Fringe Box



Letter: SCC Should Finish Work Commenced in 1966 By Building a New Bridge

Published on: 19 Dec, 2022
Updated on: 19 Dec, 2022

From: David Ogilvie


Our money is being wasted on ridiculous road proposals. First, for London Road in Burpham, which was to entail a five-month period of one-way traffic, now thankfully subject to further consultation (although likely to proceed). Second, £250 million is to be spent on M25 Junction 10 improvements which will funnel even more traffic through Guildford.

Instead, SCC highways should finish off the project for Guildford that they started in 1966 by building a new bridge over the River Wey (see attached 1966 SCC Highways plan). Better still they should implement the crossing that GVG proposed (see attached plan) that received 90 per cent approval at a public meeting.

1966 SCC Highways plan showing pedestrianised town centre and location of a new bridge over the River Wey.

This proposal will eliminate the congested and dangerous Guildford town centre gyratory, pedestrianise, Onslow Street and Bridge Street and thus open up the town centre to pedestrians and cyclists from the High Street to the railway station.

In this way, Guildford’s most polluted, accident-prone roads would be made safe and the riverside would be opened up.

Map prepared for the Guildford Vision Group by David Ogilvie

There is a golden opportunity now to safeguard this route in the new Local Plan. Some may say that the Solum station development (refused by GBC but approved on appeal) blocks this route. This is not the case at present, the route would fly over the new two-storey station car park and thus create a welcome gap in the great wall of Guildford that is the Solum development.

This crossing could be designed to accommodate the same level of traffic that passes through Guildford at present.

The “Y option”(see: The Biggest Changes For Our Town in Two Centuries Need Popular Support), one of those shortlisted in Shaping Guildford’s Future to replace the gyratory will cut traffic capacity through Guildford by 70 per cent. This will be devastating for Guildford businesses and will hinder residents from getting from one side of Guildford to the other to reach the hospital, university or schools.

If GBC expects that the 70 per cent reduction in traffic to Guildford will be taken up by modal shift to cycling, waking and using public transport why is the proposed new bus station being reduced from 26 bus stands, at present, to 13 in the current North Street proposals?

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: SCC Should Finish Work Commenced in 1966 By Building a New Bridge

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 19, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    Interesting history of what the council was thinking of but a new road through Solum’s development would be extremely unlikely to be acceptable to them.

    David Ogilvie’s idea of resurrecting this would not provide the solution because Farnham Road Bridge would not be able to cope with the traffic from the south to the west, the north and the east and in the reverse directions.

    The new east-west crossing could be further north and Onslow Street traffic maintained while Friary Bridge would be closed to traffic in order to create a pleasant riverside regeneration.

    I have already mentioned, here on The Dragon, how this could be done.

  2. Roger Carnegie Reply

    December 20, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    Could I ask for David Ogilvie to give his source for the claim of a 70 per cent reduction in traffic if the Y option is adopted? I’ve not seen this in any GBC/SCC document.

    I grow weary of those who try to explain how building more roads, which adds more traffic, will solve traffic problems. The “just one more road” fallacy has been widely debunked.

    If I have read David Ogilvie’s letter correctly he is proposing an elevated dual carriageway that goes over a two-storey car park. Does anyone want a huge elevated road going over the top of Guildford?

    Note: GBC did publish a detailed traffic and travel analysis here.

  3. David Ogilvie Reply

    December 21, 2022 at 10:44 am

    In reply to Roger Carnegie, the figure of a 70 per cent reduction in traffic required to implement the “Y” option would was mentioned to me by a GBC councillor.

    I have mentioned this figure previously in a Dragon letter and it was not challenged.

    The new bridge will replace existing dangerous roads with a safer road. There will be little net gain in roads and a huge gain in safe pedestrian areas. The bridge does not need to be a dual carriageway, a single carriageway would suffice sufficient to maintain existing traffic capacity.

  4. Roger Carnegie Reply

    December 25, 2022 at 11:18 am

    The traffic modelling in the GBC report states a 30 per cent reduction is needed. This is feasible but challenging.

    I quote: “Option Y requires the lowest reduction in traffic levels at an approximate reduction of 30 per cent. This will require significant intervention across Guildford to achieve this level of traffic reduction, but it is possible to deliver and has been done successfully in places such as York and Oxford” (see page 34, figure 13).

    Car traffic has increased massively over the last 30 years and will continue to rise in the next 30. We cannot build our way out of this by adding road capacity – unless we want more busy and congested roads in the town centre.

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 *