‘Active Travel Scheme’ roadworks under ‘consultation’

January 12, 2023| News + Events, Past Issues, Editorial

The scheme was due to get underway on 9th January, but will now be postponed to allow more detailed discussion with the local community – ‘to help ensure the benefits of the scheme are widely understood and delivered’, according to Surrey County Council.

The project has been planned to take around five months, with the timeline squeezed to reduce disruption as much as possible. A new set of engagement events will be announced in the new year, with the start date to be confirmed.

Fiona Davidson, Surrey county councillor for Guildford South East (R4GV) is pleased to report that “Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, has listened to and responded to the very significant and reasonable concerns about the current proposals for the London Road active travel scheme raised by residents, councillors, businesses and schools. The way the scheme has been managed so far has galvanised a level of anger and discontent that is unusual for Guildford.

We all now need to work together – residents, councillors, schools, businesses and Surrey County Council – to find a way forward that is acceptable to all parties. I look forward to being part of the revamped consultation exercise.”

Cllr Davidson has arranged for this meeting to take place on Thursday 5th January, 6.30-8.30pm at Raynham Hall, George Abbot School (prior to the publication of this magazine).

The original project had been planned to take around five months, with the timeline compressed in an attempt to minimise disruption as much as possible. The following information has been sourced from the Surrey County Council and has been abbreviated. For the full text refer to https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roadworks-and-maintenance/roadworks/burpham-active-travel#whatis

What is Active Travel?

Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK during the pandemic, the government announced a funding package to encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks are ready to respond to future increases in demand.

Why are Surrey County Council doing this?

SCC want to ensure our roads are safer and more accessible for children, pedestrians and cyclists travelling around Guildford.

What are SCC going to do?

  • Installing one-way segregated cycle paths on both sides of London Road
  • Upgrading the existing roundabouts to provide safer crossings for cyclists and pedestrians
  • New crossing points
  • Improvements to existing junctions
  • Upgrading bus stops

Further information

Was there a consultation?

A consultation was carried out with residents and businesses in Continued over. 2021. SCC invited residents to take part based on their age group and demographic to ensure they had a true representation of the views of the community. The consultation showed that 58% of those residents and businesses engaged with supported the scheme, with 27% feeling that they didn’t support the scheme and 15% unsure of their view. We haven’t made this public to date as we wanted to ensure that we were going ahead with the scheme, but we will be sharing the results of the consultation on the website and at the community event.

What impact will these works have on the local community?

SCC understand the significant impact that these works will have on the local community and have examined several options of how to carry out these works safely for both the workforce and residents. These options included traffic lights that would have taken twice the time as well as causing significant traffic congestion in both directions.

Having examined all possible options and given the legal constraints of health and safety, the one-way closure was the shortest duration for the works.

Surrey County Council welcome your feedback and enquiries about this scheme. They will also be issuing regular updates on the web page as the scheme progresses. If you would like to get in touch or be added to their mailing list, please email them using this dedicated email: burpham.activetravel@surreycc.gov.uk

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