Fringe Box



The Dragon Says: More Urgency Required Over Bridge Street Safety

Published on: 16 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 18 Apr, 2016

Dragon Says 470Anyone who listened to the eloquent 20-year-old student, George Bowen, on Tuesday, relating to Guildford Borough Council (GBC) a statement from the partner of one of those killed in the tragic Bridge Street accident in February, could not have failed to have been moved.

Any death is sad but Kat Garrett, 30, and Del Kendall, 45, died years before their time and their deaths came, as Mr Bowen said, “out of the blue”.

He was pleading for some immediate action and that is what we need to see.

Almost two months have passed and there is nothing to stop, heaven forbid, the same thing happening again. Some temporary safety measures must be possible.

Opinion Logo 2Chris Ogle, one of the organisers of the petition debated by Guildford Borough Council (GBC), has commented: “I feel a bit mystified by [Cllr Spooner’s] comment that it is all to easy to react boldly after an incident like this. Reacting boldly is far better than doing nothing.”

Of course, highways are a Surrey County Council (SCC) responsibility but the borough council was right to discuss the issues raised by the petition. As Cllr Matt Furniss said on Tuesday, the two councils do work together on such issues.

Meanwhile, Bibhas Neogi has written to The Dragon suggesting what could be done in the longer term. Mr Neogi has more than a layman’s view and we think his proposals are worthy of some serious consideration.

He writes: “I am a retired chartered engineer and I have been advocating for some modest changes to the gyratory for a number of years, posting suggestions many times in The Guildford Dragon NEWS and elsewhere.

There is a funding of £2.7 million to carry out improvements to the gyratory. Four main required changes are:

1. Remove the lane adjacent to north footway in Bridge Street and make the footway wider and install a traffic barrier, if considered necessary

2. Allow one lane of traffic (for cars only) to turn right from the offside lane coming off Farnham Road Bridge into Park Street

3. Allow this lane to turn left on to Friary Bridge and then right into Millbrook or go straight on to Portsmouth Road

4. Convert Debenhams crossing into a two-stage crossing by creating an island in place of the offside northbound lane.

The above changes of course require alterations to traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in Onslow Street and new traffic lights at the junctions and all the necessary road signs that go with the changes of directions etc.

I strongly believe this to be a workable improvement within a short timescale and available funding and I would be happy to discuss this with those responsible.”

A spokesman for Surrey County Council has told The Dragon that the council will be happy to accept the Bridge Street petition.

That’s good, the county councillors must listen to the pleas for urgency from those most directly affected by the accident; they are making their plea because they don’t want the same thing to happen to someone else. None of us do.

See also: 20-Year-Old Student Tells Council The Human Cost of The Bridge Street Accident

Readers can find more of Bibhas Neogi’s recent comments following the tragic accident in Bridge Street at:

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Responses to The Dragon Says: More Urgency Required Over Bridge Street Safety

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    April 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you Guildford Dragon News for including my suggestion for improving pedestrian safety in Bridge Street and traffic flow in the gyratory. This is for the shorter term.

    The longer term solution to accord with a pedestrian friendly town centre is a little more elaborate. It involves building a bridge over the railway tracks and continuing it on a flyover to meet up with Woodbridge Road via Mary Road and Leas Road, putting the Millbrook stretch in a tunnel emerging in Onslow Street before York Road roundabout and making Farnham Road Bridge one-way into the town centre.

    This is explained in a sketch linked to my website that could be found by searching for ‘revamp guildford gyratory’.

    I hope the councils explore these ideas. They are holistic and include relocation of the bus station and bus routes designed to connect the railway station and serve the town centre equally well, thus achieving a truly integrated transport hub.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    April 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Silence on this matter from Guildford Dragon readers is deafening.

    Whether the readers support my suggestion or not, I would have expected some reaction but it seems pedestrian safety in Bridge Street has a much lower priority when green belt issues are threatening the majority of NIMGREEBs and dominating the number of postings.

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