Fringe Box



More Reactions to Major Scale Down of London Road Scheme

Published on: 28 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 1 Mar, 2024

Image of London Road taken in August 2022 showing the existing, white-lined cycle lanes. Google Street View

By Martin Giles

Further reactions to the news that Surrey County Council has decided to proceed only with one section of the proposed London Road Active Travel scheme have been given today.

See also: London Road Active Travel Scheme Decision Confirmed

The pro-Guildford cycling organisation G-Bug (Guildford-Bicycle User Group) said they were “very disappointed” that Surrey County Council had deferred the Boxgrove to Burpham section of the
scheme for a later decision, are redesigning the Boxgrove Dutch Roundabout proposal and have cancelled the York Road to Boxgrove section.

But Fiona Davidson, the R4GV county councillor for Guildford South East, said that in her view, a clear majority of these residents, who would be most affected, were not in favour of the proposals.

Doug Clare of G-Bug speaking at the public meeting on the London Road proposals in January 2023. In the background SCC leader Tim Oliver.

Doug Clare of G-Bug told The Dragon that the SCC decision had been made “despite the democratic online survey showing a clear majority in favour plus George Abbot School, Guildford High School and the Emergency Services all supporting the go-ahead of the scheme.

“It is a great shame that it is far easier to object to new infrastructure than it is to support it. In this case, a group of naysayers got together and objected to the scheme by raising numerous negative points and even producing a survey that the author could not verify and was advised it was more propaganda than a proper survey!

“We implore SCC to go ahead with the deferred scheme from Boxgrove to Burpham and resurrect the York Road to Boxgrove section which aligns with all their sustainability strategies.”

Cllr Fiona Davidson

Cllr Davidson said: The largest area of the London Road scheme is in my Surrey division, and a clear majority of these residents, who would be most impacted, were not in favour of the proposals. Many people felt that the SCC survey did not allow them to express their views, and I believe this is why a large number responded to the ‘Alternative Survey’ and stated their opposition.

“There were many reasons:

  • the loss of a lane at the junction of London Road and York Road that would significantly exacerbate congestion (and without SCC evaluating the air pollution consequences),
  • the traffic modelling that acknowledged that a significant amount of traffic would be displaced into quiet residential roads,
  • the fact that between Boxgrove and York Road 32% of the footway would be shared by pedestrians and cyclists, the road configuration outside Guildford High School, the 14 traffic tables proposed between Boxgrove and York Road,
  • concerns over the complex choreography required to navigate a very unfamiliar form of roundabout on a main arterial route…

Map showing sections of the London Road scheme. Apple maps

“The more residents understood the proposals the less they were in favour – the disadvantages outweighed the active travel advantages put forward.

“However, many people do recognise the need to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, so I think they will welcome SCC’s plans to improve Boxgrove roundabout, as well as the additional crossings on Nightingale Road and Winterhill Way.  I am very pleased that the leader of SCC, Tim Oliver (Con, Weybridge), has listened to residents and has proposed a constructive way forward.

“For many people, the persistent doubts over the safety of the proposed lane widths between Boxgrove roundabout and New Inn Lane, and concerns over the proposal that 45 per cent of the footway on this stretch is a shared pedestrian and cyclist footway, have not yet been satisfactorily addressed.

“Active Travel England has very recently introduced a new Route Check Tool to assess the design quality of schemes. If the independent review that is planned uses a similar approach, and the Boxgrove to New Inn Lane stretch scores well, I’m sure residents will be reassured on both quality and value for money.”

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