Fringe Box



Letter: North Street Redevelopment – Possibilities for an Improved Outcome 

Published on: 8 May, 2023
Updated on: 8 May, 2023

The model displayed at the developer’s exhibition of the North Street proposal in August 2022.

From: Bibhas Neogi

Now that the election is over and Lib-Dems have a majority at GBC, maybe there are a few changes that might open up opportunities to improve on the planned scheme by St Edward.

The question of density and height could be addressed better if the bus station were not included within the scope of this development. By relocating the bus station elsewhere, the area could be vacated to achieve this plus maybe a few more housing units together with multi-storey car park(s) under housing. Such housing could increase the overall number of “affordables”.

Car parking would help to create a livelier town centre, especially during the evening. The saving of £4 million on refurbishment of the bus station plus the proceeds from the sale of the bus station land could contribute substantially, if not wholly, for the new bus station, preferably on the Bedford Road car park site.

There would be no loss of convenience since buses from the north and the east would drop off and pick up returning passengers, as well as anyone wanting to go to the bus or the railway station, from bus stops close to the development. No one would have to walk any further to the Friary Centre and the town centre. Bus-to-rail and rail-to-bus connections would be a few minutes walk, convenient for transfers. Some commuter car journeys to the railway station would also be reduced.

As for traffic alterations, Leapale Road widened as proposed, would be kept one-way and through traffic from the High Street to North Street would be diverted to Chertsey Street also made one-way. Restricted traffic (ie for access only) entering North Street would be able to turn around at a new mini roundabout at the junction of Leapale Road (please see attached sketch).

From the Onslow Street end, North Street traffic would be restricted during the day and be one-way only.  Only traffic from the development exiting via Woodbridge Road would be able to turn left on to Onslow Street. The rest would turn right and follow the one-way Leapale Road for other directions. Such an arrangement I think would not increase congestion and indeed would enable two-way cycle lanes to be incorporated in Leapale Road, North Street and Chertsey Street.

The bus lane in Onslow Street would be moved to the far side and a right turn created opposite Bedford Road with traffic lights working in tandem with the pedestrian crossing lights. Widening of the footways around the corner into Bedford Road would help to create a better pedestrian route to the bus station, Bedford Wharf and Walnut Bridge.

I think GBC should consider carrying out a fresh survey of the relocation of the bus station by explaining the advantages to all users. North Street pedestrian-friendly proposals would not be affected at all.

If and when a new east-west route comes to fruition, Friary Bridge could be closed to traffic and the regeneration of the riverside could be facilitated. North Street market could be located on Friary Bridge.

Above is my vision for a holistic improvement of pedestrian and cycle routes and better-flowing traffic, helping to reduce pollution and congestion in Guildford town centre.

The document “New Solutions to Gfd traffic Revised 13 June 2022.pdf ” can be found by searching the internet or accessed via the link . This document, except for the ideas now explained above, outlines my approach.

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Responses to Letter: North Street Redevelopment – Possibilities for an Improved Outcome 

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    May 8, 2023 at 12:28 pm

    Far more sense!

  2. Ben Paton Reply

    May 17, 2023 at 10:51 am

    I have long admired Mr Neogi’s analysis of the traffic in Guildford and how it could be improved. It is detailed, evidenced and reasoned.

    I find it convincing. It seems only common sense to have a new east-west crossing of the River Wey.

    It is remarkable that such high-quality analysis should be greeted with deafening silence but the people elected to represent the public.

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