Surrey County Council has submitted a £12m bid to round two of the government’s Levelling Up Fund, aimed at improving walking, cycling and bus facilities in the east of Woking.
New infrastructure would create more space and safer links between Woking town centre, Sheerwater and West Byfleet for walking and cycling. Crossings and paths would be improved, along with the introduction of new parking facilities for bikes and free bike schemes to support residents to travel more actively.
Funding is also being sought to improve east Woking’s bus shelters by installing live departure screens and making them more accessible, and for upgrading traffic signals to detect late-running buses and change signal timings in their favour.
Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Economy said, “This funding would make a real difference to our residents in Sheerwater who would be able to access other parts of Woking more easily along safe, accessible and attractive walking and cycling paths. We also hope that upgrading bus facilities will encourage more people to choose buses to get around.
“This funding bid is part of our ongoing commitment to invest in active travel facilities which lessen the need to travel by car, to help reduce carbon emissions and to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.
“A range of other active travel schemes are already underway across the county including on the A23 in Redhill, Park Road in Stanwell and in Reigate & Banstead, Spelthorne, Runnymede, Elmbridge, Mole Valley and Waverley.”
Jonathan Lord, MP for Woking added, “It is great to see Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council working together to deliver the East Woking Transport Scheme and I urge the government to approve the funding bid. Residents and businesses alike will benefit from the scheme, which will help us meet our carbon reduction and economic growth targets, improve health and wellbeing, ensure that areas of deprivation are levelled up, provide access to jobs and increase the number of people in our town centre.”
Woking Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Will Forster, said: “Sheerwater is a neighbourhood that is largely cut off from the surrounding areas. The canal runs down one side and a trainline the other, meaning that access in and out is restricted to either end. Many residents, as identified through GP consultation feedback, do not have access to their own transport, and therefore it is important to bring essential health services to Sheerwater.”
The Levelling Up Fund is designed to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. If the bid is successful, the schemes would be delivered by March 2025 and include a 10% contribution from Surrey County Council. A decision is expected in the autumn.