Weybridge highways improvements

Weybridge Transport Strategy: £5 million for Weybridge’s streets

A public consultation took place early last year on plans to improve the streets in Weybridge town centre to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists and to improve traffic flow at some junctions. The total cost of these improvements comes to £5 million with money coming from SCC and EBC’s Strategic CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) fund. As a result of the consultations, the proposals to close Elgin Road and Old Wharf Way to traffic were removed.

Due to the M25 junction 10 programme, which should finish by the end of this year, the programme has been divided into two phases. Phase 1 works will be less interfering to traffic and will be co-ordinated with National Highways to limit the effect of any J10 restrictions or closures. Phase 2 works will have a more significant effect on traffic flow and will be scheduled for early next year.  

We understand that Phase 1 works will include: 

  • Pavement and cycle lane improvements on the High Street between Elmgrove Road and Baker Street; 25/04/24, 1 day;
  • Improvements to Monument Hill/Baker Street priority junction; 23/04/24, 2 days;
  • Work on the Bridge Road/Old Wharf Way junction; 12/02/24, 20 days;
  • Installing a Manby Lodge School crossing (scheduled during the August school holidays). 

Phase 2 plans include improvements to the A317 Balfour Road/Church Street mini-roundabout, to the Monument Hill and Monument Green junctions, the Balfour Road/Portmore Park roundabout and the Church Street/Minorca Road junction.

Weybridge Hospital site

Are we closer to a re-build?

The plans showing a two-storey building with GP services on the ground floor and clinics, diagnostics and children’s and mental health services on the first floor, are currently being reviewed after feedback from the planning authority, Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC). Replacing the walk-in centre is not in the plan (due to having an Urgent Treatment Centre at St Peter’s) but there will be a Same Day Urgent Care access hub which will be available only for booked appointments via the GP or 111.

The intention is for NHS Property Services to proceed with a full planning application in the spring for building to start this summer. The aim is for the building to be handed over to the NHS for fitting out in the winter of 2025 and for it to be opened in spring 2026 when the portacabins will be removed.

New Crossing on Oatlands Drive

Two years ago your local councillor team were pleased to see the work they had proposed to widen, resurface and install better lighting on the ‘green lane’ that connects Oatlands Drive to Grotto Road to make it a better shared walking and wheeling path. We then pressed SCC to install a crossing on Oatlands Drive to make it safer, particularly for children and parents going to and from St James Primary and St George’s Junior Schools. Good to see that this installation is now nearing completion.

Elmbridge Parking Review

SCC have proposed some changes to parking restrictions in the Borough and would welcome feedback to the proposals. The closing date for feedback of this review is 22 December.

Street notices have been put out where changes are proposed and residents of properties fronting the proposals have been notified in writing of changes planned in their area.

Full information and a link for feedback is available on SCC’s website: Elmbridge parking review 2023 – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk)

The proposed orders are also available for inspection at Esher Civic Centre, the Highways Depot in Merrow, plus libraries across the borough.

Weybridge Business Park

In March this year, Runnymede Borough Council rejected plans for a 20,000 square metre warehouse on the now derelict site of Weybridge Business Park because it would be overbearing and have a damaging environmental impact.

The developers returned with revised plans for a number of smaller industrial units rather than the one large warehouse and this came before the RBC Planning Committee at the end of October. The council seemed to consider that the was an improved design due to its reduction in size and some additional landscaping. Along with the Weybridge Society, local councillors asked EBC to comment on the adverse effect the development would have on traffic through Weybridge, but unfortunately there was no objection raised from either the Local Highway Authority (SCC) or National Highways. Indeed, RBC determined that a reason for refusal on highway grounds could not be substantiated.

But conditions were imposed to restrict the hours of operations from 7am to 9pm and to limit the amount of floor space that could be occupied by one occupier so that units couldn’t be joined together to effectively provide one large warehouse.

However, the developers, Bridge Industrial, are appealing the decision to refuse their first application in March. The Weybridge Society is working hard, along with members of the Poets Corner Residents Group (PCRG) who live near the site, to prevent the appeal being heard in February from overturning the decision.

Petition for HGV weight limit

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.

Elmbridge disappointed with ULEZ decision

Our Council issued a news bulletin on the 28th July to express its disappointment at the High Court decision to allow the expansion of ULEZ to go ahead from 29 August 2023.

