Plans for a new road bridge over the Thames in Walton have cleared a major hurdle after transport secretary Lord Adonis gave the go ahead for three legal orders.
Preparation for the new multi-million pound bridge which joins Walton and Shepperton is hoped to begin early this year with construction finishing in the summer of 2013. It is set to be the first new road crossing over the River Thames in 20 years.
Lord Adonis gave the initial go-ahead following a two-day public inquiry in the summer of 2009, and has since confirmed:
- A compulsory purchase order to acquire land between the junction of Oatlands Drive and Bridge Street on the Walton side of the river and the junction of Walton Bridge Road and Windmill Green on the Shepperton side
- A side roads order to make the road alterations possible, allowing the council to improve them and build new ones, block off others if necessary and replace access routes to premises
- A bridge scheme order that gives permission for the council to build a permanent road bridge over the river. This does not relate to the design of the bridge.
The final major step is for the government to confirm funding of more than £30 million.
Ian Lake, cabinet member for transport, said: “When it's built, this will be the first major road bridge over the Thames in about 20 years. This is a major step forward in turning our vision into reality. We are now close to reaching our goal of building a state of the art Walton Bridge that will make a huge difference to people travelling in this part of Surrey. All we need now is the government’s confirmation that the funding is still available. Then it will be full speed ahead.”
Communities secretary John Denham confirmed the council can buy recreational land at Cowey Sale to enable the new bridge to be built. He agreed with the public inquiry inspector’s view that 'the exchange land would be no less in area and be equally advantageous to the public.'
The existing road bridge is only temporary following damage to the previous bridge in the Second World War.
Source: Surrey Herald