Police accident reports again throw up the dangers of the gyratory and its lethal mix of cars and people. An analysis, referenced in an online SurreyLive article of 21 February, shows how dangerous it is for pedestrians, with the crossing at Farnham Road bridge near the junction with Bridge St recording 3 fatalities between 2013 and 2017.
Other surveys show how unhealthily polluted the gyratory is and how much its congestion costs us all, both residents and businesses, through delays.
Guildford Vision Group (GVG) has been making these points for over seven years. When is the council going to act? Money is being spent on tinkering at the edges, not tackling core issues.
Coming down the roads into the town centre over the next fifteen years is the additional traffic created by 10,000+ new homes set to be built on the fringes of town.
“The town centre needs some serious infrastructure study and spend,” says John Rigg, chairman of GVG. “The council‘s soon to be adopted Local Plan has nothing substantial to offer as a solution to the challenge of the gyratory. The opposition, in the shape of the LibDems, has adopted a nimby approach to any talk of bold initiatives.”
Specifically, both have rejected GVG’s oft-repeated call for a new link across the river and railway to take traffic away from the core and the main pedestrian flows. It would better connect east and west Guildford that, since the 1850s, has endured just the one crossing, the ageing and weakened Farnham Road Bridge. GVG’s link should be seen in the context of its masterplan for the centre.
The local elections are in May. Residents should challenge all candidates on this key issue for the borough if we want Guildford, the regional hub and engine of the local economy, to remain safe, healthy, attractive and accessible.