Fringe Box



Onslow Bridge Pavement Closure Worries YMCA Boss

Published on: 8 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 11 Nov, 2013
Pavement closed. Pedestrians are faced with retracing their steps or risking the road.

Pavement closed. Pedestrians are faced with retracing their steps or risking the road.

A pavement closure on Onslow Bridge in Bridge Street, Guildford is causing serious concern for pedestrian safety.

Pete Brayne, the chief executive of the adjacent YMCA said: “The path over the bridge, on our side of Bridge Street, has been blocked off and apparently will be so until December 12. After Christmas the pavement on the other side of the road will be closed until February 2014. That side is even busier. Can you imagine that?”

“When people come across the blockage, they are not prepared to back track and so simply walk out into the road.  This is very dangerous. We had no warning whatsoever.”

But Surrey County Council deny that no warning was given and say that the pavement closure is essential for safety reasons.

Mr Brayne is also concerned about the effect of the closure on YMCA’s business: “This rather isolates us from the town centre as the only access is via the subway at the top of Bridge Street. We are just coming up to our busy Christmas period where we serve hundreds of Christmas dinners, which brings in a lot of valuable income to support the charity.”

The Town Bridge is also getting a much needed clean up. Fortunately there is no motor vehicle traffic here.

The Town Bridge is also getting a much needed clean up. Fortunately there is no motor vehicle traffic here.

A spokesperson for Surrey County Council said: “The historic Grade II listed Onslow Bridge has been in need of restoration and repainting for some time. We have been planning this, and the same for Town Bridge, over the past year in conjunction with Guildford Borough Council and the Guildford Town Centre Group, which the YMCA is part of.

“We cannot do the work without closing the adjacent pavement, for the safety of pedestrians, other road-users and our workers, but the opposite pavement and nearby subway remain open, and we implore all pedestrians to use them and not risk their own and other people’s safety by walking in the road. Signs directing pedestrians to the subway went missing on the first day but we replaced them the following day so the message is quite clear.”

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Responses to Onslow Bridge Pavement Closure Worries YMCA Boss

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    November 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

    It is a terrible inconvenience when footways are closed in this way and I understand Pete Brayne’s worry about loss of earnings for the YMCA during the coming festive season.

    On the south side [the YMCA side] pedestrian numbers are normally low but the north footway is very busy during daytime. A long detour via the subway would need to be signposted clearly but many will be tempted to cross the road. In any case the south footway would be totally inadequate to cope with the peak flow and pedestrians are likely to spill over on to the adjacent narrow lane and compound the danger.

    An alternative would be to construct a temporary footbridge over the work area of the north footway. It will cost a bit more but it will ensure safety and avoid unnecessary injury and accidents that may cost even more.

  2. Peter Logan Reply

    December 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    It’s a pity they didn’t use local contractors like my company to carry out this work.

  3. Mary Bedforth Reply

    December 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I cannot believe that this wonderful legacy from the Onslow family in the 19th century is actually being painted and restored. It has been in a disgraceful condition for a long time. I agree that the timing is bad though and inconvenient, though temporary.

    The bridge and the parapets are Grade 11 listed since 1988.

    Many of the premises in Bridge Street have shabby and dirty looking exteriors which need cleaning and painting.

    On the Rodborough building, for many years there has been a damaged piece of terracotta frieze on the corner of the building at the side entrance to the Electric Theatre and underneath a damaged metal pedestrian barrier. Exterior painting is also needed on the frontage and repairs to the terracotta tiled pavement surrounding the building undertaken.

    The pedestrian footbridge over the river by the rowing club is also in need of attention and painting as it has shown signs of rust for some time. Some of the wooden railings on the A281 pavement to the left of the footbridge are missing. A child could easily fall through on to the concrete path below and be injured.

    Does anyone in charge care about the appearance of the town nowadays? I often wonder what visitors think.

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I am a little puzzled by the rush to repaint this bridge during winter months. Winter months are not suitable for painting even if modern paints are moisture tolerant.

    The work could have been done safely after Bridge Street traffic had been altered under the improvement scheme. Any of the proposed improvement options for the gyratory would have freed up at least 2.5 meters of road for pedestrian use.

    Since the work has already started, a safer route for the pedestrians should be explored. As I have said in my previous posting, a temporary walkway on scaffolding could be erected over the north pavement to provide such a route for the pedestrians and thus allow work underneath to proceed unhindered.

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