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Three Serious Traffic Accidents, In One Day, Cause Severe Disruption

Published on: 14 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 17 Dec, 2016

Guildford motorists suffered from more severe traffic disruption, in and around the town today, following three separate accidents.

This morning police advised motorists to avoid A25 at Silent Pool junction with Albury following a serious road traffic collision.

At 9.37am a silver Citroen, making a turn, collided with a silver Toyota travelling on the A25 towards Guildford.

The driver of the Citroen, a man believed to be in his 50s, was taken to Kings Hospital in London suffering from serious injuries. A female passenger, also believed to be in her 50s, has been airlifted to the same hospital. She was described as having life threatening head and chest injuries.

The driver of the Toyota, a man believed to be in his 30s, has been taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting with minor chest injuries.

The road was closed for over five hours whilst police investigation work was undertaken.

Then this afternoon there was a collision between a car and a pedestrian in Guildford town centre. Surrey police reported: “Officers were called to the incident in York Road outside the Waitrose supermarket around 1.25pm.

“A male pedestrian has been taken to hospital. It is not believed at this time that the occupants of the car, a blue Peugeot 106, suffered any injuries.

York Road was closed while emergency services deal with the incident, causing traffic tailbacks into other parts of the town centre. Roads remained choked for several hours.

The crossing in York Road replaced a pedestrian subway as part of the Waitrose redevelopment. Some residents expressed fears during the planning phase that safety might be compromised.

A third accident was reported later in the afternoon, around 4pm, near Slyfield Industrial Estate when a motorcyclist was said to have been involved in a collision. Traffic between Guildford and Woking is said to have been severely disrupted.

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Responses to Three Serious Traffic Accidents, In One Day, Cause Severe Disruption

  1. Sally Parrott Reply

    December 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    There were two excellent pedestrian subways in Guildford, which allowed people to cross York Road and Millbrook safely and without holding up traffic. For whatever reason, both were filled in and traffic delays in central Guildford have since become much worse, especially where pedestrians are constantly crossing, for instance at the bottom of the High Street.

    If it was thought that the subways might encourage crime, Guildford Borough Council employees stationed in the subways, together with CCTV cameras, could have made them safe (and there was always the option of crossing overground at quiet times). Whatever the cost of employing GBC employees to police the underpasses, it would surely be much less than the uncountable cost of traffic jams and the resulting pollution?

    Our children’s lungs matter, and the air quality in Central Guildford must be very poor.

    I imagine there is no hope of re-opening the subways?

  2. John Dwyer Reply

    December 15, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    You see all these incidents through a windscreen, don’t you? And it’s a very middle-aged windscreen at that, it seems to me.

    Isn’t the story that people were seriously injured in these collisions rather than that some drivers were inconvenienced? And please, could we restore “queue” or “jam” to its rightful place as a description of what you call “tailbacks”.

    As the reporter of this story I can say that, in actual fact, I use my bike or my feet for most town centre journeys, not least because it is usually quicker, especially if I am attending the scene of a traffic accident, which I did not on this occasion. Descriptions of the injuries suffered by the casualties were included. They came from police reports which are what most new services normally rely on. Detail is often scant and casualty identities withheld for reasons of privacy.

    I saw no mention of the subway v. crossing issue in other media at the time of our report but I think its inclusion did show our awareness of the road safety aspects involved. We have also, in the past, specifically reported perceived safety issues at the York Road junction/crossing and other “blackspots”.

    As for “middle-aged”, only if I live to 122. I maybe old but that is not my fault and I don’t believe views should be casually presumed on an ageist basis.

    “Tailbacks” (a word listed in the OED with, according to Collins, British etymology) is a better description, in my opinion, of the congestion in Guildford yesterday afternoon than jam or queue. Traffic was seen queuing over a mile away.

