Walnut Tree Close, Guildford - One way system

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One-way trial - trial now in progress

The one-way system was implemented over two nights on the 27 and 28 November and was opened to the public at 6am on 29 November starting the two-and-a-half month trial. Vehicular traffic will only be allowed to travel in the northbound direction between The Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre and Kernal Court. The effect of the trial on surrounding roads will be monitored and a decision on a permanent solution will be made after the trial period.

Diversion route:

A signed diversion will be in place throughout the one-way trial period. The diversion route is as follows:

  • Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford (northbound)
  • A25 Woodbridge Road, Guildford (eastbound)
  • A25 Woodbridge Road, Guildford (southbound)
  • Onslow Street, Guildford
  • Walnut Tree Close, Guildford (northbound)

Frequently asked questions - updated 27 November 2020

We have produced this list as a response to key questions relating to the one-way trial at Walnut Tree Close. We will continue to update this webpage with any future questions we receive for the benefit of residents, businesses and stakeholders.

Why are we doing this trial?

The trial is in response to a public consultation held in 2016 where residents were in favour of the closure of the road to separate the commercial and residential ends of the road and prevent traffic using the road as a through route. The volumes of passing through traffic have increased significantly since then. Vehicles are currently using Walnut Tree Close as a through-road between the A25 and the gyratory, causing large amounts of congestion. We are aiming to make the road quieter and safer by putting this traffic restriction in place.

Where will the one-way trial be located?

The one-way system will be in place between Kernal Court and just south of the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre on Walnut Tree Close.

Motorists will be able to travel both southbound and northbound on Walnut Tree Close up until Kernal Court, at which point the road will become one-way in the northbound direction. From Kernal Court motorists can travel southbound to the station, however between the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre and Kernal Court the road will be one-way only in the northbound direction. Motorists will not be able to travel southbound in this section of the road, so they will need to take the signed diversion route through Woodbridge Road to gain access to the train station.

What are the benefits of the trial?

  • To reduce the number of vehicles passing through along Walnut Tree Close as a shortcut route into Guildford town centre and vice-versa
  • To improve road safety for all users and reduce the risk of collisions
  • To reduce delays on the road, particularly during peak hours, and to avoid congestion around Guildford gyratory
  • Improve air quality and to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists

How long is the trial?

The trial is scheduled to begin on the 29 November 2020 and end on the 17 February 2021.

What will happen at the end of the trial?

Surrey County Council will be monitoring changes in traffic across local roads during the trial. Surrey County Council will assess the outcomes of the trial before making any decisions on whether to make the one-way system on Walnut Tree Close permanent.

Is the criteria for deciding success already set?

We have started our monitoring process by installing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras around Guildford. We will be assessing the congestion levels and the traffic rerouting as a result of this scheme to determine whether the scheme is a success or not. More information on the monitoring and its results will be provided closer to the end of the trial.

Who is managing the trial?

This trial is being led by Surrey County Council as the Local Highway Authority.

Why are we doing the trial now during a COVID-19 lockdown? Would it not be better to postpone the trial to a later date?

The planning for this trial has been in place since 2016. Surrey County Council recognise this is a difficult period for businesses and residents, however Surrey County Council has a commitment to proceed with the trial. Should we not undertake the trial now as scheduled, there is a risk that it will be delayed significantly as there are multiple highway improvement schemes that are being delivered across Guildford Town Centre, and it would not be feasible to find a suitable window to carry out this trial.

Walnut Bridge improvements are scheduled to commence on the 18 February 2021, and we are unable to carry out this trial while that scheme is in progress. Another key element of the scheme is encouraging active travel in line with government advice, the trial offers an incentive for residents and businesses to use more sustainable modes of transport.

Does the trial consider the extra traffic that will be using the diversion route?

We are aware that the diversion will move traffic elsewhere, however Walnut Tree Close is a D class road that wasn't designed to handle the current levels of traffic, which means it will also struggle to cope with the predicted future demand. Other roads around Guildford will be able to cater for the additional demand better than Walnut Tree Close. We also hope that the provision of the new cycle facilities will also assist in reducing congestion around Guildford by encouraging people to travel by more sustainable modes of transport.

Vehicles will be able to travel northbound as usual during the trial. What about vehicles travelling in the southbound direction towards the station?

