It is a question that has plagued highways authorities and councils for years, and so far no-one has been able to nail down a long term solution to it.Residents and visitors to Surrey’s largest town will be all too familiar with the busy congestion and constant traffic that often slows to a crawl around the town centre.
Getting onto, off or through the A3 at Guildford during rush hour can at times be almost impossible due to the influx of vehicles, while large interchanges at Ladymead and Stoke Crossroads boost congestion at peak times.Plenty of reasons can be given for the traffic issue, whether it is poor infrastructure, a population increase or a lot of visitors into the town, but everyone can be in agreement that it needs solving.So, SurreyLive has decided to think *very* outside the box and come up with a few creative suggestions.
1. Guildford Underground
Imagine this? If Guildford had its own underground train system, then thousands of commuters would be able to leave their car at home and get across the town in no time.
There could be stations at all of the main landmarks – The Spectrum, Guildford Cathedral, The Friary, Royal Surrey County Hospital, University of Surrey – and the line could stretch out as far as Bellfields, Slyfield, Stoughton, Merrow, Onslow Village and beyond to make it accessible.
It would be a mammoth task and require a lot of upheaval, but you can’t say that it doesn’t sound good.
2. More A3 junctions
Back down to earth from the wacky underground idea.Undoubtedly, this one will have been considered before, but Guildford could just do with a couple more junctions to ease congestion at the existing ones.
Would traffic flow be improved by added junctions at Dennis Roundabout? We reckon so.Slip road widening works has helped to ease traffic at the Stoke Interchange.The ability to get onto the A3 southbound from Stoke Crossroads would also be a good way to free up traffic. Or another junction at Burpham?Space is obviously the biggest issue here – there probably isn’t any to fit these in.
3. A monorail service
Slightly inspired by THAT episode of The Simpsons, a monorail service could be a space-efficient way of freeing up some of Guildford’s roads.The aerial structure could flow through the town centre, stopping in key areas and quickly taking passengers from one side of Guildford to the other.
4. Heathrow Airport-style ‘pods’
This idea comes courtesy of Guildford Vision Group (GVG), which has recently been spending more time looking at “radical solutions” to reduce the amount of vehicles in the town centre.
One of their solutions is a “people-moving system not unlike the pods at Heathrow Terminal 5”.Those pods are automatic, driverless electric vehicles that transport passengers around the terminal. They are definitely very futuristic, and may also represent a greener solution to Guildford traffic.
5. Guildford tram system
This initiative will be familiar to those who have lived in some larger towns and cities that have their own tram system.
Implementing a tram line into Guildford town centre may not be the easiest task, but it could result in a drastic reduction of cars and other vehicles using the road.It would make travel around the High Street and other areas much simpler and more efficient, particularly for those who may not be as capable of walking.
6. Pedestrianise the town centre
Here is another one that has been mentioned in the past.With the expected influx in people and housing in the next few years under the adopted Local Plan proposals, Guildford may soon be even busier than it already is.
Some of the town centre is already solely for pedestrians, but an extension of that area could mean a lot less vehicles trying to get through the town.It would encourage a greener approach to transport, too.
7. River Wey shuttle service
Even when compared to some of the other suggestions, we will admit that this is quite far-fetched.Hear us out, though. The River Wey passes right through the heart of Guildford town centre, and with a couple of changes, could be used as a direct link in.
A shuttle boat system could pick passengers up on the outskirts of town, and bring them to around the Millmead area, where they could get off and walk to wherever they needed to go.
Special Thanks to Get Surrey for their Article- https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/guildford-traffic-town-centre-solutions-17584366