Update 22 March 2015
Detailed work on the path started about a month ago, and today is almost complete.
More details to follow.
The following dates from about 2010:
If you draw on a map the most direct route for pedestrian and cycle traffic between the centres of Godalming and Farncombe, which are respectively south and north of the River Wey, that route includes the footpath that runs from the Bridge Road, Chalk Road and Meadrow roundabout to Farncombe. It runs between the Wey Inn and the Jewson site, and makes use of Marshall Road with its low volume of traffic.
For more than 15 years local cyclists have tried to find a way of widening this footpath to make a route suitable for shared pedestrian and cycle use. Surrey County Council (SCC) now supports the idea in principle, and they are working in conjunction with Sustrans and Network Rail to create a link from the north end of Marshall Road into Farncombe village centre.
At the south end of Marshall Road the Jewson site has a strip of scrub land between the fence and building which is unused, and which would make an ideal solution to the problem of how to widen the route. SCC are prepared to consider the costs of acquiring the land and moving the fence. The two attached annotated maps show the present situation and the proposed situation with a widened footpath.
Evidence from the Godalming Market Towns Healthcheck reinforces local complaints that Bridge Road and Meadrow (both part of the main A3100 road) have a level of motorised traffic flow that discourages pedestrian and cycle use. This Marshall Road link would at least provide an alternative to the use of Meadrow.
Attempting to turn right onto Meadrow towards Godalming from roads such as Hare Lane and Kings Road at busy times with a car is difficult. With a cycle it is nearly impossible. This fact alone discourages the use of cycles for such journeys - you are effectively trapped in Farncombe. The Marshall Road route would provide a workable alternative, as motorised traffic slows down for the roundabout and creates opportunities for cycles to join the traffic flow.
Anything promoting cycle use instead of car use is normally regarded as a good thing by government bodies. Encouraging cycle use helps combat childhood obesity, fosters independence in children, promotes a longer adult active life and is environmentally sustainable. This route would make a significant contribution towards encouraging cycle use for journeys between Farncombe and Godalming.
The two areas of Godalming and Farncombe / Binscombe are roughly the same size. Godalming has most of the resources such as shops, entertainment and jobs whilst the Farncombe / Binscombe area is relatively poorly served. The Bridge Road and Marshall Road route is the natural link between the two communities. There is a significant current usage of this footpath by cycles despite a cycling ban, giving an indication of the suppressed demand that exists.
This information is also available as a download (pdf, 1.3MB), and includes plans of the site.