Right of Way or Not?
We have been advised that Surrey County Council Rights of Way Department will be bringing the question of the Right of Way at Green Lane Unmanned Rail Crossing to Local Committee on 9th June 2021. The Residents' Association has provided a considerable amount of evidence to Surrey County Council (SCC) showing that the footpaths existed in the 19th Century, long before the railway existed. Since then, this route has been used as a cattle-crossing and pedestrian/cycle crossing. The Right of Way is shown on the SCC Definitive Map* as a dotted line across the railway. The stumbling block is the accompanying Statement*, which does not record the Green Lane Crossing as a Right of Way. Network Rail maintains that the Map is in error and the Right of Way should be removed. The ARA maintains that the Statement is in error and the Right of Way should be added.
We will urge the Councillors on the Committee to accept the fact that this crossing has been used for two centuries and that it is an essential crossing for a great many residents in both north and south Ashtead to access the shops and the Common. In addition it is the safest route to school for many pupils as it avoids the longer way round on busy public roads, some with no cycle path.
The crossing is adjudged as High Risk due to the number of trains and the level of pedestrian usage. We understand there are on average 221 trains passing each day plus some 300 pedestrian crossings.
There will be opportunity for a small number of residents to speak at the Local Committee and nearer the time we will be seeking volunteers to come and address Councillors.
* The definitive map and statement is the legal record of public paths and provides conclusive evidence of their existence and status. The definitive map shows their location and the statement records status, description, width, length, structures and surface.