Local groups on social media sites Facebook and Nextdoor have been flooded this week with comments from angry West Surrey drivers who are furious about the never-ending roadworks in the area.  Whether it’s lane or road closures, the list of works in the Woking area and neighbouring boroughs of Elmbridge and Guildford seem to be endless. The latest in West Byfleet involve bridge repairs on Sheerwater Road, the A245, a major A road serving the area.  Advanced notification was provided to residents about this but then on day one of the works word was spread that the closure conditions were changing from a daytime only closure (9am to 5pm) to 24hrs a day for approximately 4 weeks!  This will cause major congestion in the area with many being late for work, school and hospital appointments.  This is the second road closure in the town, currently seeing major redevelopment, in only a few days after the Pyrford Road was closed with ‘no obvious sign of work taking place’ according to frustrated residents.   

The area is already part of the M25 diversion route, put in place over numerous evenings and weekends, while junction 10 of the M25 undergoes a major upgrade, taking 3 years and costing a projected £317 million (Source: Nationalhighways.co.uk).  Since the start of this huge project in the Summer of 2022, many have been upset by the awful traffic and loss of hundreds of trees, leaving areas like Ockham Common looking, ironically, like something out of HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds”, which started after an alien invasion landing at nearby Horsell Common. One local business owner commented though that they felt that the finished project would offer benefits to the community, reducing congestion and connecting Ockham with neighbouring Wisley and Painshill through a series of pedestrian bridges ideal for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. 

With only 1 bus route offering 2 buses an hour and not a single cycle lane, many have to drive to get about, however, the A245 from Cobham via Weybridge, Byfleet, West Byfleet to Woking is beginning to feel like a car park.  I’m glad I am not a driver yet.