Planning Applications

ASHRA's Response - Transport


Barton Willmore’s Environmental Statement says that “The position of the primary route was explored in order to facilitate the circulation of buses through the site. The primary route forms the main spine through the site connecting Ash Lodge Drive in the northwest with South Lane in the northeast”. They confirm that it will be 6 mtrs wide.

They go on to say that Ash Lodge Drive is 6.2 mtrs wide and the minimum width of the road with bus traffic is 6 mtrs. Their Transport Assessment states that the main intention of their design is to promote a Community Travel Plan (what a lovely “green” expression) to reduce car use originating from the new housing, and potentially from other households in the wider community. Therefore they want to put more cycles on the road.

In the real world Ash Lodge Drive varies between 6 mtrs and 6.1 mtrs wide, not the stated 6.2 metres. The Department of Transport recommend that where buses and cycles use the same road, the lanes should be 4.25 metres wide (8.5 mtr road width) and the minimum preferred width is 4m (8 mtr roadwidth); this allows buses to overtake cyclists safely and reduces the likelihood of interference from general traffic in the adjacent lane. The absolute minimum width is 3 metres (6 mtr road width).

The Surrey County Council website states that for a cyclist to be safely overtaken, the width required depends upon the width of the overtaking vehicle but in general a lane width of 4m is needed. For widths of between 3 and 4m the cyclist will be 'squeezed'.

A bus identical to that on the Route 20 from Guildford to Aldershot is 2.5 mtrs wide without wing mirrors. Therefore, for two buses to pass without hitting each other, the road must be at least 6 mtrs, but that doesn't allow for overtaking cyclists, of which (according to Bewley Homes Ecological Transport Policy), there will ideally be hundreds.

The following points should be considered when judging whether it a feasible to get buses down Ash Lodge Drive, and indeed down the new “Primary Route” which is also going to be 6 metres wide.

  • What is going to happen to the cars that park in Ash Lodge Drive, outside residents' houses. Are they going to be told to sell their cars
  • How will the buses turn into Ash Lodge Drive when there are cars queuing to get out onto Manor Road, which there are from 06:45 to 08:45 every day, and at school times
  • There is a pumping station within 9 mtrs of the end of Ash Lodge Drive at its junction with Manor Road. When this is being serviced or maintained by Thames Water, there are huge Thames Water lorries parked at the end of Ash Lodge Drive, sometimes for days. Cars have difficulty getting passed, let alone buses. Also Virgin and BT have main junction boxes in Manor Road within 10 mtrs of the corner with Ash Lodge Drive. The same applies

We must say that Stuart Michael Associates Transport Assessment holds the record for the most “inaccuracies” in a few paragraphs.

  • 3.27 states the local buses go to Farnborough. This is not true.
  • 3.28 quotes distances to bus stops only from the absolute nearest point of the development, otherwise most of the houses will be outside of recommended walking distances.
  • 3.29 states that there are 6 bus routes service the site. This is not true. There are only two regular ones, and two very sporadic ones (A few buses per day each way that take massive detours). The remaining two are school buses for children. They also quote the times of the first and last bus against each route. These times are also incorrect as they have put in the times the route starts from a depot, and not the time of the first and last bus at the site.

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