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The Surrey Rail Strategy

While the county has a generally comprehensive rail network and a large number of rail stations, many services are at capacity and suffer from peak time overcrowding. According to the Department for Transport, Surrey has some of the most overcrowded train journeys in England and Wales. Not all parts of Surrey are well served by rail. Some towns have no direct connections to London and some rail connections to Heathrow and Gatwick airports are unsatisfactory.

To ensure that the county has the rail infrastructure needed for sustainable economic growth and to identify proposals for improvements that partners in Surrey can plan and deliver, a rail strategy has been developed.

The final version of the Surrey Rail Strategy was published in September 2013 following an extensive consultation process. Surrey County Council and partners will be working with the rail industry to implement the strategy and deliver an improved rail service for Surrey residents.

The Surrey Rail Strategy is available to download below.

Rail Strategy Update

The Surrey Rail Strategy Update (Position Statement), produced in April 2016, provides a progress update on the priorities and actions identified in the Surrey Rail Strategy (2013). The Update covers activities that have occurred since publication and identifies the further actions required to continue delivery of the Surrey Rail Strategy.

The North Downs Line

The North Downs Line runs through Surrey between Reading, Guildford and Redhill. Improvements to this line were identified as a priority in the Surrey Rail Strategy. To help secure investment on this line the county council has commissioned consultants to develop a long term strategy for the North Downs Line, building on the work undertaken for the Surrey Rail Strategy.

The North Downs Line Assessment and background information on the North Downs Line, including data on population, employment, development and station usage, is set out in documents attached below.

The Camberley Rail Assessment

The Surrey Rail Strategy identified a number of priorities, including the adequacy of rail access to London from Camberley, Bagshot and Frimley, given the poor level of service and relatively long journey times. To help better understand what could be done to improve the situation, the council commissioned consultants to complete a study to assess the options for improving rail service frequency and journey times from Camberley to London via a direct connection to the South West Main Line (SWML), albeit in the longer term.

The study evaluated the costs of each of identified option and estimated the benefits that would need to be achieved in order to produce a positive business case.

The study is now complete. In summary both preferred options identified in the study represent low value for money, even including additional generated demand for rail services. The study concludes that currently there is no viable solution that provides a direct connection onto the SWML from Camberley to London Waterloo, even in longer term.

Whilst this is disappointing, operational improvements will be jointly pursued by the County and Borough Councils through the South Western rail franchise, which is to be renewed in June 2017.

  • Updated: 21 Jul 2016
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