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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: DfT sifts 60 new rail plans on: Yesterday at 05:59:53 pm
Reopening Ashburton to Buckfastleigh is also among the proposals, apparently.

Frustratingly, I can't find any details (on any)...


I thought the section between Ahburton and Buckfastleigh became part of the enlarged A38, which would add a degree of difficulty to the reopening.
2  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: Yesterday at 09:39:34 am

Chris has already raised around £150,000 via crowdfunding for his legal challenge, his original target was £30,000, so I think you can all rest easy that he won't be an indeterminate or indefinite drain on public funds.........ironically unlike HS2!  Smiley

I'm also pleased to hear that poverty amongst lawyers is to be avoided yet again.
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: June 30, 2020, 08:21:37 pm
Is he paying his own legal costs on this or are the taxpayers paying. If he has legal aid I think it is scandelous when so many much more worthy cases are refused..Perhaps the Giovernment should put in a claim for costs if he loses again


I believe the case is crowd-funded. I can't imagine that legal aid would be available, but you never know. It costs £528.00 to lodge an application for an appeal to be heard, and £1,199 to lodge the appeal if that is successful. The court has already said that this is a matter of considerable public interest, so they probably won't saddle the loser with all of the winner's legal costs. The facts of the case were either agreed or found in the lower court, it's just the opinion that is in dispute. So there won't be legions of expert witnesses, just a small army of lawyers. It will be expensive, but not millions, I wouldn't have thought.
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: June 30, 2020, 03:31:12 pm
Should this appeal fail, which court is next on the list?  Roll Eyes

Diana Ross - the Supreme. After that, it would be the European Court if there is a matter of EU law involved that we are currently bound by. If it goes that far, we should have HS3 and HS4 built by the time judgment is handed down.
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: June 30, 2020, 03:18:32 pm
Chris Packham, the BBC presenter, is to appeal against the refusal of the High Court judge to stop HS2 for him. The appeal, which will be heard on 8 July, will be a roly-poly appeal, being two appeals in one. The first part will decide if he does indeed have leave to appeal, and when that has been granted, the court will move immediately to consider if the trial judge erred in law when refusing the injunction. There are two further grounds he is asking the court to consider also. There are many reports about it, but this one from the Bucks Free Press (don't try saying that after a sufficiency of port or two) seems fairly complete, and isn't behind a paywall.

Quote
TV star Chris Packham HS2 appeal to be heard by court
By Kiera Gillies  @Kiera_BFP
Apprentice reporter

The Court of Appeal has decided to hear Chris Packham’s appeal regarding an application for permission for judicial review of the Prime Minister’s decision to proceed with the HS2 railway project.

The hearing has been listed for July 8, 2020.

Lord Justice Lewison held that the matter is of “considerable public interest” and ordered that a rolled-up hearing be listed before mid-July in light of the fact that further works by HS2 Ltd and its contractors are scheduled to take place.

A rolled-up hearing means that the court will first consider whether Mr Packham has permission to appeal and, if permission is granted, it will then immediately consider his application for judicial review.

On April 3 Mr Packham, represented by law firm Leigh Day, applied to the High Court for an interim injunction to stop the irreversible destruction of ancient woodlands pending the outcome of a substantive judicial review of the HS2 decision.

The High Court declined to grant an injunction and refused permission for judicial review and Mr Packham subsequently sought permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal.

Mr Packham’s appeal focuses on two grounds both concerning alleged failings in the way in which the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary reached their decision to give the HS2 project the go-ahead. First, Mr Packham contends that the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary were told (and so would have proceeded from an understanding) that the Oakervee Report set out a sufficient account of environmental impacts for the purpose of their decision to go ahead with HS2, when in fact it had not done so.

Second, that Mr Packham argues that the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary failed to have regard to the implications of the Paris Agreement when they took the decision.

The Paris Agreement requires a restriction on the global increase in temperature by 2050.

Any addition in emissions between now and 2050 will negatively impact on such temperature increases and thereby on the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

Mr Packham’s case states "that in fact the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary were not told this and so they failed to take into account the implications of the Paris Agreement, particularly as regards the increase in carbon emissions during the construction period of HS2 (which predates 2050)."

