When I first visited Esher nearly 2 years ago, I didn’t expect to find 4 lanes of traffic and a complicated junction in the centre of a compact, suburban town. I recently asked local business owners what impact they thought the A307 has on businesses in Esher. People voiced a lot of concern and frustration regarding the current situation. Their comments speak for themselves:
Disincentivise heavy traffic from entering Esher
“What’s needed are disincentives along the A307 Portsmouth Road to stop lorries, vans and a lot of cars using it to get to Cobham, Walton, Hersham and beyond.”
Removing the high kerb on service roads
““Parking on the ‘service road’ on the east side is very difficult due to the tightness of the road combined with the height of the kerbs which damage vehicles.”
“As far as improving passing trade in Esher High Street is concerned, I would think that removing the high kerb inside the service road would encourage many more local motorists to stop and shop. This kerb is the most hostile barrier to the motor car in any high street I can think of and sends out the most unwelcome message to cars. It must have been responsible for countless vehicles having their wheels and tyres seriously damaged and their drivers vowing never to return.”
Additional pedestrian crossings
“As far as pedestrian safety is concerned, I think the only realistic improvement that is likely to meet with a timely solution and within Surrey County Council budgetary constraint would be the establishment of an additional controlled pedestrian crossing at the NatWest junction.”
“A pedestrian crossing is needed at the crossing opposite Red Pepper - to get from one side of the High Street to the other. Currently, you have to look over your shoulder to save yourself from cars turning right onto the A307 - it's a bit of a nightmare!”
A roundabout at the Cafe Rouge junction
A frustrated taxi driver told me: “The traffic lights at this junction cause a huge back up of traffic along the A307. There is not much traffic coming from the station so why do the lights stay on for so long? A roundabout here would ease the flow of traffic. Road closures during the Olympic Cycling Events would be a great opportunity to test temporary roundabouts over the summer.”
A roundabout at the NatWest junction
"In other towns such as Beaconsfield and Wokingham they have put a roundabout in the centre of the high street and combined with fewer lanes and wider service roads this would provide:-
Pulling together a petition
“I agree that it is a very, very busy small town High Street but not sure what we could really do about it … We will sign any petition naturally so keep me posted.”
Characterless High Street
“When you look along the High Street, the shop fronts look clinical and uninviting. The florist spilling out onto the pavement is the only shop that attracts your attention, making you want to stop and take a look.”
“Many of the least attractive places, for example in London have turned themselves around and become thriving market places, such as the new Spitalfields, trendy Notting Hill and irresistable Borough Market.”
If they can do it, why can't Esher? What are your thoughts and how strongly do you feel about this issue?
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Member since: 9th July 2012
I run thebestof Esher and I'm passionate about local businesses and charities that provide a valuable service to the local community. If you know any good news stories or you'd like to write for us, contact...