Fringe Box



Plan For Specific Path For Pedestrians, Cyclists and Public Transport

Published on: 18 Apr, 2014
Updated on: 18 Apr, 2014

A specific pathway through Guildford town for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport has been recommended in a new study looking at transport up until 2050. 

GBC LogoThe proposal that has come out of The Guildford Town and Approaches Movement Study will now be discussed by Guildford borough councillors at their meeting on April 24.

In a council statement on the news, the lead councillor for infrastructure, James Palmer, said: “This study is the first step in developing a long-term transport strategy for the borough. Our aim is to secure the infrastructure needed to sustain Guildford as one of the leading towns in the South East. Working with our partners we will tackle traffic congestion and promote sustainable transport giving people a real choice about how they travel.”

The path or route is being called a ‘sustainable movement corridor’ for Guildford. The council adds in its statement from the transport study: “This is both an accessible pathway through the town for pedestrians and cyclists and a priority public transport route for fast and direct connections between key locations.”

No specific route or locations have been mentioned.

Cllr Palmer added: “This project is only the start and there is a lot more work to do. This strategy sets out our approach towards how we want to tackle movement issues locally over the next 30 years and beyond, and the specific measures that need to be implemented will be developed as the project progresses.

“The study makes it clear that increasing road capacity in the town centre is not the answer, as this would only encourage more through traffic, which is why we are supporting the idea of a sustainable transport corridor.”

The study was carried out by technical specialists, Arup. Residents, organisations, students and local businesses contributed to workshops during the course of the study.

The report will form part of the evidence that will inform the draft Local Plan to ensure that development is sustainable and meets the changing needs and future growth of the town. It will also inform the development of a unified transport strategy for the borough to be prepared by Surrey County Council.

Do you have a view on this proposal? Perhaps you have a suggestion as to where such a pathway could be built. Please leave a reply in the box below.

Share This Post

Responses to Plan For Specific Path For Pedestrians, Cyclists and Public Transport

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    April 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Unfortunately by just copying the council’s news release, you are right that it lacks information. If you had also downloaded the actual report and annex from the website you’d find that the committee has actually got some firm information to discuss next week.
    For example the extensive “sustainable movement corridor” is clearly show from Slyfield to the science park.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    April 19, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    There is no proposal as yet. I am confused as to what is meant by “This is both an accessible pathway through the town for pedestrians and cyclists and a priority public transport route for fast and direct connections between key locations.”?

    What are the key locations? Are these the hospital, cathedral, university, railway station, bus station, High Street, North Street, G Live, Stoke Park, Spectrum, Lido and Guildford College? No. Does it really meant to be the town centre only i.e. from the railway station through to G Live? That would make some sense.

    The High Street is already for pedestrians only between 10am and 4pm. There was also talk about making North Street for pedestrians only but no details were known as to how the stores would get their deliveries. If the entire town centre is restricted to pedestrians and cyclists only, businesses would have to have their goods delivered out of hours. Routes have to be found for traffic avoiding the town centre. This could only be possible if a ring road is built around the town centre.

    The south-east and the south-west sectors are hilly terrain and so not suitable for surface routes. Therefore tunnels would have to be dug whereas in the north-east and in the north-west sectors, it would be possible to create surface routes but large scale demolitions would be required. North Street and High Street could then be made a priority public transport route.

    I do not understand the logic behind the assertion that increasing traffic capacity in the town would attract more through traffic. What route does this traffic now take to skirt around the town centre? Do people travel using alternative modes of transport because the town centre is congested? There are no viable alternative routes. As we know Guildford is a gap town so everything goes through it.

    Although not mentioned here, the corporate plan talks about tunnels for the A3. Yes, the A3 junctions are the problems but that does not mean the A3 needs to be put in a tunnel. A 9km A3 tunnel would cost some £1.6 billion! The A3 junctions could be improved and its sections could be widened.

    The problems are the feeder roads going through the town centre. Congestion in the town centre is mainly due to through traffic that has no viable alternative at present. Traffic tails back on the approaches in the morning and tails back up the exit routes off the A3 in the evening and this in turn affects the A3.

    So what will it be? Another massive demolition job the like of which was last seen when the Friary was demolished to make way for the dreaded gyratory and the Friary Bridge? I have said often enough in these columns that I believe there are affordable solutions that could be implemented in stages. These solutions do cater for the pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and commuters, whilst improving traffic flow through the town centre. These ideas are on my website – just search for ‘revamp guildford gyratory’.

