Guildford Bus Station


Revised Bus Station

Type and Status

LPSS 2019 Policy A5
Application 22/P/01336 to develop part of the site
Part of the proposed North Street Scheme


A revamp of the bus station with a reduction in number of bays and all bus traffic routed in and out of the station via the North.

Cause of much discussion between Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council. 


The Future of Buses

A discussion on the options for buses in Guildford

Background Developments

Ride Sharing

Two examples are showing how Buses can be more dynamically routed, usually using mini buses to complement classic bus services.

Mole Valley connect

This is a digital on demand bus service, known as a Demand Responsive Transport solution, that is available in Mole Valley for everyone. It also serves a number of locations outside of Mole Valley. It is a safe and reliable bus sharing service that will connect you to your local community. The service expanded to the south of Mole Valley in May 2023.

Last year, the electric mini-bus service launched in the north of Mole Valley and has proven very popular with over 11,600 trips being made by passengers.

The service is based on a electronic platform matching demand to users supplied by PADAM Mobility a French technology partner which is supporting around 100 Demand Responsive Transport Schemes in Europe.  Over 4 Million bookings have been handled in 4-5 years.   


Hamburg and Hannover

MOIA is a company working in partnership with Volkswagen to develop an autonomous, scalable ride pooling system in Hamburg by 2025.

The benefits of autonomous ride pooling are claimed as

  • Reduction in Traffic
  • Increased road safety
  • Increases mobility revolution
  • More liveable conurbations.

As well as the obvious technological and legal challenges, MOIA are very aware they need to overcome the issues with acceptance with users.

A initial roll out of  a non-autonomous version of the system has been implemented in Hamburg and Hannover. This uses mini-vans called by a Smart Phone App.  The mini-vans are dynamically allocated in a manner similar to UBER.  The vans are able to use bus stops for pick up and set down as well as any other reasonable stopping place.

The MOIA picks you up at a stop near you (for speed it doesn’t always come to your door) - and the app guides you there. The app also shows you the pick-up and journey time, the virtual stops, the duration of the walk and the vehicle number three minutes before departure.  A screen in the MOIA van shows you when you have reached your exit point.

The system has now handled nearly 7 Million trips since its launch in Hamburg. Many of the vans are now electric and making the vans autonomous is the next major step.

Bus Boulevards

Many cities and Towns successfully manage Buses (and Trams) interacting with pedestrians and cyclists along so called bus boulevards.  Swindon is removing its central Bus Station and switching to a Boulevarde concept.  Exeter has redeveloped its bus station which is on the edge of the central city area to provide 12 stands, in addition many of the buses travel through the main streets of the city mixing with Pedestrians proviing the opportunity to use the bus services across the central area.   

Swindon Bus Boulevard

Global Warming

As we manage Global Warming effective bus services will become more important. We may see many more smaller buses in use to provide a wider range of services.  Note it is possible these smaller buses will interact with transport nodes e.g. Rail Services or Park and ride Services and won’t necessarily come to the centre of the town.

Buses will switch to either Hydrogen or straight electrical power.  This will require new refuelling facilities, including for pure electric buses opportunity charging. Alternative fuel buses have the major advantage of being non-polluting in use and quieter. (Note that existing buses can be converted to electrical power using a conversion kit with suppliers claiming it can cost as little as 20% of the cost of a new bus)

Three Bus Stations in Guildford?

There has been considerable debate about the location of the Guildford Bus Station.  This has culminated with a decision to keep the bus station in its current location with all buses entering and exiting from the North.  This proposal has caused considerable debate not least between GBC and SCC who have raised several concerns.  The whole debate is likely to be revisited if the planned appeal on the refusal of the North Street Scheme goes ahead.

There are potentialy three bus stations in Guildford.

1/ Guildford Town Centre (at the Friary)


Bus Station North Street

2/ East side of the station where Six Bus Stands are proposed as part of the Solum Scheme.

Bus Station East Side

3/ West Side of the station where Solum proposed a development and more recently the ‘Shaping Guildford’s future’ study is proposing a bus interchange

West Side bus Station

Guildford, should think long term?

The society considers Guildford (SCC & GBC) nees to think through Bus Services considering the above trends, and possible plans.

One scenario could be that:

  • North Street rather than total pedestrianisation provides a Bus Boulevarde which would increase connectivity east West along the commercial heart of the town.

The potential use of the bus stations could be optimised for example:

  • Should Park and Ride services cross the Town and use the Rail Station as the hub in the Town centre.
  • Should long distance services currently stopping near Tesco’s by the RSCH use a West Side of Station Facility in Time.
  • Should plans be considered to reduce the size of the Guildford town Bus Station moving stops onto North Street. This could be accompanied by shifting the current Bus waiting areas into a redeveloped Barclays Building, and would also allow the North Street Scheme to be reduced in height etc.



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