Fringe Box



Letter: Bus Station Stakeholder Meetings Will Get Nowhere

Published on: 24 Mar, 2017
Updated on: 24 Mar, 2017

From Nick Norton

Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) candidate for the Shalford division in the forthcoming Surrey County Council elections and GGG’s spokesman on Infrastructure.

The proposal for stakeholder meetings [Bus Station Proposals – Council Announces Stakeholder Meeting Programme] seems yet another piecemeal activity focussing on the town commuting infrastructure that will be a talking shop, that will get nowhere.

It looks like the opening shot by the borough council in a wrangle with GVG over whose ideas hold sway in the town centre. Haven’t previous council leaders failed to get to grips with bus station and North Steet redevelopment?

As a result of Surrey County Council’s financial position, residents already suffer reduced bus services, and some school children now find themselves being driven to school in cars as school bus services have also been cut. Fewer bus services are forcing residents generally to consider getting back in a car for even short journeys.

Proposing the town as a ‘go to’ retail centre flies in the face of reality. When GGG looked at the 2015 Allies & Morrison Town Master Plan, we found no evidence for the increased retail and office floor space at the scale proposed. Today’s burgeoning ‘click & collect’ culture and online shopping militate against increased physical retail space and continuing poor commercial rents mean office developments such as Walnut Tree Park in Woodbridge Meadows remain unbuilt.

GGG proposed that such brownfield sites within the town could support an estimated 6,000+ high quality but high density residential units, including starter and retirement homes. It would protect all our countryside and could reduce inward commuting, unlike retail. It would put residents nearer employment and retail locations that can be reached by walking or cycling.

The time for talking is past. Why are we offered another four- week consultation exercise resulting in some indeterminate outcome? Guildford residents need to see the borough and county councils start to deliver real proposals on North Street, bus services and infrastructure.

We will be inviting all Surrey County Council candidates to give short statements in the run up to the election on May 4.

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Responses to Letter: Bus Station Stakeholder Meetings Will Get Nowhere

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    March 24, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    The GBC press release refers to “on street bus stops”.

    We had such bus stops in the past, but they not only caused confusion to travellers, they did a great deal to aggravate the traffic flows causing congestion.

    This is the reason why the current bus station was built. Why do we never learn from the past?
    It would save a lot of time and money.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    March 25, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    The reason we never learn from the past is, there are too many 20/30 somethings in managerial positions and to many 50/60 somethings put out to grass.

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