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It's all gone horribly quiet out there

11 years ago...

No comments for over a week? What about the new plans to rid the station forecourt of taxis and create a town square? There must be a few irate cabbies out there with some views. Or the plan to create a ski run down St Marks Hill? How about another new opticians opening up in the town centre, or the upcoming Farmers Market on Maple Road? Perhaps we need the green crusties to return to Raven's Ait to get people going?


I live in Glenbuck Studios, the idea that a "Plaza space" being put at the back of the station is ridiculous, we already have skateboarders using the current car park, the mini cab people playing football in the middle of the night and people hanging around (I have lost count of the fights going on behind the station) Also if you look at the plans it cuts off SouthBank with the Paving, so will Glenbuck Road and SouthBank not be connected anymore?

Paving the areas out the front and back of the station will encourage this behaviour. Have any of you seen the mess of cars out the back of the station from 6pm? Take the parking away and they will park in spaces people like me already pay for (this already happens) and when you ask people to move the response is “I will when I’ve picked people up” – hello you don’t pay for that space I do I want to park my car!

If the cabs are also near the back then we’ll have more noise, so if you want people hanging about, skate ramps and less parking then paving the front and the back is a GREAT idea.

I'd say that a 'town square' in Surbiton would have to be attracting a fair amount of 'foot-fall' through into the evenings for it be 'yob-free'. I'm really not sure that we are busy enough for this to happen, unlike places such as Covent Garden; so come evening time when everything closes...... they'll be out & skulking about!

I too like the idea of a town square. But I'm afraid the grim reality would be that of any open space by a railway station— a place for dossers, drifters and down and outs to make nuisances of themself. Hate to be negative, but it ain't going to be Place des Vosges.

Yeah, let's not bother improving the town center at all. Especially not the part right outside an extremely busy train station. In fact, let's just cover the lot in razor wire and machine gun towers to take down anyone who loiters there for more than 2 minutes.

Not necessarily, davidj1. We need to dissuade the "dossers, drifters and down and outs" from regarding it as THEIR territory.

The more open & uncluttered it is, the less scope it offers for the "filth" to take occupation. That means - no seats; no fountains or monuments with steps; nothing with convenient "begging-points" ... just an open space, which can be used for public performances; fun-fairs; farmers' markets; meetings; even demonstrations! There's loads to be said for an EMPTY area in the middle of a busy suburb.

... So, even more of an argument for getting rid of those dreadful huts (the pawn shop, burger-bar, etc) - leaving the new "Station Square" or "Surbiton Square", or whatever we're going to call it (may I suggest "Elizabeth Square", as a complement to "Victoria Road"?), completely open & visible from all approaches (Victoria Road, St James' Road, Claremont Road, St Mark's Hill - &, most importantly, the Station itself. That way, the undesirables have nowhere to hide or lurk.

Let's be brave about this. We have a terrific opportunity to give Surbiton a REAL centre. Let's not throw it away by being timid. In reality, the saddo types will always be around - somewhere. Limiting our ambitions for our town-centre is certainly not going to make them disappear.

You're dead right - Place des Vosges it'll never be! But it really CAN be somewhere to be proud of!

I like the look of the Surbiton plans, especially the station square. Pedestrianisation can work to the advantage of retailers and customers alike. Look at Kingston and other parts of London eg Covent Garden, St Christopher's Place etc. Even Waterlooville and Portsmouth. As for the's up to the baby boomer generation to reclaim our town centres and pubs and get out from in front of our flat screen, dinner party rooms of safety and start living night life in the community.

Businesses in the congestion zone have reported a drop in passing trade, which some of them (due to the nature of their business) rely on.
Surbiton is not that big a place, nor a mecca for shoppers for it to be viable (IMO) to control traffic to such an extent that passing trade is lost. Big towns (like Kingston) can adopt pedestrianisation etc. as folk will still go there to spend their money (parking, as they do, in the many car parks that are available, which Surbiton simply does not have).
Smaller towns rely on passing trade, where folk can stop, get out and easily buy what they need en-route.

There may well need to be 'a sea change in attitudes to car ownership and usage' but I wouldn't want Surbiton to be the proverbial 'guinea pig' in any such experiment. The simple fact is, is that most folk will use their car in preference to public transport, and if they can't they won't get out of their car (except perhaps in big cities, which we are not) but will find alternatives where they can drive to....... ergo the success of 'out of town' retail parks!

It would be good to see some statistics or proper predictions based on other towns' experiences because I'm not convinced that reducing traffic would necessarily adversely affect business. Perhaps the council has actually surveyed car drivers in Surbiton to see where they're from.

What "experiences elsewhere" suggest that people won't move to buses? It's probably true, but in any case it's essential that there's a sea change in attitudes to car ownership and usage.

If there's a few idiots that drive down St Mark's hill at high speed then perhaps a fairer solution would be to penalise them and not everyone else? A speed camera could be the answer!?
Folk might need to learn to use buses, but experiences elsewhere tells us they won't. If a small town centre, such as Surbiton, was accessible by buses only I fear it would soon die....... Because as you suggest folk haven't yet learned to use them!
For the record I generally walk into the town centre.

I posted this response earlier to another thread on this forum, but it might be appropriate here.....

