Far From the Madding Crowd

Swans canoodling on the Broad Water.

If you want to explore a newly opened part of Weybridge, simply walk around the new Broad Water path circuit.  The walk is about three miles long and can be accessed in several places.  From the Thames Path at Cowey Sale car park, Shepperton and Thames Path opposite D’Oyly Carte Island bridge, Weybridge.  From Weybridge town centre at Grenside Road (turn right at the St Georges School barrier).  From Walton a couple of hundred metres beyond Walton Lodge, along Oatlands Drive.

The green line indicates the new public footpath alongside the Weybridge Broad Water.

It is not yet completely wheel chair friendly – which is the intention.  But you can cycle around it.  There is one bridge yet to be built but you can easily cycle across the temporary construction.  Two bridges over the Engine River still have steps but just dismount to cross. The western stretch from Grenside to Thames path has two kissing gates so a tandem will not get though.

Engine River Bridge

You have to cross Walton Lane at the western and the eastern end to complete the circuit but both crossings are in or near 20mph limited areas.

Its great for all the family and, for a while at least, it is a well kept secret.

The hidden entrance at the Walton end along Oatlands Drive.

If you have never seen Broad water field you will not be aware that it has goal posts – no jumpers for goal posts as in Churchfields Rec.

 

 

Automatic Payment Parking comes to Weybridge

Work begins in September for a ticketless payment system for Churchfields car park. There will be several options but most locals will probably choose to simply drive in – drive out and pay on account.

No longer will you have to guess you length of your stay.  If you bump into a friend whilst shopping you can can have a coffee or lunch without going to fill the meter.  No need for coins either.

Convenience

Unlike many car parks elsewhere you will not even have to pay on exit via a pay-station. You simply drive out.

Of course, non-locals will have to use a pay station – unless they choose to register their vehicle on account.

Costs

Although the new car park should be a great benefit to users it will cost the borough a loss in revenue of around £30,000 a year.  This is currently what is collected from parking fines.  With barriered pay on exit parking penalties will reduce almost to nothing.

Some might say that the borough should have increased the parking charges to cover the cost of the proposals.  However, the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration decided to recommend the full council agree this proposal without changing the charges in any way.

The main reason is that people might develop different parking habits from before and we felt it would be prudent to see what changes, if any, might be required.

Charge by the minute not the hour

So charges will remain at current levels.  After a few months we will be able to assess the new usage pattern and new, more flexible, charging arrangements could be introduced – possible pay only for the minutes used rather than the mainly current hourly system.  As ever, there will be consultations before any payment charge proposal are introduced.

We have reasonable confidence that once the barriers are installed the level of parking charge evasion will decrease to almost zero and therefore the revenue will increase by between 10% to 30%.  We’ll see.  As we get closer to the launch date we will be sending out more detailed information.

Adverts on Roundabouts

Advert-01Are you keen on having advertisements on our roundabouts in Elmbridge because you you see no harm in them? Or are you dead against them because they impoverish our beautiful borough? A number of proposals have already been withdrawn.  You can see what is proposed by clicking on a roundabout near you.

Sainsburys, Portsmouth Road, Cobham2015/1898
Claygate Lane/Kingston By-Pass, Ditton2015/1905
Lynwood Road/Woodfield Road, Ditton2015/1900
Embercourt Road/Hampton Court Way, Ditton2015/1903
Burwood Road/Severn Hills Road, Hersham2015/1894
Queen’s Road/West Grove, Hersham2015/1892
Hurst Road/Sadler’s Ride, Molesey2015/1901
Ashley Road/Stompond Lane, Walton, 2015/1908
Brooklands Road/Parvis Road, Weybridge,  2015/1907
Brooklands Road/Wellington  Way, Weybridge,  2015/1906
Monument Hill /Monument Road, Weybridge2015/1899

Heathside Numbers Increase

Heathside

 

 

 

 

 

For background on Elmbridge school numbers click here.

Although the planning application is placed before Elmbridge as the planning authority, the fundamental issue is that of transport which falls under Surrey as the highways authority.

Surrey’s views have been sought and Surrey has raised no objections to the proposal – subject to a travel plan.  Should Elmbridge refuse planning permission on transport issues alone it would be against the advice of Surrey – as the highway authority.  In that case, Surrey – as the education authority – could appeal to the national government against the decision by Elmbridge.  It is very likely, albeit not certain, that the national government’s inspector would uphold an appeal.

At present, as I understand it, Heathside School has not updated its travel plan since 2009 but Surrey has requested that it be reviewed if this application is permitted.  The people at Surrey who audit travel plans can be contacted here.  The travel plan could do with more than a little stiffening.

You can read the Elmbridge planning officer’s report here: Heathside – Officer Report 2014

Surrey decides whether the proposal meets the policies in Elmbridge’s borough local plan. It cites the policies that it feels are relevant (the three below) and Surrey therefore believes these polcies are met by the proposal.

Com4
Planning permission will be granted for proposals for new educational establishments or extensions to existing facilities provided that: (i) the existing road network is capable of absorbing the level of traffic generated;
(ii) the site is conveniently accessible to all sections of the community by a choice of means of transport;
(iii) adequate provision is made for stopping and parking; and,
(iv) there would not be a significant adverse impact on local residents.

