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Transport Annual Report 2014

Jun 2014

MEMBERSHIP : Chris Blow took over the chairmanship from Roger Jones at the beginning of the year and Maurice Barham remained as Secretary. Other members: Hugh Anscombe, John Beynon, Keith Chesterton, John Jagger, Roger Jones, and Colin Selvin continued to provide active support.

LOCAL PLAN : The Group contributed to The Society's response to the GBC Issues and Options Paper leading to the new Local Plan, & our absolute priority is summed up in the statement:

"Large volumes of through-traffic should not be allowed to damage Guildford’s well-being and prosperity." 

The Group has addressed the importance in the Local Plan of Journey Time Reliability, infrastructure for buses, the needs of pedestrians and cyclists and an integrated transport structure for Guildford including the A3.

New developments envisaged by the Local Plan must be designed to have minimum impact on the road system, but even without them the system is plagued by congestion and immediate resolution of the causes of congestion is essential.

Bus facilities in the shopping centre must be improved along with connectivity with the main railway station.
Pedestrian routes must be improved, notably riverside walks and routes between the town centre and the railway station and the Cathedral. Similarly, although there are improvements for cycle routes in the pipeline, major improvements are still needed around the gyratory and the railway station.

Land must be reserved in the Local Plan for major capital projects, improvements to the A3, widening of roads, new bridges over the railway and the Wey and possible tunnels.

G-TAMS: We have attended workshops on the Guildford Town and Approaches Movement Study (G-TAMS) and Arup's report has just been published. Whilst we commend the principles of establishing a green car-free corridor connecting the Town Centre with the main employment areas to the west and the north-east and encouraging a modal shift towards public transport we are disappointed by the lack of proposed incentives. Similarly, no specific measures are recommended to divert through traffic away from the town centre.

UNIVERSITY OF SURREY PLANS FOR "WEST GUILDFORD” : These hit the headlines at the end of the Issues and Options consultation period. The Group made a first response which disapproved of the idea of a link road between the A31 and the Research Park/RSC Hospital area passing through the centre of the proposed Garden Neighbourhood.

MASTER PLAN : We were keen to support the appointment by GBC of Allies & Morrison in March 2014 to develop a Masterplan and members participated in their workshops and Town Centre shop. A suggested location for a new bus station was sent to them.

NORTH STREET SITE: Work has commenced on the site and we are pleased that our Chairman, Chris Blow, has been invited to join the project’s Advisory Panel. We consider the need to include attractive public transport interchange facilities within or near the site to be of paramount importance.

OTHER TOPICS: We launched a campaign, appealing to Waitrose to preserve the York Road underpass, in addition to the proposed pedestrian crossing, but this failed.
We welcomed the opening of the new Onslow Park & Ride site, west of the A3 but were disappointed at the absence of plans to access it directly from the A3 northbound. 

Posted by: Chris Blow & Maurice Barnham