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Waitrose Developers Agrees To Improve Crossing Before Closing Subway

Published on: 15 Jan, 2015
Updated on: 15 Jan, 2015

The developer Bowmer & Kirkland building the Waitrose store in Guildford has announced that improvements will be made to the York Road / Stoke Road crossing before it closes the nearby subway.

The announcement has come after the developer meet with representatives of Sandfield Primary School.

The pedestrian underpass (subway) near the new Waitrose store, under construction, will not be closed until the pedestrian crossing near Sandfield Primary School is improved.

The pedestrian underpass (subway) near the new Waitrose store, under construction, will not be closed until the pedestrian crossing close to Sandfield Primary School is improved.

On Monday, January 12, about 120 parents and children from the school protested over Waitrose’s initial plan to close the pedestrain underpass before carrying out the agreed work to the crossing.

A letter to Guildford MP Anne Milton from the developers has stated: “Following the meeting we have agreed to re-phase the works programme so that the improvements to the Stoke Road / York Road crossroad, which form part of the plans, will be completed before it is necessary to close the subway.

“This means the subway will remain open until we need to start work on the new crossing which replaces it, rather than closing it next week as was planned. It is unfortunately not possible to keep the subway open while work is carried out to provide the new replacement crossing.

“The improvements to the Stoke Road/York Road junction will include traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings across all four arms of the crossroads rather than one arm as it is now. This will provide much safer crossing points, which will give priority to pedestrians over vehicles when operating.

“Once this is complete, works on the new light controlled crossing, which replaces the subway, can begin. We aim to have this ready as quickly as possible.”

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Responses to Waitrose Developers Agrees To Improve Crossing Before Closing Subway

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    January 15, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Surely there is nothing safer than a subway at this busy road.

    Why should this, along with the Millbrook crossing that has been closed, when in doing so it creates greater problems with traffic congestion?

  2. Marko Scepanovic Reply

    January 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Something as necessary as this really should have come to Ms Milton’s attention before the general election year.

  3. Niranjan Balachandran Reply

    January 16, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    it’s a shame Ms Milton didn’t think to get involved before the election year.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    January 19, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I would like to draw the readers’ attention to my letter “How It Is Possible To Retain Subway”. May I suggest that the protesters against the closure of this subway take their case to Waitrose and SCC again and seek compelling reasons from them for not keeping this subway.

    It is abundantly clear that safe crossing of York Road by school children unaccompanied by adults would be maintained if this subway is retained. As a bonus, all pedestrians, including those shopping in Waitrose, who could use this subway would effectively reduce the number using the new crossing and thus less negatively affect traffic flow.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    January 19, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Do I have to spell it out again?

    This is nothing to do with Waitrose or the MP, but an overall policy to close all such subways in Surrey.

    I think that most of us will agree that such a policy is not in the interests of those vulnerable people who need protection from the traffic problem in the town centre, which increasingly blights our daily life.

  6. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    January 20, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I would ask the question as to who in Surrey County Council has this authority to take such a decision?

    When I was working in the Dept of/for Transport (DTp), local authority schemes were supposed to follow national standards.

    Schemes over a certain cost (I think it was £3 million then and later £5 million) were wholly supported by Transport Supplementary Grant, whereas a lump sum was allocated for smaller schemes via Rate Support Grant.

    Structural alterations and new structures had to get technical approvals from The DTp and that meant compliance with national standards.

    Subways were built where traffic flows were above a certain volume, so as to provide safer crossings for the pedestrians and at the same time reduce delays for the traffic.

    I believe county councils do still comply with national standards and therefore need to look very carefully that deviations are well justified.

    The feeling here of many parents is that if this subway is closed, their children could be put at greater risk.

    Any deterioration of safety if accidents at the crossing happen as a result of closing this subway, would be for Surrey County Council and Waitrose to defend if legally challenged.

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