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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 250673 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #780 on: January 01, 2020, 05:29:23 pm »

Wasnít it supposed to be open by now?!

What, the letter?
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TonyK
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« Reply #781 on: January 01, 2020, 06:09:53 pm »

Wasnít it supposed to be open by now?!

You may be confusing it with the Portway station, due to open in 2013. Then again, maybe not.
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TonyK
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« Reply #782 on: January 09, 2020, 10:50:27 pm »

Oh dear. I have heard a serious rumour that work has been paused on the section between Leigh Woods and the suspension bridge, and may not restart. It seems some politicians are becoming anxious about the rare plants there - whether that is real concern about plants or an excuse for concern about money. I do not know. Anyone else have more solid information?
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« Reply #783 on: January 09, 2020, 11:45:02 pm »

Might be worse someone could of found a newts nest !...
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johnneyw
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« Reply #784 on: January 10, 2020, 12:16:45 am »

Oh dear. I have heard a serious rumour that work has been paused on the section between Leigh Woods and the suspension bridge, and may not restart. It seems some politicians are becoming anxious about the rare plants there - whether that is real concern about plants or an excuse for concern about money. I do not know. Anyone else have more solid information?

It's news to me that any work had started there.
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TonyK
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« Reply #785 on: January 10, 2020, 11:23:48 am »


It's news to me that any work had started there.

For "work" I think we should read "looking at" and "planning" in this context, which is the normal precursor to any hardcore action with, well, hardcore amongst other materials. If that isn't done, nothing will get done.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #786 on: January 10, 2020, 11:48:33 am »


It's news to me that any work had started there.

For "work" I think we should read "looking at" and "planning" in this context, which is the normal precursor to any hardcore action with, well, hardcore amongst other materials. If that isn't done, nothing will get done.

Ah yes, I see what you mean.  I jumped the gun there somewhat.  Thing is, along that stretch, the line is already laid and in use. It's not like they are about to four track it (or even double it) so I'm not sure what new peril this would put the rare plants in. Plus, there is the ecological price to pay for inaction too.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #787 on: January 10, 2020, 02:02:54 pm »

...It seems some politicians are becoming anxious about the rare plants there...

Someone from North Somerset stood up at last year's FoSBR AGM and said words to the effect that the whole thing was doomed on account of Sorbus bristoliensis. Since then, North Somerset and HMG have stumped up a load of cash, and a DCO has been submitted.

Could the source of your rumour be the same person, or is there some new information? Isn't this all in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate now?

Planning has certainly taken place in this area; here is evidence (dated November 2019): https://tinyurl.com/wl9wndc

You will note that the route from Horseshoe Bend to the Suspension Bridge is all within the Avon Gorge SSSI.







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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #788 on: January 10, 2020, 02:15:01 pm »

Quote

In the Avon Gorge, on the Portishead line (freight trains only), there are six rare species of whitebeam trees on the cliffs above the River Avon that canít be found anywhere else (leaves pictured left). They have all evolved within a self-contained ecosystem. We have to manage the whitebeams carefully, working with Natural England to ensure we can keep the rock faces safe while protecting the trees.
Source: Network Rail

I do hope they put those leaves back when they finished with them. Waydaminnit - there are seven of them..!

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #789 on: January 10, 2020, 05:03:09 pm »

Some of them, possibly all, are also grown in the botanical gardens in Stoke Bishop. Not that that's a substitute for growing in the wild, but as Tony K says, there won't be new track or even a new introduction of trains. At least not in the foreseeable future: perhaps in 2099 it'll be "maglev to Portishead now!"
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
johnneyw
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« Reply #790 on: January 10, 2020, 07:04:50 pm »

There's nowt on the Portishead Railway Group website about this. I don't know if they have commented elsewhere.
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TonyK
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« Reply #791 on: January 10, 2020, 09:18:35 pm »

...It seems some politicians are becoming anxious about the rare plants there...

Someone from North Somerset stood up at last year's FoSBR AGM and said words to the effect that the whole thing was doomed on account of Sorbus bristoliensis. Since then, North Somerset and HMG have stumped up a load of cash, and a DCO has been submitted.

Could the source of your rumour be the same person, or is there some new information? Isn't this all in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate now?

Planning has certainly taken place in this area; here is evidence (dated November 2019): https://tinyurl.com/wl9wndc

You will note that the route from Horseshoe Bend to the Suspension Bridge is all within the Avon Gorge SSSI.


I am hoping that the source of the information is a local merchant of doom and gloom - you don't have to go far to meet one in Bristol - and that the information is wrong. There is certainly plenty of subtle engineering needed to bring the line up to passenger spec and a decent speed, presumably to stabilise the rocks beside the track mainly. Said whitebeams could be in the way of that.

I didn't know there were six species of whitebeam in the world, let alone just in Avon Gorge. Is every single whitebeam a separate species, I wonder? If they are unique, then I wouldn't like to think of them being dug up and replanted in NR's mitigation plot, to be draped with sleeping bats and to provide shade for the newt pond. I'll keep an eye open for anything else.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #792 on: January 10, 2020, 09:55:09 pm »

It's worth remembering that every few years it becomes necessary to close the A4 Portway, on the other side of the Avon Gorge but also part of the 156 hectares that make up the Avon Gorge SSSI, while they do works to stop rocks falling on cars below. This involves, I suspect, far more damaging interventions than will be needed for the Portishead line.


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stuving
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« Reply #793 on: January 10, 2020, 10:05:50 pm »

I didn't know there were six species of whitebeam in the world, let alone just in Avon Gorge. Is every single whitebeam a separate species, I wonder?

Closer than you think! Resorting to Wikipedia, it says that there are many apomictic microspecies of Whitebeam. It hybridises with other sorbuses - rowans and service trees - and the results then reproduce asexually (that's apomictic). So it's possible to have several of that kind of species on the go in one small area, as they won't interbreed.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #794 on: January 10, 2020, 10:26:31 pm »

Well if any of this does cause further delays to this reopening, I for one will certainly be apomictic with rage.
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