A very important stage in the development has been reached with the latest Local Plan Consultation completed in July 2017.
A large part of Policy ID3 - "Sustainable transport for new developments" is taken as indicating clear objectives toeards Modal Shift and the creation of a Sustainable Movement Corridor (SMC) to allow journeys to be rapid and relaible by bus and safe and direct on foot and by bike. This is followed by a forecast of absolute increase in overall traffic volumes and acceptance that roads, especailly around the gyratory, are already subject to recurrent traffic congestion during peak periods.
Over the weekday hours of 07:00-19:00, around a quarter of car trips passing through the Guildford gyratory either begin or end at a public car park in the town centre.’
The fact that the statement, apparently associated with congestion, refers only to cars and an average over the day makes it misleading. We have commented on the Parking Strategy, which makes similar observations, that the timing of the use of the car parks is important, as peak hour behaviour is totally different from other times when visitors and shoppers are most likely to use the gyratory to reach car parks. It therefore seems likely that much of the 25% of car movement quoted could occur at off-peak times.
We have commented that, by including Bridge Street, Onslow Street and Woodbridge Road as part of the SMC, its expectations are unlikely to be achievable without significantly more serious investment, aimed at diverting major through traffic away from this artery.
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We want our town to be vibrant, attractive and liveable. We support development that brings a sense of place and enhances the best aspects of our town. If such aims can be embraced, we believe Guildford has the chance to lead the way in enabling sensitive and sustainable development.
Pressures for development are increasing. Planning rules are being eased. The Society’s commitment to standing up for Guildford is needed more than ever.
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