Council revisits the reuse of the existing aggregates yard access following residents’ concerns 


Monday, 14 February, 2022

At the end of October, Woking Borough Council’s Executive took the decision to pause the start of any significant physical works on the Victoria Arch road widening and bridge replacement until, among other matters, a way forward had been agreed for both a temporary and permanent access to the aggregates yard.  

Local residents have raised significant concerns about the council’s proposals to seek a new access to the aggregates yard via York Road. The concerns raised include the loss of residential properties, highway safety, noise and dust issues.   

Taking into consideration residents’ and stakeholders’ feedback, the Victoria Arch project team has been investigating options to revise the design of temporary and permanent access roads serving the aggregates yard in order to reduce the impact on affected parties. In addition, the team are revisiting the design of the road works and bridge to review how the current access to the aggregates yard could be reused once the project’s construction works have finished. 

These works have been influenced by the council’s one to one engagement with local residents, the aggregates yard’s landowner (Network Rail) and its tenant (Day Aggregates). 

Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Infrastructure, said: “Over the last three months, the project team has continued to undertake investigatory studies which aim to lessen the impact on the number of properties that would require demolition, the environment and safety of the directly affected properties, and the landowner’s and tenant’s site operations including during the Victoria Arch bridge construction works.

“Further investigative studies have confirmed that there is no alternative option available for a temporary access to the aggregates site during the bridge construction work. This means our temporary access road proposal via Bradfield Close remains the only viable option.

“The need to find a permanent access road solution remains challenging. However, following the feedback received, the project team have revisited the options to reuse and reopen the existing site access to the aggregates yard once the road and bridge works are completed.  

“As previously stated, the reuse of the current access on a permanent basis presents significant challenges. To redevelop the existing access road, extensive engineering work is required to meet the new lowered highway level underneath the bridge, provide a safe junction for all road users, relocate and accommodate the vital utilities exchanges located underneath the main highway, and reinforce the railway embankment. 

“At this current time, we cannot be certain if this option is achievable. To fully assess the case, we are continuing the extensive engineering redesign work which will take some months to conclude. As a result, we must delay the submission of the access road planning applications until late spring/early summer 2022.”

To keep affected residents up to date, a meeting has been organised on Tuesday 22 February where Cllr Kemp and project officers will provide a project update. Questions and answers raised by local residents will be published on the project's webpages later on this week (week ending 18 February 2022).