Fringe Box



Letter: There Is a Better Way to Manage Bus Station Routes in Guildford

Published on: 7 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 7 Jul, 2023

The current exit from the bus station onto Leapale Road.

From: Bibhas Neogi

See: North Street: Approve ‘Smaller, Higher Quality Scheme’ and We Will Withdraw Appeal Says Developer

I was not going to comment anymore in The Guildford Dragon NEWS but I think I must air my views at least one more time.

An altogether better scheme would be if the bus station were relocated to Bedford Road surface car park. Yes, this is a prime site but so is the current bus station land. Advantages are many in addition to creating a transport hub as best as possible now. This is described in my letter to The Dragon, a version of which, updated by me, can be found here.

Is St Edward appealing on a revised bus station entry proposal? If so, strictly speaking, it is not an appeal for refusal of the planning application.

St Edward’s revised proposal with reduced height and revised facade treatment for the tallest building, plus two staircases where needed under new rules, also has entry to the bus station from North Street. St Edward has said they would withdraw their appeal, if and when this is approved.

Three traffic consultants have apparently seen no traffic issues of entry and exit being from and to the north but Surrey Highways did. I suspect the consultants did not take into account additional traffic in the form of many delivery vans, refuse collection, servicing vehicles, etc adding to existing congestion due to North Street traffic coming down Leapale Road.

Also, pedestrians and cyclists from the 475 housing units using crossings near the bus station will inevitably lengthen the red signal phases.

Cllr Joss Bigmore [R4GV, Merrow] laments: “Hence a significant part of the proposed pedestrianised North Street will now not happen and will suffer buses passing through sacrificing the safer environment, the pocket park and the play areas. This is a huge blow to the benefits of the scheme to satisfy SCC”.

It was not just to satisfy SCC. It was a very reasonable opposition considering the adverse effect on bus movements and bus operations.

The solution would be to keep the bus station entry and exit as per the original design, keep Leapale Road one-way, divert traffic from High Street to Chertsey Street (also made one-way) and allow those entering North Street to turn around at a mini roundabout created near Leapale Road junction.

The above arrangement would reduce traffic in Leapale Road and obviate the need for a three-way traffic signal system opposite the bus station. Buses could exit freely in the absence of traffic from their right.

This design would enable a right-turn to be incorporated for buses from Onslow Street onto Woodbridge Road/Leapale Road and avoid the route for buses having to use York Road roundabout to access the bus station.

If the above were done, two-way cycle lanes could be accommodated on all these roads and thus improving access to the bus station for all including disability scooters.

Councils in consultation with St Edward should give these possible solutions serious consideration before deciding on what is best for this development and Guildford town centre.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: There Is a Better Way to Manage Bus Station Routes in Guildford

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    July 7, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    I welcome Bibhas Neogi back!

    There is no provision at the new bus station, with a reduction of stands for the buses coming from Weyside and Gosden Hill.

    Current anticipated demand is 1,500 passengers from each route, if current parking restrictions continue as in the Weyside Urban Village plan.

    Currently, only one bus every 20 minutes is expected. If this remains, then it will take six hours to take people from the sites and six hours to take them all home.

    Someone hasn’t read the documents. No future planning is needed.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    July 8, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Relocation of the bus station to free up the land for inclusion in the development site would be a much better solution. However, if that seems a tall order now for the councils, the alterations I have suggested to ease traffic and bus movements would be preferable.

    The plus points would be North Street pedestrianisation and retention of the pocket park.

    Taxis from the Friary stand would need a different route if the design for the bus station were retained as per St Edward’s original design.

    A mini roundabout at the mouth of North Street could be accommodated to let taxis emerge back on to the southbound lane on Millbrook. Another mini roundabout opposite Yvonne Arnaud would permit them to turn around and get back to the gyratory if required.

    This is the document, I submitted as recorded in the Planning Portal. It describes my suggestion for traffic alterations to improve entry and exit on the north of the bus station and a revised layout that retains all bus bays.

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 *