Fringe Box



Guildford Lib Dems Call For Speed Cameras On A3 Accident Spot

Published on: 28 Dec, 2014
Updated on: 11 Jan, 2015
Guildford Lib Dems calling for speed cameras to be installed on the A3 at Guildford, from left: Fiona White, Kelly-Marie Blundell, David Goodwin, Mark xx and Julia McShane.

Guildford Lib Dems calling for speed cameras to be installed on the A3 at Guildford, pictured from left: Fiona White, Kelly-Marie Blundell, David Goodwin, Mark Chapman and Julia McShane.

Guildford’s Liberal Democrats are calling for speed cameras to be installed on the A3 in light of ‘a sustained period of accidents and traffic congestion’ locally.

Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Kelly-Marie Blundell.

Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Kelly-Marie Blundell.

The move, made by the Lib Dem’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford Kelly-Marie Blundell, and fellow Guildford Lib Dem councillors, are urging the Highways Agency to take action.

In a statement, Kelly-Marie Blundell, said: “The road, which from the Burpham interchange to the A31 exit is 50 miles per hour, has seen increased traffic congestion and a number of critical and fatal accidents in recent months.”

They are asking people to sign a petition on supporting the introduction of speed cameras along the stretch which, they say, is most often the scene of accidents.

County Cllr Fiona White, whose division covers Westborough and part of Onslow, helped launch the campaign. She said: “Every time there is an incident on the A3, local roads are jammed and residents spend extra time sitting in traffic trying to do a short journey.

County councillor Fiona White.

County councillor Fiona White.

“Speed cameras and safety signs may not solve all the problems, but they will remind drivers to take more care through this stretch of the A3.”

Kelly-Marie Blundell, added: “I am deeply saddened by the number of deaths we have seen on the A3 in recent years, and it is true to say the congestion and high numbers of collisions have increased. We must do something swiftly to tackle the problem.

“While there is hope of improvements of in the next 10 years, paid for by the extra government money, the problems for people driving through Guildford are happening now.”

County and borough Cllr David Goodwin, whose division covers the Onslow side of the A3, said: “Too often residential roads through Onslow and the rest of Guildford are filled with traffic trying to avoid the A3 after incidents, and everyone suffers. We need to see action taken now, and speed cameras will go a long way to assisting.”

Cllr David Goodwin.

Cllr David Goodwin.

Share This Post

Responses to Guildford Lib Dems Call For Speed Cameras On A3 Accident Spot

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    December 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

    The introduction of speed cameras to enforce a 50mph limit would indeed help to act as a road safety measure and such a move deserves unquestionable support from the public.

    However, at many times during the day due to heavy congestion motorists are lucky to achieve as much as five miles per hour.

    We must not forget there are also other immediate measures that can make life more bearable for residents and many of these have been well aired in your columns.

    We must not also forget that there are elections coming up in in May and many proposed policies seem to fade as the morning mist when the votes have been counted.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 29, 2014 at 10:40 am

    The speed limit of 50mph is actually from Stoke Road junction to the A31. Speed cameras and warning signs would certainly improve safety but speed is not always the cause of accidents.

    Driving without due care and attention, congestion causing frustration and leading to irrational behaviour, rash change in direction and cutting in to get into the off-slip at the last moment are some of the reasons for accidents.

    Reducing congestion would require increasing road capacity through widening and new links and/or bypasses where possible but these measures take time. Installation of speed cameras and warning signs could be done quite quickly together with some specific measures at risky junctions.

    For the A31 northbound merge with the A3, the speed could be reduced from 50mph to 40mph and speed cameras installed. An advisory sign to ‘zip merging’ sometimes used in road works should be considered. The same could be considered for the southbound A3 merge of the on-slip from Dennis round about junction.

    Elsewhere lane markings to prohibit last minute cutting across towards the off-slip lane could be considered i.e. the broken lane markings changed to a solid white line on the approach to off-slip making it a traffic offence to cross it (this may require DfT making changes to its standards).

