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May 22, 2018, 01:03:44 pm *
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[248] Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption el...
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[31] New CEO of Network Rail announced, May 2018.
[23] Bristol Temple Meads Station redevelopment
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: New CEO of Network Rail announced, May 2018. on: Today at 07:19:49 am
Given the revolving door nature of these appointments, I cannot help wondering if there is a vacancy for a certain person at the Catastrophic Administrators Authority. And i don't mean you, grahame!
2  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Bristol Temple Meads Station redevelopment on: Yesterday at 10:59:45 am
Totally agree. And we poor blinkin' passengers , sorry CUSTOMERS, are made to feel like a major major' inconvenience, disturbing their cosy little chats. I cannot count the times I have been blanked by the gateline staff at Temple Meads when wishing them a good time of day or thanking them for letting me through. Is there a special grade of bloody mindedness/ charmlessness that equates with being sent to the gateline at TM ? I just wonder if they are sent to Blackpool North for training.
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Death knell for the Portishead line ? on: May 20, 2018, 08:27:12 am
Rather more encouraging news from Portishead Railway Group

Dear Member,


Once again the Portishead line is hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Social media and the local press are full of dramatic comments and partial truths that might mislead you into thinking that the MetroWest project and the Portishead line is now dead.


This is completely false. We have some important questions that we have raised with MetroWest and Liam Fox and we will let you know the response when we have it. Meanwhile, here are 10 things we’d like to highlight about the current situation, to anyone interested (or willing to listen):


1.     On Thursday it was announced that MetroWest (i.e. all four local councils) has failed in its bid for funding from the Large Local Major Transport Schemes fund. The DfT’s Large Local Major Transport Schemes fund guidance explicitly states “....There is a presumption against funding rail schemes ....".  So it was a long shot, but NSC/MetroWest felt it was worth trying. In fact all the fund went to 3 major road schemes, none to any rail schemes.

2.      This doesn’t mean the project is dead, just that particular source of funds is not available - as the fund’s guidance said. One of the reasons for that rule is that there are other sources of funds available for rail schemes, which NSC/MetroWest will have to utilise instead.

3.      £116 million is the Network Rail revised cost for the Portishead line from last year (down from £170 million). This is a robust figure that has been independently verified by MetroWest to ensure no more nasty surprises.

4.     £58 million is already in place to meet the original Network Rail project costing. Of this £4.3 million is local money and £53.4 million was awarded from the Local Growth Fund.

5.     £12 million more was committed to the project last December by WECA (West of England Combined Authority) and North Somerset Council (50% each), as part of the latest funding bid that just failed. These are big commitments by all four councils (not all of which are Tory by the way ....) but still leave £46 million to be sourced.

6.      About £11 million has already been spent, getting the project this far.

7.      It wasn't politicians that doubled the cost of the project, triggering the search for more funds, it was Network Rail

8.     The Metro Mayor is nothing to do with what’s happened. All four councils continue to work together as MetroWest.

9.      Work is continuing right now on the DCO and GRIP 4, despite the bad news

10.   The report on the DCO consultation at the end of 2017 will be published early next month

This setback is hugely frustrating for everyone, including those who work on the MetroWest project, but it’s not the first time and the project carries on. Today, there is a firm budget, £70 million of funding in place, a clear train service objective to deliver and a robust plan in place to deliver it. It just lacks £46 million.

We do need answers to some questions. We each need to ensure that decision makers and politicians understand the strength of local frustration with the delays. But most importantly, we all need to focus on what we can constructively do to help make the plan for trains to Portishead a reality.

We hope that helps clarify what is, and isn’t, happening.




Peter Maliphant

Membership Secretary

Portishead Railway Group
4  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Windsor Branch line - services, rolling stock and signalling - ongoing discussion on: May 20, 2018, 12:08:26 am
  Or Mrs Fox! Grin Grin Grin  Oh Come on ....Think about it ...surely I don't have to explain this one !
5  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: MetroBus on: May 19, 2018, 04:16:24 pm
Congratulations on your lucky 777th post martyjon !

Once Tuesday 29th May is here, he might not be the only one aghast as the perceived incompetence of Metrobust  finally becomes a reality!
6  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Jurassic Mule runs again for 2018 on: May 19, 2018, 03:29:50 pm
Bravo ! More power to your elbows and the metaphorical reversed 2 finger salute to the whiners that stopped you running in the first place !
7  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Royal Wedding Weekend - What's going to happen? on: May 19, 2018, 12:39:58 pm
Rumour has it that the confetti is made up out of all the documents GWR have to shred before the receivers move in !
8  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Bristol Temple Meads Station redevelopment on: May 18, 2018, 02:13:24 pm
The way GWR is going, we'll have hassle free entrances, with some rather less harrassed gateline staff, but no trains to catch or arrive on !
9  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: MetroBus on: May 18, 2018, 12:42:43 pm
Strange.....First bus have the launch of metrobus 'All systems Go' on their website with dignitaries, brass bands ( ok, I made that up) and local schoolchildren travelling on the route for the first time...

But that esteemed organ the Bristol Post leads with the forgotten metrobus route that no-one wants to run ..... Huh
10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Death knell for the Portishead line ? on: May 18, 2018, 07:45:27 am
As was pointed out in the previous post, the much simpler idea of a shuttle up and down to Temple Meads from Portishead reached GRIP 4 before it was hijacked by the metrowest scheme.  With the snakes and ladders of GRIP being what it is, it all  went back to GRIP 1. So, would a way forward be, to treat metrobus and the Portishead line as 2 separate projects once again ?.
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Death knell for the Portishead line ? on: May 17, 2018, 06:34:41 pm
It is being reported by the Bristol Post that central government funding has been refused for Phase one of Metrowest. So much for Chris Grayling's assertion that 'Portishead wasn't dead in the water' when he was in Bristol to launch the Class 166's on the Severn Beach line. Well,if it wasn't dead then, it certainly seems to be now! It's Transport Questions next Thursday ....any chance Liam Fox will stand up to lambast his Cabinet colleague ? As I see it, the only thing Liam Fox has done for Portishead is to call it the 'longest cul-de-sac in Europe' in an adjournment debate, way way back in 2005.
12  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2018 cancellation and amendment log on: May 17, 2018, 08:13:59 am
08:41 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Parkway due 09:35
Facilities on the 08:41 Weston-super-Mare to Bristol Parkway due 09:35.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 8 coaches instead of 3.
Last Updated:17/05/2018 06:55

Does this make up for all the other times this train has been short formed ? I hope the passengers really spread themselves and their luggage around !
13  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Dangerous overcrowding 16/8 London-Swansea on: May 16, 2018, 07:01:27 pm
And there was me thinking he was talking about HitachiS ! Huh
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 16, 2018, 01:55:21 pm
Can't help wondering how much worse GWR has to get, before Graying considers it a prime candidate for DoR
15  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: More where? on: May 15, 2018, 10:51:51 pm
Not a lot to go on.

Are you talking about GWR trains again ?

Edit note: Quote marks fixed, for clarity. CfN.
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