Minutes of Meeting 15th June 2012

Minutes of Meeting 15th June 2012 1920 1440 admin

GVG members are in conversation with a continuously expanding group of stakeholders in the town. Residents, businesses and workers all have an interest in seeing Guildford achieve its potential as a thriving economic hub for the southeast region, without losing its historic charm  and attraction as a place to live or visit.

GVG members share this same desire for Guildford’s future. As a group, we come from backgrounds as varied as architecture and chartered surveying to banking and arts management.  The one thing which unites us is our wish to see a secure and pleasant future for this lovely town. We have no vested interest beyond that.

We look forward to seeing the development of a professional master plan which will ensure such a future.

Liz Markwell

Add your Comments

Add your Comments 1920 1440 admin

This page is provided as a ‘blank canvas’ to capture thoughts that individuals have to solve specific issues.  Submissions can be made to ideas@guildfordvisiongroup.com

Please note that these ideas are not promoted nor endorsed by the Guildford Vision Group.  Please feel free to send us your comments

David Ogilvie Plan  20120425_OgilviePlan_1434_003

Traffic Solution by Bibhas Neogi A possible traffic solution

Minutes of Meeting 8th June 2012

Minutes of Meeting 8th June 2012 1920 1440 admin

GVG continues to work hard on diverse fronts to widen participation and encourage all stakeholder groups to have their say about the future of this great town. To that end, members are preparing letters, flyers etc to spread the word about the positive benefits of a master plan for Guildford Town Centre.

It is encouraging to note that  a significant number of individuals have contacted the group already to let us know of their ideas and concepts relating to future infrastructure, traffic and other issues.

Group members are looking forward to the possibility of collaborating with all levels of government in order to secure a vibrant economic future and continually improving environment for Guildford.

Liz Markwell

Minutes of Meetings

Minutes of Meetings 1920 1440 admin

GVG Meeting 1st June 2012 – Have your say

Guildford Vision Group members were delighted to hear that a date is about to be set between key members of the group and Guildford Borough. This will give us the chance to put our ideas directly to the Council and persuade them of the vital importance of a long term plan to tackle Guildford’s chronic traffic and other problems, as other towns have already done.

We are working hard to get more people who live and work in Guildford to get interested and engaged. This means contacting stakeholders, getting information out more widely via the website, flyers, letters and so on. We are also committed to sending out regular updates to registered supporters.

Why not sign up, have your say, and get the forward-looking Guildford we all want!

Liz Markwell


GVG Meeting 25th May – What Guildford wants

 This week, Guildford Vision Group discussed the changes Guildford needs in order to improve the current and future quality of life, and to ensure a strong economic future for the people and businesses in the town.

We need a town that works – and the first step towards that must be a long-term solution to the traffic problems.

Until Guildford town centre stops being strangled by traffic, it will be virtually impossible to achieve the other improvements people want – such as safe pedestrian and cycle routes, and pleasant green spaces.

Until everyone starts thinking of Guildford as people-centred rather than traffic-centred, any development proposals are doomed to failure or, at best, a low level of success.

Guildford needs a masterplan which puts people first.

Liz Markwell


Guildford Vision Group Meeting date: 11 May 2012

Guildford at a crossroads

The position Guildford is in right now presents both a challenge and an opportunity. There are a number of projects either on the table at the moment, or to be considered over the next few years, and two potential approaches to these projects.

One approach is to deal with each on an individual basis and with reference only to the existing infrastructure; the other is to look at all future development possibilities in the light of all the various pressing issues which need to be tackled – and take a holistic view.

The first approach is clearly short-sighted: the first stages of redevelopment undertaken in a piecemeal fashion could easily make future projects impossible to achieve.

The second approach allows for all projects to contribute to the quality of life for residents, workers and visitors and to the economic growth of Guildford as a whole in all sectors of activity – retail, University, leisure and tourism, SMEs and so on. This second approach requires a professional masterplan at its core – and depends on all authorities including Guildford Borough Council, Surrey County Council and the Highways Agency being involved.

Such a masterplan would cover the next 30 to 50 years, divided into 10 year stages. Only through addressing all the relevant issues – parking, access, tourism, a positive outcome for developers making large investments in the town – can sustainability be assured.

Liz Markwell



To view speeches and slides from the Guildford Vision Group Launch Meeting on 21st March 2012 click here

To read our blogs click here

To read other items in the news click here

20120508 Transport Facilities Feedback

20120508 Transport Facilities Feedback 1920 1440 admin

BELOW is a selection of feedback from the first ninety Questionnaires:

How do you rate Guildford’s current transport facilities?

