LIBERAL Democrat Party councillors in Woking have condemned plans to close a busy B-road for 26 weeks to allow Thames Water to install a new sewage system for the Kingsmoor Park housing development off Moor Lane, Vicarage Road – between Kingfield Road and Rosebery Crescent – is due to be fully closed to traffic from November 10 for 26 weeks.
The Sainsbury’s car park in Kingfield will also be closed initially, possibly until Christmas.
Lib Dem Borough and County Councillor for South Woking, Will Forster, said: “I am appalled that Surrey County Council are allowing Thames Water to close an important access such as Vicarage Road for such a long time.
“This will have a massive impact on so many residents. The closure will cause significant congestion and safety issues on the other nearby roads. It will also add to many people’s journey times and cause a big diversion to the key local bus route.”
For safety and congestion reasons, to stop all the traffic switching to the narrow, residential Loop Road, the county council have requested that it, too, be closed at the junction with Vicarage Road at the very start of the works so that it will become a no-through road.
Surrey County Council have stated that they plan to reopen Loop Road after around two weeks. However, if too much traffic then tries to use it, or if safety problems develop, the council are prepared to close the road again, though only after they consult with residents.
The 34 bus route will be diverted via Westfield Avenue throughout the closure of Vicarage Road, meaning Kingfield and Old Woking will not have a regular bus service for that period of time.
Cllr Forster added: “The Kingsmoor Park – or Moor Lane development, as it was initially known – has been causing serious inconvenience to its near neighbours in Westfield since construction work started in November last year.
“However, unfortunately that inconvenience is about to get a whole lot worse and it will soon impact many more people.”