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A New Pedestrian Crossing and Yet More Disruption for Walnut Tree Close

Published on: 7 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 7 Feb, 2022

Road closed but traffic heading out of town can still go through the railway station forecourt.

By Martin Giles

Work has started on the construction of a new pedestrian crossing expected to improve the route from Guildford Station to the town centre. A small portion of Walnut Tree Close will be closed to vehicle traffic for five weeks, from today February 7 to March 11.

The pedestrian crossing will go diagonally from the bridge exit on the left to the ramp and steps that lead up to the station on the right.

The new crossing will be raised to slow vehicles and allow pedestrians to cross more safely. It will also be much wider to prevent a bottleneck approaching Walnut Bridge.

Cllr John Rigg

Lead councillor for Major Projects, Cllr John Rigg said: “The crossing is part of the work to improve pedestrian and cycle routes from Guildford Station into the town centre. Once completed the route will be much safer, pleasant and more accessible.

“The new Walnut Bridge was installed in September with temporary steps and a ramp. Work to make the ramp fully accessible will begin in spring. The landscaping work on Bedford Wharf Plaza will begin once the ramp is complete. There will be a protected walkway through the Plaza while work is being completed.”

Tom Hunt, one of the three Lib Dem borough councillors who represent Friary & St Nicolas, said: “I’m delighted that the new Walnut Bridge is to be properly integrated with safe pedestrian and cycle access to the station.

Cllr Tom Hunt

“I appreciate that the road closure comes on top of recent disruption in Walnut Tree Close caused, amongst other things, by ongoing development and SCC’s one-way trial, and so causes further inconvenience for the residents and businesses of Walnut Tree Close.  I ask for their patience whilst the works are undertaken, and hope that where possible, works can be accelerated to allow re-opening of the road before March 11.”

One resident who lives a few doors down from the roadworks said that they bothered him less than all the developments further down Walnut Tree Close and he had decided to move away. But it is understood that councillors have received complaints about yet more disruption. Currently, residents wanting to drive south are being forced to take lengthy diversions via Ladymead.

While the pedestrian crossing is constructed, a portion of Walnut Tree Close will be closed to vehicle traffic for five weeks and diversions will be signposted. Access to the station will be possible from the south end of Walnut Tree Close and pedestrians will be able to access the road from both ends.

The road is closed to traffic heading south towards the gyratory

Today, vehicles heading north towards Ladymead, were able to bypass the roadblock by going through the railway station forecourt but the road was blocked for vehicles heading south along the close towards the gyratory and town centre. There was no special provision for bikes.

One side of the bridge will be open with the temporary scaffold ramp for use by pedestrians. There will be no access from Walnut Tree Close to the towpath by the bridge during the work, although the towpath will be open.

The new bridge will be four metres wide when fully open

The new pedestrian and cycle bridge crosses over the River Wey between the Billings and Bishop’s Wharf buildings on the west side, and the Bedford Wharf area on the east. The bridge is four metres wide, far wider than the original bridge and ramp. This gives plenty of space for bridge users to pass one another.

The ramps on the Odeon side of the bridge ready for surfacing

The new ramp will have a more gentle incline with two landings to act as resting places. Tactile paving will be installed at the top and bottom of the steps to help people with visual impairments navigate the space.

Steps down to the towpath have a bike gully included to allow easier movement of bicycles.

The bridge is funded by the M3 Local Enterprise Partnership with contributions from Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council.

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Responses to A New Pedestrian Crossing and Yet More Disruption for Walnut Tree Close

  1. J Holt Reply

    February 10, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Can someone explain why it takes five weeks to make a pedestrian crossing?

    • M Smith Reply

      February 10, 2022 at 8:08 pm

      Given that the installation of the bridge has taken more than a year, only a few weeks for a pedestrian crossing is quick work.

    • Joe Taylor Reply

      February 12, 2022 at 5:43 pm

      I’m no engineer, but it looks like there is at least one drain in the path of the new raised crossing which might need relocating. That in itself seems complex.

      There’s also likely curb works to be done and resurfacing the road surrounding the crossing too. We also don’t know how many people will be onsite to carry out the works, many hands make light work, but they’re also probably expensive too.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    February 10, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    Thats simple – first you need to dig up the road to discover something is there, you didn’t know was there, then you have to re-draw the plans, then you need to let the concrete set on the piece you didn’t need to dig up.. then open the correct hole to discover an historic artefact, you get the picture!

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