“This is hardly a town looking to the future – it is full of history and a legacy of feeble 60’s and 70’s planning that have failed to deliver a lasting attractive and sustainable transportation system (whether on foot, by bicycle, by car, by bus or by train).”

“The key to the town’s future lies in resolving the traffic problem.”

“When the SCC took over in the seventies they went for a cheap fix which tore the heart out of our Town.  The town had now become just a route through for other destinations.”

“Traffic routes work well until there is a problem or flood. The gyratory has lines which are too narrow for buses and coaches. People often end up in the wrong lane. The A3 needs to be a proper bypass.”

read more

20120508 Serving Needs Feedback

20120508 Serving Needs Feedback 1920 1440 admin

BELOW is a selection of feedback from the first ninety Questionnaires:

How well do Guildford’s town centre facilities and environment meets your needs?

“Guildford makes very poor use of one of its major assets – the river frontage. The town centre is disconnected from it. The industrial sites in Woodbridge Meadows and Walnut Tree Close turn their backs on it.”

“I am a parent with teenage children and I am concerned about how life will be for them.  This was not all that impressive when I was growing up but it is so much worse now – and I pity any parents of students at the University who see what an awful area they have to walk through just to get into town and back!”

“The area around the main bus station and North Street is a disjointed mess, and a bottleneck most of the time., and the intiate mix of pedestrains and vehicles around the ‘Casino’ nightclub area at peak times day and night is scary to say the least.” read more

20120508 Efficiency Feedback

20120508 Efficiency Feedback 1920 1440 admin

BELOW is a selection of feedback from the first ninety Questionnaires:

How effective Guildford has been in addressing its problems or making the most of its potential?

“We need a long term plan, not ill thought out or untested, quick fixes (that only turn out to be a waste of money shortly after implementation.)  Further major development should all be on hold until we have sorted out the roads/flow of traffic problems, even it it takes 20 years to afford it!!  The idea of a Waitrose, hopefully with a John Lewis, would be most welcome, but without 100’s of extra parking spaces, is only going to make our traffic problems much worse. Peoples’ time is valuable to them in modern life and we do not want to spend hours in almost stationery queues to get in, out, or across the town.  This will put people off coming to Guildford to either shop, work or relocate to the town or nearby and therefore the area will get poorer and shabbier.”

“I don’t believe that GBC’s town planners have ANY sense of preserving the beauty, character or unique potential of our lovely little city – and that seems to me very, very sad.”

“Separation of Borough and County (who seem to be almost at war with each other) means there is no comprehensive planning and no accountability or responsibility for the problems.  Both Councils are run by people who do not live in Guildford and this presents a major problem when it comes to understanding the problem – perhaps the County Council should be moved to Guildford – then it would understand how difficult it is to get around and across town.” read more

20120508 Current Vision Feedback

20120508 Current Vision Feedback 1920 1440 admin

BELOW is a selection of feedback from the first ninety Questionnaires:

What is your understanding of Guildford’s current vision for the next 20+ years?

“Limited. Not ambitious enough. Not tackling some of the key issues facing the town.”

“I am not aware of one.”

“I don’t know! I’d be interested to know, though.”

“There does not appear to be a vision. Effort seems to be directed at having more shops without any thought about how people are going to get to them.  If they don’t improve the traffic situation, people will stop coming.”

“I can’t say I’ve read anything in the local papers to suggest there is a vision as such – I’ve  lived in Guildford for over 20 years now and cannot in all honesty say I’ve seen any grand plan for the town. Used to live near Windsor and they’ve done a good job of pedestrianising Peascod Street and re-vamping the Windsor and Eton Central railway station with very easy pedestrian access”

“Don’t think there is much overall vision – continued piecemeal commercial development aimed at making money for the developers seems to be the norm.” read more

20120508 Priorities Feedback

20120508 Priorities Feedback 1920 1440 admin

BELOW is a selection of feedback from the first ninety Questionnaires:

What are the two or three most important priorities for Guildford to tackle if it is going to realise its true potential?

“Traffic management in town centre. Traffic links onto and leaving the A3. Realising the full potential of the river frontage. Continuing to value the wealth of heritage sites we have in Guildford.”

“Find a solution to the town traffic problems, no matter how long the planning needs or the long term cost,  but make it last for 30 years. Give our town centre some cohesive style and character to match its history that we can all be proud and want to preserve not the mish/mash we have now.”

