The project aims to help the delivery of new housing, improve rail safety and reduce road congestion in the Ash and Tongham area.
The extra £13.9 million will take the total funding for the scheme from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to £23.9 million. The total budget for the project, which now stands at £38.79 million, including £5.02 million for the footbridge, was approved at a meeting of the Council on Tuesday night (13 April).
This development is part of Policy A31 of our 2019 Local Plan, which allocates land for new housing in Ash and Tongham.
Ash level crossing has been identified as a safety hotspot by Network Rail, who support plans to close it. The number of trains passing through Ash, and therefore the number of times the crossing is in use, has increased since September 2020 with extra services on the North Downs line to Gatwick Airport, Reading, Redhill, Guildford and Farnham.
Director of Strategic Services, Dawn Hudd says:
“The extra funding is fantastic news and will allow us to progress with this significant infrastructure project for Ash residents. We received some very positive contributions from residents in our public information sessions, and there will be further opportunities for participation and feedback as we progress through the planning process.
“The new road bridge, and planned footbridge, provides badly needed infrastructure investment for the area, especially in supporting the arrival of new housing. The plan is to make the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians, and less congested for drivers whilst also improving air quality. The crossing barrier is currently down for up to 25 minutes every hour and barrier downtime will increase in line with the expected increase in train services. This has a huge impact on local residents, especially as cars often queue for long periods with engines running.”
- Ash Station: Hillbers News