PLANS to widen the Guildford Road in Woking town centre to a dual carriageway moved closer with the announcement of a £90 million government investment.

The money will come from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, with the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government saying on Tuesday this week that the project will “unlock plans” for up to 4,500 new homes in Woking.

The widening of Victoria Arch over the A320 to accommodate the wider road could also lead to improved rail links through the town, including a possible extra line and expanded railway station.

Kit Malthouse, the Housing Minister, said: “For decades, governments of all stripes and types have not built enough new homes, and we need to see urgent action to turn that around.

“This £95 million investment in Woking town centre will mean the town is ready to support thousands of much-needed new homes. “We are making money available in Surrey so we can build more, better, faster and meet our ambition to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

Last year, Woking Borough Council announced that it was working in partnership with the county council on plans that would include widening the road and arch to relieve town centre traffic congestion and make journeys quicker and more reliable.

Although funding is now in place, there are several hurdles to cross, including the work receiving planning permission and possible attempts to block it by residents and businesses.

It was estimated that the work could start towards the end of this year, but the timescale seems very tight.

For the full story get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail