04 Aug 2020

WBD has advised Guildford Borough Council on the construction of a new bridge across the River Wey which will improve access to the town centre for thousands of pedestrians, cyclists and visitors.

Representing an investment of over £5m, the construction of the Walnut Bridge forms part of long-term plans developed by the Council to improve links to and from Guildford and sits at the heart of the Council's Town Centre Regeneration Strategy and Sustainable Movement Corridor initiatives.

WBD's construction and engineering team, led by partner Simon Rowland and solicitor Ryan Lavers, provided specialist construction advice to the Council.

Simon Rowland, Head of Construction and Engineering at WBD, commented:

"It's been a pleasure working with the team at Guildford Borough Council. The Walnut Bridge will make a huge contribution to the regeneration of the local area and offer more sustainable options for commuters and visitors coming to the town centre."

"The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown presented a number of challenges with regards to the project but these were overcome with a combination of confidence, pragmatism and innovation using e-signatures to agree terms with the parties involved. WBD had recognised the potential for e-signature platforms to transform the way in which legal documents can be executed well before the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming an early adopter in the legal sector. Therefore, we were in a strong position when the use of this technology became a necessity, rather than an innovative option."

Leader of Guildford Borough Council, Cllr Caroline Reeves said:

"The new bridge will offer a safer route into the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists by avoiding the narrow pavement on Bridge Street, which has been an accident black spot, as well as improving rail station and riverside access and transforming Bedford Plaza into an area for relaxation. The plans are a key part of our Town Centre Regeneration Strategy and active transport initiatives. As more people look to reduce their impact on the environment, improving the options for walkers and cyclists is a priority for the Council as part of our plans to address climate change, reduce reliance on cars and alleviate congestion in the Town Centre. I'm pleased that work can now begin to improve this area of Guildford, which will be of benefit to all local residents and particularly many children who use the route on their journey to school."

WBD's construction and engineering team is highly ranked in UK legal directories, with partners Simon Rowland, Ian Atkinson and Simon Lewis ranked as leading lawyers. In May this year, the firm also appointed Jessica Tresham as a new partner and an expert in dispute resolution matters.

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise across a range of sectors including public & government services, financial institutions, insurance, energy & natural resources, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, retail & consumer, transport, logistics & infrastructure, private wealth, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology & life sciences and technology.