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Letter: Why Don’t The Councils Decide Now on Walnut Tree Close?

Published on: 26 Aug, 2018
Updated on: 26 Aug, 2018

From Alan Cooper

In response to: Walnut Tree Close Traffic Restriction Proposals

It must be obvious that if there are to be restrictions in Walnut Tree Close, which it desperately needs, it must surely be making it one way from the railway station to Ladymead. In other words, south to north.

It shouldn’t take time and money wasting six-month trials to resolve this. It will alleviate and ease much of the traffic problem on the one-way gyratory and make it so much easier for traffic to exit the station.

Traffic in Ladymead, that would use Walnut Tree Close, has a number of other options including coming off at the Guildford Cathedral exit.

Why don’t Guildford Borough and Surrey County Councils for once take the obvious decision?

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Responses to Letter: Why Don’t The Councils Decide Now on Walnut Tree Close?

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    August 26, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Unfortunately, just saying its obvious is not a basis for a proper assessment of traffic flows.

    There are some very good computer models for prediction of the results of changes. However, these do have a band of uncertainty, which decreases with the accuracy of data used.

    But from the ‘obvious’ logic point of view, during rush hour the whole road system operates close to maximum capacity. Any mishap leads to gridlock on most of the system for miles out of the town centre.

    So if through traffic is restricted or stopped, as said, it will have to use another route, which is already congested.

    To me, the logic, to achieve around the 50% reduction of traffic on the gyratory GBC wants can only happen with additional diversionary capacity. They mythical increased A3 widening or tunnels under the town perhaps?

  2. Ben Paton Reply

    August 26, 2018 at 11:16 am

    It does not strike me as obvious at all. There are a number of businesses with high footfall at the north end of Walnut Tree Close, for example, the Royal Mail, Screwfix and Brewers. Users can reach these businesses without driving into the centre of Guildford. They come in and go out from Ladymead.

    If the road is made one-way all that traffic will go into the centre of Guildford, then around the gyratory and then past the railway station. Surely that would make matters worse?

    What is needed is another road crossing over the River Wey. That’s been mentioned by traffic experts like Mr Neogi and also by GVG [Guildford Vision Group]. GBC would do well to listen to them. Has GBC canvassed the opinion of the Royal Mail? Or Screwfix?

    The real-life experiment should, at least, generate some objective evidence.

  3. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    August 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

    If Walnut Tree Close (WTC) is made one-way to Ladymead from the railway station, traffic that accesses the station would have to go via Woodbridge Road and the gyratory, adding more to congestion.

    In my view, councils are keen to improve safety on WTC especially on the narrow stretch and improving the exit from it into the gyratory by restricting traffic from Ladymead. But how much of the traffic from Ladymead uses WTC and exits into the gyratory in order to bypass Woodbridge Road? Not many I think.

    Restricting southbound traffic on WTC accessing the railway station would be unhelpful to most motorists who access the station and businesses nearby.

    There is an alternative but I believe the councils have not considered it or do not wish to explore. The strip of land adjacent to the tracks currently within Jewsons Yard has been safeguarded in Local Plan 2003 for a possible access route to the station. Network Rail had sold it, or was in the process of selling, it a couple of years ago but the covenant of its possible use, I think, still applies.

    By opening up the above route as one-way southbound down to Jewsons Yard boundary and then remaining two-way as it is now should be possible. WTC can then be made one-way along its narrow stretch northbound up to the junction leading to Jewsons Yard. The stretch from Yorkie’s Bridge, a footbridge, to WTC would remain two-way.

  4. Jim Allen Reply

    August 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I would say one-way traffic should go north to south as this only involves left turns. Going south to north means having to transit the whole gyratory system to get to the station from Merrow and Burpham.

    In reality is it is illogical to stop people arriving to the station via this road, and departing as well, as currently it removes the traffic in both directions from the clogged gyratory system.

    No buses go to the station and none are planned so car/taxi access is a must.

  5. Valerie Thompson Reply

    August 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    One solution is to build a multi-storey car park or two, for the residents and not permit any parking on Walnut Tree Close. Two-way traffic could then move freely.

    Pedestrian crossings need to have tunnels or footbridges to allow cars free flow. Waiting for pedestrians adds minutes to everyone’s journeys. Reducing the number of roads in Guildford will only add to congestion and pollution.

    It is not possible to reduce the number of cars going north-south or the reverse, or indeed, east-west, or west-east. People have to get from their homes to work.

    Suggesting people walk assumes they live within the town, and we all know that there are not sufficient houses and flats in the town centre.

    Cycling actually increases congestion as there is not enough room for cycle tracks and bikes clog up narrow roads, apart from the fact that many drivers are going long distances or are taking children to school, or are disabled or elderly and therefore cannot cycle, and has no one noticed that Guildford is on a series of hills?

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