On Friday 8th August at Waverley Borough Council Offices Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey and Anne Milton MP for Guildford chaired a meeting with Network Rail and Surrey County Council in order to raise the widespread concerns about the proposed repairs to the bridge on the B3000 at New Pond Road.
Also attended by Guildford and County, Borough and Parish Councillors covering both the Guildford and Waverley areas, it was underlined to the rail company that their proposals were inadequate in not addressing the need to widen the bridge in the interest of public safety and, in addition, that there had been poor public consultation on the issue. As a result the MPs secured an agreement from Network Rail that there would be a 6 month delay to the works to enable further consultation and discussions over what suitable improvements to the bridge could be made with a commitment to meet again by January to establish a more appropriate way forward.
Anne said, 'this is a chance to get a safe cycle and pedestrian route that we mustn’t let pass us by. I am very grateful to everyone who attended especially all the borough, town and parish councillors who give up so much of their time to work for local residents on issues like this. I think everyone would accept that there have been communications problems in the past but this is a chance to get the right solution for all. My thanks too to Network Rail and Surrey County Council who I know are keen to work together on this.
Jeremy said,’ It’s clear that everyone agrees there is an urgent need to replace the B3000 bridge but it would be a massive opportunity missed if it was not improved to adequately support the current volume of traffic and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. I am heartened that Network Rail has accepted the need for further consultation in order to reach a better plan taking into account all the issues raised and I look forward to establishing this with them in the New Year’