The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.
M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement
Received 13 August 2019
From Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
“I refer to the letter submitted by this authority to Highways England in December 2018 regarding the M25 Junction 10/A3 Wisley Interchange Improvement, Targeted Consultation: Kingston supports the principle of the proposals put forward for the improvement of Junction 10 and associated changes that have subsequently been made to the scheme design. We recognise that this intersection has become very busy with the need to reduce conflicts and associated accident risk. In particular we support the scheme on the grounds of improved safety with the aim of reducing collision frequency and severity and also minimising the impacts on the surrounding road network. The smoothing of traffic flows at the junction and slip roads and associated reduction in stopping and starting should improve the current situation. It is pleasing to see that certain aspects of the scheme have, where possible, been reduced in scale to minimise the overall land take and associated environmental impacts (for example those identified as Map References 12, 14, 15 and 17 on pages 7/8 of the HE consultation booklet). It is also preferable to see, where practical, improvements being achieved through better management and/or improvement of existing infrastructure in preference to large scale new infrastructure projects. We recognise the need to support economic growth in the area and the associated additional trips that will inevitably be generated. However, we also strongly support the concept of progressing sustainable travel options where possible (which we understand are being promoted by Surrey County Council as the highway authority) to provide a choice of travel options and encourage travel by these modes thereby helping to reduce the scale of the necessary highway improvements and associated environmental impacts. Indeed local settlements such as Wisley are currently poorly served by public transport and therefore rely heavily on car based travel. A3 improvements in Kingston The primary interest to Kingston is that the progression of this work should pave the way to securing follow on improvements to the A3 trunk road, in particular the section to the north east of the Junction 10 intersection (inside the M25). There are two key intersections in our borough at Hook and Tolworth (both are roundabouts) which are of interest as they require upgrading to both address the existing pressures and accommodate the new development proposed in the area. This is of particular importance in terms of meeting the demanding housing targets set for our area and also progressing the concept of an opportunity area in Kingston (as identified in the new London Plan) which will support further (enhanced) urban growth. Initial partnership working has already taken place with Transport for London and other key partners to progress outline designs for the Tolworth intersection which will support the development being brought forward over the next few years (for example by Lidl and Meyer Homes). However, following recent discussions with Transport for London, we understand that input by Highways England to the A3 Hook intersection improvement has been put on hold pending the outcome of this piece of work on the M25 Junction 10. We are therefore keen to see the Junction 10 improvements progressed at the earliest opportunity to enable work on the Hook intersection to recommence enabling further easing of current issues and the unlocking of development potential in the area. It is important to note that the development capacity of the Tolworth area cannot be realised without these improvements as the network is already at capacity. Two schemes (one for the new Lidl National HQ and the other for 950 homes) are supported by a contribution to the funding of the Tolworth roundabout to enable them to happen, and any further development would need to be accompanied by the improvements to the Hook roundabout. It is crucial that the lack of transport infrastructure does not hold up delivery of homes and jobs. Sustainable Transport Modes We strongly support measures (including those proposed in the changes) to assist non motorised forms of transport which will enhance the experience for the more vulnerable road users and encourage more people to choose these modes of travel in preference to motorised travel (for example the proposed improvement of the existing pedestrian crossing facilities). However, we consider it would have been helpful if the consultation material had clearly identified existing and new facilities on separate plans, for example the proposed new cycle routes. Local Traffic Issues We are supportive of most of the proposals to stop-up side road accesses and associated measures to re-route traffic with new connections. Additionally, speed management of A3 southbound traffic at this location will be an important consideration, consequently we would be interested to see details of proposed speed limits and any associated enforcement measures. Regarding the loss of some of the existing lay-bys, we would like reassurance from Highways England that they are satisfied there are sufficient alternative facilities in the area. Additionally, the Ockham junction requires a slip road onto the A3 southbound otherwise traffic (including heavy goods vehicles) from the RHS heading southbound will either travel via Ripley village or head north and U-turn via J10, with neither of these options being particularly desirable. From Kingston’s perspective, the one potential concern over the highway improvement scheme is regarding the dedicated slip road which delivers traffic from the M25 onto the A3 northbound (and other capacity improvements proposed at Junction 10) which is likely to speed up delivery of traffic onto the A3 heading towards Kingston. Immediately to the south west of Kingston borough boundary is the point at which the number of lanes on the A3 reduces from 3 to 2, the lane widths reduce and the speed limit decreases to 50mph (due to the urban nature of the area). Traffic also feeds into the A3 eastbound from Esher (A309) at this location. We wouldn't want accident risk to increase in our area (or anywhere else) as a result. However, we do acknowledge that an A3 improvement scheme has been implemented at this location (Kingston borough boundary) in recent years including the realignment of the road and installation of new speed cameras in an attempt to improve safety and ensure that traffic obeys the 50mph speed limit. Hence it is recognised that these concerns may have already (in part) been designed out, however, there are still significant and frequent delays at this location during peak times. Further Impacts Children from the Royal Borough of Kingston currently enjoy access to the facilities at the Heyswood Campsite used by the Girl Guides. The proposed route of the access road would dissect and split the facilities apart. We would support this element of the proposals being reviewed to see if a better solution could be found. We hope you are able to accommodate our observations in your final design, however, if you have any queries regarding this response, please do not hesitate to contact me.”