Given the significant air pollution caused by traffic in Weybridge town centre, we have frequently called upon our highways authority, Surrey County Council, to be much more pro-active in restricting the most polluting vehicles. While we therefore support the benefits of cleaner air in Greater London from the extension of the ULEZ, we have also expressed our reservations to the speed of its implementation without proper consultation with boroughs and districts surrounding Greater London.

The statement by the Leader of the Council is:

We are supportive of improving air quality in Elmbridge and of increased trade in our high streets and parades, both of which we see as potential benefits to the possible extension of the ULEZ. However, we know our communities are linked to those of Greater London and we are concerned about impact on small businesses and our residents in introducing the scheme this year. We have continually lobbied the Mayor of London and TfL due to the impact it will have on the Elmbridge community as a whole. It is unsatisfactory that TfL are proceeding without a scrappage scheme for those outside the London boundary, specifically those who cross it in the course of their daily lives. It’s a change which is likely to hit hardest those are least able to afford it. We will continue to work with Surrey County Council to press TfL to engage with us to tackle this issue. 

All the political parties across Elmbridge Borough Council have stated their objections to the expansion of ULEZ. 

Council concerns over the expansion of the ULEZ

From Elmbridge News. Click here for full article.

After a limited period of consultation, the Mayor of London announced last November that London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) would be extended this year from inside the North and South Circular roads to cover all London Boroughs. Whilst Elmbridge has a policy of improving our air quality, through our Air Quality Action Plan, we think a large number of residents and businesses will be impacted by our proximity to Kingston Borough: companies working in Kingston and residents visiting the shops, open spaces, leisure facilities and NHS services.

  • Many of our residents and businesses will be impacted by the ULEZ £12.50 daily charge, and potential large fines for non-compliant vehicles.
  • This is being introduced without the much-requested expansion of TfL’s rail zone 6 beyond Hampton Court and Thames Ditton to include stations such as Esher, Walton, Hersham, Hinchley Wood, Cobham, Oxshott, Claygate, Weybridge and others.
  • the scrappage scheme to help London residents change to compliant vehicles will not be extended into Elmbridge.

In December 2022, we continued to address our opposition to the Mayor of London and have recently received a response from Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy. Ms Rodrigues states that Transport for London (TFL) are open to discussing extending zone 6:

“The council resolution raised the issue of extending zone 6 into parts of your district. TfL are constantly reviewing and developing transport provision and are open to discussions with Surrey County Council and Elmbridge borough Council in order to discuss potential holistic transport strategies.”

On the matter of access to NHS services, exemptions and discounts, Ms Rodrigues writes:

“I am happy to be able to inform you that not only have the existing grace periods been retained they have been extended until October 2027. The Mayor also extended the scheme to create two new grace periods for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and for recipients of the standard rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and certain other specific state benefits, these will also run until 2027. It is not necessary to be a resident of (Greater London) to benefit from these schemes.

“I can confirm that we have retained the arrangements to ensure that NHS patients with an impaired immune system who need to go to essential medical appointments can be reimbursed if they have had to pay the ULEZ charge during their journey. The reimbursement applies to the person who paid the ULEZ charge for the vehicle who transported the patient to the hospital, who may be a friend, relative or carer rather than the patient themselves. The reimbursement is administered by the NHS trusts directly. Again, it is not necessary to be a resident of the GLA area to benefit from this scheme.”


A balanced and sustainable budget for Elmbridge

We remain a financially strong and resilient Council

On 8 February, Elmbridge Cabinet, of which I am a member, will be asked to recommend the council’s revenue and capital budget and the level of council tax for 2023/24. We have been working hard to produce a balanced budget against a backdrop of high inflation, rising interest rates and increasing energy costs, all leading to increased costs for the council.

Our 2030 Vision will help us to focus on delivering the needs of the community. It is a vision that says despite the economic pressures, we will support and enable Elmbridge’s sustainable future, we will back our local businesses and we will enable our community to help us drive Elmbridge forward. To ensure our vision for Elmbridge is more than a strategy document, we have in place a transformation programme that puts us in a strong position to be financially sustainable in future years.

For 2023/24 we are setting a balanced and sustainable budget brought about through a determination to create savings within the council, without reducing service quality.