    In the meantime, let’s hope The Highways Agency is going ahead full steam in developing improvement schemes for the A3 through Guildford.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    December 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    The 50mph speed limit does not start until the railway bridge over the A3 approaching the Wooden Bridge interchange heading south some mile from the Burpham interchange. Perhaps when making comments people should check their facts first.

    Considering the problems of this two-lane carriageway, perhaps it would be better to start slowing the southbound traffic at the Clay Lane bridge (no need northbound) during rush hours and times of ‘traffic investigation’ and late arrival of ‘breakdown trucks’.

    Perhaps the answer is simply for the council/highways to provide a ‘vehicle removal service’ along this section, so that fours hours worth of traffic does not clog the road like the other Friday.

    Noting 5,000-plus motorist polluting the area by sitting with engines running is far more important to clear than one ‘bent/ broken motor vehicle’ which could be dragged aside by the first Chelsea tractor that comes along.

    Simple common sense procedures could well solve the problems today rather waiting until five year’s time or attempting to fine motorists for simply existing.

  4. Martin Elliott Reply

    December 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Yes its dreadful, but apart from a statistically insignificant blip in accident numbers, where’s the evidence that speed cameras and more signs will do anything.

    For every study which ‘proves’ ‘speed/safety’ cameras reduce accidents there will be another which attributes the change to statistical smoke and mirrors or other significant factors.

    Speeding might increase the severity of an accident but it doesn’t cause an accident. That comes from inappropriate speed and lack of driving ability. Inappropriate speed is often lower than the speed limit due to weather or congestion.

    Rather than tinkering (yes it’s an election soon) how about accelerating the studies and proposals to improve all the road systems around Guildford so that it’s fit for the demands recently measured by automatic road surveys.

    All the arguments given are entirely qualitative. No true data is given. Where are the results of the recent survey covering this section of the A3? How often is it free flowing compared to congested (speed?) with and without accidents?

    How much traffic really does speed (eg 50mph), and does it meet GBC/SCC/HA/HUK criteria for speed cameras?

    • Jim Allen Reply

      December 31, 2014 at 9:32 am

      I agree with Martin Elliott, let’s get on with it.

      There should be enough knowledge and data ‘on tap’ to know what needs to be done. It is simply final design which is not available, so why take five years to solve the problem?

      One must, of course, raise the very basic question to get the A3 sorted: day working (blocking the rush hour traffic), night working (keep locals awake), or 24 hour working (get the job done as soon as possible)?

      My preference would be to arrange diversions as far back as the M25 and M27 and locally changing priorities of junctions and work 24/7 and cut the time in half for doing the job.

      The location of road safety (accident) data for the A3 is at

      You will need to be able to use Excel or preferably msaccess or similar programs to use this ‘raw’ data and a computer with large amount of data handling memory.

      The locations in the data set can be identified and converted to maps by typing in “lat long mapping” into Google and choose your program.

  5. Frank Phillipson Reply

    December 31, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Regarding Mr Elliot’s comments re speed cameras, drivers travelling at lower speeds are more able to contend with other’s poor driving such as cutting in and last minute changes of direction etc.

    If he thinks that speed cameras don’t work then I suggest he travels along the A3 Kingston Bypass, the A316 from the end of the M3 into Richmond/Kew or the A24 south of its junction with the A272. Traffic on these main roads slows at every camera site, and whilst there is some speeding up between cameras, the overall speed is kept relatively near to the speed limit.

    The following suggestions could possibly help reduce the number of conflicting movements and congestion:-

    On the A3 southbound between the off-slip for Burpham (where the start of lower speed limit should be introduced!) and the off-slip for the Stoke Road junction, “Lane 1” of the 3 lane section becomes the off-slip lane for the junction.

    This means that users of “Lane 1” (probably less confidant drivers) have to cross to “Lane 2” which becomes “Lane 1” of the 2 lane section.