“We all need to be allowed to dream and then someone (preferably someone from outside the area who knows how to do it properly and has no baggage) needs to capture those dreams in the most comprehensive way. Then we need to plan how to reach our dreams.” read more

20120428 Steering Group Meeting

20120428 Steering Group Meeting 1920 1440 admin

At the Guildford Vision Group meeting on 28 April, steering group members reaffirmed their desire to work with residents’ associations, local businesses, the University andSciencePark, along with Guildford Borough Council to create a new vision for Guildford.

A properly researched, professional masterplan is absolutely vital. An effective long term masterplan forGuildfordwould bring all elements together to create an economically vibrant town. These elements would need to include a new traffic masterplan removing the gyratory, the provision of aTown Square, safer routes around town for pedestrians and cyclists, improvements in development of the riverside and so on. read more

20120420 Steering Group Meeting

20120420 Steering Group Meeting 1920 1440 admin

At a meeting held on 20 April, the Guildford Vision Group steering group members were delighted to welcome local MP Anne Milton and her constituency PA Sarah Coleby.

Anne Milton was extremely supportive of the aims and objectives of GVG. As a local resident, she is only too aware of the issues we all contend with on a daily basis: the time we need to allow to get across town from any direction, the lack of safe pedestrian routes, the short-comings of the public transportation system and so on. read more

Julian Lyon (14th April 2012 – Letter to Guildford Dragon)

Julian Lyon (14th April 2012 – Letter to Guildford Dragon) 1920 1440 admin

Guildford desperately needs to address its traffic congestion (clearly confirmed by the meeting of 150 to 200 people on 21st March launching the Guildford Vision Group) and to create a vision for a better town to meet the needs of all its stakeholders.

The Council’s Draft Town Centre Masterplan, with minimal consultation over the busy Christmas period, has been widely criticised as “woeful”, “badly researched”, “lacking any vision” and “fundamentally flawed” – mainly because it did nothing to address congestion and the impact of traffic routes on pedestrian access between the station, the town, the river and elsewhere.

read more

Maurice Barham (April 2012 – Letter to Surrey Ad)

Maurice Barham (April 2012 – Letter to Surrey Ad) 1920 1440 admin

I entirely agree with Mr. John Scott (Letters, 6 April).  A feature of the Railway Station scheme is that 400 car parking spaces on the east side would be relocated in new multi-storeys on the west, with access to and from an already congested Guildford Park Road.

This is just another example of the piecemeal town centre development, which is encouraged by the Masterplan (apparently to be renamed the Interim Town Centre Framework), without any consideration for its effect upon roads, traffic and pedestrians.  Traffic matters are to be resolved later, we are told, by studies for the town centre which will be fed into the Core Strategy for the whole borough. In the meantime a number of these isolated but substantial developments will be allowed to go ahead. read more

John Rigg (Letter to Surrey Advertiser 16th January 2012)

John Rigg (Letter to Surrey Advertiser 16th January 2012) 1920 1440 admin

I write with reference to the public consultation on the draft Town Centre Masterplan prepared for Guildford, which ends this Monday 23 January (www.Guildford.gov.uk/towncentremasterplan).

As a local resident, and someone involved in the property industry, I am deeply concerned about the quality of this document, and the missed opportunity if not detrimental effect it could have on our town over the next 20 years.

read more

Stewart Morgan (15th July 2011 – Surrey Ad)

Stewart Morgan (15th July 2011 – Surrey Ad) 1920 1440 admin

I applaud John Rigg’s observations and arguments in his letter last week, the thrust of which I fully support.  I am certain that I was not alone in feeling immensely energised by the thought of transformational change that could unlock the huge untapped potential of this community.  Change on such a scale however would clearly require three essential components.

Firstly, we need to be clear and agreed about who we are and wish to become.  John Rigg rightly emphasises the need for a long term vision and his reference to towns such as York, Bath, Chester, Oxford and Cambridge echoed aspirations raised by the Guildford planners themselves at the launch of their public engagement on 23 June.  Yet the substance of the council’s process thereafter, and indeed in the surveys they undertake via the website, rapidly descends to a focus on the minutiae of specifics, of new retail development opportunities for example and the need to sustain and grow our “zone A retail rent” performance! read more

John Rigg (Letter to Surrey Advertiser 6th July 2011) – GUILDFORD TOWN CENTRE MASTERPLAN

John Rigg (Letter to Surrey Advertiser 6th July 2011) – GUILDFORD TOWN CENTRE MASTERPLAN 1920 1440 admin

I write with reference to the Council’s invitation to respond to consultation on the Town Centre Masterplan.  (www.Guildford.gov.uk/towncentremasterplan).

My proposition can be stated simply: Guildford is currently falling a long way below its potential, and the opportunity should be taken now to have an imaginative plan prepared that will raise its standing in the eyes of residents and the world.

read more

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