Walton High Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Closed 15 Dec 2023

Opened 16 Nov 2023


We are aware of the public reaction to the works in the High Street earlier this year, following the removal of trees.  It is recognised that the timing and communication around the project could have been better handled and we apologise for the upset caused.  Our procedures will be updated to take these issues into consideration when planning any such works in the future.

The road safety scheme is to relocate the zebra crossing from near Caffe Nero to a location outside The Heart.  The new crossing will be on a raised road table which provides level access as well as encouraging lower traffic speeds.  This aims to improve road safety, plus provide benefits to residents and visitors using the high street as well as local businesses.  There have been a number of road traffic incidents resulting in pedestrian injuries in recent years.  It is recognised that the trees compromised visibility for pedestrians crossing the road in the High Street.  The effect of the trees on visibility had also been raised by Elmbridge Borough Council over a number of years regarding the impact on CCTV cameras.  Unfortunately, for safety reasons, this means that the trees could not be retained. 

In order to complete the scheme and provide some replacement planting for the necessary removal of trees, we are seeking views on preferred measures.  Elmbridge Borough Council is planning to undertake a wider ‘greening’ strategy in the area which Surrey County Council will contribute to.  With that in mind, and to minimise works that may need to change in the near future, we are considering measures to provide green improvements that can be amended or relocated to fit in with a wider initiative.  These will take the form of planters to complement those currently in the High Street.  Where possible we will include trees, with consideration of footway widths and pedestrian access as well as visibility to crossing points and junctions.

The attached plans show locations where planters could be located.  Please note that the plans show the possible locations, considering room for pedestrians on the footway and visibility for pedestrians and drivers.  We would welcome any comments on the preferred locations.

The project is part funded by the county and local council, with Elmbridge Borough Council allocating £195,000 from Community Infrastructure Levy funds to progress this scheme and make the necessary improvements. The project was approved by the Elmbridge Local Committee of elected county and borough members in 2018 and a feasibility study took place in 2019 which highlighted the need to remove six trees from the High Street near the intended zebra crossing to ensure clear visibility of pedestrians for drivers.  Final approval to proceed was given in July 2021, by the local committee.  The design was finalised which included, in January 2022, a meeting with Elmbridge councillors and the Walton Business Improvement District (BID).  Public consultation for the scheme was carried out in the summer of 2022 in the form of the formal, legal consultation process that is carried out prior to these kinds of works being constructed on the public highway.


In March 2023, prior to works commencing, leaflets were distributed advising that works to install a new speed table, upgrade the existing zebra crossing near Churchfield Road and install a new zebra crossing outside the entrance to The Heart Shopping Centre.  However, it is appreciated that more detailed information prior to the construction of the scheme was not included within this consultation process and our procedures will be updated to take account of this in the future.


The County Council recognises the importance of trees and wildlife habitats and is committed to facilitating the planting of 1.2 million trees by 2030.  However, the council has to balance that with the responsibility to manage and reduce risk, in cases where trees and shrubs are diseased or posing a safety risk through obscured views on highways and footways.  The council only removes trees as a last resort and always looks at offsetting this with replacement planting elsewhere, where possible.

We would be pleased to receive your feedback. 

What happens next

Following this consultation, the feedback will be assessed and discussed with the publicly elected members for the local area, on whether to proceed with the experimental HGV prohibition. The decision will also be communicated to the petitioners and published on this website. 


If the decision is to proceed with the experimental restriction, detailed design and implementation will follow as soon as possible, subject to statutory procedures and available funding.


As initially this would be an experimental weight restriction, statutory procedures require that official consultation on this scheme is carried out when the weight restriction signs are installed.  This consultation would run for a period of 6 months.  During this time objections and comments from the public can be made regarding the restriction. 


Once the 6-month period ends, the objections and comments are considered and a decision made on whether to remove the restriction, make changes to the restriction, or make the restriction permanent.  Even though the weight restriction would be experimental initially, it is still a legal restriction once the signs are in place.


The official consultation would be carried out once the weight restriction signs are installed and you will be able to object, support or make comments on the experimental weight restriction in the same way that you are providing your current comments, by using this website or in writing.


  • Elmbridge


  • All Surrey residents


  • Highways