Mov4
All development proposals should minimise the impact of vehicle and traffic nuisance, particularly in residential areas and, as far as practicable, comply with current highway design standards.

Mov10
New development with the potential to generate significant cycle use will be permitted provided that provision is made for:-
(a) safe and convenient cycle access;
(b) secure cycle parking which accords with the adopted standards; and
(c) changing and shower facilities for employees.

Baker Street Plans

As part of the planning conditions, Morrison has to pay for traffic calming in Baker Street.  The draft plans are below and have been sent to Surrey’s transportation development planning team to agree as a condition of the planning permission.  What do you think?

Baker Street Traffic Calming

 

 

 

 

You can open up a larger map here: Draft Baker Street Scheme-01

Churchfields Playground

Churchfields Park Playground-wey-soc333Do you want Churchfields Recreation ground play area to be refurbished? Then now is the time to make your voice heard!

Over the next month Elmbridge is going to make the decision whether or not to improve some playgrounds in the borough and if its does whether to include Weybridge’s prime playground on that list.

I want to know if you have any particular rides in mind.  Please complete this questionnaire.

Please email me if you want to support the campaign to have Churchfields play area upgraded.

It would be great if you could forward this email to your friends and anyone you know who has children or grandchildren who play in the park.

Lib Dems Buck Trend

Elmbridge Lib Dems have bucked the national trend with very strong holds in the two Elmbridge Borough Council wards where Lib Dem councillors were up for re-election  -Shweta Kapadia in Long Ditton and Mary Marshall in Claygate.

Both Lib Dem councillors increased their lead over their second-placed contenders.

The Lib Dem wards had the highest turnout in the borough at 46%.

More locally, Sue Bohane maintained herself as the challenger to the Conservatives in Weybridge South.

Elmbridge remains a Conservative administration.

Claygate
Electorate:                      5,444
Total Votes Cast:           2,491
Turnout:                        45.76%

COLLIGNON, Bernard Michael    UKIP                                 239    10%
MARSHALL, Mary                       Liberal Democrats       1276    52%    Elected
SUGDEN, Mark                            Conservative                    956     39%

Long Ditton
Electorate:                     4,658
Total Votes Cast:           2,131
Turnout:                       45.75%

CUNNINGHAM, Susannah          UKIP                                259    12%
FOX, Martin                                 Conservative                   602    28%
HUGHES, Roger                         Labour                             158      7%
KAPADIA, Shweta                     Liberal Democrats      1105     52%  Elected

Weybridge South
Electorate:                   3,360
Total Votes Cast:        1,169
Turnout:                       34.79%

BOHANE, Susan                      Liberal Democrats        231     20%
CUNNINGHAM, Redvers Paul   UKIP                                178     15%
JONES, Elinor Mair                   Labour                              102       9%
KNIGHT, Richard Albert            Conservative                    646     56%       Elected

Monument Hill Traffic

Over the last ten years has traffic in Weybridge increased, reduced or stayed about the same?  You can have a look at any road in and around Weybridge here.  The figures are from the national department for transport.  For comparison, the M25 is around 150,000 vehicles a day, the A3 65,000, Byfleet Road 24,000 and Monument Hill 19,000.

Looking more closely at Monument Hill, the chart below shows the average number of lorries passing each day. Blue is three axle HGVs and the red is all HGVs.

Monument Hill HGV

The average daily traffic flows for all vehicles is below.

Monument Hill Traffic All

Overall traffic might be flat-lining but cycling is on the up  – even if from a low base.

Monument Hill Traffic Cycles

 

Weybridge Parking Review

Double-yellow-lines-on-a-road-and-pavement-curb-2101582Rikki Hill, Surrey’s Parking team leader has kindly passed me the list of residents’ requests for changes to be made to parking restrictions in Weybridge.  He uses this list to inform his recommendations to the Surrey Local Committee which then, subject to consultations, decides on any changes to be made to yellow lines and other parking restrictions.

If your street is not on this list below then Surrey will understandably think that you are content with matters as they stand in your street. Make your parking suggestion here.  As ever the earlier the better.  I would appreciate it if you were to email me as well.

A number of people also want to stop “pavement” parking.  There is no statute law in Surrey that stops parking on the footway.  So parking on the footway is lawful.  Common law states that once on the highway one must continue to move and not to cause obstruction. Sadly the police will only act if the obstruction is severe and they have to be around to see it.  It takes a lot of police time and the sanctions are not great.

It is unlawful to park on the footway in London.  It could be the same in Surrey too.  But the Conservative Surrey government refuses to make parking on the footway unlawful.   The Liberal Democrats would make parking on the footway unlawful as soon as practically possible.  My understanding is that it would take a few months.  So ending the need for people in wheelchair and buggies having to use the carriageway to get passed a poorly parked car.

Proposed parking changes are in the following streets: Beales Lane, Church Street, Elmgrove Road, Gascoigne Road, Oakdale Road, Portmore Park Road and Thames Street.  If your street is not included make your parking suggestion here (I have only listed streets in the north of Weybridge – contact me if you want the list extended to where you live.