120421 Waitrose

Letter to Guildford Dragon

The travesty of the conflicting interests of the Borough Council when it comes to deciding how much of the gross capital receipts should be commuted for s106 and s278 agreements for highways improvements is that we have no traffic study or long term plan against which to measure the appropriateness of any allocation.

Indeed, Waitrose themselves (in the form of their traffic engineer at the exhibition at the Guildhall on Friday 20th) acknowledged that their modelling, based on a generic traffic modelling system, only analysed the traffic impact of their proposals on the York Road roundabout and York Road itself.

Surely we need a full assessment of the capacity of the gyratory system AND the measures that would need to be taken to allow it to reach capacity. Thereafter, we need a proper thirty year plan as to how we allow Guildford to flourish and prosper (without losing what we love about it) – preferably one which removes through traffic from the centre of town and allows free pedestrian access between the sights, the shops, the river and the transport hubs.

Waitrose cannot deliver all of this but the Borough Council could decide to commission the relevant studies, set aside sufficient money to solve, say, the problem of unsynchronised traffic signal throughout the gyratory and feeder roads, and then make a commitment whereby future development must contribute to a long term traffic plan.

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