Fringe Box



Letter: More Thought Required For Masterplan Traffic Proposals

Published on: 25 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2016

Masterplan Report 2015 featureFrom Bibhas Neogi

No doubt the vision for a transformed Guildford, as proposed in Guildford Borough Council’s (GBC) recently approved Masterplan, looks very attractive but for such a dream to come true a large dose of pragmatism will be required to deal with the traffic that trundles through the town.

The proposals put forward, so far, to deal with this problem are impractical, to say the least, especially coming from GBC and Surrey County Council, that are supposed to have the technical expertise, either in house or procured, to plan and design a road network that copes with the volume of traffic.

The term “Masterplan” is a misnomer since the councils would not be funding the demolitions and the new build. Developers will have to come forward with schemes that are financially viable.

So this Masterplan gives the developers guidance as to what could be acceptable but the outcome would be dependent on what is actually achievable within the bounds of constraints and economic return of such developments.

Although the council said it would look at the bridge proposal to connect Guildford Park Road with York Road, Cllr. Furniss has apparently said major infrastructure such as a tunnel or bridge in the town centre would not be justified as less than 10% of traffic going through the town is from the south to the A3.

I think he has been advised wrongly. If the town centre is to be successfully pedestrianised, traffic will have to go somewhere. It is not just the through traffic heading for the A3 that is the issue, the gyratory traffic has to go somewhere.

The Guildford Vision Group’s (GVG) proposal is to export the entire problem to the west of the railway track by creating a four lane link. This solution would be extremely disruptive and expensive and unfair for the residents along and adjacent to this route.

An alternative would be to have a short tunnel under Onslow Street, a two lane link between Guildford Park Road and York Road and a one-way Farnham Road Bridge into the town centre. For a safer pedestrian route, a new covered footbridge over the tracks and a high level walkway from the station to the Friary would be an ideal all-weather route.

I hope the council would explore the above ideas along with visiting GVG’s bridge proposal.

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Responses to Letter: More Thought Required For Masterplan Traffic Proposals

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    March 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I did not come across any mention of what will happen to the bus station when Friary extension is built that would occupy best part of it.

    There was an idea, mooted by whom I do not remember, for doing away with the bus station altogether and have on-street bus bays dotted all over the modified town centre routes. Apart from further restricting available road widths, bus bays are far from convenient for connections and passenger comfort in bus shelters during inclement weather.

    I believe Surrey County Council, some years ago, did consider relocating the bus station to the Mary Road car park site but did not progress the idea any further. A report prepared for the council also did not recommend it as access to it was not good. However, access could be much improved with the modifications I have suggested for connecting the east/west flyover from Woodbridge Road via Mary Road to Guildford Park Road and the one-way loop with traffic exiting to Woodbridge Road via Leas Road.

    If new housing in the Wey corridor goes ahead, it would be convenient to have a new link from Walnut Tree Close (WTC) to Woodbridge Road. A one-way loop could also be created with extended Station View through Jewson’s yard (safeguarded under the 2003 Local Plan) and WTC up to this link and thus eliminating the problem of two-way traffic and safety issues of WTC’s narrowest section.

    Bus routes could be split to serve both the town centre and the railway station with multiple bus stops and comfortable waiting areas. Incoming routes passing the railway station would go along one-way WTC and the new link to Mary Road bus station. I have explained this on my website under the section on buses.

    Outgoing buses to the west would use the flyover and those to the north, east and south would use Leas Road. Alternate buses would connect with the Friary Extension multiple stops before proceeding along their routes. Incoming buses, not calling at the railway station, would from the west and the south use Bedford Road and those from the north and the east the one-way road to be created from Woodbridge Road to Mary Road, beside the Police station, after connecting with the multiple stops of the Friary Extension. So no one need lug their shopping from the town centre to the bus station or from the bus station to the railway station.

    I hope this allays fear of those who maintain that the bus station should remain where it is. Please visit my website by searching for ‘revamp guildford gyratory’.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    March 30, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Considering there has been no adverse comments to my postings, I assume all are in favour of my proposals?

    Would the councils consider my suggestions? It will depend on how vocal the Guildfordians are in supporting and canvassing for these if they are to to be examined and carried forward.

    Hopefully it would be found that they provide the best possible solution within all the constraints of a gap town.

    I would draw attention of Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council to the above proposals and consider the posting as an open letter to them.

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