Fringe Box



Highways England Confirms No Improvement Work On Deadly Junction

Published on: 8 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 8 Mar, 2019

‘Grim Reaper’ at the Beechcroft Drive junction with the A3, named the ‘deadly junction’ by residents.

Highways England has confirmed in an exclusive statement to The Guildford Dragon NEWS that it “will not be moving forward with any work in the Beechcroft Drive area”.

This definitive statement from Highways England follows years of campaigning by the Beechcroft Drive residents for an alternative access. Residents consider the existing junction with the A3 to be “uniquely dangerous”. (See also No Agreement On Solution For Beechcroft Drive ‘Deadly Junction’ in January 2019).

Members of the Beechcroft Drive Residents’ Association, with Guildford MP Anne Milton, met with Highways England representatives in November 2018 at Highways England’s headquarters in Walnut Tree Close, Guildford.

Highways England said at the meeting: “We cannot proceed with the alternative access (for Beechcroft Drive) because it will be unaffordable.”

Highways England also said: “Beechcroft Drive is a private road not adopted by any highways authority road and this creates a unique situation.”

The Beechcroft Drive residents now dispute that.

They have cited Ash Grove, just a mile north on the A3 in Guildford, as a similar example to Beechcroft Drive.

Beechcroft Drive junction with the A3 showing the gap in the road’s central reservation for southbound access for the residents.

In a statement issued on March 5, Beechcroft Drive residents said that in 2003 Highways England provided an alternative access for Ash Grove via Cathedral Hill on the Guildford Business Park. The work was understood to include about 200m of new road over private land and the adoption of the whole of Ash Grove, including the non-public part.

Arjen Naafs, who chairs the Beechcroft Drive Residents’ Association, said: “With this, the residents’ association debunks the claim that it has never been done before and it is legally too complicated. Solutions do exist, and Highways England has been too quick to dismiss alternative access. Highways England should stop hiding behind legal smoke screens.

“Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council need to consider learning from the Ash Grove example that adoption may be a way forward.”

Guildford MP Anne Milton.

MP Anne Milton, who has supported the residents’ campaign, has been quoted as saying that the Beechcroft Drive junction with the fast moving A3 is “probably one of the most dangerous junctions in the country”.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS has asked Anne Milton for her reaction to the Highways England statement.

A spokesperson for Highways England in a statement on March 6 to The Guildford Dragon NEWS said: “We keep safety on the A3 continually under review and have met with residents of Beechcroft Drive in Guildford on several occasions to discuss their concerns about this A3 junction.

“After our last meeting in November we undertook a thorough investigation of the junction to assess whether any improvements were needed. Following careful examination, we found that closing the gap would not enhance safety and would lead to delays for drivers who’d be required to use the resulting diversion. In reaching this decision we also considered the views expressed by the residents at our previous meetings, which we thank them for.”

In background information, the spokesperson added: “Highways England will not be moving forward with any work in the Beechcroft Drive area, which we have communicated to all interested parties. Highways England is currently installing average speed cameras on the A3 around Beechcroft Drive which will help to smooth the flow of traffic, reduce speed and improve safety on the northbound approach to Guildford.”

The full statement from Highways England is provided below.

The full statement from Highways England to The Guildford Dragon NEWS (email on March 6, 2019). Click on the image to enlarge it in a new window.


Share This Post

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 *