Fringe Box



Plans Submitted For Revamp Of Guildford Railway Station

Published on: 1 Dec, 2014
Updated on: 1 Dec, 2014

Solum Regeneration, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property, has announced that it has submitted a planning application for redevelopment of the east side of Guildford railway station.

An artist's impression on how Guildford railway station will look if plans are passed.

An artist’s impression on how Guildford railway station may look if plans are passed.

In a press statement it says “this follows three years of discussions and consultation with the local authority and local community”.

The scheme, that it expects to cost £150 million, will deliver, its says, the following:

A brand new station – providing a larger, double height ticket hall with a gate-line twice as wide as the current one to accommodate more passengers.

A radically enhanced station environment with an attractive new station square offering a high quality public realm.

A new multi-storey car park providing safe and secure covered parking, closer to the station entrance.

Separate pick-up and drop-off arrangements and an improved taxi rank with shelter and canopies.

An additional 232 secure station bicycle storage spaces and a further 40 spaces specifically designed for Brompton cycles.

A new vibrant station quarter with additional space for shops and restaurants.

Better and safer pedestrian links and ‘way finding’ into Guildford town centre.

New bus replacement arrangements so that no car parking spaces are lost during periods of engineering works.

It also states that: “The station improvements are to be funded through the development of a new residential quarter of 445 town centre apartments and commercial office space. The new homes will include a mix of private and affordable apartments, which will help reduce development pressure on greenfield land around the town.”

Stuart Kirkwood, director of development at Network Rail Property, said: “Guildford is one of the busiest and fastest growing stations in Surrey. Almost eight million people travel through Guildford Station every year, up from six million just 10 years ago.

“As the number of people travelling by train continues to grow, its right that we invest in better stations for the travelling public. This innovative plan for the redevelopment of Guildford station will give passengers better access, improved station facilities and better links with the rest of the town centre. It will ensure that the station has the capacity to cater for increased passenger numbers over the coming decades.

“Network Rail is investing billions to upgrade the railway over the next five years and this project is a great example of how the railway industry can work with other partners to bring benefits to everyone. The station upgrade is fully funded by commercial development; the new facilities will therefore be provided for rail passengers at no cost to the tax or fare payer”

Solum Regeneration says it has been working on its plans since 2011. Over that time, it says it has held numerous workshops and exhibitions and has heard from hundreds of local residents. “More than three-quarters of all those who responded to the consultation support the redevelopment of the station.”

Solum claims that “the consultation has also helped shape and inform our proposals – the scheme has undergone significant changes over the three-year consultation period. The major changes include:

“Focusing development on the eastern (town) side of the station. Network Rail is currently reviewing whether the western part will be needed in future to increase rail capacity – we hope this area will come forward for development at a later date.

“Removing the new supermarket and hotels from the plans in response to public concerns about traffic generation.

“Providing a larger station square to provide more space for pedestrians and interchange.

“Providing railway car parking closer to the station entrance.”

Peter Hughes, development director from Solum Regeneration, added: “Solum Regeneration is delighted to be submitting a planning application after discussions with the council, the relevant rail authorities and the wider community.

“The entrance to Guildford station is currently very congested and difficult to manage as pedestrians, taxis, cyclists and cars compete for space. The centrepiece of our plan is a new 21st century station arranged around a large pedestrian public square. We will provide separate provision for taxis, car users and cyclists, to make a much safer and more attractive environment for everyone.

“The proposals will regenerate an under-utilised brownfield site in the town centre and provide a modern, attractive station.”

Solum says that the scheme will create more than 300 new jobs, with its intention to “bring forward a viable and deliverable development proposal, which will have significant benefits for Guildford residents and station users”.

More information about the plans is available at

What do you think? Have your say by posting a reply in the box below.

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Responses to Plans Submitted For Revamp Of Guildford Railway Station

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    December 1, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Not one single mention of having the public transport ‘buses’ meeting the trains – so how can one support this proposal as it is constantly stated “proposals must be sustainable and promote sustainable transport”.

    Thus this proposal fails at the first hurdle. I still need to use my car [to get to the station] if I want to make a train journey. Unless I want to get wet and/ or sweaty making the transition from the distant bus stops to the station.

