Fringe Box



Letter: Is This Openness and Transparency?

Published on: 22 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 21 Oct, 2023

From: Terry Newman

chair of the London Road Action Group

Surrey County Council has finally published its report on Traffic Modelling the effects of the Burpham to Guildford Active Travel Scheme design.  The whole report is available on the Have Your Say Today – Burpham To Guildford Active Travel Scheme – Commonplace website.

What is in it that might be of interest? It is a complex analysis, but two points stand out to the layman:

1. There will be no right turn from London Road into York Road.

All of the community, especially those living south of Boxgrove roundabout, wishing to head south by car to, say, the A281 or the A3 (south) or the A3100 to Godalming, or the A31 to Farnham, will have to find an alternative route to turning right into York Road, because that option will be removed.  This will create potential rat-runs via Nightingale Road and Dene Road and the GLive roundabout.

This plan would seem to be absolutely ideal for a trial, as repeatedly suggested in the guidance document, LTN 1/20, Cycle Infrastructure Design.  A “trial” implemented for a scheme in Reigate in July 2020 proved so disastrous that it had to be removed after just three days.  The decision-makers are the same as were involved then, and ought to understand the importance of making a real-world assessment, not just rely on computer modelling.

 Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

2. The report states: “The scheme as modelled reduces vehicle capacity along the corridor …. Additional crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists increase delay to vehicles. As a result, fewer vehicles travel along the A3100 corridor.”

This last sentence is clear that the policy invoked by the scheme is not simply to improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, but to dissuade drivers from using London Road. It is assumed that the effect of increased congestion will do so.  In other words, those who are not in the “fewer vehicles” category will have to go somewhere.  The crux of the modelling report attempts to show who takes the hits, and that “it will be alright on the night”.

There are two scenarios about possible levels of uptake of active travelling, low and high, but precise meanings of these phrases are not declared.  Not included in the report, are earlier figures published by SCC indicated that current daily cycle usage is 230, and that would increase by 50 per cent, or up to 78 per cent.  Surrey CC traffic survey measurements from May 2021 show more than 19,000 daily vehicle movements along the Burpham section of London Road.

How strange that it has taken so long to unearth details of the impact of the scheme on congestion, and that it has to be found only by those who closely monitor SCC’s publications?  Is this openness and transparency?

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Responses to Letter: Is This Openness and Transparency?

  1. Jenny Grove Reply

    October 22, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    The no right turn from London Road into York Road is apparently incorrect. According to Councillor George Potter whom my husband and I spoke to last Monday at the Merrow Resident’s meeting, the traffic lights will be re-phased to allow a right turn into York Road, but the road will only be a single carriageway leading to the traffic lights.

    If this is the case, why are we being misled by information in the “Have your say” document and why has this not been altered on the document webpage? This contentious matter needs to be clarified by Surrey County Council.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    October 23, 2023 at 9:11 am

    Everything is subject to change!

    What a mess! Updated information over the weekend now states there WILL be a right turn at York road.(different lights sequence)

    A simple question to all supporters of this project!

    Currently you are all trying to agree with the density of ‘fog’

    How can you support, agree with this project when you actually don’t know what you are getting in real terms?

    Cycle paths widths; unknown subject to change
    Footpath width; unknown subject to change
    Junction layouts; unknown subject to change
    Road width unknown; It is definitely being narrowed but by how much?
    Cycling volume future use; unknown
    Car volume; unknown but potentially higher with vehicle capacity reduced!
    Combined footcycle path lengths and widths; unknown currently exceeding 45%
    Biased survey; Though majority of comments are anti
    Safety; compromised by any standard

    All unknown, because tomorrow even after 4 years of high intensity planning in secret “all things may or may not change”

    What a mess, reminds me of the “Clay Lane Link Road.”

    No one wanted it; As it was going in the Wrong direction, while damming the flood plain.

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