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Letter: Guildford Is Not Very Cycle-friendly

Published on: 3 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 3 Dec, 2021

Brompton Bike Hire at Guildford Station

From: Howard Fisher

In response to: Whether Cycling to Rail or a Local Trail, Guildford Leads the Way

I’m sorry, but I must disagree that Guildford offers great facilities for cycle-to-rail.

First, there are zero safe segregated cycle routes to the station. From most parts of the borough, getting to the station requires circumnavigation of the cycle-hostile gyratory.

Second, the commuter services between Guildford and London provide almost no provision for cycles. Only a couple of spaces per train for full-sized bikes and next to no luggage space suitable for folding bikes.

I’ve retired now, but when I commuted there was nowhere to store my Brompton so I could keep an eye on it throughout the journey. (Unless I heaved it up onto the rather small luggage racks to the considerable worry of other commuters underneath – luckily all survived unscathed, though sometimes their comments were hardly friendly.)

Finally, the article suggests how great the Downs Link is. Yes, that’s true, but to get from central Guildford to the Link, if you follow the only off-road cycle path it is muddy and even has a flight of stairs – not very cycle-friendly.

And yes, it would be nice to cycle along the Wey Navigations towpath, but for the last couple of years the council, National Trust and Environment Agency have been engaged in petty squabbling failing to repair the breach that cuts it off from central Guildford (more stairs to get there) and for the last nine months the towpath northwards has been blocked without thought for a decent cycle diversion.

See also: Two Years On From Collapse, Still No Significant Progress On Weir Replacement

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test 2 Responses to Letter: Guildford Is Not Very Cycle-friendly

  1. Harry Eve Reply

    December 4, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    I have noticed that the cycle lane markings on the Epsom Road through Merrow have been worn away in places. I also wonder how many drivers understand the difference between a solid line and a broken line for cycle lanes.

  2. B Dalli Reply

    December 4, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    As someone who takes small journeys by bicycle, I agree with the sentiments in this letter. Guildford has a long way to go before cycling as alternative transport can be considered safe for all.

    My experience commuting to London with a Brompton makes me doubt rail will ever be designed to encourage cycle use, the main driver is space for paying passengers.

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