Enterprise M3 awarded £2 million from the Growing Enterprise Fund to support the construction of a new link road in a busy and congested part of Woking town centre, in order to improve accessibility to key areas of employment, reduce congestion and unlock the economic and social vitality of Sheerwater, one of the most deprived areas in Surrey.
Sheerwater is situated just over four miles from the UK’s main arterial motorway – the M25 - and just over a mile away from Woking Railway Station which has quick and frequent train links to London. It is also home to the largest area of business parks in Woking Borough. In terms of the geographic location, it is perfectly connected to some of the country’s key transport links. However, the occupation of the business parks was being adversely affected by the poor access to the M25 for larger heavy goods vehicles, which had to negotiate the narrow, residential streets of Eve Road and Arnold Road en route to Six Crossroads and the M25.
As a result, the Sheerwater business parks experienced high commercial vacancy rates due to its poor accessibility, with upwards of 61% office and 39% industrial vacancy rates in 2010 (Source: Woking Employment Land Review 2010).
Following long-term dialogue with businesses, investors and developers, Woking Borough Council were provided with clear direction: increased occupancy and retention rates, along with the opportunity to pursue new projects, could only be secured if access to the Sheerwater Business Parks was improved. The best way to achieve this was through the construction of a new link road which would allow traffic easy access from the M25 to the business parks.
The Scheme has begun to deliver wide-ranging economic benefits for Woking, including:
Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said:
“We are delighted that works to the much-needed Sheerwater link road have now been completed. With the support of Enterprise M3 through their Growing Enterprise Fund, and Surrey County Council through its Local Sustainable Transport Fund, the Council was able to bring forward its delivery, putting into place the infrastructure and investment that will underpin the long-term regeneration of Sheerwater, creating a desirable place to live, work and do business.’’