As soon as we knew when the Interim Town Centre Framework would appear on the GBC website, GVG sent out an open invitation to a meeting on 28 August. This would be an opportunity for all to find out in what ways the ITCF differed from the original document, the Draft Town Centre Master Plan.
We were pleased to welcome over 150 residents, including almost a dozen GBC Councillors and Guildford’s MP to the meeting. GVG members kicked off proceedings by talking those present through the ITCF. The floor was then opened for all to ask questions, make comments etc.
The overall impression from the meeting was that we all love Guildford and want to preserve the things which make it special. On the other hand, we do not want the town to stagnate, or die a slow death, strangled by traffic.
There seemed to be a consensus that a holistic and long term approach was essential. We would be unlikely to achieve a more people friendly environment without looking at a much wider ‘Town Centre’. Only by including the Cathedral, University, Research Park and Hospitals in the Town Centre, can a truly VISIONARY FUTURE be developed for Guildford, integrating new public spaces and green areas and pedestrian and cycle friendly routes with the old and new built environment.
It was good to hear that the Council and Surrey County Council are now looking at traffic issues, but it is still impossible to understand how they can contemplate adopting plans before understanding the traffic implications. It really is putting the cart before the horse.