Guildford to Horsham Transport Corridor.

02 November 2020

Keep our options open.

The route south of Guildford to Horsham has been an important transport corridor for centuries.  In the Victorian era it attracted substantial investment in the form of the Wey and Arun Junction Canal and the Horsham to Guildford Railway, both now closed.  With the rise of Motor Transport, we have been left with the A281 which wends it way to Horsham passing through several significant villages.

A Significant Route

This corridor is a significant route into Guildford Borough from the South, and it is vital that it operates effectively. 

  • The Guildford- Cranleigh – Horsham transport corridor is becoming increasingly busy for through and local traffic.  Growth in the Cranleigh area for employment and housing will place more stress on the Transport Corridor.
  • The A281 is badly congested as it travels through Bramley and Shalford – Shalford suffers from bad air pollution
  • The corridor is an important leisure route being well-used, as the old railway has been repurposed for most of its length as a cycle and walking path.
  • The canal is in far less good condition but benefits from a highly active voluntary trust which has embarked on a lengthy programme to re-open lengths of the canal.
  • Widening and straightening the A281 is difficult there is no obvious alternate route.

Protect Infrastructure

There is infrastructure available for growth which should be protected.

  • The Old Guildford – Cranleigh – Horsham rail route is an important asset that is still in the most part in Public Ownership, and in surprisingly good structural condition. 
  • The old rail route could form the basis of an upgraded travel route to support
    • Active Travel (Bikes and Walking)
    • A route for Mass Transit – Dedicated Bus lane, Tram, or Heavy Rail.
    • A Rail Tram/Train or Train solution has the major advantage of being able to access Guildford without impinging on the overloaded road network.

Plans need Strategic Review

There are now plans (See full details in attached article) that would disrupt the old rail alignment in favour of re-opening the canal.  The Society believes there needs to be a careful debate before this is acceded too involving bodies who strategically plan transport e.g. TfSE.  Transport corridors are in scarce supply in the South East and they should be protected for future generations.


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