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Letter: First Step For a New Vision Is A Traffic-free Town Centre

Published on: 7 May, 2020
Updated on: 7 May, 2020

From Bibhas Neogi

In response to: In Our Vision for Guildford, We Would Love to See…

To achieve the vision for Guildford portrayed in this letter, a traffic-free town centre has to be created.

This could be done if the stretch of the road between York Road roundabout down to the junction of Quarry Street and Shalford Road is made into an underground route. The surface route would still be available for buses, taxis, emergency vehicles and, of course, for pedestrians and cyclists.

It is technically possible but delays and disruption during construction should be better managed provided a bypass tunnel is also constructed between Shalford Park area to Parkway on the A25 (Stoke Park) with a link to Artington on the A3100 and another link to the A248, Broadford Road junction of the A281.

Funding of road infrastructure in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19 will inevitably be delayed until the country recovers financially, but looking ahead there is no reason why longer-term planning couldn’t be progressed.

The “Great Wall of Guildford” in Solum’s development of the railway station site, unfortunately, blocks Guildford Vision Group’s solution of diverting traffic from the town centre.

An alternative route crossing the railway further north could provide the much-needed new east-west route to relieve congestion on Farnham Road Bridge.

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Responses to Letter: First Step For a New Vision Is A Traffic-free Town Centre

  1. Bill Dewey Reply

    May 7, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Waste if time as the Guildford Society will block it as they block everything else. Guildford will never be modernised whilst the old generation reigns.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      May 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      That’s a bit harsh. If the GSoc objects this does not prevent the “planners” going ahead.

      My personal view is they should bite the bullet and put an A3 tunnel, Gosden to Compton and get rid of all through traffic including that coming from Waverley new proposed developments and improve the link from Compton to Bramley and a new link to the A25 via Gosden Hill.

      Once all the traffic not wishing to enter Guildford has other routes, I suspect the need for redesign of the town centre would be considerably less.

      • Bibhas Neogi Reply

        May 8, 2020 at 4:49 pm

        There had been a lot of discussions on the idea of an A3 tunnel from Gosden Hill to Compton some 7 years ago here on Guildford Dragon NEWS.

        I said in one of my comments that followed my letter that “Mr Allen appears to have not accepted the point I made that an A3 tunnel from Burpham to Compton, costing around £1.8 billion, would be prohibitively expensive. It could not be justified as costs would be many more times the benefits likely to be accrued.”

        I am not do not know whether a link from Compton to Bramley has been considered by the council. A link from the A3 to the A25 already exists via the A247 but only with a south-facing on-slip. Provision of an off-slip from the A3 would improve the junction. I believe Highways England is planning for an all-directional junction in this area.

        A link between the A281 and the A3 on the NE sector is likely to be more useful in alleviating congestion on the A281 rather than a Bramley to Compton link. Existing roads from the A281 via the A248 Broadford Road, the A3100 Portsmouth Road and the B3000 New Pond Road provide this connection although quite substandard for the peak volume of traffic. However, this route could be improved more easily that a brand new route through the countryside.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    May 7, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    The Guildford Society has no power to block any development or planning proposals.

    Many members of G Soc are also members and supporters of Guildford Vision Group. GVG has been pro-active and with the Society has contributed in many aspects of the draft Local Plan and the evolving town centre masterplan.

    GVG got town planners, Allies and Morrison, to produce a vision for Guildford and the council has in fact taken this on board. The Guildford Society works closely with GVG, so it is an unfair criticism that the Society opposes everything.

    The older generation gives their time freely, as many are able to volunteer and bring their expertise gained in their respective fields.

    I am a retired engineer. I have given my time freely to promote possible solutions to Guildford traffic problems, the A3 widening and the bus station issues. I have set up websites to explain and describe various options. Many readers of The Guildford Dragon NEWS are aware of my proposals. I hope the councils are also aware of them and I hope they will examine and explore those that are worth developing.

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