Fringe Box



Letter: We Cannot Keep Throwing Away ‘Big Picture’ Opportunities

Published on: 29 Nov, 2015
Updated on: 29 Nov, 2015

From John Rigg, chairman of the Guildford Vision Group, in response to Geraint Jones’ letter  ‘We Must Keep The Option Of New Town Bridges Open’.

Mr Jones is right as far as we can say from the available evidence base (still more to come) .

John Rigg, GVG Chairman

John Rigg, GVG Chairman

We must seek to secure the wonderful wins revealed by the Allies & Morrison vision, but we must also have a working operational town.

The solution cannot be creating a Cold War split of East and West Berlin – in our case a town separated forever by rail, river, Solum, Guildford Park Road or Farnham Road Bridge barrier.

We cannot keep throwing away ‘big picture’ opportunities unless with the growth in the pipeline there are really no other options.

However, there appear to be opportunities, they are deliverable and open the way for so much that is exciting for our future.

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Responses to Letter: We Cannot Keep Throwing Away ‘Big Picture’ Opportunities

  1. George Dokimakis Reply

    November 30, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I agree with Mr Rigg. We need a proper vision for Guildford that looks at the “Big Picture” and drives this forward.

    We need to be clear though that there is no such thing yet being presented.

    We have seen a number of piecemeal proposals. One for the city [sic] centre and the river, another one for the station, one suggested for the Casino nightclub area, one for housing. All of these are simply piecemeal approaches that do not a coherent approach and vision for Guildford.

    We need a proper “Big Picture” for Guildford that will define what is acceptable or not and direct planning and investment in the borough.

    Until such time that one is produced, we have little fear of wasting away “opportunities”.

  2. Ben Paton Reply

    November 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

    ‘Big picture’ is one way of putting it. Another way would be to say Guildford should have a strategy.

    It is deeply ironic that Guildford Borough Council should have been led for some years by a group of Conservatives from Ash who have proclaimed the need for a ‘vision’ but which should countenance the use of this site for a non strategic purpose.

    Why is the council now keen to convert this essential car park into a site for council houses?

    It had not built any council houses for a long stretch of at least 20 years.

    It has 16% fewer council houses today than it had in 2000 – because it sells them off every year. So why now decide to change the use of this site?

    Sites for road bridges across the river are scarce. It is therefore a strategic site. To turn it into non strategic council housing – and further mess up the traffic system and seriously reduce future scope for traffic planning is a nonsense.

    Strategy? Vision? Big Picture? or Incompetence? Short term-ism? Quick fix?

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      December 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Did you mean sites for road bridges across the railway tracks? I would have thought sites for river crossings could be made at several points from Walnut Tree Close.

      • Ben Paton Reply

        December 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        Both. Crossing just the river or just the railway does not get one very far.

        • Bibhas Neogi Reply

          December 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

          Not quite. Depends how the road alignments are chosen. To achieve a route through to Woodbridge Road, it would be necessary to carry out removal of some buildings on both sides of Walnut Tree Close and to the east on Mary Road, Margaret Road and Woodbridge Road.

          The road on the bridge over the tracks could come down to Walnut Tree Close to a junction or a roundabout and then the route could proceed on a new bridge over the river. So the continuation need not necessarily be along the same straight line.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 24, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I have added a modified sketch to my website for the flyover from Guildford Park Road to Mary Road with reduced gradient that goes over Walnut Tree Close (WTC).

    I have revised the location for the bridge over the river from WTC to Leas Road that now goes past Aviva bus garage.

    Please see the sketch at

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      December 26, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Sorry about the typo – Arriva not Aviva bus depot.

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