Fringe Box



Letter: Planned Diversions for Bridge Replacement Could Cause Gridlock

From Bibhas Neogi

At the public display at Shalford Village Hall on Tuesday [February 20, 2018] I had a view of the proposed diversion for works on the B3000 New Pond Road Bridge which is planned to be closed for replacement by Network Rail starting on April 23 until mid-July. The diversion will be three-month long diversion via Godalming, Milford and the A3, in all about six miles for thousands of motorists.

Such a long diversion lasting for three months will cause delays and cost motorists money for extra fuel for which there is no compensation. Rat-running through Farncombe roads could cause gridlock in the whole area as most roads have commuter parking that makes passing of two cars a problem already, sometimes.

Could Surrey County Council have insisted on Network Rail to install a temporary bridge alongside or over the top for the duration of the works after the demolition is out of the way? Yes, it would have cost Network Rail money but they have now become developers of their sites and raking in millions – Guildford Station re-development by Solum as their partner is one example out of many around the country.

Retaining the brick arch and building a concrete arch over it would have been much easier and cost of demolition, disruption to train services and replacement bus service etc, could have been avoided. The bridge is weak but it could be repaired and left to carry its own weight while the new bridge takes the traffic loading but structurally separated from it. So a 170-year-old heritage could have been saved.

See also: Letter – There Are Better Options For New Pond Road Bridge

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