The road will be closed to all traffic in the southbound direction, including taxis and emergency vehicles. Emergency services have been contacted and informed of the trial.

Why are you putting in the one-way system and then taking it out again in February?

Surrey County Council are undertaking this trial to determine the benefit of making it permanent. The decision to make the scheme permanent will depend on the outcome of the trial. The idea of the trial is to assess the effects of this one-way system and the benefits that it will bring. We want to know how this trial impacts the traffic on the surrounding road network in Guildford.

It should also be noted that we propose to take out the trial in order to make room for the Walnut Bridge scheme which commences on 18 February 2021 and involves the closure of Walnut Tree Close near the train station.

How does the trial benefit cyclists and pedestrians?

Cyclists will continue to be able to travel in both directions along the one-way trial section on Walnut Tree Close. Cyclists will benefit from new on-street cycle lanes in both directions as part of this trial. Pedestrians can continue to walk in both directions on the existing footpath and will benefit from the reduced amount of vehicular traffic, making it a safer environment.

How will drivers be warned of the one-way system on Walnut Tree Close?

There will be new signage installed between the southern end of the restriction on Walnut Tree Close and A25 Woodbridge Road. Repeater signs will be installed along the route to remind drivers of the temporary one-way system. We will be producing letters to provide to businesses and residents in the local area, informing them of the one-way system and traffic diversion routes available to them during the trial.

What is the diversion route? When will this be publicised?

Surrey County Council has planned diversion routes which will be published online and via letters to businesses and residents in the local area, informing them of the one-way system and traffic diversion routes available to them during the trial. This will be made available in the days prior to the trial beginning.

How will you ensure that drivers travel in the correct direction on the one-way Walnut Tree Close section?

There will be adequate signage to advise drivers of the one-way system and availability of the U-turn area for vehicles travelling in the southbound direction.

Will the trial be enforced in any way?

Our contractor will be carrying out daily monitoring of the one-way system to ensure the trial is running as planned and all the relevant traffic management and signage remains in place. We will also be installing CCTV cameras to monitor and enforce the use of the one-way system for the duration of the trial.

How will you inform residents and businesses of the one-way trial on Walnut Tree Close?

We will be holding engagement events with businesses prior to the trial beginning. These are scheduled on the 5 and 10 of November 2020. Businesses on Walnut Tree Close have been invited to attend and any other businesses that are interested to attend are encouraged to write to us at: WalnutTreeClose.trial@surreycc.gov.uk.

We will be producing letters to provide to businesses and residents in the local area, informing them of the one-way system and traffic diversion routes available to them during the trial. Residents and stakeholders who have any concerns regarding this one-way trial on Walnut Tree Close can contact us at the above email address.

Upcoming works - November 2020

Works to complete the turning facility are planned for early November. These works will be carried out under reduced carriageway widths and stop and go boards as required.

The final phase to introduce the one-way system and cycle lanes will be undertaken over 2 nights under road closures on 27 and 28 November from 8pm to 6am. The one-way trial will start at 6am on 29 November after these preparation works are complete.

Completed works - February 2020

We have built a turning facility on Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford, near to the Royal Mail sorting office in preparation for the trial one-way traffic restriction on Walnut Tree Close/Woodbridge Meadows. The trial one-way traffic restriction will be put in place at a later date in 2020.

Scheme overview

The scheme on Walnut Tree Close aims to reduce the amount of traffic using the road, particularly vehicles that use the road as a through-route between the A25 and the gyratory.

To achieve this aim we are planning to undertake a trial one-way traffic restriction, which will permit only northbound traffic along a section Walnut Tree Close/Woodbridge Meadows

The traffic restriction will be in place from the Royal Mail sorting office, and we will be building a turning facility at this location.

This is part of the Town Centre Master plan which aims to create a more attractive pedestrian environment which reconnects the town centre to the river and creates a sequence of appealing streets and spaces, redefining the Guildford experience. More information on Guildford major transport schemes.

Keep up to date

We will be issuing regular updates on this web page as the scheme progresses. Enter your email address below to keep up to date with the Walnut Tree Close works or alternatively please email us at WalnutTreeClose.trial@surreycc.gov.uk if you would like to get in touch.

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