The proposals to revise London Road to provide a cycle way along to road from York Road to the Lidl Store in Merrow have provoked much debate, in part caused by a flawed consultation conducted by Surrey County Council. Main roads in Guildford are the responsibility of Surrey County Council NOT Guildford Borough Council. The consutation has been extended partly due the late publication of the traffic survey attached at the foot of this post.
Guildford is a car dependent town with a cars being used for a large number of short journeys within the town. Although the town is hilly, modern e-bikes (See “e-bikes are coming” below) remove this as a barrier for most people. Improving our cycle network is to be encouraged.
Creating Cycleways to proper standards is a difficult task in existing conurbations. Good standards of separation of Cyclists and Pedestrians and Vehicles are necessary to encourage cycling. The government has published a comprehensive guide to design of cycling infrastructure to guide local authorities.
Too many of our cycleways are just white paint on roads with cyclists forced into traffic due to rough road edges and gutters, or use pavements which are inadequately maintained, with overhanging branches a particular hazard.
The London Road Scheme will provide:
It is expected that the London Road Scheme will also ultimately provide a link through to the proposed development at Gosden Hill Farm to provide Active Travel links to the Town Centre.
See the Surrey County Council flythrough of the proposed scheme below.
It is your chance to see the proposals in detail at three public events
The engagement period started on the 18 September and will close after an extension on the 15th December 2023 there will be a number of different ways for you to tell us your views on the Active Travel scheme from New Inn Lane to York Road, along the London Road (A3100), including Boxgrove Roundabout, see the consultation website link below.
You can also access the Surrey County Council Consultation Website via this link.
Surrey County Council are tendering for an operator to operate a Guildford E-bike hire scheme. Surrey County Council are working collaboration with Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and the University of Surrey.
The three organisations wish to promote cycling as an attractive, accessible, and practical mode of transport. The e-bike concession, which will operate in and around Guildford town centre, supports the following strategy and policies:
• To promote active travel and the Local Transport Plan (LTP4) to all residents and visitors to Guildford.
• To reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality through a reduction in local journeys currently made by car and associated congestion in and around Guildford town centre.
• To generate revenue without risk and support a sustainable self-sustaining e-bike scheme.
• The contract will be awarded as a concession contract, with permitted rights to operate a public hire scheme in and around Guildford town centre and on the University of Surrey campus.
The Society which has yet to examine the proposals in detail; we will be examining the scheme to see if it provides a quality cycling route mitigating impacts on pedestrians and traffic. Ultimately the scheme will be trade-off between various modes of travel and what is feasible within the constraints of the existing urban area.
Changing the mind set towards using cycles for short journeys is difficult and the use of cycles could be set back years by poor qulity cycle lanes.
The proposed E-Bike scheme is also be supported in principle, however again is the cycling infrastructure up to the potential use patterns. A concern is how cyclists will be encouraged whilst at the same time as avoiding the Gyratory System in the town centre.
Help us make Guildford better
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.
Getting involved allows the society to continue its work. We welcome new members, from every age and background. Membership provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the continued health of the town and surrounding area, and to meet other people who care about Guildford.