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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 252247 times)
eightf48544
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« Reply #810 on: February 03, 2020, 10:10:44 am »

Won't we be getting rid of all this paperwork now we've left the EU?
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stuving
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« Reply #811 on: February 03, 2020, 12:22:16 pm »

Won't we be getting rid of all this paperwork now we've left the EU?

Maybe. Maybe not. While leave campaigners (really meaning senior Tories here) did go on about getting rid of regulations, I don't recall hearing the same said for their end product - the protection of habitats in this case. That would be a bit along the lines of "vote Boris for dirtier Diesels". So it's hard to know what distinction will be made between various aspects of "regulations": (1) their effect on the real world,  (2) the steps necessary to produce (1), (3) the amount of effort consumed on doing (2).

But my understanding was that all this technical stuff was processed initially by just changing formal references to directives and the ECJ, so as to leave the workings of the laws and regulations unchanged. That meant it could be done by a small army of legal clerks doing text searches and cut and paste, and Parliament could rubber stamp the results without looking at them. In fact it also changes geographical references more generally, and some of this may alter the meaning quite a bit - for example, does "a species of (European) Community importance" mean the same as "a species of national importance"? Functional changes may be made later (and may or may not involve Parliament bothering to think about the effects).

The legal opinion in the DCO documents gives the details:
Quote
Case law
12. The starting point in this matter is that by Article 6(4) of Directive 92/43/EC as amended (the Habitats Directive) because of the conclusions reached in the HRA, the competent authority may only agree to the project, in the absence of alternative solutions, if it must be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest, which because the site hosts a priority habitat may only be considerations relating to human health or public safety or beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment (absent a positive opinion from, at present, the Commission). In addition the UK as a member state must “take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of Natura 2000 is protected.” The requirements of the Directive are transposed in Part 4 of the Habitats and Protected Species Regulations 2017 and apply to DCOs, subject to the pending amendments made by the Conservation of Habitats (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to reflect departure from the EU.

So, there you go - it's actually the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (aka 2017 No. 1012), as amended (now in force) by the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (aka 2019 No. 579). This might be a good example to look at, if you want to know how much our regulatory environment has actually changed so far (and it would save me having to read it all). But be warned; the legal opinion cites sections in the directive, not in the act that had already transposed them into UK law!
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #812 on: February 04, 2020, 03:16:05 pm »

Quote
11.8.2 For the reasons set out above it is considered that all three tests are met in the case of the DCO Scheme and that the adverse impact on the integrity of the Avon Gorge Woodlands SAC predicted at Stage 2 is adequately compensated. It is concluded that the grant of consent for the DCO Scheme will not cause detriment to the maintenance of the overall coherence of the Natura 2000 network. The grant of consent to the DCO Scheme offers potential to improve the condition of the Avon Gorge Woodlands SAC.

Having read that for the fourth time, am I right in thinking that they are saying that not only is it OK to build a railway move a signal 20cm to the right, but also that the gorge will actually be a nicer place when they've done it?
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TonyK
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« Reply #813 on: February 08, 2020, 08:13:38 pm »


So, there you go - it's actually the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (aka 2017 No. 1012), as amended (now in force) by the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (aka 2019 No. 579). This might be a good example to look at, if you want to know how much our regulatory environment has actually changed so far (and it would save me having to read it all). But be warned; the legal opinion cites sections in the directive, not in the act that had already transposed them into UK law!

Interesting. The one explanation that wouldn't be plausible is that the barrister offering the opinion sort of forgot that things were changing. More likely that such presedent as exists relates to the European directive and will still be enforceable under EU protocols until the end of the transition period. After that, the Court hearing any challenge could still look to EU court judgments for guidance if deciding the matter under the new UK regulations. I'm sure that any newts will sleep soundly tonight.
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ellendune
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« Reply #814 on: February 08, 2020, 08:46:18 pm »


So, there you go - it's actually the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (aka 2017 No. 1012), as amended (now in force) by the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (aka 2019 No. 579). This might be a good example to look at, if you want to know how much our regulatory environment has actually changed so far (and it would save me having to read it all). But be warned; the legal opinion cites sections in the directive, not in the act that had already transposed them into UK law!

Interesting. The one explanation that wouldn't be plausible is that the barrister offering the opinion sort of forgot that things were changing. More likely that such presedent as exists relates to the European directive and will still be enforceable under EU protocols until the end of the transition period. After that, the Court hearing any challenge could still look to EU court judgments for guidance if deciding the matter under the new UK regulations. I'm sure that any newts will sleep soundly tonight.

