Fringe Box



Letter: An A3 Tunnel? Consider These Factors

Published on: 17 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 17 Jul, 2021

From: Jim Allen

In response to: Guildford’s MP Asks PM for an A3 Tunnel – Boris Agrees to Look Into It

Here are some factors to consider when pondering the proposal for an A3 tunnel:

  1. 50% of traffic on the A3 goes straight through Guildford (source MoT traffic census), a tunnel is the best option.
  2. Tunnel disruption will be zero if it goes from Gosden Hill to Compton, the most logical start/finish points.
  3. There will be a need for four lanes in both directions in 20/30 years time, The tunnel is the only way to increase capacity. The decision need is ‘immediate’ because power lines are soon to be upgraded, sewers are being enlarged and rerouted, and potential development on sites by the logical entrance will be directly affected by this decision.
  4. Widening the A3 is not an option (as stated by Highways England) as it fails to provide the required capacity.
  5. Tunnels in the middle of Guildford would cause untold congestion for years and not solve A3 problems.
  6. Public transport is not a solution; buses each carry an average of 11 passengers across the county so less than 15%. Cars carrying two passengers is at 50% carry capacity.
  7. “Active travel” walking and cycling never was and never will be able to significantly provide a solution because of the convenience, especially in wet weather, of motor transport.

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Responses to Letter: An A3 Tunnel? Consider These Factors

  1. Mark Bray-Parry Reply

    July 18, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Is Mr Allen really saying that cars are more efficient because they are closer to their carry capacity? That is nonsensical. Using the same average car and bus passenger figures Mr Allen provided, it would take six cars to transport the same number of people as a single bus.

    How is that more efficient, either financially or environmentally?

    Mark Bray-Parry is a spokesperson for The Green Party

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    July 18, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Well said Jim Allen.

    Regardless of changes from oil/petrol-powered vehicles to electric (or even Hydrogen), folk will still want to have a personal means of transport that allows them to carry up to four or five passengers, carry domestic loads and travel medium to long distances. In short, they will still want a “motor car” and we need to accommodate that.

    I very much doubt that many people would want to go back to say 1930s mobility, where mass individual mobility was rare and folk seldom travelled more than a few miles from their homes.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 21, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I would like to respond to Jim Allen’s points.

    1. 50% of traffic goes straight through Guildford but how does that translate into a tunnel and not another western bypass or on-line widening?

    2. Tunnel disruption will be zero – well where is the spoil from the two 9km tunnels going to go without using the existing road network?

    3. What is the basis for this traffic forecast?

    4. When did Highways England state that A3 widening fails to provide the required capacity? I must have missed that important announcement.

    5. Tunnels in the middle of Guildford would serve different purposes – one a bypass route between the A281 and the A25 and the other to make the town centre pedestrian friendly.

    6. All modes of transport would have to be considered. Greater use of buses would only come about when heavily subsidised.

    In Guildford a transport hub with the railway station is needed and the opportunity must not be missed. The North Street development would have to deal with the existing bus station. I have written to St Edwards about advantages of relocating it on Bedford Road surface car park site.

    7. The only point on which I totally agree with Jim Allen.

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