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Letter: ‘Time To End Guildford’s Love Affair With The Car’

Published on: 13 Sep, 2021
Updated on: 13 Sep, 2021

From Andrew Halliday, managing director, Safeguard Coaches Ltd

Jim Allen’s comments (Bus Lane Madness Deprives Us of 30% of Road Space) are so ‘yesterday’!

It is attitudes such as his and the resulting unfettered use of private cars – regardless of environmental, economic and societal cost – over recent decades that have resulted in Guildford having such notorious traffic congestion and pollution issues.

Bus lanes ‘deprive us (presumably he means car drivers?) of space’… in order to allow a more environmentally sustainable transport mode to operate more quickly and efficiently and thereby offer residents, workers and visitors an attractive alternative to the private car. And enable those without, or unable to use, a car to retain access to / from Guildford town centre.

With a climate emergency bearing down upon us, now is the time to end Guildford’s love affair with the car and think more responsibly and collectively about our travel choices and the legacy we will leave for our children’s children.

Building a lot more bus lanes to speed environmentally friendly buses and their passengers on their way to and from Guildford is a good place to start, though we will have to do much more than that to make a real difference.

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Responses to Letter: ‘Time To End Guildford’s Love Affair With The Car’

  1. Anthony Mallard Reply

    September 14, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Whilst, in principle, I lean towards agreement with Mr Halliday, the answer is not quite so black and white as he portrays.

    As a businessman he will appreciate that to provide an integrated public transport system that meets the needs of all sections of the community, some services must inevitably operate at a loss. Would his company be able to sustain such services or would the cry be the government must subsidise those aspects that are unprofitable? We have all observed the outcry over additional taxation in recent days. Subsidy is thus unlikely.

    As evidence shows, the unprofitable routes would then be withdrawn. There are also sections of the community, who, through personal difficulty, disablement and other valid reasons, including cost, are unable to use public transport and for whom, the car is a lifeline.

    There are no “rights and wrongs” to the points made by Mr Halliday and Mr Allen. The point at issue, is the appropriate location and use of reserved sections of the highway for use by buses, etc, so that they do not add to rather than reduce the polluting emissions caused by standing vehicles.

  2. Valerie Thompson Reply

    September 14, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Obviously, Mr Halliday never needs to use the through roads in Guildford to get somewhere else. The A3, the A246, the A3100 and the A281 all lead from and to, other towns. As there are no alternative routes other than through Guildford town centre, people have to drive on these roads.

    People are not necessarily using their cars to get to Guildford so clogging up the traffic with bus lanes and making hundreds of cars sit idling, thus producing yet more pollution, is doing no one a favour.

    There are no suitable buses for some long-distance journeys, nor do buses run at suitable times for everyone. In fact, because of high parking charges in Guildford, most sensible drivers use the Park & Ride locations for their town visits.

    • Ellen Donovan Reply

      September 17, 2021 at 10:35 am

      And stationary car engines cannot be turned off because…?

      I wish people would put as much effort into getting decent public transport as they do to supporting car use.

  3. Ross Connell Reply

    September 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    How often does Andrew Halliday travel by bus in Guildford? Not often I suspect.

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