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Letter: Listen to the Tunnel Debate on iPlayer

Published on: 2 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 2 Nov, 2013

From Bibhas Neogi

BBC Radio Surrey collated Hindhead_Tunnel Letterviews from Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, Graham Hibbert, Bill Stokoe and those of mine, on the question of putting the A3 in a tunnel and other measures to reduce congestion through Guildford. The broadcast can be heard until next Thursday November 7th. Here is the link:

It was good to hear the other comments and hopefully the momentum of the initiatives would continue and measures to deal with congestion both in the gyratory and on the A3 would be formulated and carried out in not too distant future.

Bill Stokoe said that he would welcome the idea of a tunnel to take through traffic out of the town centre but was unsure as to how traffic would connect with the A3 at the north end and similarly how the A281 traffic would join it at the south portal. I have considered these aspects and drawn sketches to show what could be done to achieve the desired connections. The sketches are already on my website that shows the preliminary layouts.

At the north end, the tunnel portal is located in Stoke Park close to Jubilee Wood . The curved link that connects with the A25 (Parkway) drops down about 2.5 metres at its mid-point and the viaduct that takes the A25 westbound lanes over the tunnel link rises about 2.6 metres thus creating the necessary headroom of 5.1 metres for the tunnel link. A roundabout on the A25 near the north-east corner of Lido provides the turn around facility (I’ve shown this already on my website).

The tunnel could be a two-lane southbound or a two-way single bore tunnel, or a twin bore like Hindhead Tunnel. The configuration would depend on the volume of traffic taking into account of future growth.

The south portal could be in Millbrook and a roundabout on it that provides the junction. But this could only be suitable for a single bore tunnel. With twin bore tunnels, the portal has to be located further south in Dagley Lane area, south of the Public House. Again a roundabout would be ideal to provide a connection with the A281. Another possibility is to provide a link from this roundabout through the marshy land of river Wey to the A3100 roundabout near the Park & Ride at Artington. Some of the spoil if suitable, could be used to build such a link. A bridge over the railway would also be needed.

Improvements to the A3 Stoke Road Interchange are necessary to deal with the traffic that wants to join the A3 and also those that leave the A3 here. In order to further reduce traffic in Ladymead, I have suggested a viaduct over the A25 to carry traffic bound for the A322 to Dennis roundabout from here. An alternative route could be behind the Ladymead Business Park area.

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Responses to Letter: Listen to the Tunnel Debate on iPlayer

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    November 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    We need a to address the problem of to-day’s traffic now. Tunnels, affordable or not, will perhaps solve the traffic congestion by the time the HS2 rail link in operation but can we wait for another two decades?

    I think not.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 3, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I would like to respond to Barnard Parke on this issue. He raised this before and I had already explained that short to medium term solutions would be to improve the gyratory in phases. GBC & SCC are working on what I consider to be the first stage of such a scheme. A bid for it has been put forward by M3 Local Enterprise Partnership to the Department for Transport. The councils have not yet said what solution they would be adopting following public consultation of last May. I understand this will be in the Local Plan due to be drawn up next April.

    I have been in discussion with the councils and impressed upon them that Debenhams pedestrian crossing problem needs to be solved to complement gyratory measures. I have suggested converting it into a staggered crossing i.e. with an island in the middle created by a chicane for the northbound lanes. This would be a safer crossing for the pedestrians. This two-stage crossing would shorten the time taken to cross the southbound lane to a third and thus traffic would be given that saving as extra time on every cycle. This would greatly improve flow and reduce chances of tailbacks on the gyratory and Bridge Street. We have to wait and see if this modification has been included in their design.

    I believe the second stage would be to construct a link from Walnut Tree Close to Woodbridge Road via either Mary Road or Leas Road and direct northbound traffic through Walnut Tree Close on to this link. Such an arrangement would permit reduction of two northbound lanes to one in Onslow Street. This in turn would enable an extra southbound lane to be created by relocating the barrier and both lanes in York Road could then flow into Onslow Street. At present, the near side lane in York Road is for left turn only. This is inefficient use of precious road space. The GTAM Study by Arup includes this link idea in their Brief. I hope they would agree with my recommendation.

    Yes I agree the tunnels are for the longer-term solution but before that the A3 needs to be widened, its junctions improved and possibly a viaduct constructed to take the A322 bound traffic coming off at Stoke Road junction to Dennis roundabout. The Councils are discussing A3 related issues with the Highways Agency but there is nothing at present in the HA programme for the A3 improvements. The scheme for improvements of the stretch between the A31 and A247 junctions that has been shelved following 2010 cuts in the road programme needs to be resurrected.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Only 2 days left to listen to the tunnel debate on BBC Radio Surrey. Here is the link:

    Tune in at 1:06, 1:46, 1:58 and 2:04 into the programme to listen to the comments.

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