In July 2021 a new shared-use path finally opened between Scotts Farm Road and Ruxley Lane.
Until recently a narrow path ran between Epsom & Ewell High School on one side and the school’s playing fields on the other side. This path was too narrow to allow cycling.
An improved path was first proposed 50 years earlier, when pupils from Blenheim High School were temporarily transferred to Epsom & Ewell High School. Many years later, land was transferred from the school to Highways with a view to widening the path to allow cycling. But nothing seemed to happen.
Eventually part of the school’s playing fields was released for a housing development. As a condition of planning consent, the developer was obliged to provide the shared-use path.
The new path should be particularly useful for pupils and staff at the school, as well as people visiting the shops in Ruxley Lane.
In February 2021, work finally began on a cycle route along East Street. This consists of a shared-use footway on the NW side of the street between the High Street and a point opposite the site of the King’s Arms, just short of Kiln Lane. Where necessary, dropped kerbs have been inserted at side turnings.
Surrey’s engineers first presented proposals for a cycle route between Epsom town centre and Kiln Lane to the Local Committee in September 2010.
The termination of the route at the east end is rather unsatisfactory and fails to confirm with Local Transport Note 1/20.
The preferred way to transition from a shared-use footway onto the carriageway is straight ahead into a cycle lane.
In August 2020 Surrey announced a list of possiblefuture schemes for promoting active travel (walking, cycling) and social distancing.
These are schemes for which the council do not currently have any funding and which are not priorities; however, they are keen to understand the public support for any of these proposals, should there be any possibility in the future to fund further works.
A modal filter is a feature used to limit through journeys along a street to certain modes of transport, such as bikes and buses. It has the effect of reducing traffic either side of the filter, improving the local environment and creating an attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists. But vehicular access is still maintained to properties either side of the filter.
Modal filters can be implemented in a number of ways:
with traffic signs;
There are already a few examples in Epsom & Ewell:
In September 2020 the footway under the railway bridge in Waterloo Road was widened to allow shared use by pedestrians and cyclists. This provides a convenient link between the station and the path to the Court Rec.
Until this scheme was introduced, cyclists approaching Epsom along Waterloo Road at peak times were being blocked by a queue of traffic under the railway bridge that was difficult to get past. As a result, many walked or cycled along the footway on either side. In addition, pedestrians had a narrow footway under the bridge, which was also an unattractive place at which to wait for a bus.
As part of the station redevelopment project, Surrey obtained funding to widen the footway on the west (station) side of the road and designate it for shared use by pedestrians and cyclists. Buses that currently stop under the bridge would instead stop more conveniently outside the station.
The December 2013 meeting of Surrey’s Epsom & Ewell Local Committee decided not to proceed with a scheme at present, but agreed that a task force should reconsider it in the light of the Plan E proposals, which could reduce congestion in Waterloo Road.
The September 2016 meeting of the Local Committee reconsidered this scheme. A number of questions arose:
Was it feasible to fix street lamps to the wall, releasing space on the footway? (This could consume 70% of the available funds.)
Should the bus stop be moved from under the bridge?
Should there be a southbound cycle lane on the east side rather than a shared-use footway on the west side?
At its meeting on 25th March 2019, Surrey’s Local Committee finally agreed to the implementation of three options to invest the £50,000 s106 funding in pedestrian, cycle, and public transport improvements in Waterloo Road:
Implement a new shared pedestrian / cycle route connecting Station Approach to the alleyway leading to Pound Lane;
Implement the street lighting improvements underneath the railway bridge in Waterloo Road;
Consult the local community on an experimental closure of the end of Horsley Close.
Crossing Kingston Road SW-NE from Bradford Drive to Stoneleigh Park Road is not a problem. But, in the opposite direction, traffic has to turn left from Stoneleigh Park Road into Kingston Road towards Beggar’s Hill: it cannot turn right towards Bradford Drive. This is very inconvenient for cyclists.
What’s the solution?
Surrey originally proposed that SW-bound cyclists should share the footway outside the shops on the north corner of Stoneleigh Park Road – see picture below.
But this proposal failed a safety audit because of the risk of collision between cyclists and people emerging from the shops.
We are therefore proposing a different scheme whereby SW-bound cyclists would use the dead space planted with bollards along the NW side of Stoneleigh Park Road at the approach to Kingston Road – see photo below.
It would then be necessary to reduce the width of the flower bed between Kingston Road and the service road in order to create a contraflow cycle lane.
In the spring of 2015, work finally started on a cycle route along Christ Church Road and West Hill. It was a condition of planning consent that the developer of Noble Park should provide this route.
Work in progress on West Hill
The completed route includes road tables across side roads.
The footway has been widened between Station Approach and Stamford Green to allow shared use by cyclists and pedestrians. To the west of Stamford Green there is a new cycle route behind the church, connecting to the route around Epsom Common.
The section past Stamford Green, where the footway width is constrained by a ditch, is proving problematic.
Since the Noble Park development included parking for 659 cars, we very much hope that this route will tempt residents to leave the car at home and go by bike.
Two-way cycling has now been introduced along Station Approach in Epsom. This allows cyclists to reach West Hill from the station without going most of the way round Epsom’s one-way system – or walking.
The narrow width of Station Approach and the bend in the middle were serious constraints on the design of this scheme: the carriageway had to remain wide enough to allow large vehicles to negotiate the bend. So the scheme involved widening the footway to allow shared use by pedestrians and cyclists, though the footway remains narrow around the bend. This is far from an ideal solution.
In 1990, when the one-way system was introduced, the Borough Council, recognising how cyclists would be disadvantaged, voted for a one-way contra-flow cycle lane in Station Approach. The then Borough Engineer persuaded the Chairman of the Highways Committee that a contra-flow cycle lane was technically not possible because of lorries turning round the bend. The scheme was therefore not implemented and Stamford Ward cyclists in particular were disadvantaged for 24 years.
The footway has been widened to allow shared use.
It is now possible to follow the link to the Surrey Cycleway.