Fringe Box



Letter: How Do We Know What Most People Want for London Road?

Published on: 13 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 13 Jan, 2024

Image of London Road taken in August 2022. Google Street View

From: Ben Paton

In response to: Many Residents Want the London Road Scheme to Go Ahead

By all means canvas the opinion of cyclists and pupils at the George Abbot school.
Their opinion counts. But so also does the opinion of the thousands of other people who use and rely on this A road.

It is not “scientific”, logical or democratic to cite the opinion of one group of people (cyclists, say) and then ignore and implicitly discount the opinion of other groups of people.

The opinion of motorists is also a valid consideration – to put it at its most neutral.

In fact, to reduce the capacity of a major arterial A road without consulting the drivers of cars and trucks who use it – and who are probably the single largest interest group – is nonsensical.

The number of people who drive up and down this A road greatly exceeds the number of people who cycle along it. It also exceeds the number of people who live adjacent to the A road.

The road exists primarily to serve those users. Of course, their interests are not the only interests. Maybe some people don’t think their interests are even paramount. Okay. But they are still entitled to express an opinion. Local government has a duty to consider their opinion.

What has SCC done to collect and measure their opinion? Anything? Nothing? To call the motorists a “minority” is not just counter-intuitive. It is objectively wrong.

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Responses to Letter: How Do We Know What Most People Want for London Road?

  1. Helen Skinner Reply

    January 15, 2024 at 11:34 am

    If we built roads according to what passing drivers wanted and not the local residents then there would be motorways bisecting all of our towns and cities.

    While I agree those driving the route should be consulted the weighting should be such that adding a few minutes to a car journey is not equal to the safety of vulnerable users.

    We need to make our towns and cities inviting to walk and cycle; at the moment we’re removing that option from people and it’s a cheaper, healthier option that most people can choose. So yes consult and avoid serious problems for those who have no option other than driving, but let’s be balanced about how we weigh up the responses; two minutes of your day is not worth my or any child’s life and freedom.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      January 15, 2024 at 1:37 pm

      Me suspect Ms Skinner doest protest to much! We are not building new roads, They are trying to modify a 1,000 year old road system . Like trying to convert a steam traction engine to 18volt battery power! There will be certain limits to the reality of the idea!

      The reason the current cycle lanes are narrow ‘current’ Road width! The reason the proposal is 43% mixed cycle pedestrian is current road width! Notice the pattern?

      You can’t ‘make’ any town, village or city center compliant with Ltn1/20 which is the governing document of cycle lanes and use compulsory purchase orders to grab private property for the adjudged benefit of all not just some of the community . This involves the use of a bulldozer to destroy said community centre removal of ancient trees, buildings of character prior to rebuilding with sufficient widths to meet said ltn 20 requirements!

      Is this what Ms Skinner is promoting?

  2. david ogilvie Reply

    January 15, 2024 at 2:26 pm

    Local residents are passing drivers.

  3. Alan Judge Reply

    January 15, 2024 at 4:56 pm

    Guildford is hilly. There’s nothing that can be done about that.

    London Road is the flattest artery into Guildford which is, I suspect, the reason it has been chosen for this crazy waste of money.

  4. Derek Payne Reply

    January 16, 2024 at 4:31 pm

    In response to Helen Skinner’s desire to not consult the circa 16,000-19,000 motor vehicle drivers who use London Road every day, but to canvass “local residents”, I understand there has been an “alternative” survey which covered almost all roads between London Road and Epsom Road, and bounded by New Inn Lane/Park Lane and Waterden Road/York Road (hence local residents).

    Feedback from 1,240 people showed 1,075 (87 per cent) against the scheme. This aligns percentage-wise with the informal vote taken at the public meeting on January 5, 2023 at George Abbot School, but with a factor of circa 3 increase in numbers. So it would appear that local residents (who are most likely to be impacted by the circa 30 per cent increase in congestion – SCC Modelling Report) are not in favour of the Scheme. NB – the SCC survey did not ask the “go/no go” question. I wonder why?

  5. M Callan Reply

    January 17, 2024 at 7:00 am

    What a waste of money to replace a road that has cycle lanes, with a road that has cycle lanes. Judging by the comments here it is not wanted by the locals. Then the county council whinges it has money problems. Typical council expertise.

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