Fringe Box



Letter: Restricting Traffic in Walnut Tree Close Will Only Increase Congestion Elsewhere

Published on: 6 May, 2022
Updated on: 6 May, 2022

From: Bibhas Neogi

In response to: Yet Another Walnut Tree Close Closure As One-way Trial Repeated

I had to drive back from Worplesdon Road to Godalming yesterday around 4.45pm through the A25 and Woodbridge Road and was caught in the jam for over 15 minutes.

The bus lane during that time was used by one bus carrying about half a dozen passengers. The question that Surrey County Council (SCC) should address is whether evening restrictions are necessary on the bus lane in Woodbridge Road and Onslow Street.

Bus lane restrictions in the morning are to get the people to their workplace without undue delay but is it really necessary to restrict bus lanes, increasing congestion and pollution, at other times?

The one-way restriction in Walnut Tree Close will only further increase congestion in Woodbridge Road and the gyratory for those heading for the railway station. How many use WTC to access the gyratory going through its narrow stretches and then having to wait to join traffic in Bridge Street? I think not too many.

In my view, SCC is wasting money in carrying out this unnecessary trial that would inconvenience a lot of users who access the railway station from the A25 and return to it. Parking bays could be removed in the narrow stretch of WTC to ease congestion.

SCC should instead explore ways of improving the gyratory and I believe this could be done at a very modest cost as I have described in my document for improving Guildford traffic referenced many times here in The Dragon.

WTC was a Close (ie a cul de sac) and it was opened up to join the A25 to relieve traffic in Woodbridge Road! Why take this retrograde step?

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Responses to Letter: Restricting Traffic in Walnut Tree Close Will Only Increase Congestion Elsewhere

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 6, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    SCC (& GBC) are committed to a trial after a petition by a few hundred signatures, years ago, and getting an Enterprise M3 loan.

    The questions are:

    Did it really need the several changing road modifications and should the trial during Covid have gone ahead at all?

    Has the traffic in Guildford returned to pre-Covid levels or is assumed to be now plateaued at a new normal?

    Then, given a lack of actual discussion at the Guildford Joint Committee, what is the criteria in assessing results, indicative as they were, from the previous trial, and now this one?

    How will the benefits and drawbacks between each demographic group be compared?

    Does the partial approval of G-BUG and increasing numbers of residents take precedence over station and through Guildford traffic (as Bibhas Neogi points out)? What about businesses?

    And as Mr Neogi also points out, Walnut Tree Close was originally a close. It was joined to Woodbridge Meadow, I think in the 1960s and is now an assumed to and from the A25 to the town centre. So how is it logical that it now be restricted with no alternative?

  2. Jan Messinger Reply

    May 6, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    I travelled almost the same route as Bibhas Neogi for two days running at that time, once on Woodbridge Road and the second night using Walnut Tree Close.

    It was a nightmare on both occasions. I managed to go via the town centre using local road knowledge because of such heavy traffic.

    We are certainly back to pre-Covid traffic levels and it is absolutely awful. Anyone trying to go through town to surrounding roads linking to other villages or towns has no hope. After all, that’s all we want to do, go from one village to another and often there is no choice but to go through Guildford. We wouldn’t otherwise.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 8, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    And the Tories thought it was such a good idea to build the majority of new homes from their disastrous Local Plan in the countryside, where residents will be entirely dependent on the car. This will result in an additional 60,000 new cars on our already ruined local roads. We already see the impact on the Horsleys, where traffic is now an everyday problem.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    May 9, 2022 at 7:44 am

    Lack of infrastructure and a deficit of £3.2 billion in funding for Surrey was been talked about back in 2016. Please refer to –

    I also remember a comment from Cllr Spooner that without appropriate infrastructure funding, the housing target in the Local Plan would not be achieved.

  5. A J Ferenczy Reply

    May 10, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    If, as has been asserted, part of the point of the trial is to ascertain the level of use of Woodbridge Road by cycles, SCC needs to do something about the absolutely appalling state of the road surface along much of it. It was shocking before it was pummelled to death by all the construction traffic over the past two years, and is now so awful for much of its length that it cannot be safely navigated on an ordinary bicycle.

    The towpath, running parallel, is a hardened dirt track, but is used far more heavily by cycles as it is at least useable.

  6. Simon Firth Reply

    June 15, 2022 at 8:49 am

    As a cyclist, this opens up a far better way to travel into town for me.

    Just a shame that at the other end I need to join the gyratory, unless I am to get off and walk my bike, which is not going to happen.

    I also do not have to share the towpath that no walker really wants a cyclist to share.

    If the entrance and exit to WTC were suitable then statistics from the trial would be a lot more impactful.

    With traffic in town nearly always gridlocked anyway, I am surprised the vast majority of residents still choose not to cycle, especially with petrol prices. Boiling water and frogs come to mind.

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