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No Agreement on Solution for Beechcroft Drive ‘Deadly Junction’

Published on: 21 Jan, 2019
Updated on: 21 Jan, 2019

The Grim Reaper at Beechcroft Drive junction with the A3, the ‘Deadly Junction’.

A “deadly junction” in Guildford is being left unimproved while highways authorities, who operate the roads through and in Guildford, fail to agree over funded changes for the Beechcroft Drive junction with the A3.

Highways England, who operate the trunk roads nationally, and Surrey County Council (SCC), who are responsible for the local road network, have met with Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and the residents, but a final solution does not appear to be any closer.

The road is locally perceived as being very unsafe whether crossing the A3 or joining from Beechcroft Drive.

Residents recently highlighted their plight dressed as the Grim Reaper and have posted numerous videos on YouTube.

County Cllr Fiona White (Lib Dem, Guildford West) said that she “usually mutters a prayer on the way out” of Beechcroft Drive.

Mark Payne, Beechcroft Residents Association spokesperson said on Sunday (January 20): “Highways England needs to stop spending taxpayers money on studies and start building a road.”

The junction, with an unusual layout directly onto the busy high-speed A3, has been waiting for improved access for many years.

Guildford’s MP, Anne Milton, has commented: “This is probably one of the most dangerous junctions in the country”.

The Residents Association are seeking alternative access. One option would be via a 400m new road which would link into the Onslow Park & Ride. The residents have estimated the cost to be £814k.

Beechcroft junction with the A3. It shows the pink, high-friction surfacing on the northbound carriageway which shortens the braking distance for cars stopping in an emergency. It also shows the gap in the A3 central reservation for southbound access for the residents.

At a meeting in December 2018, the Residents Association gave a presentation to Highways England at their head office in Bridge House, Guildford.

Anne Milton, MP for Guildford, and representatives from SCC, GBC and the University of Surrey were present.

Residents spokesperson Mark Payne said that the meeting had been “fraught”.

Highways England had previously informed the residents that the alternative access was “undeliverable by Highways England”. Reasons included legal constraints, maintenance and the high costs expected.

Cllr Matt Furniss, deputy leader of GBC  and cabinet member for highways at SCC, said that Guildford Borough Council had been working closely with Surrey County Council and the University of Surrey on a solution but: “The issue that we have had is primarily funding and that has to come from Highways England as it is their junction.”

SCC has said that the junction does not fall within the council’s remit. Beechcroft Drive is a private road and the A3, as a trunk road, is the responsibility of Highways England. The junction is not part of the local road network which the council operates and maintains.

The residents have been appreciative of the efforts made by Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council (#Deadly Junction Twitter feed on Beechcroft Drive junction).

The Guildford Dragon NEWS understands that the University of Surrey, which owns the land, would make land available for the alternative access road.

Beechcroft Drive alternative access Option 3A, costed at £814k. The Guildford Dragon NEWS understands that the new road required would be between Beechcroft Drive and the Onslow Park & Ride. Click to enlarge the images.

Accidents statistics have recorded that there is a cluster of accidents on the A3 near to Beechcroft Drive.

There have been seven “slight” accidents and one “serious” accident recorded between 2011 and 2017. And residents have pointed out that, whilst this is a relatively small number, it does not take into account the accidents up and downstream of the junction. It also is a disproportionate number of accidents compared to the small number of residents from the 21 houses using the junction.

Accident statistics, recorded by the police, show a small cluster of accidents near Beechcroft Drive.

Highways England said that they will be operating average speed cameras on the 50mph section of the northbound A3.

A leaflet issued by Highways England says: “Speeding vehicles and incidents on this busy downhill section of the road are widely acknowledged issues.

“These cameras should help to make the road safer by reducing the congestion caused by incidents and also smooth out traffic flow.”

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test One Response to No Agreement on Solution for Beechcroft Drive ‘Deadly Junction’

  1. John Schluter Reply

    January 21, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Perhaps an incident involving somebody moderately famous, a rolled Range Rover and a third party suffering a broken wrist would accelerate (forgive the pun) some traffic-calming measures?

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