In his appeal Mr Packham also highlights that the UK has put in place a series of consecutive five-yearly carbon budgets to steadily reduce emissions over the intervening period between now and 2050.

He believes the UK is not currently on track to meet its fourth and fifth budgets (which cover the years 2023-2032) and that the construction emissions from HS2 would, therefore, further undermine the Secretary of State’s duty to meet these carbon budgets (under section 4(1)(b) of the Climate Change Act 2008).

The appeal contends that the PM and Secretary of State were not informed about this issue before making their decision to go ahead.

Mr Packham said: “I am delighted that the Lord Justices see merit in hearing the appeal and that they have acknowledged the ‘considerable public interest’ in the case - a public interest which spans the heinous and irreparable damage done to ancient woodland, breeding birds, badgers and bats this Spring, the complete incompatibility of this project to the government’s obligations to address climate change, the appalling conduct of HS2 Ltd and its employees in a time of global crisis, and the future drain that the project will be on that public’s purse, which due to the pandemic is empty.

"The public have been conned by HS2, hopefully now we, the public, will see some justice.”

Tom Short, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, said: “Our client is encouraged by the Court of Appeal’s decision to hear his case and its recognition of the considerable public interest in the matter.

"He was disappointed by the lower court’s decision and welcomes the scrutiny of environmental concerns around the HS2 project that a hearing in the Court of Appeal will bring, including in respect of climate change considerations.

"As this week’s CCC report has shown, surface transport is the single highest emitting sector in the UK since 2015 and is off track to contribute as required to achieve Net Zero and meet our Paris obligations.

"Our client believes that a major surface transport project that increases emissions is contrary to the UK’s climate obligations and seriously risks imperilling our future. Mr Packham has been buoyed by the tremendous support his case has received from members of the public and from environmental experts who provided witness evidence including the RSPB and the Woodland Trust.”

Mr Packham is represented by solicitors Tom Short and Carol Day, and paralegals Lewis Hadler and Rhiannon Adam, at law firm Leigh Day.

In short, a new electric railway is more polluting than doing nothing, and the Oakervee report was wrong. He is represented by law firm Field Leigh Day. I haven't included the photo because we all know what he looks like.
6  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway appeal: Bratton Fleming station back on the market on: June 30, 2020, 02:53:07 pm
Meldon Viaduct is a scheduled monument or Heritage Asset, under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. I think that trumps listing in terms of protection.
7  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Metrowest Status on: June 29, 2020, 02:11:30 pm
Are the members of the WRECA comittee called Phew Sue, Barney, McRue, Herbert, Dribble and Scrubb ,with apologies to the Trumpton Firemen !

I don't know, but it would make sense, possibly even more if we find they are D. P. Gumby, R. J. Gumby, L. R. Gumby....
8  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway appeal: Bratton Fleming station back on the market on: June 29, 2020, 02:06:43 pm

Presumably this story, from May 2019, relates to a different incident:

You have to feel for the bus driver, who might have been able to swerve to avoid the cyclist if the bus had been on a normal road.

My mistake - I read a Chinese whisper version. I agree regarding the bus driver.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: FlyBe - gone into administration on: June 29, 2020, 11:06:50 am
It was parked up preparing for engine start. Chocks all removed and presumably the accumulator lost pressure. Although why nobody tried to use the tiller or rudder pedals is beyond me.

When it sort-of-nearly happened to me, it was because I had my head down with the checklist, going through the controls and dials, blissfully unaware that I was trundling majestically towards an expensive police helicopter until the instructor in the right-hand seat said "You might want to look out of the window...". Nosewheel steering on a Q400 is hydraulically powered, so maybe the horn wasn't working.
10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway appeal: Bratton Fleming station back on the market on: June 29, 2020, 11:03:57 am

Cyclists have recently got into the habit of using the guideway, perhaps to socially distance themselves from the pedestrians who tend to fill the cycle path. The other day I saw a cyclist who was evidently shocked to meet a bus coming the other way. If it wasn't for the fact that the buses have to slow down to a crawl to use the guideway, he might not have been able to pull his bicycle out of the way in time...

