Get your free website from Spanglefish

SIX PHASES TO TAME GUIDFORD TRAFFIC (Dec 2013) but please see addition on 19 Sept. 2014, in PHASE 5 below to accommodate Allies & Morrison idea of the town centre in their vision document.

In view of comments in the local media concerning Walnut Tree Close (WTC), it is obvious that something has to be done to improve traffic through it and of course the gyratory itself that it connects with whilst not forgetting that all bus routes should connect with the railway station. This is such a tall order and it seems almost impossible to achieve. But is it? Let me explain how I consider traffic flow and bus routes that could be modified to achieve this together with making WTC safer. I see this being best done in six phases as follows :-


1. Make Park Street two-way - one lane going south and two lanes going north. Widen west footway. Make provision for a cycle lane.
2. Reduce Bridge Street to two lanes and widen the north footway. Make provision for a cycle lane.
3. Modify pedestrian crossings on Onslow Street northbound lanes and Bridge Street.
4. Reduce Farnham Road from three to two lanes at the junction and convert the pedestrian crossing to a two-stage crossing.
5. Make Friary Bridge two-way - one lane going east and three lanes going west.
6. Allow right turn from Friary Bridge into Millbrook.
7. Reduce the problem of Millbrook pedestrian crossing by making it a two-stage crossing. Southbound flow would improve considerably to almost eliminate tailbacks affecting Onslow Street and Bridge Street.


1. Widen WTC bell-mouth with its junction with Bridge Street by removing the footway around the bend and constructing a ramp and diverting the footway on to a new footbridge over the subway entrance.
2. Provide a cycle lane in WTC up to the crossing and modify to allow cycle crossing as well.
3. Activate the cycle lane in Park Street and modify the crossing of Farnham Road for cycles also.

4. Extend cycle lanes over Farnham Road Bridge.

5. Activate cycle lane in Bridge Street.


1. Construct a link with a bridge over river Wey to connect WTC with Woodbridge Road.
2. Relocate bus station on Mary Road car park site.
3. Make WTC one-way from Bridge Street to this new link. Beyond this WTC remains a two-way road.
4. Modify all bus routes so that half of the buses connect with the railway station and then proceed to the bus station via WTC and the new link. Those that do not, go to the bus station via Bedford Road for buses from the south and the west or via Leas Road for buses from the east and the north (after connecting with multiple stops at the Friary Extension around Dominion House).

5.  Replace Yorki's footbridge by a road bridge to carry one-way traafic east to west.


1. Widen WTC by removing the earthen slope and the footway ramp.
2. Construct a roundabout at the junction of Station view with WTC.
3. Construct a viaduct and a railway Bridge to connect this roundabout with Guildford Park Road car park access road.
4. Redesign railway station and provide a high level walkway to the Friary crossing WTC, river Wey and Onslow Street.
5. Make Farnham Road Bridge one-way with both lanes going east.


1. Reinstate WTC to two-way from Station View roundabout to Bridge Street.
2. Reduce Onslow Street northbound to one lane, relocate barrier and create an extra southbound lane.
3. Allow nearside York Road lane to go straight to Onslow Street as well by removing the current restriction of left turn only into Woodbridge Road. This would considerably improve traffic flow.
4. In parallel to these phases, the A3 improvements between the A31 and the A247 that has now been shelved should be resurrected without delay and the work carried out to alleviate congestion through Guildford.

(Edited on 19 Sept 2014) - If the vision for Guildford as proposed by Allies & Morrison is adopted by the Council, the alterations to Onslow Street would naturally be different. A cut & cover tunnel is proposed for the A281 traffic to enable a pedestrian friendly town centre to be created. In that case only one surface lane in each direction on Onslow Street would be sufficient to cater for the permitted traffic. Three sketches have been added to show this alternative. The rest of the proposed alterations to the gyratory and Walnut Tree Close could remain the same. The railway bridge could be extended to Woodbridge Road indstead of ramping down into railway station car park area and made two way with one lane in each direction and Farnham Road Bridge could then remain a two-way bridge without needing any widening. The reason for not previously extending the railway bridge to Woodbridge Road was to refrain from proposing a route that might require CPOs but now this idea is in the public domain by virtue of GVG proposing this albeit requiring perhaps a wider four lane route rather than a two lane route as per suggestions here.