    This manoeuvre conflicts with vehicles in Lanes 2 & 3 trying to cross over to exit the A3. By terminating “Lane 3” to merge into “Lane 2”, faster vehicles in this lane would be forced to reduce speed and “Lane 1” would be maintained throughout.

    Between the M25 at Wisley and the A3/A31 junction, “variable speed limits” on the A3, such as on the M25”, could help slow down and regulate southbound traffic according to the congestion at the junctions and the two lane section in the Guildford area.

    Also southbound on the A3, it may help to extend the on-slip from Dennis’s Roundabout (A25/A322) southwards toward the railway bridge (there appears to be land adjacent to Ash Grove) and the on-slip from the Cathedral Roundabout southwards (there is a wide central reservation on the bridge over Edgerton Rd., at this point) to assist traffic joining the A3.

    On the Northbound A3 the exit and on slips at the Tesco/Hospital junction are both very short. Lengthening them (there appears to be adequate land adjacent and within the highway boundaries to do this) would give more time for drivers to plan to exit/join the A3.

    The on slip is especially short with regard to visibility of northbound traffic on the A3 coming down Stag Hill. Drivers stop in the slip lane or attempt to join the A3 when it isn’t clear forcing other road users to brake or take avoiding action.

    The northbound off-slip to Dennis’s Roundabout could be extended southwards which again would give more time for drivers to plan their exit.

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      January 2, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      I agree with most of the comments made by Frank Phllipson. However, forcing lane 3 to merge with lane 2 and thus reducing the A3 to a single lane southbound and lane 1 becoming a dedicated off-slip to Stoke Road junction, is not the solution for the volume of southbound traffic at peak times.

      In the current configuration, this off-slip is separated by wide double white lines from Lane 2, and these further widen up to make the nosing between the slip road and the main carriageway.

      My suggestion was to stop speeding lane 3 traffic cutting across lane 2 (and lane 1 as well of a three lane carriageway) and heading for the off-slip too late, was to paint a solid white line instead of usual lane markings between lanes 2 and 3 on the approach to off-slips everywhere including motorways. This then would prohibit lane 3 traffic crossing over to lane 2 too late on the approach to the junction. As I said this may require DfT to change the standards.

      Variable speed limits are a good idea and I had suggested their use for the northbound traffic approaching Guildford after opening of the Hindhead Tunnel. I accept that monitoring is required to implement these effectively and therefore might not be cost-effective, unlike the M25, on the A3 with much shorter period of peak traffic.

      Lengthening off-slips and on-slips wherever possible should be done but there are constraints within the Guildford stretch. The Highways Agency (HA) would have now the opportunity to address these issues. Widening of Egerton Road bridge and Deerbarn railway bridge, both carrying the A3 would certainly help.

      I believe there is a suggestion by The Guildford Society to create a lane from Dennis roundabout to the cathedral roundabout to carry the local traffic.

      Ideas for widening of the A3 and making the junctions safer are on my website. I have on many occasions posted my ideas here on The Guildford Dragon News such as the posting in September 2012,-

      We hope The HA would come up with their schemes in the shortest possible time and improve traffic movements on the A3 and achieve long awaited freer flow of traffic through Guildford.

      On another note, does anyone know what is happening with the funds received via M3 LEP for the gyratory improvements?

  6. Frank Phillipson Reply

    December 31, 2014 at 1:57 am

    PS. It’s not very safe to have the photo taken sitting on the crash barrier with their backs into the A3 carriageway!

  7. Bernard Parke Reply

    January 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Many of the visionary ideas are just that, and if they actually saw the light of day we would have to wait many years.

    Credit should be given to the local Liberal Democrats who have proposed a safety measure which if implicated would save lives.

    Politics is one thing, common sense is another.

  8. Colin Cross Reply

    January 5, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Actually the density of A3 traffic demands it should be 50mph from Godalming to Cobham, as of tomorrow.

    Minimal cost, maximum saving of lives. Let’s do it.

