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Letter: Modal Shift Is Wishful Thinking, Without Access the Town Will Die

Published on: 17 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 16 Dec, 2021

From: David Ogilvie

Architect

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

The A3 tunnel will cost £billions and is in a different cost league from a new town centre east-west crossing.

No one knows how much of the town centre traffic is through traffic: I expect most of it is local.

All that will be required at this stage in the town centre masterplan is that the route for the crossing is safeguarded.

How the current plan with a 70 per cent reduction in town centre traffic capacity will cope with an expected 20 per cent increase in traffic has me puzzled.

The Solum station proposals have made the crossing more difficult but a two-lane road can be threaded through the gap in the Solum buildings or alternatively a route under the river and the railway is possible.

Modal shift to bicycles and buses in sufficient quantity is wishful thinking and if people will not be able to get to Guildford the town will die.

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test 2 Responses to Letter: Modal Shift Is Wishful Thinking, Without Access the Town Will Die

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    December 17, 2021 at 9:31 am

    At last, someone thinking more logically although a tunnel under river and rail, so close to the town centre, would have all the wrong gradients.

    We already know the A3 is a 50/50 split, local and through traffic, and I believe GBC and SCC have unpublished ANPR [automatic number Pplater recognition] study of traffic through Guildford. Perhaps this report should be published so we all can understand what and where traffic goes to and comes from. The actual study may disprove all current theories on traffic movement.

  2. Sam Peters Reply

    December 17, 2021 at 9:38 am

    This is an unfortunately blinkered view, particularly coming from a local architect.

    There is absolutely no reason why large-scale modal shifts to walking, bikes and public transport cannot be achieved. There are countless cities and towns around the world to choose as examples – not least our twin city of Freiburg, which has increased public transport/active travel and reduced private motorised transport consistently for decades (only 29 per cent of journeys now taken by private motorised vehicle, with 71 per cent on foot, by bike or on public transport). And they’re determined to go further still – the 2020 transport plan looks to significantly increase active travel and use of public transport further.

    This kind of off-the-cuff dismissal of what has been a relatively basic principle for town planners in many other regions and countries is exactly the attitude that ensures the necessary shift doesn’t happen.

    Sam Peters is a former candidate for The Green Party

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