High Street Improvements

Town Square-01Not quite this radical proposal but a beginning to the improvement of the High Street.  The cabinet agreed to fund a feasibility study of proposals to alter the northern stretch of the High Street from Elmgrove Road to the Ship.

This proposal has been championed by the Weybridge Town Business Group of which my retail business is a founding member.

The details of the of the proposal are here.  Notice the cost of removing the telephone boxes!  You can see the outline plan here.  It hoped that the funding fro the project itself will come from a variety of sources including CIL.

Town Meeting on Parking

Double-yellow-lines-on-a-road-and-pavement-curb-2101582Following the disturbing lack of engagement of residents, businesses and other interested parties by Surrey in its review of parking in Weybridge, your local Lib Dems decided to host a consultation meeting in the Weybridge Community Centre, Churchfields Place at 8:00pm, on Thursday, 14 July.

Discussion will include off-street and on-street parking policies; safety, parking on main roads; the balance between shoppers, workers and residents; and, the most effective way to ration available spaces.  It will also discuss approach to individual streets such as Curzon Road, Grenside Road, Pine Grove Road and Wey Road.  It will be an action filled event and school drop-offs etc will also be discussed.

Surrey’s parking review for Weybridge was up for decision at the Local Committee meeting on 27 June.  Cllr Andrew Davis argued that the consultation process should involve more presentation and dialogue with local residents before a set of firm proposals was put forward. He was supported by colleagues across all parties.  This resulted in the local committee agreeing that Surrey officers should discuss and amend the proposal in direct consultation with your Weybridge councillors at the end of July.

The previous proposal are here.

 

Morrisons Deliveries

Morrisons-02Morrisons had applied to have the its delivery times times extended with a variation of condition four (deliveries/servicing) of planning permission 2015/0138 (delivery times) to allow deliveries between 5:00 and 23:00, seven days a week.  This would include bank and public holidays.

Whilst no-one had actually complained about noise following the previous extension and the application was conditional for one year only the it was generally felt that 5:00 was too early in the morning on a Sunday, especially when one felt that the shop only opens at 10:00 on Sunday.   Supermarket logistics are quite complicated especially in the south-east and delivery times are set more for distribution efficiency rather than the time the shop actually opens.

There were moves to allow the deliveries a little earlier than at present but unfortunately the planning committee may only refuse or permit it may not vary the application itself.

The applicant may now appeal against Elmbridge’s decision or submit a less extreme application next time.

Baker Street Improvements

Baker Street websiteWithin its 2016-17 divisional highway programme, Surrey has agreed to undertake a public realm improvement feasibility study and public consultation for £8,000.  There is nothing programmed for taking it further next year so it’ll might be 2018 before any changes appear – if that.  In the recent “Vision for Weybridge” survey most people preferred Church Street to be closed to traffic rather than Baker Street but Surrey moves extraordinarily slowly.  That’s why a Weybridge Town Council would be such a good idea.

I will keep you posted as the project develops.

High Street Focal Point

Old Post Office PavementAs a founder member of the Weybridge Town Business Group, my retail business has been based in Weybridge for over twenty years, I am pleased that a further project is progressing.  There is much to do to improve our town centre and while the more ambitious projects, as indicated in a Vision for Weybridge and elsewhere, are being planned it is well to develop smaller projects to keep up momentum.  This is where a town council would help as in Claygate.

This mini project is to refurbish the paved outlyer outside the old post office by replacing the telephone boxes, cycle racks, air pollution monitoring box and loos with removable planters and seats etc.   It is planned that small events could occur at this spot throughout the year.

Cashless Parking

Elmbridge parking metersPaying for parking has been has always been a pain.  Does the machine work?  Have I got the correct coins?  Paying electronically with a card seemed a benefit but the transaction charge can be an extra 100% if your stay is short – 20p for a short stay and another twenty pence for the payment itself.

When Elmbridge withdrew the remote payment service over Christmas the problem got worse.  Everyone had to pay by cash and the machines filled up very quickly and stopped working.   Apparently, people were even fined for parking when the parking meters were full.  The online service was reinstated recently with another provider but it is still unacceptably expensive.