  9. Frank Phillipson Reply

    January 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Mr Neogi has misunderstood what I have said.
    I am suggesting that Lanes 1 & 2 of the three lane section should continue and be Lanes 1 & 2 of the two lane section. At present Lane 1 of the three lane section becomes the off slip to the Stoke Junction. Instead of Lane 1 disappearing I was suggesting Lane 3 should merge into Lane 2 shortly before the 3 lane section becomes 2 lanes.

    The A3 bridge over Egerton Road has a wide central reservation which would allow realigning the A3 lanes to allow extended slip roads.

    With a (costly) widening of the A3 bridge over the railway on the southbound side, the on-slip at Dennis’s R-a-Bout could be linked to the off slip at the Cathedral junction forming an additional lane for local traffic and provide greater scope for vehicles to join or leave the A3.

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      January 6, 2015 at 6:28 am

      In reply to Frank Phillipson, what you are suggesting would effectively reduce three lanes to two and remove the dedicated off-slip.

      This would increase congestion and it goes against design methodology of road junctions. At junctions where a large volume of traffic leaves the carriageway, it is customary to provide dedicated off-slips and the continuing carriageway loses a lane. This is what now exists at Stoke Road junction.

      Similarly where a large volume of traffic joins a carriageway, the on-slip continues as a lane gain such as on the northbound at Stoke Road junction.

      Egerton Road bridge could be widened but would need strengthening as the areas outside of the carriageway were not designed for traffic loading. Deerbarn bridge over the railway would most probably need replacing, so widening at the same time would be possible without being unduly costly.

      Creating a local lane from Dennis roundabout would use the existing on-slip and the nearside lane could continue as a local lane to the cathedral roundabout. This is what I believe The Guildford Society had suggested. But long before that the A3 widening options of the early 1990s had considered such schemes but changes to the road programme meant that these did not progress. I was the head of structures of SE Network Management of the Highways Agency at the time and hence I am aware of the problems and history of road works in this area.

  10. Frank Phillipson Reply

    January 12, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I don’t know what Mr Neogi is going on about. The A3 is already reduced from three lanes to two at this location!

    He says it is “customary” to provide a dedicated off slip. It isn’t mandatory and I would suggest that local circumstances might make it acceptable.

    [Mr Phillipson is a retired Surrey County Council highway engineer for north-west Surrey]

    • Jim Allen Reply

      January 12, 2015 at 11:28 am

      And therein lies the problem – Surrey Highways always considers local conditions ‘make it acceptable’. What a standard catchall, meaningless phrase.

      If they started to live in the real world and actually looked at the local conditions perhaps the majority of road problems would melt into the sunset.

      Just some of the ‘local conditions’ off the A3 which rebound on to the A3 every day:

      Dual cycle lane from the Spectrum (unused bus lane and footpath).

      Varying ‘special’ bus lane Woodbridge Road – sometimes HGV, sometimes goods vehicles, sometimes taxi sometimes 7.5ton and cycles.

      Stoke Road bus lanes – used less than eight minutes per hour.

      No repeater traffic signals coming out of B&Q and adjacent stores on Ladymead.

      Extended light timing at Burpham pedestrian crossings – stopping traffic leaving the area

      Cycle paths blocked by overgrowth of bushes, etc.

      That’s just for starters – now we have a pedestrian underpass being closed before improvements to a pedestrian crossing near a local school.

      What chance do we have with ‘considering local conditions’ being considered?

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      January 12, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      I must say I am a little puzzled by Mr Phillipson’s comments. The A3 reduces to two lanes beyond this junction i.e. when traffic on lane 1 has left at this junction. To merge lane 3 with lane 2 before this happens means all traffic would be on lanes 1 and 2 and the exiting traffic would have to leave from lane 1. Putting three lanes of traffic into two can only cause congestion.

      Consider the situation when the slip road is experiencing very heavy traffic as it does during peak periods and the queue backs up the slip road and extends into lane 1, traffic that wants to continue on the A3 gets trapped in this queue. I fail to see how such an arrangement would be an improvement!

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *