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View of Woking Lightbox from the current canal bridge

The power of protest and e-petitions has forced Woking council to retreat over its proposals for a new bridge over the Basingstoke canal linking the town centre with the Brewery Road car park and the soon-to-be-built UK HQ for the World Wildlife Fund. In  a press release last month the council said it has listened to residents’ concerns and was now promising that the bridge – which it prefers to call the Bedser bridge – would be “significantly lower than the previous proposal, meaning fewer steps and shorter, more compact ramps, while remaining Equality Act and disability compliant.”

The statement added: “Instead of a concrete and galvanised steel structure, the new design features a timber bridge that will be sympathetic to its surrounding area. The Brewery Road side has been reconfigured to improve public access to the bridge by incorporating split-level access to the WWF-UK building. Shorter, curved ramps will now mean that it has been necessary to revise the landscape scheme, which will include planting two native species trees as part of the revised ramps.”

This constitutes a major rethink, and indicates the strength of feeling which the council was forced to take into account.

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