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Dragon Interview: Graham Hibbert, Guildford Residents’ Association

Published on: 26 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 26 Oct, 2013

The Guildford Residents’ Association (GRA) is an umbrella organisation for all residents associations and parish councils in Guildford. It is currently concentrating its efforts on contributing to the debate on the borough council’s Local Plan. GRA chairman, Graham Hibbert, answers some questions about the organisation and its current aims:

Graham Hibbert speaking at a residents meeting in Burpham.

Graham Hibbert speaking at a residents meeting in Burpham.

When was the GRA formed? How many members does it have?

The GRA was formed late last year to help its association and parish council members to contribute effectively in the formation of the Local Plan. Since then it has met every two months and currently has a membership of more than 25 residents associations and four parish councils.

Why has the GRA issuing the leaflet… (see below)?

The emerging Local Plan will shape Guildford’s future for the next 20 plus years. The GRA is concerned that busy residents will be put off responding to this consultation by lack of knowledge or by the 90 page consultation document.

So the association has prepared this leaflet to help brief the numerous residents’ associations (RAs), parish councils (PCs) and their residents on the issues and opportunities ahead and give them guidance on how they can respond.

The document reflects the strong consensus developed by representatives from the associations and parish councils at a recent GRA meeting to discuss their responses to the first stage of the draft plan consultation.

It tries to cover the overarching themes and leaves local issues for individual associations and parish councils to cover.Residents are free to amend the document as they so wish in order to say what they want to say.

What does the GRA thinks about the consultation exercise?

The GRA is at one with the council in wanting as many residents as possible to be heard in preparing this plan so that their voices are not drowned out by commercial and other interests.

Who can join your association?

Any residents association or parish council which is happy to support our “Aspirations for Guildford” paper is welcome to join the GRA.

More information is available on the Guildford Residents Association website:

GRA HAVE YOUR SAY Flyer 1 24 Oct 13 v2

GRA HAVE YOUR SAY Flyer 24 2 Oct 13 v2

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Responses to Dragon Interview: Graham Hibbert, Guildford Residents’ Association

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    October 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I do not reside in Guildford area, so I may not qualify to comment. However, I do quite often drive to or pass through Guildford.

    I agree with all issues and options mentioned here except the assumption that the A3 should be put in a tunnel. I’ve mentioned elsewhere in The Guildford Dragon NEWS that although this idea has been mooted by Cllr Stephen Mansbridge and other readers of TDGN, I’m afraid the cost of a tunnel some 9km long would be prohibitively expensive.

    I am not against the idea but Hindhead Tunnel is only 1.8km long and it cost £371m, approximately £200m per km. On that basis a 9km tunnel would cost a staggering £1800m. The cost would be many times the benefits likely to be accrued. I would humbly suggest the association to get some independent advice from a Consultant about the feasibility of such a scheme before promoting it.

    Affordable improvements would include improving the A3 junctions by constructing the missing slip roads at Stoke and Clay Lane Interchanges. Also widening of the carriageways and providing access from the A3 to the Park and Ride and an exit back to it would reduce problems at Tesco roundabout. In the process of doing this, the terrible accident spot where the A31 on-slip joins the A3 would be removed.

    The problem of local congestion that impedes exit from the A3 could be addressed by constructing a viaduct to take traffic to Dennis roundabout that is heading for the A322. In the longer term to reduce congestion in Ladymead and Woodbridge Road, short tunnels from the A25 to the A281 would be needed and these would also take most of the through traffic away from the gyratory. In the short to medium term, the gyratory and associated measures should improve flow to an acceptable level. I would hope the readers would visit my website,-
    to see the ideas for improvements that could holistically deal with the problems for all road users.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    October 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    It is encouraging to read about this umbrella organisation with its aims to cover all residents associations in Guildford.

    So many resident associations work in isolation and, as such, are seldom taken seriously by the policy makers who control of quality of our life within the borough.

    Perhaps a way forward would be for quarterly meeting to be called by this central body and invite delegates from each local group to attend to discuss joint action on matters which effect the people of Guildford?

    Who knows such a move could be made towards our own town council as enjoyed by within our neighbouring boroughs?

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    October 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    BBC Radio Surrey (104.6FM) interviewed me on the prospect of a tunnel in connection with the A3 and traffic congestion in Guildford. It will be on air tomorrow, Thursday the 31st October, at 7:07am and 8:07am. I can only assume that they approached me after visiting my website.

    The interview will be edited but I’ve no idea how much will be on air. Please tune in if you are interested to hear the broadcast. It will also be available live via BBC iPlayer.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

    BBC Radio Surrey collated views from Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, Graham Hibbert, Bill Stokoe and those of mine, on the question of putting the A3 in a tunnel and other measures to reduce congestion through Guildford. The broadcast can be heard for another 5 days on

    It was good to hear these comments and hopefully the momentum of the initiatives would continue and measures to deal with congestion both in the gyratory and on the A3 would be formulated and carried out in not too distant future.

    Bill Stokoe said that he would welcome the idea of a tunnel to take through traffic out of the town centre but was unsure as to how traffic would connect with the A3 at the north end and similarly how the A281 traffic would join it at the south portal. I have considered these aspects and drawn sketches to show what could be done to achieve the desired connections. The sketches are already on my website that shows the preliminary layouts.

    At the north end, the tunnel portal is located in Stoke Park close to Jubilee Wood . The curved link that connects with the A25 (Parkway) drops down about 2.5 metres at its mid-point and the viaduct that takes the A25 westbound lanes over the tunnel link rises about 2.6 metres thus creating the necessary headroom of 5.1 metres for the tunnel link. A roundabout on the A25 near the north-east corner of Lido provides the turn around facility (I’ve shown this already on my website).

    The tunnel could be a two-lane southbound or a two-way single bore tunnel, or a twin bore like Hindhead Tunnel. The configuration would depend on the volume of traffic taking into account of future growth.

    The south portal could be in Millbrook and a roundabout on it that provides the junction. But this could only be suitable for a single bore tunnel. With twin bore tunnels, the portal has to be located further south in Dagley Lane area, south of the Public House. Again a roundabout would be ideal to provide a connection with the A281. Another possibility is to provide a link from this roundabout through the marshy land of river Wey to the A3100 roundabout near the Park & Ride at Artington. Some of the spoil if suitable, could be used to build such a link. A bridge over the railway would also be needed.

    Improvements to the A3 Stoke Road Interchange are necessary to deal with the traffic that wants to join the A3 and also those that leave the A3 here. In order to further reduce traffic in Ladymead, I have suggested a viaduct over the A25 to carry traffic bound for the A322 to Dennis roundabout from here. An alternative route could be behind the Ladymead Business Park area.

  5. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 9, 2013 at 9:26 am

    A possible north south tunnel is shown in the link below in Photobucket website:

    Once in this website, by clicking the right arrow the sketches that show the tunnel connections could be seen in slightly greater detail. Other sketches show possible improvements to Millbrook pedestrian crossing and improvements to the gyratory etc. For a fuller view of all ideas of improvements for the gyratory, the railway station, the relocation of the bus station and possible improvements to the A3, please go to the website :

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