Motion to move gravel depot out of town

THE Liberal Democrats have submitted a motion to Woking Borough Council to have the Day Aggregates depot moved out of the town centre.

The proposal comes as the council plans to create a new access to Downside Goods Yard, in sidings near Woking railway station, as part of its £115million Victoria Arch widening scheme.

Gravel lorries from the aggregate yard are not suitable for residential roads, say campaigners

A new route to the depot for Day’s sand and gravel lorries is planned to go through a residential area, moved from next to the railway arch in Guildford Road.

The council has already demolished much of the triangle of buildings in the A320 gyratory system, and is planning to widen Victoria Arch and create a dual carriageway running under the railway lines.

Traffic to the depot would be relocated in two stages – by creating a temporary access road via Bradfield Close and York Road, then subsequently a permanent access road via Waverley Court, just off York Road.

Under the second planning application, for permanent access, the council notes that the proposal “would require the demolition of all existing properties in Waverley Court”.

“The Victoria Arch Scheme has brought into focus that Woking’s rail aggregates yard is in a completely unsuitable location,” said Will Forster, the Lib Dem borough councillor for Hoe Valley and county councillor for Woking South.

Volunteers are monitoring traffic in and out of the Day Aggregates yard

“The current aggregates’ yard access road is awful and unsafe, but the council’s solution to move the access route to a residential road is not an acceptable solution. The whole yard should be moved out of the town centre.

“My colleagues and I appreciate that moving the yard will not be easy or happen immediately. Finding an alternative site with decent rail and road connections, and removing the aggregate yard’s safeguarded planning protection, will take time.

“However, Surrey County Council, Network Rail and Woking Borough Council need to start working together now to move the aggregate yard as soon as possible.”

Residents and their supporters have formed an opposition group, York Road Against HGVs, to fight the proposals.

Volunteers are monitoring traffic in and out of the yard, and in a nine-hour session last month the vehicle count reached 336. That, say the group, would be intolerable in a residential area. 

A spokesperson for York Road Against HGVs said: “Will Forster is very supportive of our group and we are very pleased to learn that he has submitted this motion to WBC. 

“We have no animosity towards Day Aggregates, but they are running their business from an unsuitable site that is much too close to a high density residential area. 

Our primary objective is that Day’s yard should be moved. Its location in the town centre is no longer appropriate and until a new location is found the access road should remain where it is.” The Lib Dem motion is on the agenda for the council’s meeting on Thursday next week, 14 October.

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