Updated: Aug 26
After the massive success of last year's launch of Car Free Day Guildford, it’s back this year on Sunday 24th September. Car Free Day gives everyone a chance to have fun and celebrate in our town centre without the cars, as well as the chance to see how our town centre could look in the future. It’ll be fun for everyone in the community with street food, live music and market stalls.
In this article, our writer and engineer extraordinaire Vishal Sukkala highlights 5 alternatives to getting into Guildford town centre without a car!
The River Wey
It’s well established that getting a daily dose of nature can benefit your mental and physical health. So if you’re lucky enough to live along this 15 mile waterway, why not make use of the many different trails it has to offer? It’s open to everyone: walkers, joggers, cyclists and if you apply for a craft licence you could even kayak in!
Guildford Park and Ride
Get a chance to witness the scenic beauty of Guildford without worrying about finding a parking place or being fined for parking in the wrong place. The benefits of using Park and Ride services is that the parking fee is only a fraction of the cost compared to Central Guildford. You'll also cut out the stops and starts in traffic that cost motorists hundreds of pounds in wasted fuel every year. As more and more people start using it, congestion on the road decreases and air quality is improved. By using the park and ride services which are eco friendly and help us travel leisurely, you get to the town centre, which is the place where all the activity takes place, be it shopping, hanging out with your friends or eating in restaurants. You can even visit some historic places such as the Guildford castle. Ironically, the service will not be available for car-free day on 25th of September. But you can check service availability here.
Do you know about the different cycle routes surrounding Guildford available to the general public? Check out the Surrey Cycle Way Map, which includes several different main routes across the country. Why try them out you ask? Cycling is a great way to stay in shape, make new friends and enjoy the surrounding Surrey Hills Outstanding Area of Natural Beauty! Still not convinced? Check out this article on 30 great benefits of cycling. Even if you've not got a bike just yet, you can hire one from the Brompton Bike Hire Dock by Guildford Railway Station.
Would you like to explore Guildford and its surrounding areas with your family or with a group of friends? Trains provide hassle free travel and access to all the large cities in the UK. It’s acknowledged that economically, it may not be the option for everyone, and service disruptions are a reality much like traffic on the roads, however for all it’s faults, it does keep people connected at a fraction of the environmental cost (you can calculate those impacts here). You can track the train timings here.
Tired of managing your steering wheel and concerned about breaking the traffic rules or even blocking the junction box? Why not allow the driver of the bus to do it? All you need to do is to board a bus with a book in your hand. Not interested in reading a book you can use the Wi-Fi services that are available on the bus. Friary bus station has bus services that connect distant parts as well. You can plan your journey with Stagecoach and also with Arriva here, which will take you around Surrey. The best part is that buses offer you cheap return tickets, create a social atmosphere among a group of people and are very safe when compared to cars. It is also obvious that the carbon emissions of the bus is very less when compared to that of cars driven by each individual travelling in the bus.