Portmore Park & District Residents Association - ARCHIVE

A voluntary association of Weybridge residents

Portmore Pillars - Designed by William Talman circa 1700 for the first Earl of Portmore

 

Our Walton Bridge Closing Address

PP&DRA Walton Bridge evidence

Public Inquiry date and arrangements

Inspired by a motorway bridge?

More from Philip Hammond MP

Public Inquiry announced

Our letter to the Secretary of State

SCC serves Statutory Orders

Letter from Philip Hammond MP

SCC grants itself planning permission

Three minutes on Walton Bridge

View information about the plans

View CABE response

View Councillor Lake's response 

View our letter to Cllr Lake & SCC

View campaign website 

The Surrey County Council Case

Contact the planners

 

Walton Bridge Junction 'Madness'

UPDATE August 2005: Public Inquiry into new Walton Bridge Scheme announced. 
In February 2005 Surrey County Council served compulsory purchase order notices for the land it needs to acquire to build the new bridge, junction and viaduct at Cowey Sale.  SCC controversially granted itself planning permission in May 2004, in response to its own planning application.  


We need a new Walton Bridge, and we must ensure it is the right design for the 21st century. When it is built, the design of the bridge and junctions will have a big impact.

The planners currently propose a huge 'clover leaf' road junction at Cowey Sale, with high embankments and double loop slip roads leading into Walton Lane. Many local residents are deeply unhappy with what is proposed. If you look at the plans, you may see why. It seems to be the least desirable option for the new Walton Bridge in terms of impact on the local environment.  

Some residents think the current proposals look like environmental vandalism and road planning gone mad, with no sensitivity to local needs. The proposed new junction would take over much of the local amenity space around Walton Bridge, and increase traffic flow along Walton Lane, Thames Street and Portmore Park Road.  
 

Proposed new junction layout at Walton Bridge, with slip roads on high new embankments, leading into Walton Lane 
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.  

Elmbridge Borough 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.

Flawed consultation

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 solutions.

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 designs.

Ill-founded conclusions

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 roads.  

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 expressing 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 debate.

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 December.  Local 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.

We 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 possible.

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 us.

UPDATE 18 Nov: On 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 debate.  
Click here to view Councillor Lake's response
.  

We 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...

 

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