| Surrey County Council appears to be
pursuing a vision of a flow of heavy goods vehicles across a new high level Walton Bridge,
as part of a long-held plan to increase HGV traffic through Walton and Sunbury. You can read more about the new Walton Bridge at the Walton
Bridge Campaign website.
A complete mystery is why Surrey County
Council wants a clover leaf junction, which would
increase traffic flow along Walton Lane (a bumpy, narrow country
road), and hence along Thames Street which already gets
gridlocked at school run times.
Council has worked closely with local residents on traffic
calming in Thames Street and Portmore Park Road. Now Surrey
County Council seems to be doing exactly the opposite.
The Surrey CC consultation exercise for
the new bridge and junction designs in March 2003 received
very little publicity in Weybridge. Many local
residents seem to have been unaware of it. The exhibition
'showcased' (as SCC puts it) a lot of nice looking pictures of bridge
designs. It could have been mistaken for a beauty parade of engineering
The exhibition appeared to say little about
the implications of the different designs for the local
environment and traffic flow,
or the impact of increased traffic levels on residents,
particularly in Portmore Park and district. Yet it
asked visitors to state their preferences for the various
According to the Surrey CC website, on 16 September
2003 "The County's decision-making Executive ... agreed to a new Cowey Sale junction with twin link roads, which will improve safety and reduce existing traffic queue problems".
Where is the evidence for this?
We are very puzzled about how the extra traffic generated
by this new junction will reduce traffic problems in and
around Thames Street and Portmore Park Road, or how it
will improve safety
for the pedestrians and school children who use our local
And looking at the junction design itself, which invites increased
speeds into tightening bends, accidents there are likely
to be heavier. How long will it be before
a vehicle crashes into Walton Marina? Or a pedestrian is
mown down on what is currently a tranquil riverbank?
Lack of responsiveness
We wrote in April 2003
our concerns to our County Councillor, Mr Ian Lake. We
finally received a response in November (see below). We have also written to
the Surrey County Council planners. We are happy to
publicise responses on this website, to help inform
We encourage any resident who has concerns to write to
Councillor Lake at Membersí Reception, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2DN,
and also to the Walton Bridge project team.
To express your views to the Walton
Bridge project team
click here. If enough people contact them,
it will increase the chance of residents' concerns being heard and understood.
The timetable for decisions about the new bridge is available
online. This shows a revised schedule, with the planning application due in October 2003.
In fact, it now seems likely to be submitted early in
residents need to act quickly to get their views to the planners.
Road planning has a history of
damaging the daily life and long term heritage of local
communities. It can also bring benefits. It is important to have an opportunity for informed
debate, so everyone can appreciate the implications of
this planning decision, and its environmental
impact. We want to support the most beneficial
solution for the new bridge and junction.
believe that local residents should have a good chance to
express their views, on the basis of factual information
about plans for the new bridge and junction. We aim to
publicise information on the submitted plans as soon as
This web page shares some strongly held
concerns. There are of course diverse viewpoints,
and a goal of our association is to reflect a fair balance
of local residents' concerns. Whatever your views
may be, please feel free to contact
23 October 2003, we finally established contact with Councillor
Lake, who said in an email that he will 'respond in full'
to our concerns. We are pleased now to have received
that response, which is a welcome contribution to local
Click here to view Councillor Lake's response.
have also been in contact with Colin Bentley, Project Manager for the
new Walton Bridge project. We are grateful to Mr Bentley
for his helpfulness in responding to our questions. We are
currently seeking more
information on the basis for the choice of junction.
Watch this space...