Support ‘builds fast’ for campaign against HGV access road scheme

A GROUP opposed to relocating access routes to the Day Aggregates depot as part of the Victoria Arch widening scheme say support for their campaign is growing rapidly.

York Road Against HGVs claim increasing numbers of residents have joined them, with many volunteering professional help in areas such as engineering, town planning, social media and legal work.

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

At the same time, a recent executive meeting of Woking Borough Council recommended that works proposed to begin this winter in relation to the relocation of utilities under the Victoria Arch bridge be rescheduled for 2022-23.

“Why are the council pushing ahead with the planning applications in spite of proposing a delay to the whole project?” asked a spokesperson for the campaign group.

“If the proposals are approved, more than 300 HGVs will be driving through a residential area each day.”

As part of the £115million Victoria Arch scheme, the council plans to create a new access to Downside Goods Yard, in sidings near Woking railway station.

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

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.

The second planning application, for permanent access, would require the demolition of all existing properties in Waverley Court, says the council.

As a long-term solution, Will Forster, the Liberal Democrat borough councillor for Hoe Valley and county councillor for Woking South, has submitted a motion to the borough council to have the Day Aggregates yard moved out of the town centre.

Cllr Forster has, on social media, suggested an alternative site. “My initial suggestion is for the area north of the railway by Brooklands Museum.

“But Day and Network Rail need to be involved, they need to confirm where the trains are coming from. Once the requirements are known, a proper search can be done.”

In the meantime, York Road Against HGVs is ramping up its criticism of the council and the scheme.

“The council’s newsletter no. 3 about the project states that it will provide additional road capacity and reduced air pollution.  How can this be?” said a spokesperson. “There will still be the same number of Day’s HGVs, they will just be moved a short distance along the road but into the middle of a residential area.

 “And if there are to be even more vehicles going through Victoria Arch, how is it possible to reduce air pollution?

“The council must surely be aware of residents’ growing anger towards their proposals.

“The group would like to invite all Woking borough councillors to meet them in York Road to visit the affected area and see for themselves just how unacceptable the proposals are, and how detrimental they would be to the quality of life of so many residents.”

Much of the triangle of buildings in the A320 gyratory system has already been demolished to create the width for a dual carriageway running under the railway lines.

However, the update presented to the council’s executive also noted ongoing negotiations with owners of the triangle properties still in private ownership, and preparatory work for the submission of a compulsory purchase order to obtain the remaining properties within the site. The order would be submitted to the Local Government Secretary by the end of this year.

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