    We wait to hear more from the GBC about Arup’s ideas.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    April 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Great ideas for a green field new town.
    Shame the writers didn’t realise Guildford is 1,000-year-old layout, with local council officials in control who don’t understand what joined up rational thinking is.

  4. Martin Elliott Reply

    April 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Well said both. The thing is, in the ongoing competition between Kingston upon Thames and Guildford, whether it has been shopping, administration, traffic/car parking, Kingston seems to provide what’s required by the stakeholders; Guildford tinkers around for a bluster and minimum spend.

  5. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    May 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

    These reports are now available. Please see the link—Guildford-Town-and-Movement-Study-App-1—Strategy-Reportpdf/pdf/pdf36_1.pdf

    and the scenario analysis link—BACKGROUND-PAPER—GTAMS-Scenario-Analysis-and-Appraisal-of-Interventions-Reportpdf/pdf/pdf214.pdf

    Quite a lot to take in and I am still studying these documents. In the scenario analysis (the link above) the long list of interventions have been short-listed using five criteria – TOWN CENTRE, EMPLOYMENT, ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY, and CONNECTIVITY.

    Of course there is a lot of work to be done before any of these could be developed further into feasible schemes. Further criteria that need to be examined are – PRACTICABILTY, EFFECT ON HISTORIC CHARACTER, AVAILABILITY OF SPACE, BENEFITS, COSTS, WHETHER UNDER GBC CONTROL etc.. I dare say some of these interventions would prove to be non-starters and way beyond the capacity of GBC’s funding capability. For instance the one-way ring plus a tunnel from York Road to the A281 Shalford Road would be impractical for several reasons. Any blockage would potentially lead to a total gridlock and long detours (a 200yds journey from Farnham Road to Portsmouth Road would become more than a mile long! Besides demolition of properties, headroom needed over existing roads may require extensive redesign including problem of maintaining access and marrying up levels with Woodbridge Road.

    I think road space for tramways or guided buses in the Town Centre is totally inadequate and could be impractical due to hilliness. Needless to say this would ruin the character of Guildford. We need to remember this is Guildford not Croydon.

    So a lot of work needs to be done before practicable, beneficial and affordable schemes are identified and worked up. Maybe some of those interventions that have not been short-listed would after all prove to be viable, practicable and holistic in approach to integrated Public transport and traffic movements through the town and have to be resurrected. It would be unethical for me or any individual to promote schemes that are likely to blight private properties. It is expected that GBC would follow the usual procedure of valuation of properties likely to be affected by any proposals before going public to avoid blighting properties.

    The Portsmouth railway line is extremely busy with only about three and a half hours of no trains at night. Building bridges over the tracks would be very challenging as track possessions required for construction and acceptable to Network Rail may well neigh be impossible to secure.

    My view is that fully pedestrianising Bridge Street is unworkable. Two-way working to remove traffic from Bridge Street has been looked at in the past and not progressed. Long tailbacks and queues are inevitable during peak periods if this goes ahead. The pedestrian route from the railway station to the Town Centre should be on an elevated walkway combined with the railway station platform and forecourt development. There is no mention of possible effect of railway station redevelopment in these reports. I may have missed their citation. Disability Discrimination rules require fairly level walkways and footbridges (gradients no steeper than 1 in 20). In the mean time widening the north footpath in Bridge Street should be preferred by reducing three lanes to two.

    I have explained my preferences on my website and the holistic approach I took in finding possible solutions. If the reader has not visited this website, it could be accessed by clicking on my highlighted name.

  6. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    May 22, 2014 at 5:32 am

    No comments yet from the readers of The Guildford Dragon NEWS concerning Guildford Borough Council documents about future transport scenarios?

    I assume Guildfordians are either stunned into a silence having to visualise trams and trolley buses in their town or have resigned to a state of complete apathy. Or they are taking a stance that nothing will ever happen in reality other than more talks, consultations, plans, framework documents, seminars and presentations of long list of wishes and visions.

    Well, they may be right and waiting until the next general election that might change the government and with it all plans and policy documents might be ditched and the whole process restarted. And so it will go on – words, words, words and loads of fluffy documents but no deeds.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *