We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Stones Road 'tunnel' saved

March 3, 2006 8:01 PM

The old "tunnel" or "subway" alongside the railway footbridge linking Stones Road to the Longmead Estate and Miles Road has been saved for future use when the footbridge reaches the end of its safe life. The railway arch forming the subway, which was installed in 1859 when the railway line was built, has been closed since 1911 and was about to be filled in permanently by Network Rail. However SCC's local committee in Epsom & Ewell has accepted the recommendation from SCC's structural engineers to strengthen it instead.

For many years the Epsom & Ewell Cycle Forum has championed the re-opening of this "tunnel", as the footbridge is not really appropriate for cyclists. The possibility was looked into by the Borough Council a few years ago, but deemed too expensive. However Surrey's engineers pointed out that it will not be feasible to replace the footbridge when it wears out in a few years time, because modern disability discrimination legislation would require ramps, which would be too long to fit into the space available. Network Rail have also been concerned about the footbridge being used by vandals to drop objects onto the track.

Cllr Colin Taylor pointed out that some residents of Stones Road had been against re-opening the subway, as they feared it might act as an easy "get away" route for troublemakers. However he noted that in fact there would be barriers at each end, forcing cyclists to dismount, which would also deter motor-cyclists. The path was important as a route on foot or by bicycle for large numbers of people going to work or school, so it should remain available after the footbridge needed to be demolished and this meant the "tunnel" had to be saved now.