All well & good to propose that traffic is 'controlled' so as to benefit residents of Surbiton if the residents of Surbiton are prepared to spend, spend & spend like never before to make up the shortfall from the non-residents whose trade would be lost or reduced!....... Unless you'd like to love in a ghost town that is..... All the shops are being closed down (to quote a famous song about urban decay!)

Personally I would advise against pedestrianisation, because in my experience these often become semi 'no go areas' at night, with youths hanging around that could be upto no good, or are a tad intimidating for some folk to say the least!
Unfortunately, in this country, pedestrianisation seldom seems to lead to the desired for 'cafe culture' effect in the evenings, but quite the opposite, so please be careful what you wish for!

Surbiton is very well served by buses. People need to learn to leave their cars at home. And anyway, Victoria Road is always teeming with folk whenever I head down there. I guess they're just not that interested in the shops on offer...

I'd agree with this. Surbiton is not really the size of town that needs to attract people in from too far away - surely most people who don't live close enough to walk or take a short bus ride to the town centre would be better served going to Kingston, Tolworth or Esher anyway?

It is not as though Surbiton has a leading array of shops to attract people from miles around!

On both Monday and Tuesday evenings this week, Victoria and Maple Roads were totally blocked by traffic at 6pm. This must be as grim for those sitting in the traffic as it is for pedetrians trying to negotiate it. I'd be interested to see how many of those were genuine long distance commuters and how many of them were travelling a short journey that they should really be walking.

I appreciate that it is an individual's prerogative whether they drive or not, but I certainly do not think that we should be encouraging it.

I think the plans for Surbiton look great!

The skies will be bluer and the centre will be bathed in sunlight despite the monstrous DST building.
In fact the new improved Surbiton will be so Utopian we will not even need street lighting or road markings.

Bring it on!

Given the very poor vehicular access to Surbiton, the paving over of everything to appease the cyclists and walkers is probably a great idea.

I just feel sorry for the shopkeepers who will see a massive loss of footfall.We already have the prime ex Woolies site unoccupied and McKays frock shop cannot last much longer with no customers ever visible.

Might just as well turf over Maple Road and have a permanent Farmers Market,you could add a duckpond then you will have a true "Maple Village"

Sorry, just saw how old that comment is, clearly pre-99p Store! Interesting that M&Co still survives five years later, still seemingly with no customers.

Is the old Woolworths empty now? Last time I went to Victoria Road it was a 99p Store.

Erm... If its pavement then no cyclists should be on it.

Hmm... I like the idea of routing taxis to the back of the station thereby creating a pedestrian plaza out front, but for me it's disappointing that something more radical isn't done about the traffic in general. Victoria Road will continue to be two-way, and there's no mention of St Mark's Hill: the speeds at which cars and buses hurtle towards Surbiton centre are frightening.

Surely that article is a joke? The Brighton Road before and after pictures would make a good 'spot the difference' competition. The only difference that I can spot is the lack of road markings!

I do like the idea of a pedestrianised station forecourt, though, and it would allow the cabs to make use of the derelict path behind the station.

It all went quiet coz the site admins spam filter packed up and no posts were being accepted.

Bad enough the crusties are hangin' out spoiling the view on the riverside nearer kingston....

Please don't wish them on us again ;-)

I do miss what's her name though......busy filing books in the university library now that they are back to school ;-)

Hello darkness my old friend,

Still Here, always been here, taking care of business.

I like davidj1's thread of thought (8-)

Welcome back S8,are your chums from Ravens Ait still liberating the house in Park Road?

Wow! Sapphy babes you are SO inciteful and clever, quoting Simon and Garfunkel, to make me look like Peter Mandelson...
I'm, like totally convinced that i have turned to the dark side, i beg forgiveness for having opinions you don't like ;-)

So you have always been here.....Delusions of immortality?
Taking care of business.....Such as?

For what it's worth, here's my opinion on this proposal.

The country is BROKE!!!!!
It is vital to keep the streets clean, litter free and police them to prevent crime and civil disorder.

Is it really a good idea to spend aload of money on this proposed work?
Or could we afford to wait 2-3 years, when perhaps the economic situation is better?

Why not spend this money on more policing of the low level crime (petty theft etc) in surbiton?
Perhaps we could spend it on more street cleaning?

Davidj1 is right, Place Des Vosges surbiton town centre ain't ;-)
However, it could be cleaner, it could do with a lick of paint on a regular basis.
We could demand more efforts to reduce the dodgy characters that hang out there more and more.

Let's show our pride in a different way than spening money on a white elephant.
Let's spend it on building local pride, by improving the local environs in small (but noticable ways) and discourage low level crime.

Only my opinion....

What are the plans for St. Mary's Road? Can't think what might need to be done?

Farmers market? Awesome! Tell me more...

It's being organised by one of the conservative candidates - Jeffrey soemeone I think.

I went to the farmers market it was packed. Surbiton needs something like this. Its amazing that the local papers only put in a small article on what was probably the biggest thing to hit town in the 6 years I have lived here - shows how out of touch they are with what goes on around here.

Unfortunately I had to be somewhere else last Saturday but I think there is another one on Nov 21st

Didn't know there was going to be a Farmer's market. When is it?

Farmers Market on Maple Road is on 17th October see

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