Thank you for all your questions and comments. These are the answers that Morrison gave me today at our meeting.
When will Monument Hill be opened? This afternoon.
Will all of the street work be complete? No there will be short closures from time to time. The pedestrian crossing is still to be finished and the landscaping will be completed in November – apparently the best time to plants trees.
What about the illumined sign at the rear of the store? Morrisons says it will look again at the sign facing Baker Street.
What about the contractor parking problem? Morrisons says that it has made park and ride facilities available to all contractors so if anyone finds any problem parking then call Simon Whittingham on 07964 245 239.
When will the store be opened? The intended day for the opening of the store will be Monday, 24 November. Morrisons invite ideas for the opening – any thoughts?
How will the store manage traffic after opening? Morrisons expects a larger than usual number of visitors in the first few weeks so it has laid on extra resources to ensure that the flows are well managed.
What is the employment situation? All the twenty or so departmental managers have been recruited and Morrisons is in the final placement stage for the general staff of 200. Most of which are very local. Morrisons has worked with the job centre next door to recruit long term unemployed people and the apprenticeships will be in place soon. further recruitment will begin soon to fill in any gaps.
Where will the staff park? Morrisons says that in off-peak times those staff members who need to park wills use the under-croft parking at the store. At peak times Morrisons says it will provide off-street parking (not Elmbridge public car parks).
Will there be trolley tokens to stop trolleys being left all over the place? No there will not nor will there be any trolley mechanism to stop the trolleys leaving the store. However, Morrisons beleives that the design of the store is such that people will not take trolleys out of the store. That will be one to watch.
Will Morrison seek further planning change in the future? Given that the Weybridge store is the only one in the country that does not have deliveries on all of its opening days, I expect Morrisons to apply again at some point in the future to have some of the delivery restrictions set aside. Said the that I thought it would be unwise to pursue such a course until its stock with the burghers was considerably higher than it is at present. It would need to demonstrate that the local fears regarding noise were unfounded – if that be possible.
The roundabout looks awful – will Morrisons change it? The roundabout is Surrey’s idea as is the chevron design. This is a matter that I will be taking up in due course.
Parking responsibility On-street parking management is perversely Surrey’s responsibility (I think it should be Elmbridge’s but thee you go). I have no doubt that a review of all local streets will have to take place once Morrisons opens. Surrey has already said that, in Elmbridge, it will look at Walton first – there is no guarantee that Weybridge would be next – unless we all kick up a fuss.
Baker Street Traffic. This problem should abate now that the road works are almost complete. As part of the planning application Morrisons has agreed to contribute to the traffic carming of Baker Street. It is for Surrey to take this project forward. I have a more radical solution – restrict motorised traffic (apart from buses and taxis) from passing in front of Lloyds Bank. That would remove through traffic completed and civilise the town.
Have I missed anything? Then please tell me.