ashley investigated and asked Network Rail to ensure that parapet alterations would be in the coming year’s budget. They have now informed us that they plan to install caging over the pavements.
However, we have suggested that a longer-term solution of a new parallel pedestrian bridge should be investigated. While it is acknowledged that this would be expensive, this would make it safer for pedestrians and without widening the bridge itself.
Here are a couple of examples that have been implemented elsewhere and could be used for inspiration.
1. A bridge in Florida: 2. The Clifton Suspension Bridge: