Fringe Box



Letter: Guildford Has Too Much Through Traffic

Published on: 13 Oct, 2012
Updated on: 13 Oct, 2012

From Bernard Parke

Hon Alderman

The time is 09.30 hours on a typical day on the Farnham Road ( A31).

Most of this traffic is not that of workers or shoppers but of drivers who are trying to gain access to other destinations.

Most of this will become congested traffic trying to access the A281 towards Horsham or Godalming via Bridge Street.

Other Godalming bound traffic at this time is trying a short cut via Wodeland Avenue and the narrow track known as Mount Pleasant .

The answer must be to tempt vehicles away from the town centre by using the other routes which already exist off of the hogs back.

Not only is there too much through traffic here, but also on the A3 from which at its most congested bottle neck it is planned to build a new park and ride site for just 550 cars. At a staggering eight million pounds.

It is obvious that the new park and ride will not be popular with motorists and residents alike, but is also a fact that this problem of through traffic must be addressed before any major plans are put in motion for central Guildford.

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Responses to Letter: Guildford Has Too Much Through Traffic

  1. Bibhas Neogi

    October 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    North to South and South to North traffic mostly use the A3 but there is not an equivalent route for the West to East bypassing Guildford town centre.

    A conventional route from the North of Guildford to the A281 is virtually impossible due to the topography of the land that lies in between. The only possible solution would be to construct a tunnel.

    A route from the South to the A281 would be slightly easier to achieve through Compton and Peasmarsh areas. A route from the West would again require to bypass the B3000 that is heavily congested due to its use as the primary connector between the A3 and the A31. B3000 is an unsuitable connector and a new road is needed that would connect the A31 to the A3. A link from this junction could connect with B3000 beyond Compton, albeit requiring some improvements, and on to the A3100 and a new link over the marshy land to the A281.

    All in all a lot of new roads and possibly a tunnel, a few bridges and a viaduct or two may be required to solve the traffic problems of Guildford. But because of the current financial climate we will have to wait a very long wait before much of this is possible.

    We could dream of a pedestrianised Onslow Street and a tree-lined Millbrook but the reality is that we have to do what is achievable now and that is to: remodel the gyratory; get Solum Regeneration to widen Walnut Tree Close(WTC); build the new road bridge and the footbridge over the tracks; relocate the bus station to Mary road car park; and build a new river bridge to take through northbound traffic via WTC to Woodbridge Road. To see how these fit in with a vision that is pragmatic and doable rather than a pipe dream, a visit to the web site may be useful.

  2. Jim Allen

    October 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Interesting comment but should we not put the horse in front of the cart and perhaps do what Petersfield has just done for a week? They have placed ANRC’s [recorders] on all entrance and exit routes. We should do the same to establish if Guildford is a “central visiting point” with cars returning back out the way they come or in fact the traffic is passing right through.

    We need to do this before we decide which roads need upgrading and which roads should have the stupid bus lanes removed. I counted over 40 cars on the Woking Road in single line past the council depot at 12:00 today when the bus lane was not operational (no one understands that they are timed) this alone was causing a massive tailback.

    So let’s find out where people are going first, then remove the unnecessary bus lanes and then try and decide what to do.

  3. Bernard Parke

    October 14, 2012 at 8:08 am

    New bridges, tunnels and roads,yes, but within all reality we are unlikely to see them in this next decade, at least. However, what we will see is the build up of congestion leading in many case to complete grid lock.

    The gyratory system was introduce as a quick fix forty years ago by County when they took over our streets. It decimated a valuable part of our unique town centre turning a central part of it to little more that a through road that splits the town.

    County believed the old Borough plan of a north south road was too expensive. However that was four decades ago.

    The A3 at the University junction was another disaster in its design.

    What can be done now to give us some interim relief? Perhaps, as I have said many times before, we should look again at our road direction signs.

    When approaching Guildford south bound along the A3, why is there no sign advising visitors that their is a nearby park and ride site?

    The traditional way into Guildford was via the London Road. Why is it now signed Merrow and Burpham, and Guildford three miles further along the A3? This takes traffic directly into heavily congested areas of Stoke and beyond to the University junction.

    This is one of many simple answers to help to some degree with the problem. A problem that will only worsen due to the piecemeal development within our town centre.

    There are many others ways to help today’s traffic problems which are too numerous to mention in this letter.

    Anyway who would listen?

  4. Bibhas Neogi

    October 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Of course traffic survey and study are required to establish flow pattern and volume refined by origin and destination survey. Automatic Number Plate Recognition [ANPR] devices together with software analyses are able to do that efficiently.

    At the Guildford Vision Group’s public meeting in Holy Trinity Hall on the 28th of August, I came to know that Surrey County Council are carrying out traffic analysis for Guildford in particular. Surrey County Council, I believe, are also carrying out a traffic analysis of traffic around the railway station for for Solum Regeneration.

    The bus lane in Woking Road is time limited, as stated But I think motorists do know that but avoid using it, as I do, when passing through because it has rather an undulating rough surface and road markings and the kerb line is not well defined.

    Bus lanes are necessary to keep buses moving faster during peak hours and so encourage their use as opposed to cars. Sometimes councils get a bit over enthusiastic about the time limits in an attempt to popularise bus use or because they are viewed as pro green policy. But I agree with Jim Allen in as much as saying councils should re-appraise how bus lanes are functioning and, if there are good reasons to change restrictions, they should change them.