Fringe Box



Letter: The Problem With Our Roads is Excess Traffic

Published on: 22 Aug, 2015
Updated on: 22 Aug, 2015
Vehicles backed up on the northbound carriageway pictured from the Clay Lane bridge at Burpham. Note the southbound carriageway is devoid of vehicles.

Vehicles backed up on the northbound carriageway on Thursday August 20

From Ben Paton

The problem is an excess of traffic flows to highway capacity. This is the reason why the A3 comes to a near standstill every morning and evening going south through Guildford. And it is the reason why it comes to a near standstill every morning going north past Ripley.

To increase the capacity of the highway would require massive investment. In 2011 the Highways Agency reported that a mile of motorway costs an average of over £30m to build.

When journeys take longer than expected because of congestion drivers become impatient and exasperated. The result is greater incidence of accidents.

The chaos resulting from pile up on the A3 going south last week (Thursday, August 20) illustrates the fragility of a system already at breaking point.

In the circumstances it is astonishing that GBC released a draft local plan which would increase the housing stock by at least 20% without having carried out a Transport Plan.

To plan to increase road usage by 20-30% without any coherent plan to increase road capacity is irresponsible. It shows a blatant disregard for the interests of local voters whose journeys will take longer and be more stressful.

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Responses to Letter: The Problem With Our Roads is Excess Traffic

  1. Alex Brayshaw Reply

    August 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Good letter.

    The problem of excess traffic will not be helped by opening two more supermarkets, one right in the town centre. They are more likely to put us at standstill most of the time.

    There is a huge disconnect in our town between commercial greed/growth and the lack of a clear and well thought out infrastructure plan. We need to ask – what do we want the town to be?

    Something has to give. Invest in infrastructure, invest in helping small independent businesses and fill up the empty shops.

  2. Justin Mills Reply

    August 23, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    We already know how bad the congestion will be around the new Waitross with the introduction of the new set off traffic lights. Likewise since the underpass at Debenhams was closed traffic moves even slower through the town.

    But slow traffic is a bonus since my child is safer. 30 mph along North Street, Upper High Street, Chertsey Street and York Road is excessive, especially for buses (a bit off topic I know).

  3. Sue Warner Reply

    August 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I agree with the first paragraph of Justin Mills’ reply and now they’re about to make things a little bit worse by adding traffic lights at the bottom of Woodbridge Road at the junction of Ladymead, where it was a filter lane to turn left.

    Now queues will form on Woodbridge Road, where there were hardly any before. Drivers are impatient enough coming off the Stocton Road roundabout in heavy traffic, trying to make one lane into two and expecting drivers coming up Woodbridge Road to move over because the bus lane is empty. Sorry, but I’m not putting my car at risk of being hit from behind by a bus.

    I wish I knew who makes the decisions re. traffic flows (or non-traffic flows as it’s becoming in Guildford). I presume they don’t live here and don’t have to deal with the issues on a daily basis.

  4. Michael Bruton Reply

    August 26, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    As a regular user of the A3 I have personal experience of its congestion within Guildford Borough and of traffic jams through the two lane section London bound in the morning and Portsmouth bound in the afternoon. It is even worse from late Friday mornings.

    It is very difficult to get on and off the M25 at junction 10 in both rush hours – sometimes traffic tailing back to Cobham and Ripley Services. Junction 10 M25/A3 is one of the most heavily polluted roads in the UK, with high levels of noxious and carcogenic nitrous oxide. Given the national roads budget, government will not be able to sort any of the associated road problems.

    So what is Tory Guildford’s answer to all of this? Well, if we go by the previous Draft Local Plan it is to permit building another 15,000+ homes in the borough (20/30,000 extra cars – mainly on the A3); build 10,000 of these homes in the green belt – thereby trashing further then green spaces which Guildford, Surrey and London residents cherish; build these houses near the A3 – 2000+ on the former Wisley airfield which is 80%+ good agricultural land – the former airstrip is but a small element.

    Additionally build 2000+ homes at Gosden Hill on good agricultural land and join up, eventually, Guildford with West Clandon and across to Send/Woking; build 2000+ homes near the junction of the Hog’s Back and the A3 where the two lane section of the A3 starts and illuminate the AONB [Area of Outstandin Natural Beauty] at that point with a new island junction and lighting.

    But of course Guildford Tories promised to protect our green belt both in their 2011 and 2015 election manifestos. Utterly worthless and contemptible assurances, in my view. But is it any wonder developers just love Guildford Borough Council?

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