Heath Road Path

Heath RoadSurrey has agreed to spend £160,000 over two years to improve safety and amenity around and approaching Weybridge Station from the town.  In some respects it has been overtaken by the new cycling plan for Weybridge (the initial station plan – remarkably – did not consider cycling).

This project is essentially a bare minimum approach to the problem given that Surrey raises insufficient funds to provide a transport network fit for one of Europe’s most dynamic locations.

The project is subject to consultation – and it needs to be because there is quite a lot wrong with it.  The main parts are:

  • Improving the unmade path on the southern side of Heath Road – this has been superseded by the current plan to make this part of the station town centre cycleway.
  • Improving the car parking opposite the Korean Church.  I am not sure that this is a good idea because it is part of the common and therefore should be removed and not upgraded. That would save £20,000.
  • Creating a one-way system for Old Heath Road.
  • Improving pedestrian crossing on Heath Road and Station Approach.
  • Resurfacing the carriageway across Diggers Bridge.

As it passes through the system I will give more details.  I’ll obviously notify you of any consultation.

Weybridge Point Grant

Weybridge PointAccording to the grant application the Thames riverbank at the junction of the Wey and the Thames is one of the iconic riverside locations along the Thames. It is the place where four great walking and cycling trails meet and is a place that should form the gateway to the Thames and its associated open spaces for the people of Weybridge. The site is however poorly designed – a random collection of boundary treatments, intrusive riverside car parking, posts, notices, and a single bench give the impression of disjointed location, one to pass through or turn around; rather than stay and enjoy the fabulous views across the water or move on to discover new attractions. The proposal sets out to:

  • To carry out consultation (funded outside the monies requested in this CiL application) to ascertain the aspirations of all elements of the community and users as to how the neglected open space could be enhanced.
  • To use the consultation results to produce a detailed design for the landscaping of the Weybridge Point car park in order to enhance a poorly designed space at the iconic Weybridge Point, at the confluence of the Rivers Wey and Thames.
  • To design a viewing platform to enjoy and learn about the River Thames and The Wey Navigation that would become a destination in its own right – the Weybridge gateway to the Thames! In association with proposed signage linking the Wey to the Thames at the junction of the Thames Path and Wey Navigation Trail, EU Route E2 and the Thames Path – one of only two places where the long distance footpath crosses the river by ferry.
  • To design a space and provide interpretation that leads the visitor onwards to explore open space further downstream.

As far as I can see, this expenditure is discretionary in that there is no legal requirement to provide these facilities.  This grant is therefore not replacing mandatory funding from elsewhere.

See more information here.  Give your views on our giving £5,000 grant for this proposal here.  Information on the other grants here.

Dorchester Road

Dorchester RoadSurrey transport engineers tell me that Dorchester Road is on the provisional programme for a micro-asphalt surface treatment in the municipal year 2016/17. These schemes have not yet been programmed but the works are seasonal, so should be implemented during the Spring/Summer.

Micro asphalt is classed as a surface treatment, but is different to surface dressing in that the asphalt is laid as a liquid slurry in two coats (base coat and top coat) up to 20mm thick. Once the the slurry has cured/broken the road can be trafficked less than an hour after application. The micro asphalt process is used on residential streets that are structurally sound and will seal the road (stopping ingress of water) and improve texture (skid resistance).

There are two stages:
1. The street will be prepped with all defects (potholes) being patched/sealed.
2. At a later date micro asphalt will be applied.

Bins

Bins Overfull Desborough webIf you have gone for a walk in Weybridge you can’t go far before you find a bit of mess around a bin.   Indeed, you can find litter strewn around even if there is no bin. The new Churchfield Meadow has litter hidden in the long grass as does Desborourgh Island (shown here) and Weybridge Point for example.  I have contacted the cleansing department on a number of occasions and the stock reply is that the Conservative borough administration has decided on a limit to the number of bins.  That limit is now reached.  The same applies to dog bins.  The only way that extra bins may be placed in Weybridge is if bins in other places are removed. As no other bin is deemed underutilized there is no prospect under this administration to increase the number of bins.

Rubbish Crushing Bins WebBins in certain parts of the town are collected daily but some bins are used seasonally – either across the year or across the week.  One resident told me of a bin they saw around Wimbledon.  This bin compacts the rubbish so they have a very large capacity and they can also notify staff when they are becoming full. They only need to be emptied when full so require far less maintenance then ordinary bins.  This could be a cost-effective remedy.

If you know of any bins that are often overflowing or if you know of a bin which seems never to be used then please get in contact.

I have also been asking about the food waste bins which appear not to be fox proof.  I have asked for the number of bins in the borough, where they are located and how much they cost to install and maintain.

I know that people should take their litter home but unless we can stop people dropping litter we have to provide facilities for them – otherwise our environment will be scarred.

Cycling in Weybridge

To reduce congestion we need as many journeys made by cycling as possible. To encourage people to cycle we need residential streets with 20mph limits and main roads with well designed cycling facilities.  Weybridge is no exception.

What does putting cycling first do for us? It helps to reduce crime and congestion and it increases our health and well being. All at minimal cost.

It does not mean that we have to cycle if we are unable or unwilling to do so.  It simply encourages and enables others to so  – reducing our journey times.

We need to follow the Danes, Dutch and others in planning for a safer and more pleasant place to live.

Plans for improving Weybridge

Representatives of the Weybridge Town Business Group (my company is a member) and the Weybridge Society transport panel, which I founded, host a very interesting meeting to which they had visited local councillors of both Elmbridge and Surrey plus a number of officers from both administrations along with representatives of other local interested groups.

Tony Palmer gave a presentation highlighting the strengths of Weybridge and also the weaknesses.  There were a number of issues discussed, cycling provision, upkeep of green spaces, rates, planning class for retail, parking, safety, signage and heavy lorries – to name a few.

The achievement was to get so many people around the table.  Now it is important to ensure that the action points coming out of the meeting are taken forward.

 

Cycling

A number of people gave positive feedback about my piece on traffic in the most recent Focus – but what about cycling said some.

I could not agree more.  In my day job I not only provide, what I believe to be, the country’s best cycle insurance policy but I have campaigned for over twenty years for better cycling provision.  Not just for recreational cycling the like of which Sustrans provide so well, but for day to day cycling in our towns and cities.  We all know that encouraging cycling is good for people’s health and for the environment but even for people who do not take up cycling it reduces congestion.

In these hard pressed times investing providing safer routes for cyclists is probably one of the most cost effective use of government spending.

You can find out more here.

Broadwater Lake

There has been good progress and it is now possible to walk most of the route.   There is some clearance work needed on the western end which the borough is carrying out with its own team.  This should be completed by the Spring.  Phase two involves the county dedicating the path whereby it is officially recorded as a public right of way.  Once this is done the county will erect the official permanent footpath signs. More …

Broadwater Lake

There has been good progress and it is now possible to walk most of the route.   There is some clearance work needed on the western end which the borough is carrying out with its own team.  This should be completed by the Spring.  Phase two involves the county dedicating the path whereby it is officially recorded as a public right of way.  Once this is done the county will erect the official permanent footpath signs.

Broadwater Lake

Following pressure from the Broadwater Lake Society with Focus team the borough’s strategic director, Ray Lee, has begun to bring the interested parties – landowners, tenants, Surrey and other bodies, together to discuss the causes of the delay in implementing the path on the north side and how they might be overcome.  The Walton Bridge project should have a positive impact on the scheme so the timing could not be better.