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Pushing Pedals: G-BUG Supports The Walnut Tree Close One-Way Trial – Will You?

Published on: 17 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 20 Nov, 2022

This is the regular column on local cycling by the Guildford Bicycle User Group (G-BUG). Its vision is to make cycling in Guildford safer, more convenient and fun. Members share a passion for making the borough more accessible through increased cycling.

By Bridie Sullivan

Surrey County Council re-opened the one-way trial of Walnut Tree Close on May 29, 2022 for six months.

Walnut Tree Close one-way trial is ending at the end of November.

This trial is the first and quite possibly only cycle trial to be conducted in Guildford. It is part of the Guildford Town Centre Master Plan and your contribution is just a few clicks away.

See: Yet Another Walnut Tree Close Closure As One-Way Trial Repeated

We will be whole heartedly supporting making the trialed one-way traffic permanent.

It creates a dedicated, safe, cycle route from the university and A25, from Ladymead to Guildford’s town centre and the railway station. It delivers a key part of the Sustainable Movement Corridor.

Plus, it gives a new link to the existing cycle network for all those north of the A3 or on the A25 corridor and it opens up a safer route to the university which has an off-road access point from Walnut Tree Close.

The Walnut Tree Close cycle route ends up close to the river, making a lovely cycle with the family.

It represents an important part of the town centre transport package funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership which connects the new Walnut Bridge and Guildford College cycle link.

And it widens the network created by the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, devised to make Guildford better connected for all.

Surrey County Council is currently recording all the cycle trips made on Walnut Tree Close, so please show your support by riding the route with friends and family. It leads to an entry point at the river, providing a perfect family pastime for the weekend.

G-BUG will be supporting making the one-way Walnut Tree Close trial a permanent feature.

With the trial shortly coming to a close, please ride, reflect and respond. You have the power to make it permanent by emailing your feedback to:

You are also welcome to join in the discussions at the G-BUG’s monthly committee meetings. You can give as little or as much of your time to support the particular projects that interest you. The Zoom meetings mean we can respond as a group to the consultations that will have an impact.

If you would like to join G-BUG – Guildford’s Bicycle User Group and find out more. That too is just an email away.

Safe Cycling

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Responses to Pushing Pedals: G-BUG Supports The Walnut Tree Close One-Way Trial – Will You?

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    November 17, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    As a cyclist, if the county council sees fit to repair and resurface Walnut Tree Close from the end of the cycle lane to the railway station, I might consider using it. As it is, it is almost the worst section of road in Guildford in terms of potholes and sunken, poor quality, utility company reinstatement works.

    After suffering no less than three broken wheel spokes in two journeys, due to potholes and bumps on that stretch of road (which I could not avoid due to oncoming vehicles), I have reverted to using the towpath.

    As a motorist, the additional congestion and delays caused by the diverted traffic from Woodbridge Meadows / Walnut Tree Close, along both Woodbridge Road and Stoke Road, means that, on the rare occasions I have to travel by car, I have to allow an extra 30 minutes for my journey to allow for sitting in slow-moving or stationary traffic.

    So, no. I do not support the experiment and certainly do not wish it to become permanent.

    • Andrew Calladine Reply

      November 19, 2022 at 9:00 am

      Unfortunately, every one of us who drives in an already congested Guildford and thinks that everyone else who does is the problem traffic is missing the point.

      You are the traffic, so don’t be surprised if congestion is the result of your addiction to driving.

  2. Julia Shaw Reply

    November 18, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    I feel much safer as a cyclist cycling along this section now, and its much quicker than using the tow path. I hope it becomes permanent.

  3. Calum Shaw Reply

    November 20, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    Walnut Tree Close is now a much quieter road and over time will encourage more to cycle in from the north of Guildford. A cycling artery into the centre of town is badly needed. The next logical step would be to resurface bad potholes and introduce a segregated cycle/pedestrian path to make it family-friendly.

  4. Alfie Simmons Reply

    November 21, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    It’s a great project and we need more of it. The barrier-segregated lane going towards town is particularly welcome. The painted cycle lane in the opposite direction is not so good (just look at the picture of the silver 4×4 in the article for a typical example of how close cars get to those unprotected painted cycle lanes). But Walnut Tree Close has been made safer by the one-way direction of motor vehicle travel and the reduced speed limit, so if I do get hit by a motor vehicle while cycling, it won’t be a head-on collision and it’ll be at a slower speed.

    On leaving this brief oasis of cycling calm and continuing the journey towards town, the state of the road surface on the rest of Walnut Tree Close is appalling and must surely affect the success or otherwise of the trial. I dare somebody from SCC Highways to cycle along that pothole-riddled road on a dark day, or when rainfall has disguised how dangerously deep some of the craters and ruts are.

    There’s a tipping point in cycling usage, and it comes when the whole journey is preferable to the alternatives – so lots more of these good quality cycle paths please, and certainly don’t take this one away.

  5. Jane Hepburn Reply

    January 1, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    It’s a good idea but it is so short as to be inconsequential. I’m not sure why it suddenly stops after the bridge going towards Ladymead…. And a good proportion of cycling traffic will be joining Walnut Tree Close from the town, not the Uni cut through, for which there is no cycling provision at all. It’s a bit something and nothing I fear.

  6. John Curruthers Reply

    November 7, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    The Walnut Tree Close restrictions have been in place for a while now and as a cyclist who regularly uses it, here is my review.

    Road surface on all of walnut tree close is terrible, the towpath is much smoother.

    The contraflow lane back into town is where the problems lie:

    It doesn’t get swept and it doesn’t take many drunken students to drop bottles cover cover the road in broken glass that isn’t crushed by heavier traffic. So I’ve had several punctures along there. Not helpful when paniers fully loaded with shopping.

    Ive had issues with moped delivery drivers using it, both against the traffic and parking in it while they deliver to the student housing along there.

    And it still dumps you onto the Guildford gyratory.

    But then I’ve been waiting more than 40 years for safe cycling routes across Guildford that don’t force me to ride on pavements and I don’t think there will be any while I’m fit enough to still ride. Just lots of little disjointed and unsafe lanes only suitable for use by children (even the elderly now all appear to be going faster than me on their e-bikes).

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