PHASE 6 (longer term project)

Construct a tunnel under Guildford connecting the A281, A3100 and the A25. These ideas are described in this website.

Please do study the sketches and the descriptions  to follow the logic behind my suggestions. I have no vested interest in promoting any of these ideas but I simply want Guildford to have what I believe to be the best solution within all the constraints that exist.




(As reported on The Guildford Dragon NEWS on 2 July 2013)

I would like to revisit the possible improvement measures for the gyratory. I have previously commented, in connection with ‘Lets have an Elegant Footbridge’ a possible improvement to Millbrook pedestrian crossing that in conjunction with my suggested modifications to the gyratory itself would really improve traffic flow.

To increase safety and traffic flow at the same time, it might be possible to convert Millbrook crossing into a staggered crossing ie by creating an island in the middle for a two-stage crossing. The sketch in the following link explains the layout:
The existing crossing is three lanes wide and therefore pedestrians take a little longer to cross and some risk crossing it when the lights clearly show that they should not. By creating a staggered crossing, both directions could have independent signals. This would improve pedestrian safety and the traffic flows.
The single lane crossing of the southbound lane reduces the time taken by the pedestrians to cross to a third of the current time and hence traffic would have a longer green cycle each time and thus help improve flow during peak periods.
For the gyratory, my recommendation would be for it to have two lanes on Bridge Street and a wider north footway, two-way Park Street with wider west footway, two lanes northbound and one lane going south and on the Friary Bridge the change is with the inner lane going contraflow eastwards and turning right into the A281. Keep Onslow Street one-way within the gyratory.
No additional signal phases will be required either at Park Street or at Millbrook junctions. The pedestrian crossing on Farnham Road at the bottom of the bridge would also require to be modified into a staggered crossing and operate under the traffic light cycles to harmoniously regulate westbound traffic.
A future enhancement could enable Bridge Street to be reduced to one lane if a new link over the river from Walnut Tree Close to Woodbridge Road could be constructed. The GTAM study has included this scenario. Northbound Onslow Street could also be reduced then to one lane and the barrier relocated to create an additional southbound lane. This would greatly ease southbound flow.
Modifying Millbrook crossing into a staggered pedestrian crossing does require land (I believe within the highway boundary) on the West Side but the benefit of vastly improved southbound traffic cannot be ignored. Daily traffic queues during peak periods tail back to affect even Bridge Street and the gyratory itself and the result is continued pollution every day.
So the modification is worth having as it would enhance safety for the pedestrians and improve traffic flow. I believe it could be achieved at a modest cost. Only a slight increase on the overall budget would enable to significantly complement the gyratory measures. Otherwise the result may well turn out to be mere ‘tinkering with the gyratory’ without achieving appreciable improvements.

Letters in Surrey Advertiser
1st Letter February 2011

This is my suggestion for improving the Gyratory for all road users. Now that the Government has postponed funding for this work, it is time to find ways of carrying out some improvements that require modest funding only. Improvements could be carried out in phases as and when funding is available.

Improvements to the Gyratory had been proposed in the past but not carried out for one reason or another. Closing Bridge Street and having two-way traffic on the rest was one such proposal. A novel solution to improve traffic and enhance pedestrian and cycle access to the Gyratory had been offered by me to the Transport for Guildford soon after this body was formed and later through the Guildford Society together with another variant by other members of its Transport Group. I am no longer a member of the Transport Group and hence views expressed here are entirely my own.

A low cost initial phase of the solution would be to utilise the west and the south sectors of the under-used inner lane of the Gyratory to carry a contraflow lane. Part of what is now the righthandmost lane in Bridge Street is to be added to the south footway to make it wider . The remaining two lanes are to be re-aligned and the nearside lane will include a cycle lane. Traffic will turn right from Farnham Road Railway Bridge to go to Millbrook (the A281 ) and Godalming (the A3100). The junction of Park Street, Friary Bridge and Lower Farnham Road and the Millbrook junction will obviously need to be modified. Three northbound lanes in Park Street will be replaced by a cycle lane and two trafficked lanes plus the remainder of the width adjusted to fit in an island and a southbound lane which will merge with the lane turning left off Friary Bridge. This free flowing left turn will require to be under the control of a new set of traffic lights. The advantages are that there will be no additional phasing time required for the traffic lights at this junction and at the Millbrook end.

Currently exit from Bridge Street on to Onslow Street is tied up with the operation of the pedestrian crossing lights and leads to long tailbacks. Traffic from Walnut Tree Close heading for the A281 also finds it difficult to join the queue and sometimes blocks the other two lanes adding to the congestion. Substantial reduction of traffic heading for the A281 and the A3100 using Bridge Street and the reduction in the number of pedestrians that will use the Friary crossings after the new subway (see below) comes into operation, will improve traffic flow in Onslow Street and thus reduce congestion considerably.
The proposed improvement outlined above largely eliminates congestion within the gyratory. Congestion at the mini round about where Farnham Road meets Guildford Park Road is a separate issue. This problem can only be resolved by constructing another bridge across the railway. Location for a second railway crossing needs to be investigated but it seems that a bridge some 100 metres north of the Station building may be an option.

The narrow west footway in Lower Farnham Road could be widened and a cycle lane created in the space now occupied by the A31 bound traffic. The A31 bound traffic will then share the lane with the A322 and Station bound traffic. Also the pedestrian crossing on the Railway Bridge could be modified to a staggered crossing housed on where the right-hand lane is now together with a crossing for the cycles only roughly along the existing crossing. This will improve the A31 bound flow as well as providing a safer and more efficient pedestrian crossing. However, this will mean two lanes instead of current three lanes off the bridge but the loss of the nearside lane will not affect traffic flow much as this is a very short length. The kerb-line off the bridge into Walnut Tree Close (WTC) will require to be set back close to the fence and this widening will accommodate a cycle lane. The crossing in WTC will require to be modified for both cyclists and pedestrians. The pedestrian route off the bridge to the Station will be routed over a new footbridge spanning over the area of the subway entrance.

Further improvements to the subway from the Station could be made. The steps by the YMCA are far from ideal. These could be replaced by straight and wider steps and a wider subway portal on the space vacated by removal of the right-hand lane on Bridge Street. In the next phase when sufficient funding is available, a subway could be built opposite the Electric Theatre thus providing a safer and a better route from the Station through the existing subway and the new subway to North Street and High Street. A footbridge rather than a subway may be considered but pedestrians dislike climbing some 6 metres up and then 6 metres down compared with half of that for a subway. Also a footbridge could be visually very intrusive and would, I think, spoil the character of this area. Overcrowding at the pedestrian crossings to the Friary at peak times will be resolved whilst the route using the north footway of Bridge Street, although narrow, will continue to provide at-grade access to the Friary.
These improvements could be carried out in phases. Apart from the construction of a new subway, modification of the existing Bridge Street Subway and later the construction of a second railway bridge, the cost will be modest but benefits will be appreciable.

I urge Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council to investigate these suggestions and endeavour to find the modest funding for those areas that could be improved now and bid for funding for the bigger expenditure when the next round of bidding process is re-started. I am confident that benefits of these improvements to the pedestrians, the cyclists and the traffic will be substantial.
2nd letter n Surrey Advertiser
March 2011
Can Guildford Gyratory be Improved/A simple solution
I would suggest to Mr Andrew Dollin who was confused in following my letter in last week’s Surrey Advertiser, that it helps to have a map of the area to hand to follow my proposals. I am sorry that I may not have explained my ideas clearly enough about possible improvements to the Gyratory.
Congestion in the north of Guildford, particularly in Ladymead, is due to insufficient access to and exit from the A3. As Mr Dollin has rightly pointed out, a full Interchange on the A3 would help reduce the congestion. However, there isn’t much point in introducing a brand new Interchange because the roads from the south of Guildford have no option but to go through the Gyratory unless a tunnel is constructed under it – a very expensive option indeed.
The A3 is the responsibility of the Highways Agency (HA). It did have a scheme for improvements to the section between the A31 and the A247 but like other current cutbacks to the road programme, I gather this has been suspended. We do not know what the HA would have proposed by the way of improvements but it seems appropriate to address the inadequacy of the existing Interchanges.  I think it is possible to modify the Stoke Road Interchange to a full Interchange by constructing a northbound off-slip road and a southbound on-slip road. It would then reduce congestion on Ladymead. Another improvement would be to construct an off-slip to Clay Lane, which would provide easier access to the Slyfield Industrial Estate and the proposed Slyfield housing scheme. It may also be possible to construct a southbound on-slip by converting the emergency access next to the Clay Lane Bridge. Improvements at Clay lane would further reduce congestion in Ladymead.
I am not aware of any proposals to deal with the after-effect of opening the Hindhead Tunnel. Traffic will arrive much quicker to Guildford and additional congestion is inevitable. If and when widening of the A3 is carried out, it would cope better with the increased volume of traffic but until then there is an urgent need to take some measure to deal with this problem. A possible solution would be to install Variable Message Signs to control the speed of traffic approaching Guildford. As the A3 is a two-lane road, cantilever signs would probably be adequate for this purpose. I suggest to the HA that the cost could be justifiably added to the Hindhead Project, as the additional congestion would be directly attributable to it.
Bibhas Neogi
Nursery Road, Godalming.

3rd letter in Surrey Advertiser

March 2011

The following was also sent to Solum Regeneration who are developing the Guildford Railway Station site:-

Unfortunately I was unable to attend Solum's exhibition in Guildhall. A development including housing, shops, restaurants, cafes, entertainments such as Theatres, Cinemas, Dance Halls & Bowling etc. coupled with multi-storey car parks would make a vibrant place rather than a dead Railway Station area out of hours as it is now.

Developments on both sides of the tracks and development of Guildford Park Road car park site by Guildford Borough Council would greatly benefit from a new bridge. Guildford Society's website, updated in May 2010, promotes the idea of a new railway bridge. This bridge, if constructed, would also improve the east-west road network by providing easier access to the University, the Cathedral, the hospital and the A3. An anti-clockwise route including the existing Farnham Road Railway Bridge via an improved Walnut Tree Close would ease congestion. My idea was recently published in the Surrey Advertiser's letter section on how the Gyratory could be improved for all road users - the pedestrians, the cyclists and the motorists and how an improved access to the Town centre from the Railway Station could be achieved at a modest cost. A friend of mine is working on another idea of a direct access from the Station to North Street.

Access to the Gyratory is poor at present and needs to be improved. Within the anti-clockwise route with a new railway bridge,  the A31 bound traffic will use the new bridge, Farnham Road Railway Bridge could then carry two lanes all along eastwards, thus improving the throughput. This in turn would afford traffic from Walnut Tree Close currently turning left only at the Give Way, to have its own signals allowing it, in addition, to go straight towards Park Street to Godalming, or turn left on Friary Bridge for Shalford under my proposal for a two-way traffic using the under-used inner lane of the gyratory. Such an arrangement would require modifications to the Walnut Tree Close junction as per my proposal outlined in the Surrey Advertiser letter.

Location for the new railway bridge needs careful consideration. The tracks narrow as they go north and it seems a bridge some 60 metres in length could cross the tracks without any permanent supports in the middle, about 100 metres north of the Station building and connecting up with the road on the west side. No demolition of properties is involved except perhaps relocating half dozen garages opposite the car park. The route would be connected to Guildford Park Road with a new set of traffic lights using the existing access (may be widened a little by reducing the footpath width) by the Church.

This bridge could be constructed on the Station car park side and launched (cantilevering out) over the tracks without causing any disruptions to the train services. Obviously a viaduct is needed to connect the bridge with Station View or Walnut Tree Close. This is an opportunity for Solum architects to incorporate the viaduct into the multi-storey car parks/entertainment complex and thus achieve an attractive frontage and at the same time not affect the properties in Walnut Tree Close in any significant way.

I wish Solum success in their endeavours in improving the Station and the car park areas for the benefit of all in Guildford and those who visit Guildford to explore its history and take advantage of its high quality shops and shopping malls.
Bibhas Neogi


Click for Map
sitemap | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement