Third of Guildford road safety scheme scrapped due to 'legitimate design concerns'

Some proposals for a road safety scheme on a bustling Guildford road have been scrapped due to concerns over its design.
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The three-part project of the A3100 London Road aims to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and their safety as part of Surrey County Council’s (SCC) ambition to promote active travel.

Changes along the route included new cycle tracks, updated pedestrian crossing and traffic raised tables.

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A public survey on the London Road proposals received 995 responses.

London Road Scheme. Credit: Surrey County Council documentsLondon Road Scheme. Credit: Surrey County Council documents
London Road Scheme. Credit: Surrey County Council documents

Following the survery phase three of the proposal was thrown out due to residents and stakeholders raising “legitimate” safety concerns over the design elements of the scheme.

Shared routes for pedestrians and cyclists concerned many respondents, with some stating it would discourage them from using the pathways. The council leader pointed to the Active Travel England user manual, which advises that in urban areas, shared pathways between cyclists and pedestrians “should be regarded as a last resort”

Feedback from the consultation found a lack of confidence in the design’s ability to safely accommodate all road users due to the narrow carriageways, complex roundabout design, and the adequacy of traffic flow modelling.

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Leader of the County Council, Tim Oliver, also cited the issue of a significant number of school children walking from Guildford High School to Stoke Park.

Boxgrove Roundabout. Credit: Google MapsBoxgrove Roundabout. Credit: Google Maps
Boxgrove Roundabout. Credit: Google Maps

Although much of proposed work for Phase One and Two of the plans remain, SCC have decided it will adapt the proposals according to survey feedback.

Leader SCC Tim Oliver said: “The so-called dutch style roundabout will be amended. There has been a strong argument that this country isn’t quite there yet in understanding how a dutch style roundabout operates.”

He added the ‘simplified’ version will provide safe crossings around the roundabout for pedestrians and cyclists.

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A further design review is to be conducted for Section 1 (between New Inn Lane and Boxgrove Roundabout) as respondents feared the road width was not large enough for lorries and HGVs to pass through without clipping wing mirrors, or encroaching onto the cycle path.

As SCC does not own the land on either side of the road, it would have to purchase it in order to expand the width of the road.

Approximately 50 per cent of 995 responses agreed that the design of Section 1 positively contributes to the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and vulnerable road users with 52% agreeing the same for Section 2 and 46% for Section 3.

Section 1 and Section 2 will be wholly funded by anActive Travel England (ATE) grant following the design reviews.

Grant money allocated for Section 3 ‘may’ be redirected to other active travel schemes within Surrey following further engagement with ATE.