Fringe Box



Letter: Points I Put To Solum at Railway Station Public Meeting

Published on: 31 Jan, 2015
Updated on: 31 Jan, 2015

From Bob McShee, Guildford borough councillor for Worplesdon.

I attended Solum’s public exhibition at the YMCA and was pleased to see that Solum’s latest proposal had omitted the supermarket and hotel from their original scheme.

emails letterHowever, I, along with many other people have concerns, so I went to The Guildford Society’s public meeting last week at the Millmead Baptist Centre to listen to Solum’s presentation.

The meeting was well attended and after Solum’s presentation there were many objections raised against their scheme.  I raised a couple of points of concern, these being:

1: A high level pedestrian walkway should be provided between the station and the Friary Centre to reduce pedestrians crossing Walnut Tree Close, which causes delays to traffic, also to reduce the number of pedestrians using the narrow pavement in Bridge Street.

2. The station redevelopment does not affect the rail side of the station but is solely about creating large building blocks alongside Walnut Tree Close.  I regard the redevelopment of Reading station as a redevelopment where the track layout has been altered and the platforms improved to give better access for passengers, particularly the disabled.

I made comments at the meeting that the original station was a Victorian brick-built structure, so it would be aesthetically pleasing to see some brickwork features included into the station building. Also, the platforms should be renovated to a traditional design similar to the style which Network Rail used when they restored Birmingham Snow Hill station.

It was noted that the development did not include the west side of the station, where I think that a bus terminal should be constructed for buses serving routes to the west of Guildford. Then buses would not enter the gyratory system causing delays to the bus services which get stuck in traffic jams, also this would reduce the traffic on the gyratory system.

At the meeting a plea was made for Solum to defer their planning application until Allies & Morrison’s draft town centre masterplan is issued, and I strongly support this request.

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Responses to Letter: Points I Put To Solum at Railway Station Public Meeting

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    February 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I am glad to see that the idea of a high level walkway from the station to the Friary Centre has been raised by Councillor Bob McShee.

    I had floated the same idea as shown on my website back in 2012. The website can be accessed by searching for ‘revamp guildford gyratoty’.

    Access to the railway station for commuters as well as would be residents of this large development must be improved for this to be an attractive investment. Improvements to the gyratory and a new east-west corridor reducing the traffic flow through the gyratory would be essential in delivering improved access to the station.

    Improvements to the platforms by providing lifts to a new footbridge and other amenities are required to bring the station up to date. Perhaps this footbridge over the platforms and a footbridge from Guildford Park Road supported on the same structure but totally separated until they reach the ticketing hall could be a cost effective way to build these.

    The bus station ideally should be easily accessible to all users around the town centre and the railway station.

    I have proposed Mary Road car park site that was once upon a time being considered by Surrey County Council but no longer so.

    I have a section on my website devoted to this location that describes the redesigning the bus routes and comfortable waiting areas around the Friary and at the railway station.

    Of course, Solum has not given bus passengers any thought and has only provided a couple of bays that are totally inadequate to serve all the buses! I would urge the councils to reconsider using Mary Road car park site for the relocation once again.

    I would like to see an architectural style that blends in with the surrounding area instead of the proposed characterless high-rise concrete and glass buildings. The new station building must be the centre-point and a visually attractive structure not dominated by high rise blocks on either side.

    Needless to say that the councils should take Solum and North Street developers on board and consult with Allies & Morrison, Guildford Vision Group and The Guildford Society in proposing a holistic solution for the development and traffic movements in Guildford.

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