Fringe Box



Letter: What If the ‘Modal Shift’ Does Not Materialise?

Published on: 28 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 28 Jan, 2017

From Bibhas Neogi

A bit strange how the Masterplan seems to have quietly become an aspirational draft Guildford Town Centre Regeneration Strategy.

“Modal shift is not going to be an easy solution because it requires a culture shift in the way we conduct our journeys…” said Cllr Furniss.

So, what if the shift does not materialise due to either cultural conservatism or practical issues of terrain and weather? Why base the traffic ‘solution’ on a hope rather than positive traffic engineering?

I believe a holistic solution exists that makes the town centre pedestrian friendly and at the same time traffic flow smoother. And the buses connect the town centre and the railway station before proceeding to the bus station where all connections could be made. It could be located in Mary Road area and thus it would not degrade the visual outlook of Onslow Street as would be the case if on-street bus bays replace the bus station.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: What If the ‘Modal Shift’ Does Not Materialise?

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    January 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Surely the question is whether the residents of Guildford borough actually want a ‘modal shift’ and the majority are willing to embrace a ‘drive to, not through’.

    Apart from elections, where the majority of councilors drop the undertakings in their manifestos, what evidence is there?

    Or is it the same as we now see with budget, an ambition being promoted by the Local Government Association?

    GBC has been promoting the park and ride for some time. Is it sucessful?

    Without clear objectives and studies of who actually use them as intended, how do we know?

    What we do know is that the in-town car park charges are going up yet again.

    They actually make a profit. Not ethical, but not illegal. The fees are used to subsidise the park and ride!

    Maybe I’d use the park and ride myself to embrace modal shift. It’s cheaper than using a bus only a couple of hundred metres from my front door.

    It just seems strange to drive out of town a kilometre or two to a park and ride site.

    I think I’ll stick to going through the town centre for trips to other towns. There aren’t really any ring roads.

    And I will also be parking at the numerous town centre car parks.

    It is a pity that GBC, unlike Bibhas, don’t seem to understand that.

  2. Harry Eve Reply

    January 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Coventry Transport Museum is well worth a visit. Coventry was the centre of early bicycle production and invention.

    The penny farthing gave way to safer designs and, soon, everyone was cycling to work. Then someone invented the tricycle (taken up in the GBC draft local plan).

    Another inventor came up with a quadricycle and then someone thought it would make life easier if they fitted a motor. Bodywork was added to keep the weather out. This proved very popular but only the rich could afford them at first, so motor buses were developed for the rest of us.

    A glimpse into the future did not include everyone cycling to work.

    Despite words to the contrary, reliable and frequent bus services are not being encouraged by the authorities in these austere times – especially for rural areas.

    We are not in a good place and modal shift seems unlikely to happen to sufficient degree to make a real difference.

    However, I do think bus lanes are good and we will never achieve the desirable aspects of modal shift (walking and greater use of public transport – where less-polluting vehicles can be introduced sooner) by making it easier to drive cars everywhere.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *