We held our final community meeting on the 16 April 2014 and have prepared a short summary and questions raised during the meeting.
23 visitors signed the guest book on entry. Of those who gave addresses, by town, they came from:
- Walton On Thames - 13
- Shepperton - 9
- Not given – 1
Walton Bridge is a registered site with Considerate Constructors. Our scores out of 10 from the public regarding our performance on site were:
- Appearance of the site and its perimeter - 8.0
- Information on the site about the project and public safety – 9.2
- Cleanliness of area immediately around the site - 8.4
- Adequate provisions made for pedestrians - 8.8
- Parking of site vehicles and the general flow of traffic – 9.4
- Level of site noise – 9.4
- Level of site lighting – 9.4
- Amount of site dust – 8.8
- Courtesy of site workers - 9.2
- Communication of site developments and/or activity - 9.4
Attendance at this meeting was lower than at previous meetings. Queries raised at the meeting mainly centred around the landscaping works, the new roundabout at Walton Lane (Shepperton) and the cycling facilities installed as part of this scheme and the Department for Transport funded Cycle Safe scheme between Halliford and Walton. Feedback overall remains very positive since the bridge opened.
Questions and answers
Q. On the scale model of the project, the open space down by the river is surrounded by posts. Will these be secure and prevent access to restricted areas?
A. Yes. Bollards are to be installed to prevent illegal access on the Shepperton side.
Q. On the Walton side of the bridge at Bridge Street, will the listed wall be moved back? If so, when?
A. Yes, but not as part of this project as there is still elements of work to be completed before any works can take place on the wall. No estimated date for this to happen.
Q. On the Walton side, the bank has been moved back to accommodate the road line. One horse chestnut tree has been removed and another looks to be dying. Are these to be replaced?
A. The trees have been inspected by the Surrey County Council Arboriculturalist. The diseased trees will be removed by the end of April and replaced in the autumn with two Liquid Amber trees.
Q. What is the cost of the installation and maintenance of the proposed bridge lighting? As this was not discussed or agreed at the Public Enquiry, public consultation will be required.
A. This is only at investigation stage. Walton Bridge is the only Thames Bridge not illuminated but if the vast majority of the public do not want it, it will not be carried out. Low energy LED lighting will be used that will result in very low annual maintenance costs.
Q. On the footpath towards the viaduct at the traffic lights, cyclists are encouraged to go fast. The sightlines here are very dangerous. Can the path be split for pedestrians and cyclists? Or markings added to slow down?
A. As part of the Department for Transport funded Cycle Safe scheme the proposal is to provide a segregated facility for pedestrians and cyclists. As part of the post construction review of this project a road safety audit is undertaken and the comments on this issue will be incorporated into this exercise.
Q. There has been no change to traffic flow. Can the 20mph limit on the bridge be dropped? Advantages of the road design have been cancelled out in favour of the cycle lane design leading to delays way in to (Walton) town.
A. The 20mph speed limit was only a temporary measure during the construction works and the order has now expired. The speed limit across the new bridge has reverted back to 30mph. The proposed scheme for the new cycle facilities through Walton is for an off-road facility. Traffic flow modelling has been undertaken at the junctions as part of the design of this scheme.
Q. If the outcome leads to congestion, will you be prepared to remove the cycle scheme?
A. Any scheme will be monitored and assessed after construction and if deemed necessary changes could be made. A separate scheme will be looking at the traffic flows along the A244 between Walton and Halliford that has been approved by both the Spelthorne and Elmbridge local committees.
Q. The new roundabout is a potential hazard as cars coming off the bridge are unaware of it. Is this a signage issue?
A. Revised give way signs with yellow backing boards are to be installed by the end of April to highlight the approaching junction. The centre island is designed to be over run by larger vehicles to turn. Coloured surfacing will be laid around the central island of the roundabout which will make it look larger and more prominent.
Q. Traffic continues to travel along Walton Lane, Shepperton the wrong way against the one-way flow. This is an accident waiting to happen. And can yellow lines be painted on Walton Lane at the top of Thames Meadow access to prevent parking?
A. An assessment of the road signs will be made to ensure that the current layout is correct. A request for yellow lines will be made to Surrey County Council's Parking Team who is responsible for parking restrictions.
Q. Could buff paving be used on the roundabout at approach?
A. Yes, we are applying buff anti-skid surfacing on the two approaches to the roundabout along the A244.
Q. Trees have gone from the left side of the A244 in Walton before the bridge. Will any new trees planted be like for like in terms of height and blossom?
A. Some trees have already been put in with more to follow. Height will be the same as all of the other new planted trees and will grow to similar heights as those removed.