Fringe Box



Letter: Revamp Public Transport And People Will Leave Their Cars At Home

Published on: 9 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2020

From: Dan Heathcote

In response to: Anger At Traffic Jams In Town Centre

Having commuted between Godalming and the hospital by bus from January 2019 to March 2020, and from Godalming to the junction of Lawn Road and Portsmouth Road and back for more than 10 years before then, traffic in Guildford has worsened significantly in that time. A lot of my journeys were in rush-hour.

From Godalming, to travel to the hospital and back you have to use the bus station. To get there for 9am, I’d have to leave on the 7.36am service. According to timetables, the journey should be possible leaving at 8.05am, and even then you should have time to queue for a coffee.

If I used a taxi (I don’t drive due to disability), I would get there in 25 to 30 minutes, missing a huge chunk of traffic.

Leaving hospital in the evening could take 50 minutes to get to the bus station, all due to traffic on the one-way system. That meant getting the 6.20pm bus so not home until 6.45pm, a total of one hour 45 minutes. Covid would have brought this down massively.

I know from experience if there’s a sneeze anywhere in Guildford four miles can take hours. Removing a lane doesn’t help.

Let’s actually do something that really will get people out of cars. Public transport needs to be priced way better. Why does it cost more than £4 to travel from Godalming to Guildford by bus, yet little more than a fiver to travel from Midhurst to Guildford?

And why is frequency so shoddy before 9am and rubbish after 5pm? Sunday service is a total joke.

As for trains, for me, £1,000 from Godalming to Guildford for an annual season is two-thirds of a month’s take-home pay, or three month’s mortgage. Tonight I finish work at 9.30pm, train at 9.42pm or 10.12pm.

Tomorrow being a week-day, my choice is 10.25pm or later, so a 55-minute wait. I know trains will be empty because of Covid but even Sunday ones are quiet without it.

I wish politicians etc would stop talking and work with providers to make public transport more viable, then people would think of leaving their cars at home.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: Revamp Public Transport And People Will Leave Their Cars At Home

  1. H Paton Reply

    November 10, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Exactly. I only live three miles out and would take the bus if it was reliable. I tried commuting into Guildford for six weeks by bus: never wasted so much time in my life.

    The very expensive bus “tracking” system that essentially only showed the timetable just made me angry. Every single day, three or four buses would disappear off the board before one would finally turn up (and that was both ends of the journey). I don’t know many people who can afford to wait more than 60 minutes for a bus that should run every 20 minutes – or waste two hours of their commuting/shopping day just sitting at a bus stop.

    And cycling is suicidal. Cycle lanes don’t take you anywhere useful, so you have to risk cycling on roads that can’t even support the lightest of traffic, let alone bumper to bumper cars with angry drivers plus other cycles.

  2. Anthony Mallard Reply

    June 21, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Can anyone assist? What buses use Parkway, Guildford beyond the Spectrum Leisure Centre?

    For some time now, during the morning peak, there has been congestion and standing traffic, causing significant pollution, from the roundabout at Boxgrove Road through to the Stoke Road traffic lights. This could be much reduced if the vehicles were able to use the entire width of the roadway. They are prevented from doing so by a bus lane that prohibits traffic from that part of the carriageway between 7am and 7pm.

    The Park & Ride service rarely uses the bus lane, as this service turns right into the Spectrum Leisure Centre and drivers position their vehicle towards the offside of the road, to the right of the bus lane.

    Whilst waiting in this queue, I have never been passed by a local bus service and I ponder if the purpose of this dedicated lane has been overtaken by the withdrawal of a bus route or routes which, may have once used Parkway at this point. The purpose of the bus lane should be reconsidered.

    • Martin Elliott Reply

      June 21, 2021 at 10:04 pm

      The Park & Ride 100 Spectrum Service changed its route over 18 months ago. Instead of Parkside, it now runs to Boxgrove roundabout and then down London Road, with a stop at London Road Station.

      There hasn’t been any bus using the Parkside bus lane since, only taxis and cycles. Cycles of course also have a spanking cycle track system.

      For some reason, motorcycles and mopeds can’t use the bus lane.

      With their focus on the “Bus Stop & Lane Improvement” programmes, SCC and Guildford JC haven’t noticed the lack of use of Parkside.

      I believe it was included in the plans for CCTV auto enforcement by SCC – and an empty bus lane must be very enticing.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *