Green light for infrastructure improvements and community bike scheme

The first stage of package of improvements to make it easier to get around Guildford have been given the go-ahead, highlighting the Council's commitment to sustainable transport and economic growth.

The Executive approved the first phase of the Guildford Sustainable Movement Corridor (SMC) project to make road junction improvements and deliver new and enhanced pedestrian and cycle routes, together with a scheme for a community bike share scheme in Guildford at its meeting this week.

Councillor Matt Furniss, Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, says: "These planned improvements on our local road networks should help solve transport issues and address local 'hotspots' to make it easier for people to travel around our borough. We're working towards a future transport system which will be greener, safer and more reliable."

The SMC project is an important part of our Guildford Transport Strategy and Local Plan. It has been endorsed by the Enterprise M3 LEP Strategic Economic Plan covering a package of expansions to improve the routes between Surrey Research Park, Royal Surrey County Hospital and Guildford's mainline train station. The aim is to improve journeys and encourage further growth and economic development in these areas.

Key areas of improvement for SMC phase one are:

  • A pedestrian and cycle path created across Bannister's Field
  • Pedestrian and cyclist improvements from Guildford Station to Royal Surrey County Hospital
  • Widening the road at Tesco roundabout and improving signalling at Egerton Crossroads.

Total estimated cost for the whole of phase one of the project is £9.895m with the initial phase of phase one costing approximately £3.85m. £2.725m has been provided by a grant from EM3 LEP and Guildford Borough Council is contributing £1.125m. Completion date for this first phase is spring 2021 and work is due to start in this financial year.

Similar to London's cycle hire, Guildford's proposed community bike scheme is intended to link in with and complement the University of Surrey's own imminent new bike share scheme. Targeted consultation and engagement with cycle groups and other interested parties, will take place shortly.

The scheme would be rolled out in stages extending from the town centre with docking stations installed at key destinations across the town. Depending on whether external grant funding can be secured, the community bike share scheme could include 100% electric cycles.

Published on Thursday 19 July.