Another explanation is that - if you read the Regulations - they make reference to the Directive for crucial details, so the papers need to directly reference the text of the Directive. 
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TonyK
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« Reply #815 on: February 09, 2020, 01:15:08 pm »

Another explanation is that - if you read the Regulations - they make reference to the Directive for crucial details, so the papers need to directly reference the text of the Directive. 

For goodness sake, don't tell certain people! There'll be Watneys Red Barrel sprayed all over the walls.
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TonyK
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« Reply #816 on: March 06, 2020, 08:06:20 pm »

I really wonder how we manage to build anything in this country now....... Roll Eyes

I didn't know we did...

Won't we be getting rid of all this paperwork now we've left the EU?

I had a quick rummage through some of it. My favourite part is part 5.4. the Construction Strategy, which lays out the proposals for how things will be done, once the thinking is finished with and someone picks up a shovel and say "Right, then". It's interesting in parts. Some 15,000 m2 of old ballast, track, newts etc has to be removed, and much the same brought back in again. Give the sheep the night off if you like, and have a read - there's too much to quote bits.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 08:26:36 pm by TonyK » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #817 on: April 23, 2020, 02:49:54 pm »

From Somerset Live

Quote
When will the Portishead railway line reopen?

Photo caption "The tunnel between Portishead and Bristol Temple Meads hasn't seen a train in decades"

Reopening the Portishead railway line will play a critical role in North Somerset’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis, project leaders say.

The exact impact the pandemic will have on the £116million cost of Metrowest remains unknown but it could cause delays and add nearly £5million to the bill.

Construction work, which will include new stations in Portishead and Pill, is expected to start in December 2021 and take around two years to complete.

More than £20million has already been spent.

[snip]

Quote
The report asks North Somerset Council’s executive to approve a further £7million spend to cover railway engineering design and technical support, legal services, land agents and environmental impact assessments.

MetroWest phase 1 will need the cooperation of around 100 landowners along the track.

Project leaders are expected to secure as much as possible on a voluntary basis but without compulsory purchases it “will not proceed in a reasonable timeframe”.

Once completed, the scheme is set to result in 181,000 fewer car trips in its opening year, increasing to 278,000 car trips by 2036.

Other benefits will mean 958,980 passenger trips by rail in the opening year increasing to 1,295,103 passenger trips by 2036.
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rogerw
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« Reply #818 on: April 23, 2020, 03:36:55 pm »

Typical example of the poor quality of local reporting.  Funny how a tunnel that hasn't seen a train in decades has shiny rails going through it. I seem to recall travelling through it in September 2012 or perhaps I was only dreaming (was it really that long ago?). I like the way that the track has to be resurfaced
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TonyK
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« Reply #819 on: April 23, 2020, 05:22:47 pm »

"The tunnel between Portishead and Bristol Temple Meads hasn't seen a train in decades"

Yes it has, as rogerw points out. The reporter may also be interested to know that it is not the only tunnel.
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« Reply #820 on: April 24, 2020, 06:25:08 am »

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/plans-hundreds-new-homes-site-4062313
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grahame
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« Reply #821 on: May 07, 2020, 07:46:15 am »

From North Somerset Times

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MetroWest project will be ‘essential to economic recovery of North Somerset

Reopening the Portishead railway line will play a critical role in North Somerset’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis, project leaders believe.

The authority agreed to procure and award contracts for professional services to support the continuation of the development consent order process through to the MetroWest project completion.

Contracts for rail engineering technical support and rail industry technical processes up to £2million, legal services up to £2.9million, land agent fees up to £900,000 and environmental impact assessment services up to £1.9million will be awarded.

The contracts form part of the estimated total project cost of £116.4million.

The contracts of engagement will have break clauses at key milestones within the project, should the council not be in a position to proceed.

Construction work, which will include new stations in Portishead and Pill, is expected to start in December and take around two years to complete.

Is that essence of recovery due to all the work created by the re-opening project, or the travel benefits once it has been re-opened?  That latter is expected to be 30 months away yet, and on past project form I am not holding my breath.
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martyjon
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« Reply #822 on: June 20, 2020, 03:17:03 pm »

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrowest-project-extended-gloucester-4245736


Reading the above article in todays post makes me question whether WECA and the LAs of the region are committed to rail.
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