Fringe Box



Guildford Alderman Raises Park & Ride Concerns

Published on: 12 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2017

A Guildford alderman and former mayor has highlighted the failure of the Onslow Park & Ride scheme which he says is costing council tax payers over £300,000 each year.

The Park & Ride scheme at Onslow cost over £8 million to set up, partly using county council funding that would have been lost if the scheme had not gone ahead.

County Cllr Fiona White (Lib Dem, Guildford West) and local residents made their concerns, about the possible impact on local traffic and the unlikelihood of high usage by those working or shopping in the town while there was no direct access from the A3, clear at the time.

The new passenger waiting room at Onslow Park & Ride – but no passengers.

They pointed out that without a dedicated slip road the round and about route, via the already busy Egerton Road, necessary to reach the car park, would take too much time for the parking alternative to attract many motorists.

Hon Alderman Bernard Parke

Hon Alderman Bernard Parke wrote: “I believe it is about four years or more since the Onslow Park & Ride car park started using shuttles but it was never properly finished.c”

It is suspected that Guildford Borough Council is reluctant to put the barriers into operation because it would mean that many of the current users, believed to be hospital and university workers, would be excluded and the car park left with few users.

Parke continued: “The long-awaited passenger terminal has been completed but the barriers are still not in operation and there are many cars parked there daily which I believe are not Park & Ride users. So many cars parking free of charge must also be a considerable loss of revenue.

“Every hour there are eight shuttle bus journeys…”

“Every hour there are eight shuttle bus journeys, many of which do not carry any passengers at all. The buses add not only to pollution but also to the congestion of the sixth most congested town in the UK.

“The last cost to council tax payers sent to me was over £300,000, £100,000 more that the Artington service.

“I have asked the council now that, at last, the passenger terminal is in place, is there a date for the operation of the entrance barriers?”

Cllr Fiona White commented today (Jun 12, 2017): “I think that Bernard Parke is right to raise concerns about the installation of the barriers.

“I have no problem with the site being used by the hospital and university for staff parking but that should be on a managed basis, possibly with them purchasing spaces to offset the cost of the site to council tax payers. That might help to relieve some of the parking issues on residential roads in the area.”

Cllr Matt Furniss (Conservative, Christchurch), lead councillor for infrastructure at Guildford Borough Council, declined to comment.

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Responses to Guildford Alderman Raises Park & Ride Concerns

  1. Linda Cooper Reply

    June 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Why not send those buses to Alfold to take people to the shops in Guildford and RS hospital?

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    June 13, 2017 at 12:01 am

    “Modal shift” that’s what it is all meant to be about. But can someone please explain what “modal shift” means? Is it like the twilight shift only with shorter hours?

    Has the lead councillor for infrastructure lost his voice? Perhaps he could put pen to paper or depress some keys and explain to the Alderman and all of us just when this failed experiment will end?

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    June 13, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Perhaps it just means. “On your bike!”

  4. John Robson Reply

    June 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    The University of Surrey’s (UoS) Manor Park Development brief, which was part of the original planning consent in 2003, section 1.5 stated: “establishes the site as a predominantly car-free campus”.

    Given the foregoing, the Park & Ride was always going to fail from day one. It was designed to be used and has been used as an overflow Park for the UoS and the Royal Surrey: that’s why there is no direct access from the A3.

    Four years on, that’s also why the barriers haven’t been installed and even with this “free overflow park” the university’s car parking mission creep has continued unabated across Manor Park which is in a green belt setting.

    What happened to the “modal shift”? The amount of tarmac on manor park could have filled every pot hole in Surrey.

    The hospital has some of the highest car parking charges in the country, the UoS operates as a profitable business, yet again the hard pressed tax payer just picks up the tab.

    These funds could have been used for much-needed infrastructure elsewhere, this is a cynical abuse of taxpayer funds and one seemingly now endorsed by a Surrey County Councillor.

  5. Lisa Wright Reply

    June 13, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Perhaps the university could build some nice apartments on top of it instead of carving up Blackwell Farm for a new housing estate?

  6. Steve Smith Reply

    June 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    If lots of staff are parking there and walking to other places, where do they go once the barriers are in operation? The residential streets in the surrounding area most likely. Perhaps simply allowing people to pay to park there without using the bus would be a better idea? From what I hear its not the charges at the hospital that are the problem, its simply the lack of spaces.

  7. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 1, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    May I humbly suggest that the readers see my letter and comments that followed, to get the background of how the problem of under-use arose and what could possibly be done to improve matters in conjunction with the widening of the A3.

    The letter is in

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