Fringe Box



Letter: New Housing Increases the Need to Re-open the Line to Cranleigh

Published on: 21 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2023

Horsham train at Bramley and Wonersh on June 12, 1965, the last day of public services on the line.

From: Frank Phillipson

In response to: Reopening the Railway Line to Cranleigh Should Be Given Serious Consideration

Whilst acknowledging that the Guildford – Horsham line has mostly single-line earthworks, the boundaries of the railway would have been set far enough apart for the later inclusion of a second line of track.

Pathways for pedestrians and cyclists would not need to be constructed to the same strength required for railway use and would not necessarily need to follow as flat a course as the present Downslink.

As for Tram-Trains, with the relatively modest scale of reopening the line to Cranleigh, it would probably prove uneconomic to equip the mainline into Guildford for tram-train operations, as would the provision of two or three tram-train units. With the Sheffield tram-train system, it was to serve a major city system and required an order for a number of tram-trains.

With a change in the whole field of transport, in environmental terms, and the wish to reduce the number of car journeys, the reopening of railways is now a much more realistic prospect. I’m sure that many commuters heading for Guildford, with some going on into London, would welcome a way to avoid sitting in the A281 congestion and the high fuel charges.

The previous reports on the reopening of the line seem disingenuous or irrelevant to the present situation. One report refers to the reopening of the whole line to Horsham including tunnels, in the plural, when there was only Baynards tunnel.

Another report states that there was an engineering problem with the location of a new station at Bramley when the station already exists! Another point raised by a SCC representative was that there was “a history of flooding in the area”. Is there? I am unaware of this.

Given the explosion of housing development that has already taken place in the Cranleigh area and with much more to come, all served by the single-carriageway A281 for journeys northwards, it seems a gross error to not reinstate the line.

It also seems an even greater error that so much existing and future development has been allowed with inadequate transport provision, something the developers should have paid for.

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Responses to Letter: New Housing Increases the Need to Re-open the Line to Cranleigh

  1. Pete Jones Reply

    April 24, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    Leave the Downs Link alone. One of the few places left to walk, run and cycle safely in a traffic-free environment, especially for families with young children.

    The car does not have to ruin everything, everywhere, all the time.

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