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Council Reacts: ‘We Are Working Together to Ensure the Future of the Tumbling Bay Weir’

Published on: 27 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 29 Jul, 2022

Following the Dragon article “Agencies Can’t Agree A Statement on Weir Bridge Repair“, Guildford Borough Council issued a statement today at 3.53pm.

It reads: “We know that it is important to find a long-term solution for the temporary repair of Tumbling Bay Weir and that residents are keen to see reinstatement of the towpath.

John Rigg, lead councillor for Regeneration (R4GV, Holy Trinity), said: “We don’t own the weir but we have made a considerable effort to try and coordinate a solution with the parties concerned.

Cllr John Rigg

“We have set up a working group with partners with an interest in the Weir and are still hoping for a constructive combined approach to agreeing a way forward.

“The National Trust has responded positively and we are hoping for a similar response from the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council and Thames Water recognising that residents are particularly keen to see the reinstatement of access to the towpath.

“The weir was damaged in November 2019. We voluntarily took emergency action with the National Trust to protect the town and watercourse.

The temporary weir has a limited lifespan which we are seeking to establish. A long-term solution will be necessary in the next few years. We hope that the partners will be able to update residents by the end of the year on the plan and timings for a permanent solution following the completion of initial survey work but as yet l am not confident all partners see it as having the priority we do.”

Tristan Brown, National Trust General Manager for the River Wey, says: “As the navigation authority, maintaining water levels and ensuring that the waterway is navigable is a priority for us; not just for the recreational boaters and water sports enthusiasts to enjoy the river, but also for the businesses that rely on water-based activities in and around the Guildford area.

“Reinstating the bridge to reconnect Guildford with the towpath is very important to us. Connecting people with nature and giving them access to green space, especially in urban areas, is a fundamental aim of the National Trust. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been possible with the temporary repair, due to uncertainty around the structural integrity of the banks following the collapse, and so needs to be part of the next phase of work.”

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test 4 Responses to Council Reacts: ‘We Are Working Together to Ensure the Future of the Tumbling Bay Weir’

  1. Sue Warner Reply

    July 27, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    Clearly ongoing waffle and no action, everybody blaming everybody else, why am I not surprised?

  2. S Callanan Reply

    July 28, 2022 at 11:11 am

    May we all know the dates and times at which the working group has met together with the names and job titles of its members?

    Editor’s comment: This question has ben forwarded to GBC with an invitation to respond.

    • John Rigg Reply

      August 1, 2022 at 11:22 am

      We will continue to try and find a solution but it is simply not our property, not our footpath, bridge, navigation or river.

      In trying to find a way forward we have had many conversations with partner organisations to discuss this matter. In addition, we have initiated and organised three working group meetings to seek a way forward. We very much hope that these meetings will lead to a successful solution and certainly we have greater clarity now on the roles of the various parties connected to the Wey Navigation.

      Both the Weir and footbridge are important infrastructure and whilst we still lack perfect historical clarity on responsibilities, we hope all parties contacted recognise this infrastructure is important to us all, to one degree or another.

      John Rigg (R4GV, Holy Trinity) is the lead councillor for Regeneration at GBC

      • S Callanan Reply

        August 1, 2022 at 12:28 pm

        So has there been a meeting yet? It isn’t clear from what Cllr Rigg says but it appears the “three working group meetings” are future events.

        Nor has he told everyone the membership of the working group. Why not? Openness and transparency and all that good stuff, after all. If the people meeting don’t have sufficient seniority to come to a decision there’s little point in the meeting taking place.

        If it’s only just dawned on the National Trust and the Environment Agency that the “weir and footbridge are important infrastructure” I doubt we’ll see any resolution of this problem any time soon.

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