Level crossing gates at Bramley
- Both rail and cycle in particular need a route to be continuous. Clearly a train has problems without rails, but a person trying to cycle from Guildford to Cranleigh will be seriously discouraged if required to push the cycle along a muddy path for ten minutes
- At the planning stage and subsequently for a reopened rail link, it's important that at least equal priority is given to the needs of other users as to the railway
- National Cycle Network (NCN) 22 uses this route for part of its length through Bramley
- The Guildford to Cranleigh section at 9 miles long is only a small part of the overall 37 mile route from Guildford to Shoreham. It would be seen as unreasonable by many if a new rail link over one section compromised the continuity of the whole route
- Requirements for "active travel" plans are likely to be part of local government responsibility in the forseeable future. There is serious medical concern that a health time bomb is growing with 30% of children and 60% of adults classified as overweight or obese (2007 figures). This is likely to lead to increasing rates of diabetes, heart disease and respiritory problems, and regular slightly strenuous exercise is seen as a good part of the solution. Fast walking, and cycling in particular, are recognised as good ways to supply this exercise
- Some difficulty will arise where the old rail corridor has been encroached upon by property developments. Waverley's stated aim has been that the corridor will remain clear. If these developments have planning permission, the decision may be either to purchase the land back, or compromise the route for the non-rail users. This is where the equality of provision should apply - if it's good enough for the rail route, then an equal quality route should be provided for the other users. Compulsory purchase may be necessary.
Characteristics of existing route
- Suitable gradient
- Existing surface at about 3m width mostly well drained with some bad patches
- Existing 3m width is clear of plant growth.
- Width of corridor between fencing is estimated at 12m for much of length. There are about four places where buildings or fencing has encroached onto the wide corridor. It is not known what planning permission these developments obtained.
- The present surface is probably hard work for wheelchairs with typical tyres as it has a partial gravel topping with some slightly rutted sections
Particular needs for cycles
- For people to use the route by cycle as an alternative to motor transport, they must be able to manage a relatively high average speed. 15mph would be a common speed on the current surface, with a significant proportion of cyclists managing 20mph. Any design needs to allow for this over virtually the whole route.