Fringe Box



Letter: Why Not Extend Walnut Bridge Over Walnut Tree Close?

Published on: 25 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 25 Jul, 2016

Walnut Bridge 2015 12From Mike Pugh

See: ‘Iconic’ New Bridge Approved by Borough Council Executive

If the primary purpose of the replacement Walnut Bridge is to provide safe pedestrian and cycle access from the town centre to the station, then it is no better than the existing footbridge. Pedestrians and cyclists still have to cross Walnut Tree Close, which at most hours of the day is a hazardous exercise.

If Guildford Borough Council is bent on spending large sums of money to replace the existing narrow footbridge, why not spend more by extending the bridge to span the road as well, at high level. The car park adjacent to the retaining wall above the footpath is already about 2.5 metres above the road level, so an off-ramp from the bridge, running south beside the wall, would soon reach ‘ground’ level.
With a bridge pier set back from the building line of the Billings, the road crossing would appear from between the buildings to ‘land’ on a much shorter bridge pier on, or just behind the retaining wall, with a slim structure between the two. It might resemble the footbridge in Canterbury, pictured [below], but without the two piers, as it would be half the span.

A footbridge in Canterbury. Why not something similar over Walnut Tree Close?

Alternatively, and cheaper, one could always install pedestrian controlled lights, to cross the road safely.
Then again – if Walnut Tree Close is ever closed off, even this measure may not be necessary.

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Responses to Letter: Why Not Extend Walnut Bridge Over Walnut Tree Close?

  1. Sue Warner Reply

    July 25, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Great idea. Sensible and cost effective.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    This what I said here in The Guildford Dragon on November 28 2015 within my comments to Solum Regeneration’s proposal for the station:

    “…Solum Regeneration’s scheme is an out and out property development project.

    Platforms need lifts to the footbridge and provision for toilets where connections are made from these in addition to facilities at the main entrances.

    Pedestrian route from the railway station to the town centre should be free of road crossings and therefore safer.

    This could be achieved by a high level walkway, enclosed for protection from the weather.

    If this is accepted as desirable, why not take the customers from the footbridge level to such a walkway rather than taking them down to ground floor?

    No need for a double height entrance but an entrance at the higher level of the footbridge seems sensible.

    The length of the walkway up to Walnut Tree Close (WTC) could be incorporated within the proposed building facing WTC.

    Existing entrance and ground level routes would of course remain available. If and when a new footbridge from Guildford Park Road over the tracks is considered, this could join the elevated walkway and thus a comfortable route to the town centre could be created avoiding all road crossings….”

    My website includes such a suggestion mentioned a few years ago and explains with sketches of possible improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes as well as motorised traffic in the gyratory and the town centre together with possible relocation of the bus station on Mary Road car park site.

    The website can be found by searching for ‘revamp guildford gyratory’

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Concerning the suggestion of Mike Pugh, the footbridge when taken to cross Walnut Tree Close (WTC) would be about 6 metres (5.7m headroom plus depth of construction, say, 0.3m) above it. The car park level is about 2 metres, not 2.5 metres, above Walnut Tree Close. So the ramp needs to come down about 4 metres and with a maximum slope of 1 in 15, the ramp would be 60 metres long. Even if it is wrapped round once, it would be 30 metres long! This would take up a lot of forecourt space.

    My suggestion is to take the extended footbridge over the forecourt and connect it at the redesigned entrance by Solum at the higher level of approximately the footbridge over the tracks. Thus it avoids the need to bring the pedestrians to ground level and then force them to climb another 4 metres. With this in mind I had suggested that Solum created the new ticketing facilities at this higher level.

    This is mentioned in my comments above but seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

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