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Ash Road Bridge Has Majority Public Support, Council Believes

Published on: 27 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 27 Sep, 2023

By David Reading

More than 400 people turned up at Guildford Borough Council’s two public information sessions to provide facts and figures on the Ash road bridge project – and most of them supported the scheme, the council said this week.

A CGI of how the Ash Road Bridge will look.

Despite concerns about the project voiced over the years, the council believes the bridge’s chief purpose – to solve the traffic problems created at the Ash level crossing – has the support of most people.

The main construction work on the £45 million bridge is scheduled to begin within the next month with completion expected in December 2024.

A council statement said after the information sessions held at the Ash Centre: “While there were some concerns expressed, the majority were in support of the scheme.”

These concerns have been voiced regularly in The Guildford Dragon NEWS since the project was first announced. They have focused primarily on the huge cost of the project – estimated at £12 million when it was first discussed by the previous council but now expected to be around £44.5 million.

There have also been fundamental concerns that the traffic problems that the bridge is designed to address will simply move elsewhere in the area – for example, at the roundabout of the A323 and Ash Hill Road and at the Foreman Road end of the bridge.

The council is hopeful that fear about future traffic problems will prove to be unfounded.

A recent statement said: “The scheme will encourage traffic off rural roads. Traffic currently uses rural roads to avoid the level crossing. It will remove the safety hazard posed by the present level crossing. Network Rail considers the level crossing as a medium-high risk. There have been some recorded incidents of misuse by vehicles and pedestrians.

“The scheme will end the existing traffic congestion hotspot. The level crossing causes delays to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. It closes around eight times an hour or 150 times a day. This currently amounts to closure periods of up to 25 minutes per hour. Delays are likely to increase with the planned enhancement of passenger train services. The Gatwick to Reading route enhancements are already underway.”

One of the major issues raised at last week’s information exercise was pedestrian access to Ash railway station.

Addressing this issue, The council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Cllr Tom Hunt, said: “I can confirm that the level crossing will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists after the bridge is open and until such time as a footbridge is installed.”




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Responses to Ash Road Bridge Has Majority Public Support, Council Believes

  1. Robert Malcolm Reply

    September 27, 2023 at 8:51 am

    A lift is required for the disabled.

  2. Roger Kendall Reply

    September 27, 2023 at 10:14 am

    The main bridge looked good at the exhibition however there was no date or plans available for drop off points either side of the station or the footbridge. In fact, it appears the footbridge is up to the railway and is not part of the overall development.

    Good to see parking will be allowed on the old Guildford road between station and Dover arms roundabout but the rest of the work needs to be completed soon after to avoid accidents with the gates and pedestrians.

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