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Letter: More Bridges, Please, But in the Right Places

Published on: 30 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 30 Mar, 2021

Artist’s impression of the new Walnut Tree Bridge.

From: Barry Williams

In response to: Wey Towpath Diversion as Work Starts on New Walnut Bridge

Replacing the Walnut Tree bridge with an expensive and poorly-thought design seems very misguided. And to what benefit? The money spent could have been used to finance other river crossings to greater purpose.

I believe East-West connectivity for foot- and cycle-traffic across Guildford needs improvement to connect our communities and promote active travel, but we have two barriers, the river and the railway, and we need more foot-crossings.

I welcome the Guildford College link to the station area (via new Walnut Tree bridge) but is that enough? Do we not also need a University of Surrey Link connecting to part of this route?

Does a case exist for another new foot/cycle bridge link over the Wey and an extension of that College link from the YMCA at Wharf Road to align as close as possible to Yorkie’s bridge?

From Yorkie’s, this could link to the SMC West (Sustainable Movement Corridor) onward to the cathedral, university, hospital, science park.

Such a bridge would also serve the increasing student community marooned in Walnut Tree Close.

Is the structure of the old Walnut Tree bridge sound? Can it be re-used? A possible example of re-use could be to replace the pedestrian bridge over the Wey by Guildford Rowing Club.

A bridge there with proper ramps either side could benefit pedestrians, mothers with pushchairs and those in wheelchairs and cyclists who could access the riverside and towpath from the Shalford Park cycle route.

They could even link up with a new cycleway to Millmead and beyond to the station, assuming we also get the now much-overdue replacement footbridge at Tumbling Bay Weir.

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test One Response to Letter: More Bridges, Please, But in the Right Places

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    March 30, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Now that the construction of Walnut replacement bridge has started, there is no point in going back to the issues of under-capacity and safety of unsegregated cycle and pedestrian lanes on it.

    However, one redeeming feature would be to retain the existing bridge and connect it with the new one at the Plaza end so as to increase the overall capacity for pedestrians. And if the bus station is relocated on Bedford Road surface car park to achieve a kind of transport hub with the railway station, this would be an added benefit at a very little extra cost or no cost at all as the cost of removal of the bridge would be saved!

    Please also see possible solutions for better cycle, pedestrian and vehicular traffic routes in Guildford on https://tinyurl.com/traffic-and-buses

    All these issues need a holistic approach to finding better solutions to congestion and creating extensive cycle and pedestrian routes.

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