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Letter: Some Parking Places Still Planned Near Woodbridge Road Cafe

Published on: 13 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 13 Aug, 2020

From: David Goodwin

county councillor for Guildford South West

In response to: Landmark Guildford Cafe Devastated by Proposals to Remove Parking Spaces on Woodbridge Road

I am a member of the Guildford Joint Committee discussing the proposed bus route plans along Woodbridge Road. This is part of a “three interlinked” initiative on Woodbridge Road led by SCC to make it easier for people to walk, cycle and/or use the bus along this route and you can read more about this here.

The three initiatives are:1. Woodbridge Road has been identified as part of the town’s proposed network of “Sustainable Movement Corridors”, a priority pathway through the town for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

2. The Town Centre Transport Package project proposes to provide a toucan crossing (to the south of the junction of Woodbridge Road and Wharf Road) as part of an improved walking and cycling link between Guildford railway station and Guildford College.

3. The Guildford Quality Bus Corridor project would improve, extend and connect the short sections of the bus lane at the northern end of Woodbridge Road, as part of an upgrade to key bus corridors in the town.

The proposed new bus lane will, for example, be used only by buses, cyclists, taxis (hackney carriages), emergency services (ie police, ambulance or fire service), vehicles that need to remove obstructions in the bus lane, and statutory service vehicles to enable emergency works/repairs (gas, water, electric supplies). The ban on HGVs using bus lanes will continue, keeping cyclists safer.

The Woodbridge Road Cafe proprietorship has expressed concerns about car-parking for their clients. But although some changes are proposed, all car parking spaces are not being removed.

Looking at this diagram, you can see the proposals include:

  • The removal of approximately eight to nine shared-use on-street car-parking spaces outside the cafe; and
  • Installation of approximately five to six car-parking spaces down Woodbridge Road opposite Gardner Road.

If there is a genuine desire for residents to see “greener transportation” and better access routes for cyclists and pedestrians, these three projects are a good start. But SCC does have to wait for the public to have their say in the consultation which is open until August 21.

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Responses to Letter: Some Parking Places Still Planned Near Woodbridge Road Cafe

  1. John Lomas Reply

    August 13, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    The bus lane signs at the Millmead end actually permit LGVs to use it, the ones further in towards town opposite the cricket field permit vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes to use it.

    I travel around a lot of the country and don’t recall ever seeing those signs anywhere else. They don’t even appear in the government publication “Know Your Traffic Signs”. Though I am aware that the Traffic Signs Manual does permit such usage in Chapter 3 Section 9.

    Many people can’t tell the difference by just looking between a 7.5 tonne and a heavier rigid truck.

    This letter has ignored those goods vehicles in its list of permitted vehicles

  2. Carol Norris Reply

    August 13, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    If I remember correctly, some years ago there was a threat to stop parking outside the Woodbridge Road Cafe. I recall a dear friend (sadly no longer with us to fight again) pointing out that the cafe would be unlikely to survive without parking outside.

    I would like to think that the council does not wish to cause a thriving business to close and more people to lose their jobs this year.

  3. Martin Elliott Reply

    August 13, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Any interesting description of the Guildford Quality Bus Corridor Project. However, I still can’t see how a new section of Bus Lane 79m long “improve, extend and connect the short sections of the bus lane at the northern end of Woodbridge Road,”, especially as it will end short of the town centre bus lanes.

    Surely it will just move the claimed congestion that 79m south.

    The rumoured 24hr implementation, with planned CCTV enforcement, sounds awfully like, a good revenue generator for SCC.

    Also, why does SCC continue the prejudice against mopeds/motorcycles? TfL (although often a political football) allows motorcycles to use bus lanes. Why not SCC, especially in this take-away enclave?

    And why hasn’t Guildford JC considered the benefits at Stoke Crossroads of removing the Parkside bus lane, redundant for buses for over eight months?

  4. Jim Allen Reply

    August 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    So reduction in parking places thus reducing business for this cafe forcing passing trade to pass by.

  5. Sue Warner Reply

    August 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    People need to be aware that work will commence on 24 August for two months.

    Working hours Mon-Fri 7.30am-5.30pm, Sat 8am-3pm. Lane closures 24hrs a day. Night closures 8pm-6am, signs nearer the time. This will cause gridlock in Guildford initially as all roadworks do. Updates on @GuildfordJC on Twitter and Facebook.

  6. Peta Malthouse Reply

    August 14, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I thank Cllr Goodwin for finally telling us what is planned. However, in reality, the replacement parking amounts to only half that presently enjoyed by the users of the cafe.

    A downturn in business will result and this is a much-loved landmark and facility. The cyclists are to be protected by extending the bus lane but, in truth, the council is only extending the bus lane from the mini roundabout to just beyond the bridge and one has to question what true benefits are thought to flow from this.

    Traffic in Woodbridge Road has always been appalling and not everyone can cycle or walk or use the bus. It is one of the main routes into Guildford and used for delivery of goods. How much is all this costing because from this perspective not much will be achieved?

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