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What do you think about the proposed Sunbury Active Travel Zone?

July 8, 2020 3:40 PM

SLD (SLD)There is very little time - please let us know in the next week

Click here to take the survey

Surrey County Council has agreed to match fund the Government's Emergency Active Travel Fund which potentially provides much needed improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure for residents.

Cycling and walking around Lower Sunbury has become increasingly difficult as traffic grows again on our main roads and social distancing must be maintained. We are delighted that Surrey has identified Sunbury as a site for improvement, however as seen from the experience of French Street, we must get the schemes right before implementation.

As it stands, the scheme will close the Fordbridge Road at the junction to Halliford Road to all vehicular transport, as well as closures to Thames Street by Kenton Avenue and Nursery Road by the flyover amongst others. The full set of proposed closures are shown on the survey form.

We fear these road closures, far from helping residents to walk and cycle safely in the town, will suffer from longer traffic jams on major roads, an increase in anti-social parking at key sites, various rat-runs down residential roads amongst others. Far from helping pedestrians and cyclists, it will exacerbate the problems faced.

Cllr Sandra Dunn responded calling for a meeting of the County Council, our County Councillor and Borough representatives which was supported by our County Councillor. The concerns that the Liberal Democrats have to the initial schemes is the high density of Schools in a small area. We cannot cut off key routes that allow access for parents looking to safely get their children to school. Furthermore, part of the issue locally has been the need for improved crossings.

Speeding has increased across the country during lockdown as quieter roads encouraged reckless driving. This is particularly poignant on the Upper Halliford Road near Halliford Park where we have been campaigning for a crossing for a long time. This, we believe, would be the kind of investment people are looking for.

We have also seen experience from other local authorities where changes have been quickly reversed due to lack of success and also people taking the law into their own hands and driving dangerously to avoid closures. We do not want to endanger people and are determined to make this project work for what we need.

Whilst this scheme may be looking at short-term improvements, we believe the funding should be looking towards long term implementation and piloting changes that could be supported as permanent changes and we will be pressing for this. We will also be raising the possibility for the money in outstanding infrastructure schemes such as a pedestrian crossing to the towpath to Walton that has been raised on numerous occasions.

At present, in line with the Government guidance on using this emergency fund, the scheme can be approved with key stakeholder consultation alone in a short space of time. Whilst there are virtues to speeding up the process of road improvements, forgetting the voice of those most impacted would mean having to make amendments throughout. We hope to be proactive in getting the scheme improved at implementation to try and make a success out of the project.

Therefore we have developed a short survey for you to add in your own thoughts and suggestions that can be found here.

For us to make this funding a success, we would love to hear from you. What do you think of the scheme for road traffic in French Street? Where are there particular pressure points for those travelling around Sunbury by other means than a car?

Please share details and get in touch if you require additional information. If you do not wish to engage with ourselves and would prefer to go direct, you can also use highways@surreycc.gov.uk to submit your thoughts.