Guildford’s newest pedestrian and cycle path opened this week as part of an initiative to make it easier and safer to travel in this area of the borough. Landscaping and further enhancements will follow in the Spring.

The path, to the south of Bannister’s Field, is approximately 3m wide and forms part of the first phase of the Sustainable Movement Corridor (SMC), a package of improvements between Surrey Research Park, Tesco Superstore, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Surrey Sports Park, Manor Park university campus and Guildford’s mainline station.

Other key areas of improvement for the first phase of the SMC are:

• Pedestrian and cyclist improvements from Guildford Station to Royal Surrey County Hospital
• Widening the road at Tesco roundabout and improving signalling at Egerton Crossroads

Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, Cllr Matt Furniss, says: “I’m delighted that the Bannister’s Field path has been completed allowing everyone of all ages to safely travel on foot or bike – or perhaps even scooter. Encouraging a modal shift and promoting better travel is at the heart of the Council’s commitment to ensuring a future transport system which is greener, safer and more reliable.”

“The scheme also supports our Air Quality Strategy action plan which fundamentally focuses on improving air pollution levels to bring lasting benefits, with positive effects on public health and wellbeing and economic development. The strategy includes evolving a green travel network to establish better travel measures such as car sharing, walking, cycling and using public transport with a strong commitment to supporting businesses in making alternative travel choices. Our commitment to this extends to actively supporting innovative approaches to travel such as the government-funded Project Alloyd which brought the testing of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology and ‘infrastructure sensors’ to our town.”

He explains: “The next planned works will improve the Tesco roundabout in conjunction with the widening of the A3 slip road by Highways England. Together these significant improvements will reduce congestion and provide safer crossing points to keep traffic flowing.”

The SMC project is an important part of our Guildford Transport Strategy and Local Plan. Its aim is to improve journeys and encourage further growth and economic development in the area. The completion date for this first phase is spring 2021. Phase one has been funded through a generous grant from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and match funded by the Council.