    The chronic congestion in Guildford and the widespread effects of any incident in the town area are newsworthy, it might not be just inconvenience that is suffered. By reporting such incidents it can only be hoped that those in authority take the necessary action to reduce the risk of recurrence. Also, importantly, it allows readers to feel sympathy for those who have been injured. Martin Giles

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      December 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      I personally think that Martin Giles’ report above was concise and simply reported the facts as known to him, as neutrally as possible.

      As for the comment by Mr Dwyer, “some drivers were inconvenienced”, the congestion and delays are often much more serious than a mere inconvenience. People miss important hospital appointments and job interviews. Vulnerable children are not collected from school. Time critical deliveries are delayed and businesses lose trade and income as a result of these delays. Ambulances, fire and police vehicles are delayed on route to emergencies.

      Only by highlighting these delays, the damage to vehicles and most importantly, the injuries and deaths that occur on Guildford’s roads, can we hope to spur the relevant authorities on to take appropriate action.

      As for Mr Dwyer’s ageist comment, he should remember, although youth may have energy, innovation and enthusiasm, with age often comes wisdom and the memory of what seemed like a good idea at the time, but proved to be a failure. One should not write off people that are older than oneself, they’ve usually learned from their mistakes and might just help those younger to avoid making the same ones.

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    December 16, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The Dragon is correct to report not just the accidents – with their attendant pain and suffering for the people involved- but also the implications for the resilience of the road traffic system.

    The road traffic system is strategic infrastructure that most residents depend on – regardless of whether or not they have a car. Pretty much everything anyone consumes is delivered by car or truck. So a system that grinds to a halt when there are a handful of accidents is not resilient.

    Incidents like these should be systematically measured to assess the deterioration of the health of the system. After all, ‘sustainability’ is supposed to underlie all planning judgements.

    Most people suspect that the system is becoming less sustainable and more fragile and that government is not giving it the priority it should. One of the problems is that responsibility is fragmented across several different government agencies.

    One of those, Highways England, is a secretive quango that is not directly accountable to local people. Another is Surrey County Council which is, relatively speaking, remote from local problems. Neither have any great incentive to sort out the traffic problems in Guildford.

  4. Jules Cranwell Reply

    December 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    We are going to see so much many of these tragic incidents, as well as increased incidence of premature deaths caused by pollution, if GBC persists in its plans to concrete over the green belt.

    They appear hell bent, given recent pronouncements from its leader, on pursuing the discredited plans to build massive housing estates at Blackwell Farm, Wisley etc.

    Many of these are already pollution blackspots, where the NoX levels are already so high as to legally preclude the building of schools.

    Just what are those in power at GBC thinking?

  5. Brian Holt Reply

    December 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Am I the only driver who has noticed the increase in drivers around Guildford, of all sorts of vehicles, jumping red traffic lights? I know this is happening nowadays all over the country, but it is going to cause even more accidents, and if you look its normally van drivers and younger drivers.

    The standard of driving is getting worse at a time when there is supposed to be tougher driving tests.

    If you stick to the speed limit you will get overtaken by drivers who think you’re going slow, they never seem to notice the speed limit.

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      December 19, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      If Surrey Police hadn’t decimated it’s Traffic Patrol Department over the past 15 years or so, to the point that it barely exists, perhaps there might be a bit of enforcement of the the traffic laws in the town, beyond the very limited enforcement capability of a few speed and traffic light cameras.

      Yes, fixed site cameras do have a positive effect in their immediate vicinity and the mobile speed camera vans have an effect, but they can only be deployed in certain suitable places.

      The beauty of the old fashioned traffic patrol officer, particularly on a motorcycle, was that they could pop up quite unexpectedly anywhere and that I’m sure, was a major deterrent to the sort of behaviour on the road that we see now.

      Even an ordinary foot patrol PC could have a field day somewhere in the town like North Street in the peak hours, where it seems like every other motorist in the slow moving traffic is on a mobile phone and every other cyclist is swanning around without lights.

      Traffic policing now seems not to be a priority at all, in the mind set of our current county police hierarchy.

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