Green Lane Crossing - the situation at present.
The latest “In Touch” leaflet from the Conservatives mentions that Network Rail have been trying to get this crossing closed. That is not strictly the case.
Quite a few years ago when Network Rail held a public meeting at the APMH they did indicate they would like to close this crossing. It is what they class as a “High Risk Crossing”. This statistic is based purely on the number of pedestrian crossings versus the number of train crossings per day. Network Rail’s figures show 300 pedestrian crossings daily and 220 train crossings. For obvious reasons, Lady Howard Crossing at the end of Craddocks Avenue is similarly classified.
Network Rail did not anticipate the furore that their plans brought forth from residents, and since that date we have heard nothing from them about closure. In fact, they have made efforts to make the crossing safer with extra signage and a new surface. Plans were also announced to install electronic warnings to remind people to take off headphones following one near miss with a foolish young lady listening to music with her brain in neutral.
The present-day problem with the Crossing is that Surrey County Council’s Definitive Map shows this crossing as a Public Right of Way. The accompanying Definitive Statement makes no mention of this. Network Rail maintains that the map is in error and the PROW should be removed. The Residents’ Association, together with Local Ashtead Independent Councillors, David Hawksworth and Pat Wiltshire, maintain that ancient maps, including the map produced by the railway in 1845, show a footpath crossing in that vicinity both before and after the railway was constructed. The Local Committee of MVDC and SCC will meet in June with this problem on the Agenda. Should the Council decide the marked crossing is a typographical error it could be removed, but the decision is open to Appeal to the Secretary of State. What we don’t know is whether, if successful in their claim and the Right of Way is removed, this would be the catalyst for Network Rail to close the Crossing. Even if this were the case, the Residents’ Association and Local Councillors would fight this move as we believe the environmental impact and the safety of residents, especially children using the crossing as a cycling and walking route to school, would be detrimentally affected by such a closure, which would result in greater car usage.