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Paving the way for Surbiton

Council releases draft proposals for town centre improvements.

The Improvement Strategy for Surbiton Town Centre has been developed with the help of more than one thousand local people who took part in a major consultation earlier in the year.

The result is a strategy that incorporates both short and long-term measures to strengthen Surbiton's status as an important district hub; protect and enhance the town's character; and create a high quality environment that is both distinctive and sustainable.

Councillor Frances Moseley, Co-Chair of the Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee said, "We had an excellent response to the consultation carried out earlier in the year with well over a thousand residents and businesses filling out the survey or taking part in one of the discussion groups."

A service road running between Victoria Road and the train line could be opened up as a taxi rank, an idea which has initially proved unpopular with cabbies.

Taxi driver Barry Woodley, who works from the Surbiton rank said, "To not have the access to the taxis as they come out of the station with cases or bags, and make them walk however far, doesn’t seem feasible."

Gary Walsh, head of neighbourhoods at Kingston Council said, "The message we got was to retain the character but bring it up to date to attract new shops and keep current shops here."

Last year, red-faced councillors realised they had lost a £110,000 payment from a property developer which would have funded the service road extension behind Victoria Road.

Views are now being sort on the final options proposed for inclusion the Improvement Strategy. Make sure you get involved and have your say by attending one of the Public Exhibitions or completing the online survey. The closing date for responses is 31 October 2009.

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