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Ambitious Borough Transport Strategy Allows for Major Growth

Published on: 12 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 12 Apr, 2016

A far-reaching transport strategy that will tackle road congestion, see improvements to the rail network and help pedestrians and cyclists, has been published by Guildford Borough Council (GBC).

To define the future in terms of local transport, the council has employed planners to make recommendations on all modes of surface transport in the borough until 2033 and beyond. The strategy has also been designed to support the borough’s forthcoming Local Plan.


The Guildford Borough Transport Strategy 2016 includes improvements to the A3 as it passes through Guildford.


The Government has mandated Highways England to transform the A3 in Guildford, the A3/M25 Wisley Junction 10 interchange and upgrade the M25 to Heathrow.

GBC is working with them and acknowledges the process will take time, but says early, targeted improvements could provide road safety and some congestion relief until Highways England is ready to transform the strategic network.

Twenty-four ‘hotspot’ improvement schemes have been identified, including improvements at the Tesco roundabout, the access road to Blackwell Farm providing relief to the A31/A3 junction, a bridge to replace the level crossing at Ash, the A320 Woking Road, and traffic management and environmental improvements on the A247 at Send Road/ Send Barns Lane.

The strategy also strongly supports long-term plans for an A3 tunnel under the town.

Improved rail capacity, two new stations and improvements to the main station are l;isted in the strategy.

Improved rail capacity, two new stations and extra platforms at Guildford station are listed in the strategy.


Improved capacity with two new stations. The stations are on sites suggested in previous studies – at Park Barn, to serve the community there, the hospital, university, research park, Blackwell Farm site and a proposed university technical college; and at Merrow, serving that community including Burpham and the Gosden Hill Farm site.

The council says it is working with Network Rail and other partners to bring about improvements to include a massive increase in capacity, both on the Portsmouth line helped by Crossrail 2, and electrification of the North Downs Line with extra platforms at Guildford station.

Part of thje Westborough Fitness Trail.

Part of the Westborough Fitness Trail – a useful track for walking or jogging that has been in place for two years.

Buses, pedestrians and cyclists: 

Called a sustainable movement corridor, this will provide rapid and reliable bus journeys and a priority route for pedestrians and cyclists between across the Guildford area, including north, east and west urban extensions, linking up with the park and ride site at Onslow and one proposed at Gosden Hill Farm, the main railway station, both new rail stations and the town centre.

A comprehensive Guildford cycle network is also proposed, building on the recent planning work by Surrey County Council. Improvements are already in place for the River Wey towpath and new Walnut Bridge.

The strategy notes the potential for an improved bus service at the Artington park and ride site, to help reduce traffic congestion and benefit residents, workers and businesses.

Also, the strategy lists a southern rail access to Heathrow Airport, improved rail services to Gatwick Airport and strategic road enhancements will provide more reliable journey times to the UK’s leading airports.

Cllr Matt Furniss.

Cllr Matt Furniss.

Councillor Matt Furniss, lead councillor for infrastructure and environment (Con, Christchurch), said: “For the first time, we have taken the lead in defining our own future in transport terms. We have drawn together the key strands from the forward plans and thinking of the transport providers and funders and the council’s own transport evidence base.

“The result is this an up-to-date and forward-looking strategy, which sets out a programme of schemes covering all modes of surface transport in the borough and beyond.

“The schemes will, in combination, tackle the historic infrastructure deficit and mitigate the principal transport impacts of future proposed planned growth in our borough. The strategy is consistent with the council’s draft Local Plan. Our future transport system will be greener, safer and more reliable.

“This strategy demonstrates to residents, businesses, stakeholders and funders alike that we have a clear and ambitious strategy, with a programme in which funders can invest with confidence.”

Funding is anticipated to run into many millions to cover the whole transport strategy. The published report gives details, and, for example, anticipates the improvements at the railway station (not the plan for a new station building) is about £100 million, with £10 million for each of the proposed new stations.

The cost of improvements to the A3 from the Stoke interchange to the A31 Hog’s Back junction is anticipated at £250 million.

A comprehensive cycle network is anticipated at £20 million, with improvements on the A247 at Send anticipated at £1.5 million, and a bridge at Ash railway station at £15 million.

The aspirational cost of a road tunnel under Guildford is given as £1,500 million.

The council states that funding will come from a variety of sources: Government funding to Network Rail, Highways England and Surrey County Council to fund their forward plans for improvements of their transport and infrastructure assets and the Local Growth Fund, administered by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. Planning obligations required by developers to deliver site specific infrastructure. Developer contributions. Guildford Borough Council’s investments.

The council will consider its new transport strategy at its meeting on April 19.

For more information click here.

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Responses to Ambitious Borough Transport Strategy Allows for Major Growth

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    April 12, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Can we really afford to wait for these futuristic plans?

    We need remedial action now to avoid complete stagnation in our life time.

    • Keith Reeves Reply

      April 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      The short answer is yes. Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, I note for example the quote in the article that “early, targeted improvements could provide road safety and some congestion relief”.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    April 13, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Read this document very carefully and you find it contains anomalies like: a tunnel entrance underneath housing, one sided access to a box junction, lack of the word ‘integrated’ when talking of trains and buses
    and a new commuter estate for London workers.

    In short, a very disappointing and poorly thought through document.

  3. Valerie Thompson Reply

    April 13, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    It’s very worrying that plans are in place to improve access to Blackwell Farm, even though this is only a proposed development site in the new Draft Local Plan. No planning application for this site has been approved yet, nor, I hope, will it ever be.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    April 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    The idea of putting the A3 in a tunnel under Guildford town in my view is impractical, unaffordable and unnecessary.

    A far better option would be to improve the existing junctions by making the restricted ones into all directional ones, widening the stretch between the A31 and the A320 that Highways England are developing. Also advantageous would be adding a local lane from Dennis roundabout to the Cathedral Roundabout (a Guildford Society suggestion), building a direct link to Slyfield area and on to the A320 from the A3 and building an interchange at Potters Lane, if Gosden Hill Farm is to be developed for housing.

    A business case for a tunnel costing some £1.5bn or £1.8bn (as I had mentioned before in another posting below) could not be justified now or in the near future, if ever.

    Far better would be money spent on dualling the A281 from Dunsfold to Shalford and a link to Artington Park & Ride on the A3100, building a short tunnel from near Shalford under Guildford town to the A25 Parkway near the Lido and connecting it to the A320 junction of the A3.

    Building new housing must go hand in hand with improved infrastructures and roads are a vital part of that. Instead of protesting about more congestions and pollution if new houses are built, it would be far better to demand improvements to the road network as a condition for building more housing.

    Please visit my website that could be found by searching for ‘revamp guildford gyratory’ and its links that shows some of these suggestions,

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