Fringe Box



Letter: Alternative Cycle Paths

Published on: 21 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 21 Oct, 2023

Image of London Road taken in August 2022. Google Street View.

From: Niels Laub

In response to: We Do Need to Make Our Roads Safer for Cycling

If London Road was a nice wide road with plenty of room for segregated cycle paths, I would be very much in favour of it. But London Road is far too narrow and is also one of the main commuter routes in and out of Guildford, carrying commuters who will never convert to cycling because they simply travel too far.

How about improving all the cycle paths that already exist? Two of them are already designated cycle paths and one is part of the National Cycle Network. Here is an illustration showing three possible routes into town from Burpham. One already runs through Riverside Park and could connect with the new Weyside Urban Village.

Click on image to enlarge

One runs at the back of Weylea Farm and connects to the cycle routes in Parkway, and the third is a potential route running beside the railway line which could provide an essential link to the George Abbot School, the existing underpass, and the new development at Gosden Hill Farm.

None of these cycle paths involve work on existing roads. All of them provide less polluted, far safer, and more attractive routes for cyclists to and from the town. And they should be a lot cheaper and a lot quicker to build and cause absolutely no disruption to traffic during construction. A win-win situation.

What we need is a network of safe attractive cycle routes like these preferably kept well away from the existing traffic and pollution.

What we don’t want to do is to try and force everybody down an existing very busy route which accommodates commuter traffic which is unlikely ever to convert to cycling. Believe me, a Dutch-style roundabout will be a nightmare, causing more accidents, traffic congestion and air pollution.

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Responses to Letter: Alternative Cycle Paths

  1. Nick Holloay Reply

    October 21, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    What a Sensible comment.

    Truth and realism combined with creative practical thinking – brilliant ideas for a solution to the problem.

    It may be possible to put two, or even three of these schemes in for less than the cost of the proposed London Road plan.

    I also agree that a dutch roundabout would be dangerous because they are not easy to navigate, especially when you have not used one before and a lot of the traffic here would be new to this roundabout.

    London Road is too narrow and the plan is a compromise to attempt to overcome this basic shortcoming which fails.

  2. J Dickinson Reply

    October 21, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    As your Google Streetview image shows, there are already cycle lanes on this route. As they no longer meet the DfT’s required standard and government policy is very clear that Highways Authorities don’t have the option of removing cycle lanes AND keeping DfT highways funding (that’s for ALL highways schemes, not just cycle schemes ) how exactly do you think Surrey CC is going to maintain our highways without DfT funding?

  3. Bob Hughes Reply

    October 21, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    I was cycling in London for decades and want to get to my destination by the quickest route and safest route.

    London Road in Guildford is much safer, at roundabouts I merge with the traffic as I am wearing hi vis gear. I do divert onto the cycle lane through Sutherland Park coming home so that I do not slow the traffic on the main road although I wish that they would level it.

  4. Bethan Moore Reply

    October 23, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    I’m all for back road routes away from traffic where feasible, but I think, if I’ve read the map correctly, the proposed route next to the railway doesn’t exist in any sense at the moment. The council would have to buy up portions of backgardens and then build a path. Would this really be more cost effective?

    • Jim Allen Reply

      October 24, 2023 at 1:20 pm

      Yes! Anything would be better than deliberately increasing the cost of travel and deliberately causing congestion for everyone currently using London road

  5. Jim Allen Reply

    October 24, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    Yes! Anything would be better than deliberately increasing the cost of travel and deliberately causing congestion for everyone currently using London road

  6. Keith Reeves Reply

    October 24, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    I’m struggling to believe that the railway line route will ‘be a lot cheaper and a lot quicker to build’. Or is Mr Laub’s intention that a cycle path is created within the current Network Rail boundary? I suspect that their appetite for this would be non-existent for a host of reasons, not least of which would be the excavations into the toe of the embankment and the necessary engineering measures to maintain its stability. The cutting on the approach to London Rd Station would be even more interesting to tackle!
    Sometimes the temptation for the layperson with time on their hands to sit in front of a computer and draw lines on maps is best resisted.

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