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Concerns over design of new Walnut Tree Close bridge

3 minute read
Concerns over design of new Walnut Tree Close bridge

Published at 11:23am 8th October 2018.

Cyclists fear there is not enough space between them and pedestrians on designs for a new bridge linking Walnut Tree Close with Guildford town centre.

Councillors are set to make a decision on replacing the existing bridge at Bedford Wharf but concerns have been raised by cycling groups and the National Trust.

In papers to go before Guildford Borough Council planning committee on Wednesday (10 October), Guildford Cycling Campaign Group (G-Bug) has stated it supports the concept of a replacement bridge but objects to the design.

It says there is a “lack of segregation from pedestrians” and potential “safety hazards” due to the lack of railings to ramps, number of tight turns and difficult connection to tow path.

The National Trust has raised concerns that the lighting column on the western side will “result in light pollution to the river”.

In total, 32 letters objecting to the application have been submitted.

The application is for a replacement pedestrian and cycle bridge from Walnut Tree Close, across the River Wey and over to Bedford Road.

The bridge will be accessed in a gap between The Billings and Bishops Wharf.

The deck of the proposed bridge would be 4 metres wide with 3.5 metre wide ramps as well as steps on the Bedford Wharf side while the Walnut Tree Close side would be at grade and would connect to a new pedestrian crossing to facilitate access to the station.

The development also includes the reinstatement of the façade of The Billings, which currently houses the western landing of the existing bridge, and the landscaping of the plaza between the new bridge and Bedford Road.

A number of mature trees would be cut down, but the council, which is the applicant, hopes the replacement bridge will “provide an improved route for pedestrians and cyclists between the station and the town centre which is likely to be the subject to increased traffic of new development” in the area.

Officers have recommended the application for approval.

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