Guildford Bus Interchange Technical Appraisal
SYSTRA were appointed by Guildford Borough Council to undertake a review of bus provision in the town centre, resulting from closure of the existing bus station to accommodate redevelopment and expansion of the town’s retail and leisure offer.
To understand how re-provision of bus facilities could be accommodated, a full technical review of existing services was undertaken, and future demand assessed to ensure growth could be adequately accommodated. Potential layouts were autotracked to ensure proposed layouts are practical.
This technical appraisal was carried out alongside a townscape review to ensure the setting of the Town Centre and Bridge Street Conservation Areas, and their associated listed and locally listed buildings and structures, could be suitably preserved and enhanced.
The Options were assessed against:
- Their impact on townscape and heritage assets
- Pedestrian and passenger safety and comfort
- Layout, appearance and quality of the proposed bus facilities
- Compliance with the planning policy background
SYSTRA also carried out a robust public engagement exercise, reaching out to a wide range of commercial and civic stakeholder representatives in the Guildford area. Amongst the civic stakeholders were representatives of residents associations, bus operators and passengers, bicycle users, academic institutions, and environmental, heritage, built environment and amenity groups. Bringing together stakeholders to discuss their views in groups enabled open, detailed and unconstrained discussion. It provided a forum for discussing views and generating alternative suggestions or improvements that could be made.
The outcomes of the engagement exercises have informed the direction of the project. Work is still on-going but early conclusions suggest future bus provision will likely be delivered through a combination of on-street bus stops, layover areas, and a new bus interchange. SYSTRA are continuing to discuss these proposals with the Council to determine a preferred option.