    So I may as well use the car for the full journey!

    • Keith Reeves Reply

      December 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Jim, you are overlooking that you can get the 37 from Burpham. It stops outside the station entrance in Guildford Park Road. A number of other routes also serve this stop.

  2. Mike Livingstone Reply

    December 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Looks like plans also afoot to widen the A3.

    “A3 Guildford Widening of existing A3 through Guildford to the Hog’s Back (A31) junction, with improvements to junction safety Autumn Statement 2014”.

    Not sure how this will fit though! Does this include a flyover for Abbotswood and demolishing the Wooden Bridge pub? I am sure that will be popular, not.

  3. Selina Maxwell Reply

    December 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    In reply to Jim Allen’s comments, perhaps as you seem to complain of all of the traffic in Burpham you should consider a bus and then walk the five minutes to the station.

    The amount of times I see cars with one person in is alarming – our traffic problems could be reduced if people bunked up with others or used their legs!

    • Jim Allen Reply

      December 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      In respect to suggesting I might use my car in and around Guildford.

      Well, 2,900 miles last year was on official record distance covered on the MOT certificate issued yesterday as it happens!

      With my “anti-government walking Boots” I pay no tax, need no MOT, no insurance, use no petrol, cause no pollution and I have no parking problems when in use.

      I actually don’t personally add to the traffic problems of Guildford, though recognise them after 40 years of working across the whole country.

      As for using buses, it is quicker and far cheaper to walk, than to walk to the wrong starting point wait for a bus which takes me to the wrong destination with a resultant walk at the other end.

      As for complain about traffic in Burpham, take this evening (5.54pm) three lanes solid on the A3 and 35 cars a minute crossing Clay lane bridge leaving Burpham. You do the maths, on a single lane road that’s one every two seconds! rolling at 35mph.

      Not to worry though, it’s planned to get worse! 300 HGVs per day are planned to start using this route next year, straight through the zone 3b flood plain to Slyfield.

  4. David Smith Reply

    December 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    The plans look good although we need to improve the links into the town.

    It’s a shame the council is not able to compulsory purchase some of the buildings on Bridge Street to open up the Odeon area and widen all of the pavements. You get a few people smoking outside Tesco and it reduces pedestrians to single file width. Being the main route into the town this is unacceptable.

    Also, if the Casino site is to be developed, why doesn’t GBC engage with Mr Harper and offer a small land swap so his seven-storey structure can be set right back from the road by way of a mini open space.

  5. John Robinson Reply

    December 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Yup, let’s do nothing, because we all want to save the Wooden Bridge pub…..really?? This is why nothing ever happens in the UK and why places like Guildford continually struggle with congestion, etc.

    As soon as any plans are proposed, then numerous protests and debates are triggered, sparking public enquiries and endless delays, along with spiralling costs.

    One thing is for sure – some action is needed! We need to consider future generations too – how would we all feel if nothing had progressed since the past?

    It’s all very well protesting against change and advocating further delays, but 50 – 60 years from now, a lot of the middle-age protesters won’t even be here, unless they have some plan for eternal life.

    Guildford is not just ‘their’ town, because they like things ‘just the way they are’. And I think most people would agree that people using a pub, whether that’s the Wooden Bridge or another, do not represent the views of all people who live in Guildford and the surrounding area.

  6. Mary Bedforth Reply

    December 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    This is the webpage for Solum’s plans for the station.

    There are six other Solum Regeneration Partnerships between Network Rail and Kier.

    This is the wording of the status of the company from the Company Check website.

    A lot of blanks and then this description.

    ‘Company Status Financial Statements too old Business Activity We have no business activities on record for this business.
    Company Number LP013163
    Type Limited Partnership
    Country of Registration GB
    Previous Name No Previous Names’

    So little info on the developers of such a BIG scheme!

  7. George Potter Reply

    December 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I like the idea of a redeveloped station with more passenger capacity and more space for bicycles and, at a pinch, I can stomach the blocks of flats if they’re done tastefully.

    What I can’t understand is how on earth anyone can think it’s a good idea to completely leave any potential for bus connections out of the redevelopment plan.

    I too am fed up of the sweaty, busy and often rainy five- to 10-minute walk to get from the train station to the Friary bus station.

