Rail link idea mooted again
Bordon's transport woes could be eased by reopening a Bordon to Bentley rail link – according to a Whitehill councillor.
District and town councillor Philip Drury, member for Whitehill Hogmoor, is investigating the possibility of bringing a train line and station back to the town for the first time since 1966.
The idea was mooted after the announcement that up to 5,500 homes will be built when the Army pulls out of Bordon.
Councillor Philip Drury said: “It would be nice to have the Bordon to Bentley line going again – although there might be a question of cost to do that.
“However, there is a lot of support for it from all sections of the community. I talk to a lot of people and they all say that something is needed to avoid all the congestion on our roads.”
The strain caused by traffic on the A325 Bordon road has long concerned Whitehill Town Council, with any increase in population likely to aggravate the problem.
Cllr Drury said: “When Bordon is developed and if we don’t have that rail link – we are looking at having up to an extra 10,000 to 15,000 cars on our roads.
“A lot of people moving to Bordon will be commuters, who will need to get to work. I think we will quickly learn that going by car along the A325, or along the A3 using the Hindhead Tunnel will surely mean bigger and longer hold-ups.”
He felt reopening the line would benefit young people without cars and help them get to colleges in Alton and Guildford. It would benefit commuters who work in London, as the Alton line goes straight to London Waterloo.
Cllr Drury said: “If we had a rail link to Bentley it would allow all these people to be able to commute to Waterloo, and opens up the option of relieving the road systems.
“It also takes the pressure off the Portsmouth to Waterloo railway line.”
The Bentley and Bordon Light Railway was first constructed in 1905 to serve the Bordon and Longmoor Military Camp, and passed through Kingsley and Oakhanger Halt.
It was closed to passengers in 1957 and goods traffic was stopped in 1966, when the track was lifted.
The Bordon terminus has since been replaced by Bordon Trading Estate.
Cllr Drury said the line between Bordon and Bentley was still around in places, although it was no longer visible in Kingsley because of building work.
He added it would prove difficult to re-instate the old line that runs through Bordon Trading Estate, so any future plans would have to take in a new route.
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Cllr Drury said: “It certainly would be expensive, but it might be that we discover it would be more expensive in the long term by not putting it in place.”
He said Bordon’s Town Partnership Group had formed a Rail Relief Group, which was investigating how a railway could be brought back to the town.
Cllr Drury said he was currently lobbying East Hampshire District Council officers to ask them to research further into the idea.
He added when he had more information he would present it at the next Town Partnership Group meeting.
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