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Letter: Other Ways to Help Solve The Guildford Gridlock Problem

Published on: 29 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 29 Jun, 2020

From Bibhas Neogi

In response to: Guildford ‘Strategic Sites’ Riddle After Whitehall Abandons Plans to Widen A3

Now that the A3 widening is going to be shelved for the third time, funding for infrastructure from the central government could be scarce for a long time.

So the councils should try to improve the network wherever possible, using low-cost solutions, and also explore private investment for tolled routes.

I have constructed rather a long list of possibilities I hope may be useful for our planners.

1. Stoke Road /A25 junction.

To improve the flows between the A3, A320 and A25, explore the following:

  1. From Stoke Road, stop the straight-on crossing of the A25 towards the interchange;
  2. From Stoke Road, stop turning right on to the eastbound A25;
  3. Create a roundabout on the A25 near the access to the hotel opposite the Lido;
  4. Use Recreation Road to carry the “stopped-up” movements by creating a roundabout at its junction with Woodbridge Road;
  5. Prohibit right-turns from the A3 off-slip to the A320. Instead, this traffic would turn left and left again on the A25 and turn around at the new (c) roundabout. Then close the gap in the median on the A320 and remove the traffic lights; and
  6. Stop turning right into Stoke Road from the eastbound A25. Instead, traffic would use the new roundabout (c) on the A25 to turn around.

All the above would reduce the number of phases at this junction and allow more time on the remaining ones.

2. Relocation of the bus station

  1. Review the relocation of the bus station on Bedford Road car-park site and cancel the current Walnut Bridge contract;
  2. Review the functionality of proposed replacement Walnut Bridge and change the design to allow bus movements out to Walnut Tree Close, Bridge Street, Onslow Street to the south and to the west via Friary Bridge;
  3. Other routes exit via Laundry Road and Leas Road. All incoming routes enter Bedford Road from Onslow Street.

On the southbound Onslow Street, move the bus lane from the nearside to the offside lane and take it across over the median on the closed stretch of offside northbound lane (see Item 4 below) and enable right-turn into Bedford Road.

3. Short-term alterations to the gyratory

  1. Review the suggestion to reduce Bridge Street to two lanes. Widen north footway and introduce a cycle lane. Continue with one lane on to Onslow Street and widen footway at the crossing up to Bedford Road to improve pedestrian route off Walnut Bridge.
    Add a cycle crossing (one way to the east) along with the pedestrian crossing of Onslow Street. Control Bedford Road junction here to act in tandem with the crossing lights behind;
  2. Re-jig gyratory as suggested for short-term improvements by taking a lane in contraflow direction from Farnham Road Bridge on to Park Street towards Portsmouth Road and the Friary Bridge;
  3. Widen Walnut Tree Close from Bridge Street to Station View junction;
  4. Make WTC one-way beyond Station View junction; and
  5. Construct a bridge over the river connecting WTC with Mary Road.

4. Urgently safeguard a new east-west crossing

Safeguard a new east-west crossing between Guildford Park Road and Woodbridge Road through Jewson’s Yard site to connect with Leas Road, now that Solum site blocks the more direct route as, for example, suggested by GVG.
As part of this, create a two-lane one-way loop from Woodbridge Road, to Mary Road and Leas Road.

5. Investigate business case for a tolled tunnel

To reduce town-centre through traffic, investigate the business case for a tolled tunnel from the A281 Shalford to the A25 Stoke Park with spur connections to the A3100 at Artington and the A248 at Broadbridge.

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Responses to Letter: Other Ways to Help Solve The Guildford Gridlock Problem

  1. Charles King Reply

    June 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Bibhas Neogi forgot to mention the “Pie in the Sky Roundabout” which would allow all traffic to disappear up its rear bumper.

    In reality, all these proposals might have merit but would just set up endless debates, when the right way is to get the government to change its mind. It is not to difficult these days, give Boris Johnson a push and he falls over.

  2. Colin Cross Reply

    June 29, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    We can forget the A3 tunnel. It would be too expensive and too laborious.

    Why not try what they do in a large number of other countries and build an identical flyover on top of the existing A3 Guildford flyover?

    The current road, with all its slip roads, can remain in use for all local traffic that wants to enter and exit the town and the new “over-flyover” is used solely for through traffic only, joining it at suitable locations north and south of the town.

    A rough estimate is that this would approximately halve the current traffic volume as it spreads it across the two options.

    No doubt there are some problems with this but similar solutions can be seen working work elsewhere in the world. It would be cheaper and quicker than a tunnel and could have minimal disruption and adverse impact upon the town overall.

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