  8. John Robinson Reply

    December 3, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Yes, have to agree with Selina’s comment.

    Is a 10-minute walk really that tortuous? Walking during your commute is actually beneficial to your health!

    Or is this how we are becoming as a nation (sadly, quite probably), where no-one is prepared to walk anywhere and want door-to-door commuting, sitting down all the way?

    • Jim Allen Reply

      December 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

      May I point out it is not ‘the walk’ that is the problem, it is the fact of not knowing a bus may or may not be there when you arrive later in the evening. So the 10 minute walk becomes 20 as you walk back for a taxi.

      This country is the only one I have visited where buses and trains do not integrate – even in Anchorage, Alaska (one passenger train a week to Fairbanks – flag it down with a towel outside city limits) has a bus stop outside the station.

      What is so difficult and so wrong to arrange a bus stop adjacent to the station so that travellers with luggage can continue their journey with dignity?

      Would the better question be why should motorists not be made to walk for 10 minutes from car park to station?

      This would then encourage them to use the bus and reduce overall traffic. It is specifically because so much space at the station is taken up with car parking and taxis, why there is the claim that there is no space for buses.

  9. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Since Guildford Borough Council withdrew their plans for the relocation of the bus station on Bedford Road car park site, they have not come up with anything yet other than promoting the idea of on-street bus bays.

    North Street development ideas also included on-street bus bays on Leapale Lane, Leapale Road and Onslow Street if Allies & Morrison idea of remodelling of the town centre goes ahead.

    On-street bus bays would be a very poor alternative considering that bus drivers would have no where to take a break nor would the occasional user be aware of their locations. When it is raining or snowing, it would not be pleasant at all if one has to hunt around for connections.

    I have on many occasions before said that the bus station should be relocated on Mary Road car park site with splitting bus routes to connect with the town centre and the railway station. Instead of buses emerging from the station and joining the queue on congested Walnut Tree Close and heading for Bridge Street, a link should be created to connect Walnut Tree Close and Mary Road to make it easier for the buses to go to the bus station. By making the stretch from Station View to this link as a one-way street, Walnut Tree Close would also be a whole lot safer. The link would also give easier access for the housing if developed on Wey corridor.

    Why GBC does not consider this as a potential site for a bus station, I do not know. They merely noted on the spreadsheet against my comments that Mary Road car park was not being considered. But why not? GBC did not give any explanation.

    Everyone I know wants the buses to connect the railway station but neither GBC nor Solum Regeneration gave it any serious thought and yet GBC had stated in their Planning guidance that the station should be a transport hub.

    I urge all readers to write to GBC and ask that they consider this option. It would not only be the best possible solution but obviate the need for a temporary relocation irrespective of whether Allies and Morrison idea comes to fruition.

  10. Brian Walter Reply

    December 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    We need to ensure transport integration (rail and buses) whilst understanding that not everyone who travels into the Friary bus station is going onward by train.

    Town centre pick-up and drop-off for bus passengers should be a vital part of any future transport plans.

  11. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 7, 2014 at 10:37 am

    The bus station should be relocated on Mary Road car park site for the following reasons,-

    The bus station has to be relocated to allow a bigger extension to the Friary but a smaller hub with say four or five bus-bays and a comfortable waiting area could be built in with the extension facing Woodbridge Road. This would be the main town centre connection for buses from the north and the east before they go to Mary Road bus station.

    Buses from the south and the west would have a stop in Bedford Road. All buses proceed to Mary Road bus station either via town centre or the railway station.

    Both incoming and outgoing bus routes would be split to connect with the railway station. Such an arrangement reduces the use of gyratory by buses and yet conveniently connects the town centre and the railway station. Fuller details are on my website.

  12. John Robinson Reply

    December 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

    In reply to Jim Allen’s last post – I’m pretty sure a 20 minute walk isn’t too bad, if you then had to walk back – as you suggest – to the train station for a taxi (if, as you say, you find there is no bus available) It’s only a 20 minute walk!! Besides, if that’s too strenuous, I think you’ll find there’s a taxi rank right outside the Friary, where the bus access road starts. Why would you walk back to the train station to obtain a taxi ride?

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