The number 18 Onslow circular bus service is safe under proposals published by Surrey county council following a review intended to save £2 million across Surrey. This follows a consultation where Onslow residents wrote in to make the case for the importance of the number 18 bus service to our community.
The proposals produced by Surrey county council will now go out to a second consultation but no changes are proposed to bus services affecting Onslow directly. You can read the proposals here and you can find out how to respond to them here.
Commenting on the news, local Onslow Liberal Democrat campaigner George Potter said:
“This is very welcome news. Since the number 18 bus is subsidised by the county council there was a real worry it could have been hit by the planned £2 million of cuts to the transport budget but under these proposals it’s safe for at least the next financial year.
“It is disappointing that there are no improvements proposed to the number 18 route – such as more buses at times of day when people might need to use it to get to work or a Sunday service – but these are things we can try and lobby for in the future.
“For now everyone in Onslow who responded to the consultation deserves a big thank you for helping to keep our bus service – especially Onslow Village Residents Association who did a lot of work to encourage people to respond to the consultation.”
Solum Regeneration, the company behind the planning application to redevelop Guildford train station, held two public exhibitions in January to let people find out more about their plans and to give their views. For those who missed the exhibitions, more details have now been published on their website.
The scheme is planned to cost £150 million and will involve redeveloping the station concourse and building 445 homes and a multi-storey car park.
If you want to give your views on the proposed redevelopment then you can give Solum your views here and you can find the planning application on the council website and officially comment on it here.
Personally speaking, while I’m in favour in principle of improving the railway station (particularly creating more space for bicycles) and building more homes in the town centre, I’m still quite dubious about the wisdom of putting so many new cars on the road right next to the already clogged gyratory and I do think they should be doing a lot more to link up with the bus network. So for me this is a wait and see what the final proposal looks like situation.
Some good news in the run up to Christmas is that the A3 around Guildford, especially the Hogs Back junction, is to be included in the government’s £15 billion road improvements scheme. The bad news is that construction isn’t planned to start until 2021.
The construction is planned to include widening the A3 to reduce congestion and improving junctions including the Hog’s Back junction with the A31.
Obviously is good news but we really need improvements now and not in six years time and all of us in Guildford Liberal Democrats will be lobbying the government to make the improvements as soon as possible. What we also need are improvements to buses and cycle routes so that less people are forced to use their cars in the first place.
Personally, I’d go so far as to say that the power to make improvements to A roads should be devolved from central government to Surrey so that we can make these decisions ourselves rather than waiting on the national Department of Transport to decide whether to make improvements or not.
This, incidentally, is why we have the ludicrous situation of the Onslow Park and Ride scheme which is under-used thanks to the council building the car park but the Department of Transport refusing to build an access to it from the A3.