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Letter: Canal Provides Welcome ‘Green Corridor’ And Rail Link Threatens More House-building

Published on: 23 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 23 Nov, 2020

From: Paul Messis

In response to: Proposals for New Section of Canal May Prevent Reopening Of Disused Railway Line

The keywords in the article are “Downslink path”, which essentially would be eradicated if the railway line is reinstated, barring thousands of walkers, cyclists, ramblers and nature lovers who use the path every year.

Sure, reinstating the railway link between Guildford to Horsham would lessen traffic on the A281. But everyone knows that once a rail link is possibly re-established, the prospects of more housing is inevitable, especially in areas surrounding Downslink path.

I feel it would be a mess if we saw more housing in areas such as Run Common, Baynards, Rudgwick and Slinfold, as well as changing the village feel of Bramley.

On the other hand, the canal would be a welcome “green corridor” for the area and towpaths would allow the previously mentioned walkers, cyclist et al to continue using the area as well as bringing other tourists from further afield to enjoy and use the area.

The canal is a heritage site and, if fully restored, would not only attract tourism to the Surrey/Sussex corridor but also enhance wildlife, flora and fauna (which has been proven by the WACT trust) and the general landscaping of the area.

It also presents business opportunities for land-owners to consider opening marinas for mooring and the like.

That being said, I believe Dr Beeching made a huge mistake killing this particular rail-link because the link is useful and could’ve evolved well with time. But the reality is this line simply won’t work now in the Surrey/Sussex area without subsequently threatening the charm of the areas the path passes through.

With the birth of Dunsfold New Town soon to be a reality, I agree with Ben, above, who states the position may sadly not be relevant today. Certainly, a train line would disrupt neighbourhoods in Bramley and Cranleigh and other areas with places of residence.

The local authorities really need to think things out before coming to a firm decision over the next few years. Do they want to enhance the area for the betterment of the people?

I feel other things need to be considered such as better bus-links into Guildford, maybe another park-and-ride to the south of Guildford.

Ultimately, the people living in the areas affected by the prospect of canal or rail plans need to be consulted so all parties would have a better idea what people actually want, rather than assuming what people need.

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test One Response to Letter: Canal Provides Welcome ‘Green Corridor’ And Rail Link Threatens More House-building

  1. Simon Schultz Reply

    November 23, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Exactly. Reinstate the railway – which has not existed for a long time – and what you have is both a railway, and a road, but no nice green corridor for people to exercise, or for flora and fauna. In other words, an over-built dystopia.

    And the railway may or may not run at a capacity (probably won’t in my opinion) but the road certainly will. So we will just have gone backwards.

    It would be a different matter if the A281 was being replaced by the railway, but somehow I think that is not what is being proposed. The railway reinstatement idea is a fantasy, and we should plan for a liveable, green locality without it. We have a high throughput rail route to London not very far away; far better that we focus on making best use of that.

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