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No Resurfacing of North Street ‘Obstacle Course’ This Year

The North Street road surface by the junction with Leapale Road

One of Guildford town centre’s major thoroughfares is not to be resurfaced this year because of council financial constraints, despite Guildford’s MP describing it in December (2016) as “an obstacle course” for cyclists.

The surprising news came following an email exchange with Chris Ogle, proprietor of electricbikesguildford, Woodbridge Road, who cycles regularly through the town.

Cllr Matt Furniss

Deputy leader of Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and lead councillor for infrastructure, Matt Furniss (Con, Christchurch) wrote to Ogle: “There are plans to resurface North Street. However it will not be this financial year.

“Project Horizon 2 works over a number of years and North Street has been added back onto the list.

“We are working to see how much priority we can give but with the resurfacing of the Hog’s Back A31 this has knocked a number of roads of the scheme due to the cost being in excess of £800k.

“We will keep you up to date but I am working with the Highways Team closely.” Furniss was also elected as a county councillor in May to represent Shalford division.

Opposite Poundland a young cyclist does a “wheelie” – probably more for fun to avoid the fractured road surface.

A spokesperson at the private office of Anne Milton MP added: “Further to your previous correspondence Anne has now received [a] response from Surrey Highways.

“I note that a survey of North Street will be carried out to check for any safety defects but unfortunately it seems that at there are currently no plans to resurface North Street.”

Cllr Paul Spooner

Anne Milton MP

GBC Council Leader Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham) chipped in: “Along with Anne Milton I will continue to press for North Street as the top priority in Guildford.”

A member of SCC’s highways department had told Anne Milton: “I can confirm that we will survey North Street, to ensure there aren’t any safety defects which meet out intervention criteria.

“An obstacle course” for cyclists, according to Guildford’s cycling MP.

“Surrey County Council does not repair all highway defects as a matter of routine, but only those which are large enough to be considered safety defects.

“It is the depth of a defect which plays a determining factor in prioritisation.  Therefore a road or footway may be covered with shallow defects and seem in a poor condition, but not contain safety defects.

“All roads will continue to be assessed and maintained to a safe condition through our safety inspections.  I am sorry but at this time there are no plans to undertake major maintenance resurfacing in North Street.”

It is believed that the anticipated resurfacing of Madrid Road and Lawn Road will also be delayed by the prioritisation of work on the Hog’s Back.

See also: A Kingston View: Serious Financial Situation Continues at the County Council

Much of the gutter by the resurfaced parking/ market area is in poor repair. What appears to be a temporary ramp is in place, presumably anticipating the resurfacing work.

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14 Responses to No Resurfacing of North Street ‘Obstacle Course’ This Year

  1. Steve Grove Reply

    August 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    What more can we expect from our overpaid SCC executive officers more interested in their annual pay rises and bonuses than caring for the people of Surrey who pay their inflated salaries?

    Just how bad does North Street have to be before the road is resurfaced?

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    August 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Money is, of course, available to lay granite sets in Tunsgate.

    • Jeff Bott Reply

      August 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Tunsgate surfacing is being part paid for by the developers – this is what people fail to realise when criticising private/ upmarket developments in the town.

      • Brian Creese Reply

        August 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        And what about the money for the pop-up village?

  3. Ben Darnton Reply

    August 12, 2017 at 12:21 am

    The appalling condition of the road surface in North Street is very dangerous for cyclists and cars alike and quite frankly is a joke. It really lets Guildford down.

    Ironically Tunsgate didn’t have many potholes but is currently being dug up!

    • Jeff Bott Reply

      August 14, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Perhaps if people slowed down to a sensible speed in town then the poor road surface would not be an issue. When the North Street development project is commenced it will then need to be resurfaced again, so a little patience and realism for local residents would be a great asset to the town and its finance budget.

      • Wayne Smith Reply

        August 14, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        I’m not sure why Jeff Blott is an apologist for GBC. Perhaps he just enjoys a wind-up?

        It’s a rare day when anyone drives at more than walking pace in North Street. You’re more likely to be stationary, waiting for traffic lights to change.

        As for patience and realism from local residents? I’ve lived in Guildford for 50 years and I’m pretty sure that for most of that time there’s been talk of North Street redevelopment.

        I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    August 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Not to mention the £1 million spent on the embarrassment that is the pop-up village. £835000 on Tunsgate setts.

    Ed: Guildford Borough Council is on record as stating that the capital expenditure for The Pop-up Village project totalled £810,000 for 2016-17 and revenue expenditure totalled £115,000. The income generated for the very short time that The Village originally opened totalled £11,000. The relaunch as “The Village” is reported to have cost £90,000.

  5. John Robson Reply

    August 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I like the consistency of approach with SCC/GBC or whoever passes the buck these days.

    Twinning North Street with the surface of the moon will ensure that Town centre traffic speed is comparable with that of the A3.

    Share the pain and the emissions.

  6. Bernard Parke Reply

    August 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    To correct Mr Bott’s comment above, it is Guildford Borough Council which is financing the laying of the granite setts and not the developers.

  7. Eddie Russell Reply

    August 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    So what percentage of the Tunsgate work is being paid for by the developer? Unless it is all being paid for I would suggest that Messrs Parke and Darnton have very valid points.

    I would also suggest if we wait for the North Street development project to commence there may not be any road surface left at all.

    Ed: Guildford Borough Council have confirmed that they will be funding the laying of granite setts in Tunsgate.

    • John Robson Reply

      August 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Why is GBC and the taxpayer picking up the tab for the infrastructure required to gain access to this flagship/money spinning development?

      If GBC cannot mandate that a developer delivers a few granite setts what chance do we have with the GBC’s “strategic stakeholders” delivering the required infrastructure and the 40% affordable housing during their demolition of the green belt?

      But then again, when you insert the weasel words “if economically viable” into the draft Local Plan, there was never any intention by GBC to compel developers to deliver Infrastructure or affordable housing, was there?

      As usual GBC’s actions speak louder than their carefully scripted words.

  8. Roy Connor Reply

    August 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Does the council get some form of guarantee from the companies that do road repairs? Maybe they should look into to this instead of putting band aids on the pot holes.

    • Anna-Marie Davis Reply

      August 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

      I completely agree. The standards of work and repair should be clearly stated in service level agreements with sufficient funding for legal enforcement.

      Most other councils have worked this out. The standard of inspection of public works in Guildford is a joke, and the sub contractors know this and frequently do the same job repeatedly. As prices in Guildford rise and public sector pay remains low, staff with good credentials are harder to recruit and retain.

      Guildford is literally falling apart, and I would suggest the lack of maintenance is by design in order to sell a regeneration that no one really wants, and wasn’t really necessary. Regeneration increases GDP, which is important to central government. Quality of life, sadly, is not.

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