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Letter: Apologies For My Victor Meldrew Moment

Published on: 22 May, 2013
Updated on: 22 May, 2013

Gyratory LetterFrom Bibhas Neogi

I’m sorry if my response to Paul Rogers was too critical. I apologise. I must have been suffering from a Victor Meldrew moment. I would like to attempt to answer some of the points raised.

1. Public consultation was carried out by GBC on Debenhams subway and the overwhelming response was to close it. The subway was not liked, out of hours anti-social activities were a concern, water seeping through was a maintenance problem and the ramps were non-compliant etc.

The Police were also in favour of closing it. It has been filled in with concrete and probably cannot be re-opened. I did ask SCC but got no reply. In any case, for all users to use a subway, Disability Discrimination Act’s requirements mean that the ramps have to have maximum 1 in 20 slopes. There isn’t room for such ramps.

Since there was the at-grade crossing working in tandem with the subway, GBC took the descision to do away with the subway and widen the crossing. The wider area of the crossing required the removal of the ramps and the steps. GBC could have retained the subway and relocated the steps only and then it would have worked OK with at grade crossing in tandem. The subway would have had to remain closed out of hours to reduce anti-social activities.

2. What would be put in its place if the A31 pedestrian crossing was removed? The subway currently exits to the east near the YMCA & Wey House entrances. Pedestrians cross here to go towards Portsmouth Road and others to the car park on the west side of Farnham Bridge. There is not much room on the west footway of Park Street for an access to this subway to be constructed. It would also be very disruptive during construction and cost a fair amount (certainly could not be funded within a £5m budget).

3. At the mini roundabout junction during peak period out of 500 vehicles, 400 go to Guildford Park Road and the rest goes to Farnham Road (GBC/SCC traffic study 2005?). So there is no advantage by widening the junction.

4. I cannot see how lengthening the yellow boxes helps. Motorists shouldn’t enter the box area unless their exit is clear. The clear area is the other side of the boxed area. If the exit is not clear, the car will still be sitting on the lengthened yellow box.

Yes, camera would help to catch the violators but whilst it deters the regular motorists from committing the same mistake again, it does not help with busting the congestion since traffic from Walnut Tree Close finds it difficult to join this lane. As far as I am aware, there are no yellow boxed area near Weatherspoons.

5. Widening Onslow Street near the Police Station to allow a freeflow lane to Woodbridge Road would not achieve much. Woodbridge Road effectively becomes a single lane road with nearside lane occupied by parked vehicles beyond the junction with Leas Road.

6. Re-sequencing lights to restrict entry on to the gyratory will effectively lead to building up of traffic on the approach roads. Overall there will be no real gain as the cumulative dead time between phases would increase with shorter cycles and more of them.

7. Traffic exiting Walnut Tree Close could be given a very short phase but this lane in Bridge Street usually remains full and traffic would still find it difficult to join it.

8. Pedestrians dislike walking longer distances than absolutely necessary and would take risks by crossing the road where they shouldn’t. So it would not be easy to find alternative crossings with a view to reducing their numbers.

It would be interesting to see other suggestions.

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