Our transformation programme is the means by which we shape Elmbridge for the future; it will enable our vision. This programme is already delivering savings which have contributed to the 2023/24 budget, including:

  • A new leisure services contract with Places Leisure which will start in April 2023 and has secured savings of £200k in year one, while further enhancing facilities at the Xcel Leisure Complex.
  • Through service efficiencies, our community support services will save £110k, while developing a connected community to help improve the lives of our most vulnerable residents.

Overall, for our 2023/24 budget, we have identified additional income and efficiency savings of £1.8 million, while using prudently held reserves to meet some of our spending pressures due to high inflation and the impact of operational changes; these include Surrey County Council’s recent decision to withdraw from our joint car parking enforcement contract, which will cost our Council an additional £400k a year.

Supporting our community as costs rise

We never forget that some of our residents are dealing with the cost-of-living crisis every day, and they need us now more than ever.

  • Our 2023/24 budget continues to support our voluntary sector partners by providing core funding of £450k and,
  • through our careful financial management, we can commit an additional £250k to the cost-of-living crisis fund,increasing it to £500k to help the most vulnerable in our borough. We are working with our voluntary and community group partners in Elmbridge to allocate this funding so that it reaches the people who need it most, as quickly as possible.

Investing in a sustainable and thriving Elmbridge

A sustainable and thriving Elmbridge, needs more than efficiencies and cost savings, it needs investment which is what we will be doing to support Elmbridge’s future.

  • We have an ambitious capital programme where we plan to spend £4.2 million over the next 3 years, of which £1.6 million helps us towards our carbon neutral commitment, demonstrating our determination to work towards a sustainable Elmbridge.
  • £1 million of this will be invested in decarbonising our fleet over the next 3 years, with £460K in 2023/24, as set out in the draft Green Fleet Strategy also coming to 8 February Cabinet. This investment is supported by Surrey County Council, as we continue to work in partnership towards a sustainable Elmbridge.

Protecting our community

Working with our partners at the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council, the Elmbridge Drowning Prevention Strategy, sets out to reduce the number of water incidents in the borough through training and improved awareness. Our 2023/24 budget commits £30k for 2023-2024 to deliver additional drowning prevention projects including free swimming lessons for 12- 18-year-old non swimmers during the summer delivered by Places Leisure.

Below inflation increase in council tax

For Elmbridge council tax in 2023/24 we are proposing a below inflation increase of 2.98%, which is an increase of £7.05 a year or 14p a week for a band D property.

We will continue to support residents struggling to pay their council tax.

The future

The increased cost of living, global financial uncertainty and government policy changes means we will continue to face challenges to our financial position in the coming years. However, we have a strong track record of financial management, and we are confident that through our vision for the borough, backed up by the transformation programme, we will deliver a sustainable and thriving Elmbridge for our residents and businesses.

Cllr Ashley Tilling

Too much development?


Your local councillors are concerned at the cumulative impact on traffic and infrastructure (doctors, schools, nurseries) of the number of developments that are being submitted in and around the town, mostly in the Brooklands area. We recently attended a meeting with the Weybridge Society and our Weybridge SCC councillor to review the potential impact.

Some of these started as permitted development (PD) applications whereby an unused office block can be converted to flats without going through the full planning process. An example of this is the refurbishment of Clive House on Queen’s Road. But developers seem to always want more and they then put forward plans to build on adjoining land or to demolish and rebuild properties to maximise income from the sites. At the moment there are the following potential developments:

  1. JTI building, Members Hill (photo right): 57 under PD, now 205 flats with two large, new blocks.
  2. St George’s Gardens, offices on both sides of Locke King Road: South side 213 or more (photo above); North side 58 PD, maybe up to 100 if re-developed.
  3. 6, The Heights: 21 PD, up to 40 if re-developed.
  4. Abbey House: 48 PD, 106 on re-development.
  5. Brooklands College: a proposal for 87 houses and up to 263 flats.

The total number of dwellings involved is nearly 1,000; potentially adding some 2,500 residents and 1,500 vehicles and creating an unsustainable additional demand on already saturated local medical facilities, roads, and schools.

The meeting was unanimous in agreeing that such developments were unsustainable within the current Weybridge infrastructure and inconsistent with the local demand and environment.