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Letter: How Can We Improve Cycle Routes Without Bringing Guildford to a Standstill?

Published on: 31 Dec, 2022
Updated on: 31 Dec, 2022

SCC artist impression of how the completed scheme would look.

From: Terence Newman

In response to: New Cycle Lanes Are Worth the Short-term Pain

I think G-Bug would be hard pushed to find many people who fundamentally disagree with the aim of having better provisions for cyclists to make their way safely through Guildford.

That is not the issue; how to achieve this ideal, without the risk of bringing Guildford to a frequent standstill, is the problem.

Many journeys will still need to be made by others who cannot and do not cycle: emergency services, social services, refuse collection, postal services, schools, businesses, public transport and car journeys (not feasible by other means) have to continue at a level, and in a time, that is reasonable if they cannot travel north along London Road.

Increased route distances due to diversions will cost a lot in fuel consumption and add even more pollution than at present. And this is only Phase 1. Phase 2 (a Dutch-style roundabout at Burpham Road roundabout) and Phase 3 (London Road to York/Waterden Road junction improvements) also have to be completed in a fashion that allows an expeditious flow of traffic.

Altogether, this cannot be described as a short-term problem.

All those cyclists who use, or would like to use London Road, for their daily commute or merely for leisure, should answer this question: when your destination is north of Burpham roundabout, what route will you adopt if there is a “road closed” sign?

Will they get off and walk the mile like a pedestrian? Will they follow the published diversion routes with the rest of the traffic, where the cycling protections may be worse? They should think carefully about what it says in the Highway Code about pavements and obeying traffic signs.

Those who are objecting are not anti-cyclist, but G-Bug and its supporters need to be aware of the pitfalls which need to be resolved in trying to achieve their desired outcome.

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