Will the redundant railway lines be removed as part of the replacement bridge works?
Yes, Network Rail has collaborated with Woking Borough Council, the relevant freight operating companies and Network Rail’s Head of Freight Development to develop a design which seeks to remove the redundant freight lines and sidings allowing for narrower bridge width. These works will form part of Network Rail’s permanent network change request.
It is important to highlight that this will not affect the constraint on the aggregates yard. This is dictated by the BT chamber interface and permanent highways levels.
How long will the rail link be disrupted during the project works?
The railway line will be disrupted for short periods, known as ‘blockades’. When scheduled, these works are likely to take place over two Christmas periods – the first for four days and the second for 15 days.
What bridge construction method will be used to minimise disruption to the railway and road traffic?
This is not a straightforward question. In summary, box jacking will be put in place within Network Rail land and the deck construction will take place in a nearby site which will be moved to site via self-propelled modular transport units. This will take place during the 15-day blockade.
What rail and station improvements will be delivered as part of the Victoria Arch widening scheme works?
The works will deliver a renewed bridge asset and passive provision for the future Woking Area Capacity Enhancement (WACE) scheme, plus some enhancements to the Woking Station concourse, bridges and lifts.
What is the latest progress of the Woking Area Capacity Enhancement (WACE) project?
The Department for Transport has not prioritised the Woking Area Capacity Enhancement rail scheme at this time. It will be revisited as funding returns to the south and passengers return to the railway. This is not a Woking Borough Council decision.
Questions submitted by members of the public
A significant number of questions have been received from members of the public during our engagement work, which remains ongoing. The summary questions and answers outlined above aim to provide responses to the main points and topics raised by local residents.
- What analysis and discussion has taken place with Network Rail over redundant lines currently entering the railway station which currently dictate the width of the replacement Victoria Arch bridge?
- Has consideration been given to the permanent removal of these redundant tracks therefore reducing the width of the new bridge and possibly affecting the current constraints over retaining the Day Access road in its current location?
- Why is Network Rail proposing to the move the railway tracks and how will this improve the railway line?
- How long will the rail link be disrupted during the project works?
- What is the method of construction of the bridge in order to minimise disruption to the railway and road traffic?
- What improvements will the work bring to the railway lines and station above viz extra capacity for trains and better passenger experiences at the station?
- While there are clear benefits from the increased height of the bridge above the roadway, and the better pedestrian pavements, improvement of the road will inevitably allow more traffic, which is the last thing we need given air pollution and the climate crisis. Nothing has been said about the Woking Area Enhancement rail scheme, which ought to be the first priority in creating a hub for public transport and non-car modes. Why doesn't the council put this above attracting more cars into the town centre?