A Conservative MP has said “thousands and thousands” of new homes in the area will add to the need to tunnel the A3 under Guildford.

Angela Richardson, the MP for Guildford, also said it was “incredibly difficult” to get people in the town out of their cars and that a balance needed to be struck between making sure residents could get on with their lives and tackling climate change.

Ms Richardson said: “I’m campaigning to tunnel the A3 under Guildford because we’re going to have a huge number, thousands and thousands, more houses built.

“All of those houses are going to come with cars and it is incredibly difficult to get people in Guildford out of their cars and on sustainable transport.”

Developments in and around the town include more than 2,000 new homes as part of a masterplan for the town centre, and a proposed new town on the former Wisley Airfield of more than 1,700 homes.

The MP is campaigning for a tunnel under Surrey’s county town, and at Prime Minister’s Questions in December renewed her call to help reduce traffic and pollution on the road.

Ms Richardson claimed the road outside the town is the most polluted on the strategic road network and said in Parliament “short-term sticking plasters” were not enough.

A petition started by the MP two years ago for a tunnel under Guildford gained 280 signatures.

She said there was a “genuine will” from people in Guildford to reach net zero emissions by 2050, as the county council has committed to, and said ideally the target would be reached sooner if possible.

She added: “What we have to do is find the right balance of achieving those goals, but making sure that people are able to get about and engage in their business and their lives and their activities.”

It comes as Guildford Borough Council is also considering ways to improve congestion and the resulting pollution, with a congestion charge in the town one of the options being considered.