Fringe Box



Letter: Councils Should Pursue Park & Ride Access From The A3

Published on: 1 Oct, 2012
Updated on: 12 Oct, 2012

From Bibhas Neogi

The A3 widening scheme has been suspended following cuts in the road programme. So now the current access to the Onslow Park and Ride can only be independently progressed by Guildford Borough Council (GBC) from the signalised hospital junction. But it is far from the ideal solution. Surrey County Councils and GBC, if not doing so already, should actively pursue the case with The Highways Agency for access to the planned Park & Ride from the A3.

The problem of the A31 traffic merging with the A3 and the traffic that would be leaving the A3 for the Park & Ride must be resolved. Also the potential conflict between, or congestion caused by, traffic leaving the new Park & Ride and merging with the A3 near the existing off-slip could cause additional problems.

The scheme for the widening of the A3 could take these factors on board and a design for the access and egress to and from this Park & Ride could be formulated in such a way that all conflicts are resolved. I have indicated a possible solution on my web site that could also be viewed directly by accessing the link below-

Access to the Onslow Park & Ride should be a two-lane road the nearside lane continuing as entrance. The offside lane would carry on towards the off-slip to the Tesco roundabout. The Park & Ride exit would first turn left and form the nearside lane of this road and then diverge and merge with the A3 as a new on-slip whilst the nearside lane would carry on and join the existing off-slip at about halfway along its alignment. The area at the beginning of the existing off-slip of course would become redundant and would allow the new on-slip to be located here instead.

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Responses to Letter: Councils Should Pursue Park & Ride Access From The A3

  1. Bernard Parke

    October 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    The road system is controlled by the County not the Borough.

    The problem is there is too much through traffic. Much of which would like to by-pass Guildford altogether.

    The area in question has become more of a traffic bottleneck since the Hindhead Tunnel has opened.

    This new park and ride system will make the problem worse and will only benefit The University who will gain a new car park at our expense and another town bus service.

    As I have said before, it was decreed that the University should expand after the A3 was re-routed.

    Unfortunately, the incoming government in 1997 put a moratorium on all major road building schemes.

    • Bibhas Neogi

      October 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Yes, County Councils are the Highway Authorities for roads within their county boundaries except for trunk roads and motorways. Although Counties would be well aware of congestion and problem areas within their Counties, Borough Councils need to actively engage with the County Councils and impress upon them the urgency of their cases so that the Counties could justly prioritize their schemes and bid for funds from the central government.

      Re-routing of the A3 would be a very expensive scheme and I doubt it will ever satisfy the justification criteria for progressing such a scheme. It has to have benefits over cost ratio of more than 1.0 and satisfy quite stringent EU environmental assessment requirements.

      A 10 metre strip of land alongside the north boundary of the A3 has been reserved for its widening. It is a lot easier to widen along existing corridor compared with a completely new route with all the attendant planning process and public inquiry etc.

      The University would not necessarily benefit in the way it has been suggested as it has adequate parking for its visitors. The Park and Ride site is not within a convenient walking distance of the destinations within the University campus and therefore unlikely to draw a large number of such users.

      The Park and Ride would certainly reduce the number of cars going into the town centre. Its access from Egerton Road would allow the scheme to progress now and hopefully the additional ingress from the A3 and egress to it in due course would provide a wholesome solution.

      Road programme changes every time a new government comes into being but it is not quite true to say that a moratorium was placed on all major road building after 1997. The A3 widening scheme(A31 to A247) was to have #40m funding but the scheme was suspended under the current(2010) cut back to the roads programme.

  2. Bernard Parke

    October 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

    The widening of the A3 will not find favour with the residents of Onslow Village.

    We live a good mile from this urban motorway but the noise of the traffic from there is considerable.

    When the extension of the University was planned it was said that there would be no extra car movements as cars would not be allowed on the site.

    Currently, university personnel tend to park in Onslow causing distress to residents.

    Perhaps this problem would be resolved with the proposed new Park & Ride car park.

  3. Bibhas Neogi

    October 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    The strip of land along the north of the A3 reserved for possible widening does not have any residential properties on it. Widening of the A3 would probably utilise the land in the central reserve as well. The scheme was only in its early stage when funding was taken away, so no information is available as to what the Highways Agency would have proposed for the improvements. It is not inconceivable that the highway boundary on the south side would remain as it is. Widening would relieve daily congestion suffered by the travellers and would actually reduce noxious emissions that spoil the air quality around Onslow village. If the scheme is resurrected, we would no doubt hear Onslow Village residents’ views on the scheme and not prematurely assume anything negative from one person’s point of view on this.

    Noise pollution is a separate issue. Environmental barriers had been provided in the past by the Highways Agency along here. However, widening would not be responsible for the increase in traffic nor for any additional traffic noise, it is the increase in volume of traffic that would add to the noise. Other measures like quieter running surface and speed restrictions could be used to reduce noise.

    If the Park and Ride is specifically meant to serve only those people going into the town centre, some degree of control may be exercised by having restricted bus stops along the route. For example, the first stop might be at the western entrance to the railway station. As far as I am aware, parking on the streets of Onslow Village is restricted but if the Park and Ride is used instead by some it would not be a bad thing either. However, they face a pretty long walk to the University from there!