I called on the borough to use cashless payment when I first became a councillor and, not before time, Elmbridge is about to begin trials.  I understand that this new system will be semi contactless (proximate swiping) using ordinary credit and debit cards and there will be no charge to the user.  It is due to begin in the station car parks first and, if successful, it will move to the town car parks and on to the various other car parks in the borough.

I also suggested a more effective charging regime to maximise the usefulness of our car parking resources to promote the dynamism of our town centres and the borough transport infrastructure generally but that might require regime change at Elmbridge.

Weybridge Shopping Increase

Baker StreetAccording to the Elmbridge retail study Weybridge centre has seen an increase in sales. In 2005 comparison spending was £8m and this year it is £38m.  These figures do not include Queens Road, Oatlands or Brooklands.

The majority of this, £27m, comes from  Weybridgeans.  Weybridgeans also spend 78% of their convenience shopping in Weybridge.  The rest leaks out to Walton, Kingston, Westminster and Woking.

Weybridge has a higher than national average percentage of comparison shops, services and cafes & restaurants.

The vacancy rate for October was 9.6% (16 empty units) compared to 11.7% nationally. Three units are about to come back into use. There are nine charity shops.

51% of people surveyed travel to the centre by car, 28% on foot, 10% travel by public transport and 2% cycle – although thsi does indicate the proportion of spend.

Community Transport Christmas Shopping Trips

christmas-shoppingElmbridge’s community transport will be running shopping trips throughout November until 8 December. The will visit Brooklands in Weybridge, Kingston, Walton, Sainsbury’s in Cobham and Waitrose in Esher. Also on offer is an extra Christmas shopping service to Garson’s Farm where you can browse the festive gifts, pick up some farm produce or enjoy a spot of lunch.  The borough’s Garson’s Farm Shopping Trip costs £5 for a return journey and will depart from Weybridge community centre, see the centre notice board for dates or for further information please call 01372 474 944 or go online.

Walking safely in the High Street

Have you ever walked along Church Street and wondered why pedestrians should give way to traffic coming out of 10 Church Street next to the Golden Place?

Church Street 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well of course you shouldn’t but the way the footway is laid out makes you think you had better stop for traffic.  This is poor design and Weybridge is full of them. Church Street 44

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 44 Church is another example where people – notice the blind persons’ pavement treatment – are expected to stop for next to no traffic.   Church Street 35

 

 

 

 

 

The Rectory entrance on the other side is much better.  It it tells drivers that they should give way to pedestrians.

High Street 68

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance to Ship Yard, above is priority goes the wrong way.

In London this problem has been recognized.  A study was undertaken at many locations to see whether pedestrians or drivers should be given priority.   It was decided on a cautious approach on the basis that if three times as many pedestrians crossed a minor street than vehicles entered into it then the junction would be modified to give pedestrians priority.

Junction Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before, above – after, below.

Junction After

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fears that drivers would present a danger were unfounded.

If any change is made to Weybridge town centre these modifications would be a useful improvement to our town.  We could always go the whole hog.

Other town locations shown below

Monument Green East

 

 

 

 

 

Walking to Morrisons across Springfield Lane

Monument Green West

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another junction that could be a crossover.

Monument Green North

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance to the Ship Hotel should be converted into a crossover at the next opportunity.

High Street 47

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance to an office car park is another case of very low volume car traffic again high volume pedestrian traffic.

Church Street Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although more cars use the hospital entrance I think people crossing would come out top.

Church Street Minorca

 

 

 

 

 

Minorca Road could be an opportunity too but we would have to look at the figures.  The examples below would need to be checked for traffic figures but are in contention.

Church Street 2

 

 

 

 

 

Churchfields Road

High Street Elmgrove

 

 

 

 

 

Elmgrove Road

High Street Baker

 

 

 

 

 

Baker Street.  Some are saying that this end of Baker Street should be pedestrianized in any case.