Sadly, a cyclist died on the Cambridgeshire misguided busway after making a similar misjudgement. The Bristol one is likely to get a lot busier now, with the airport reopening. The smaller supplementary local service that also uses the carbon saving airport route seems to have reopened with a limited 3 bus per hour service, 0600 to 1900 weekdays only.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Cambridge Guided Busway - ongoing discussion and updates (merged topic) on: June 29, 2020, 10:54:47 am
Has anyone totted up the total cost of the busway?

You could probably have had a high speed rail link for the price.

The original cost was supposed to be £116.2 million, £92.5 million of which was to come from central government. As with Bristol's MetroBust, the government contribution was fixed, leaving Cambridgeshire with a mere £23.7 million to pay. The cost of reopening the railway had been put at £48 million. The final cost was at least £180 million, giving CCC a bill of almost £90 million. None of the businesses who had undertaken to contribute to the cost actually did so.

Cambridgeshire CC launched a legal action against BAM Nuttall for £60 million, budgeting £6,5 million for legal fees. BAM Nuttall counter-sued for £43 million. Part of the action concerned a cost of £21 million for replacing defective parts of the busway, which had been open for under 2 years, which they said was a result of construction defects and BAM Nuttall said was fair wear and tear. CCC scored a Pyrrhic victory on the steps of the court, cutting the £43 million counter claim to £800,000. Legal and professional charges put the total cost at over £150 million, £26 million of which came from the council budget. Other necessary transport projects had to be cancelled to pay the tab. Conservatively, the total cost  so far has been about £250 million to build a crumbling busway in place of a railway that would have cost half that, even with traditional runaway railway costs. Fair enough, the railway didn't run into the city centre or science park. The latter got its own railway station in 2017 on the Fen line, Cambridge North, which connects to the busway.

The auguries are not good for Cambridgeshire CC. Based on the first court case, I would expect BAM Nuttall to defend the case robustly. If the repair cost was estimated at "at least £36.5 million" three years ago, it is anybody's guess what they will be now with inflation and further deterioration. BAM Nuttall probably have better legal resources than CCC.

Worryingly for the people of Bristol and surrounding areas, the Cambridgeshire Busway was the often-cited exemplar for MetroBust. There are, apparently, issues with the busway there. At least it is short and pointless, rather than crucial, and having been unused for a lot of the time since it was built, it shouldn't have had the same wear and tear.
12  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Metrowest Status on: June 29, 2020, 10:18:30 am
Portway Parkway is partway to halfway.

 Grin

This is the station that Councillor Tim Kent proudly announced, back in 2011, would be open by 2013. Last I saw, it was due to open in summer of 2021. Last year, the minutes of a BCC meeting recorded that if it wasn't open by June 2020, the central funding would be lost.If that hasn't been changed, WRECA (like it, martyjon) is in for a £2.4 million hit on the MetroWest Rail budget.
13  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Temple Meads Station redevelopment on: June 27, 2020, 04:45:32 pm

But I won't bother commenting further if that's going to be the tone of any response.  Hardly a friendly forum?

I'm deep (ocean deep) into 'stuff' today ... but I noted this.

It's so easy on a forum for just a single response from one member to come across unfriendly - especially in an environment where we gain strength from different views and ways of expressing them.   And it's so easy (when writing) to 'say' something that's taken in a way that was not intended.

I know little of the roof at Temple Meads; will probably be very light in any comments I make - but hope all of the rest of you can carry on.

Squirrels don't bite, in my experience.
14  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway appeal: Bratton Fleming station back on the market on: June 27, 2020, 03:04:38 pm

Ashton Swingbridge in Bristol is a riveted steel structure which had no maintenance for at least 50 years. If you'd asked me a couple of years ago whether it could be repaired I would have guessed not; you could put your fist through the rust holes in the plate girders. It is now fully restored and carries a MetroBus route and cycle path...

... although it does demonstrate another traditional issue, that of starting work, drilling the first hole, then going back to the commissioning body to say "It's a lot worse than we thought." It still scrubbed up a lot less expensively than building a replacement would have been. Plus it's not seeing anything like as much use as was envisaged. Always a danger.

15  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Temple Meads Station redevelopment on: June 27, 2020, 02:56:27 pm
It's all there, in 15/01847/LA!

It is, and very interesting too.
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