New plans in bid to reopen disused rail links at Guildford, Horsham and Shoreham

Train fans battling to reopen disused rail links between Guildford, Horsham and Shoreham have drawn up new action plans.

Members of The English Regional Transport Association have been campaigning for years to reopen sections of rail lines which have been shut since the 1960s.

And at a public meeting in Horsham this week, they spelled out their new battle plans.

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They aim to get councils and MPs to support reopening the links by commissioning studies and by courting funding.

Campaigners have been battling for years to reopen disused rail links between Guildford, Horsham and Shoreham

They see reopening the Guildford-Horsham stretch via Cranleigh as phase 1 with a link from Horsham, Arundel and Shoreham as phase 2.

Association chairman Richard Pill said this would allow the reopening of Reading-Brighton direct as well as Heathrow-Gatwick via Three Bridges.

“Once formal studies are done and show what can be done, then we turn to Government for support, more funding and ultimately go-ahead for delivery.” he said.

Last year the rail fans thought their plans had been scuppered after the Wey and Arun Canal Trust - established to reinstate London’s ‘Lost Route to the Sea’ - was given the go-ahead by Waverley District Council to build a new link near Guildford which would include part of the old railway bed.

But the Canal Trust’s plan has since hit a technical hitch - and the issue may end up being decided on appeal.

Richard Pill pointed out: “The canal has other routing options, the railway is not so lucky.”