Ashtead Independent councillors recently helped overturn the Surrey County Council Access Officer’s ‘opinion’ in the fight to ensure the Green Lane rail crossing remains a public right of way.
The dispute over whether the crossing was a public right of way (RoW) came before Surrey County Council (SCC)’s Mole Valley Local Committee for decision on 29 September 2021. Its status had been contested repeatedly by railway companies since the 1900s.
Unfortunately, SCC’s Countryside Access Officer argued that the 1966 Definitive Map showing the crossing as a Right of Way was an error as this conflicted with the Statement accompanying the Map - he proposed deletion of this as a public right of way.
Following intensive investigations and submissions prepared by Ashtead historian Brian Bouchard, supported by statements from Glynis Peterkin for the Ashtead Residents’ Association, Peter J Williams (a user since 1983), and inputs to the debate from the Ashtead Independent Councillors on the Committee, SCC were instructed by a vote (12 for, 1 abstention) to not support the Access Officer’s opinion, and to make an Order to revise the Statement to confirm to the Right of Way status shown on the Definitive Map.
After the Order is published, there are six-weeks for objections. If any are received, the matter goes to the Secretary of State for determination.
It was noted that despite our fears the Network Rail speaker stated they had no intention of closing the crossing.