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Letter: It is Not Too Late for an Essential, New East-West Route

Published on: 15 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 15 Dec, 2021

From: David Ogilvie

Architect

In response to a comment from Bibhas Neogi on: This Masterplan Has Nothing of Substance

Bibhas Neogi is right, a new east-west crossing is essential for solving Guildford’s town centre problems.

A new crossing will remove traffic from the gyratory, open up the riverside, reduce town centre pollution, enable pedestrianisation from the high street to the station and provide an alternative crossing when Farnham Road bridge needs replacing.

The proposed “C” plan for the town centre gyratory will reduce capacity by 70 per cent, this will deter visitors and will force more traffic on to Ladymead Bridge that is already heavily used.

I gave a masterplan showing this solution to GBC chief executive in 2012. The opportunity was missed then but it is not too late.

The suggested east-west route in solid red.

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test 3 Responses to Letter: It is Not Too Late for an Essential, New East-West Route

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 15, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    It is nice to see another professional, David Ogilvie, agrees with me.

    With Solum Regeneration building housing in the railway station site, the route David is proposing and a similar route Guildford Vision Group had in mind are no longer available, unless councils can acquire the land required under a Compulsory Purchase Order. But that is extremely unlikely.

    I have suggested a crossing a little further north through the site of Jewson’s Yard and a 2-lane one-way loop off Woodbridge Road that connects it but I have no knowledge whether the councils (SCC & GBC) have even considered it. This is probably the only remaining viable route but the sites along it will have to be bought by the councils.

    The councils seem to have decided not to improve the road network but somehow magically achieve a modal shift of more walking and cycling. Why would they even consider a plan that reduces traffic capacity by 70 per cent?

    Guildford is a “gap town” and a lot of traffic also goes through it. Unless a complete Ring Road is created around Guildford and access to the town is restricted, such options are clearly not viable. Many more Park & Rides would be required for such options to work.

    The idea of a tunnel from Shalford Road (the A281) to York Road is a good one but capacity in York Road could be problematic. I have suggested a similar tunnel that has a spur also to Portsmouth Road (the A3100) and instead meets the A25 Parkway where the road is much wider and traffic could access the A25, the A3 and the A320 with less difficulty than it could from York Road.

    Regular readers might have already come across my suggestions many times before, but I would direct readers not familiar with my website to look at my document that suggests a number of road improvements in the link, –
    https://tinyurl.com/traffic-and-bus-station. If the readers think the suggestions are worthy of consideration, maybe they could write to the councils with their views.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    December 15, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    An A3 tunnel from Compton/Peasmarsh to Gosden Hill/Potters Lane (A25) would get all through traffic out of the centre and provide additional road capacity. Inner circle mods to the gyratory will never solve the expected 20 per cent increase in additional traffic in Guildford following planned developments.

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      December 18, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      The suggested tunnel would deal with the A3 congestion but the issues here are north-south and east-west traffic going through the centre of Guildford.

      An ideal solution for through traffic would be a ring road around Guildford. However, environmental issues and a dearth of funding would mean this is extremely unlikely to be realised.

      What could be realistically achieved is an improved New Pond Road (peasmarsh to Compton) connecting an enhanced A3 interchange at Compton and a new route between Portsmouth Road (the A3100) and Shalford Road (the A281) – all on reasonably level terrain.

      The route from Shalford Road to the A3 would have to be in a tunnel due to the hilly nature of this area. This relatively short tunnel is shown in the document I have referred to in my comments above.

      A new east-west and a new north-south route are essential to deal with increased traffic that would be generated due to new housing under the Local plan. These are also shown in my document.

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