Fringe Box



Ash Road Bridge: GBC Plans Two Information Sessions For Residents

Published on: 31 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 2 Sep, 2023

A CGI of how the Ash Road Bridge will look.

By David Reading

Guildford Borough Council is launching an information exercise in September to provide the public with details about the proposed £45 million road bridge that will cross the railway line in Ash.

Construction of the new bridge is scheduled to begin the same month and the work is expected to take about a year and a half.

See also: Ash Road Bridge: Work on 18-month Project to Start in September

Once the bridge is open, Ash level crossing will be closed to motorised vehicles and GBC says this will end traffic congestion at this Ash “hotspot” and will mean increased safety for local residents and rail passengers.

The scheme was approved overwhelmingly by GBC planners in early 2021 and debated for some years before that. The council acknowledges that the aim of the bridge project, apart from tackling traffic problems, will be to enable housing allocated in the Local Plan to come forward.

Differing views have been expressed by residents over the years. Some have questioned whether use of the bridge will simply have a knock-on effect – causing congestion elsewhere in the area. Others have voiced concerns about the rocketing cost of the project – originally estimated at around £15 million.

One resident wrote in a letter to The Dragon in 2021: “When we are facing terrible Covid pandemic problems, with people losing their jobs and homes, families not being able to afford council tax, rents and mortgages and food banks becoming a necessity for so very many of our fellow citizens and children going hungry, can we really justify spending millions of our money to get rid of a set of traffic lights? I don’t think so.”

But others – described in council as “the silent majority” – appear to have welcomed the idea behind the project, concluding that the bridge could offer the best solution to the area’s traffic problems.

Announcing the planners’ decision in 2021, then Cllr John Rigg (R4GV) told members that GBC had received “some very positive contributions” from residents in public information sessions.

And Ash resident Jo Randall, another Guildford borough councillor (Con) at the time, said the project had been “a long-standing wish of many Ash people.”

With the aim of providing the public with information about the bridge project, GBC will hold two drop-in sessions at the Small Hall at the Ash Centre, Ash Hill Road:

  • The first on Thursday September 21 from 3pm to 8pm
  • The second on Friday September 22 from 3pm to 8pm

GBC’s Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Cllr Tom Hunt, said: “We hope these drop-in sessions will give the residents of Ash an opportunity to get an insight into the project and ask questions. We’re looking forward to meeting them.”

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Responses to Ash Road Bridge: GBC Plans Two Information Sessions For Residents

  1. R Jenvey Reply

    August 31, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    £300 million debt, services being cut. Why is this still going ahead when residents are opposed to the project and Guildford Borough Council is in such financial difficulties?

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