Fringe Box



Letter: North Street Webinar Brings Hope But New Transport Hub Ignored

Published on: 16 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 16 Dec, 2020

From: Bibhas Neogi

In response to: The North Street Development Should Include a Luxury Bus Station

Last night’s webinar on North Street redevelopment has at last given some real ideas of what might be possible to cater for housing and retail as well as good public open space.

The focus has changed from predominantly retail to more housing, adjusting to much-increased online shopping. Architectural consideration also looked promising.

I have given my reasons against creating a luxury bus station as wished, in 2017, by the late Gordon Bridger, hon alderman and former Mayor, although I greatly admired his passion for a better new build of Guildford.

I was disappointed with the preferred option of relocating the bus station within this complex. The idea of creating a transport hub has been ignored.

A five-minute walk from the bus station to the railway station, discussed by many including the council, will not be met. This requirement is crucial in achieving a reduction in traffic accessing the railway station and bus commuters walking a very short distance to it.

Such relocation is clearly the responsibility of the council. They should promote this and free the developer of the need to accommodate the bus station on this prime town-centre location. This big area could be used much more efficiently.

With all buses using North Street to access the bus station, it would not be a pedestrian-friendly road and I was under the impression the borough council wanted to achieve this.

I hope the council would seriously reconsider the implications of the on-site relocation of the bus station and instead cater for a mini-hub to retain the existing advantages for passengers from the north and the east and work in conjunction with a bus station off-site.

I strongly believe relocation of the bus station on Bedford Road car park site would be ideal to achieve proximity of both the town-centre and the railway station.

Modest alterations of existing roads are needed to avoid increasing congestion on the gyratory and avoid all buses going through North Street. Parking facilities could be retained if it is built under the bus station.

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Responses to Letter: North Street Webinar Brings Hope But New Transport Hub Ignored

  1. Roslyn McMillan Reply

    December 16, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    I was surprised to see the proposed bus station being even further away from the station than it is now. And I wonder how having every bus travelling up North Street and then turning left into Leapale Road would affect the peace of the whole area. Mr Neogi’s suggestion would seem to deal with both of these problems.

  2. Brian Holt Reply

    December 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I am amazed that Bibhas Neogi still keeps suggesting the bus station should not be in the town centre but on the Bedford Road site.

    Most passengers using the buses are elderly, disabled, or young mothers with babies, who are going shopping and need to be taken to the town centre, along with passengers going to and from work, who do not want to carry shopping and children across busy roads, especially in wet and cold weather.

    Why does he still insist on Bedford road site which gets flooded?

    I have visited many towns all over England and Wales, when touring, and most have the bus station in the town outside the shopping centres. Passengers need to wait under cover, sit down on seats and have refreshments and toilet facilities while waiting for their buses.

    Some town’s bus stations have a few coach bays so that tourist and other coach parties, coming into the town for shopping and sightseeing, can drop off and park.

    Guildford is bad for coach drop-offs, either at the top of North Street, in Millbrook, or Bedford Road by the cinema. Coaches then have to be driven around Guildford looking for a parking place, and then drive again through the town to pick the passengers up.

    The people who know best where the bus station should be are the bus companies, their drivers, the passengers who use them and the council.

    Brian Holt is a former coach driver.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 17, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Please visit my website to see the suggestion for a mini-hub on the Friary site that works in conjunction with the bus station in Bedford Road car park site. Buses from the north and the east would drop off passengers at the mini-hub and pick up those who want to go to the bus station.

    The borough council should consider reintroducing the shuttle service as well with perhaps a wider route. So no one has to walk from Leapale Road to the bus station.

    Modest changes are needed to the roads to allow buses turning into Bedford Road and exiting via Laundry Road and go to south and the west and via Leas Road for other directions.

    Sketches on my website show the changes necessary.

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