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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 187529 times)
chuffed
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« Reply #540 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.
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martyjon
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« Reply #541 on: May 17, 2018, 07:45:17 pm »

Punishment for North Somerset Parish Council not supporting election of Metro Mayor ?
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #542 on: May 17, 2018, 07:48:30 pm »

Anybody got a spare £47 million not doing anything at the minute?
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« Reply #543 on: May 17, 2018, 08:33:15 pm »

Money probably spent on Crossrail overspend.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #544 on: May 17, 2018, 08:56:11 pm »

Money probably spent on Crossrail overspend.

I feared that but is it perhaps more a time for a rethink?  Grand schemes for Portishead to have services to Bath and beyond always seemed a bit profligate in the current economic climate. All the good people of Portishead really want is a rail shuttle to Temple Meads from where they can get to Bristol or change to all the services beyond surely?
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« Reply #545 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 ?.
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« Reply #546 on: May 18, 2018, 07:04:22 pm »

So, would a way forward be, to treat metrobus and the Portishead line as 2 separate projects once again ?

They seem to be equally doomed to delay and expense to no good purpose whether they are connected or not.

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grahame
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« Reply #547 on: May 19, 2018, 07:26:27 am »

So, would a way forward be, to treat metrobus and the Portishead line as 2 separate projects once again ?.

There is a massive danger in adding projects together and making them dependent on each other - the danger of the low hanging fruit falling off the tree as you try to pick it in the same hand a lovely looking fruit that's a bit further up and harder to reach.

I don't know Portishead - but I do wonder if a good heritage quality line laid from the Portbury Docks junction through to Portishead, running at light rail speeds .... a couple of trains around each peak (90 minute gap) and perhaps a middle of the day and evening round trip .... just might prove attractive.  Staff and token, Coombe Junction arrangement where the conductor locks the train onto the branch if you like.    I suspect that something like that could be achieved without needing a further £47 million and counting.  And I suspect it would meet a real social and community need for those who are not fortunate enough to be able to drive themselves out of the longest  cul-de-sac in England, and who don't enjoy the road congestion that the bus faces.
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« Reply #548 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.

Regards,

Peter

 

Peter Maliphant

Membership Secretary

Portishead Railway Group
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stuving
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« Reply #549 on: May 20, 2018, 08:58:18 am »

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.

To expand a bit on that, the guidance document adds this:
Quote
Q. Are all rail schemes excluded? What about station redevelopment/access to stations?
A. Rail schemes are not entirely excluded from consideration but, as the draft guidance says, there is a presumption against funds going to rail schemes as it will be much harder to make the case that they have no other way of being funded. So LEPs would have to make a strong case that the scheme could not come forward with national rail funding. Also, any rail scheme large enough to be above the guideline thresholds would need an exceptionally strong and convincing delivery case.
On both of the above points, schemes that do not have any rail service or rolling stock implications (e.g. station building/access schemes) might be relatively easier to make the case for.

Also, Metrowest's application is available here, including: Appendix 5.1: Network Rail Value Engineering Report June 2017.
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« Reply #550 on: May 20, 2018, 04:05:46 pm »

A privately promoted used of the line, with open access negotiated to Ashton, with an initial (interim) terminus in the Riverside Park where some 600 metres of new light rail alignment would deliver rails under the existing Brunel Way viaduct to the South end of the currently disconnected Ashton Rail Bridge, which can be reconnected with the rail lines to Bristol Harbour. As with early railway promotion, this detail can be delivered in stages, so that a market can be tested, and revenue generated at an early stage.

The fact that the Portbury Line is effectively run as a stand-alone 'siding' from where it leaves the main line, should greatly simplify any signalling works required to develop the initial service, and no train paths would need to be found for Temple Meads. If on street running is anticipated then the pointwork that any tram-train vehicles share with heavy rail will require modified check-rails as trams have a 1380mm back to back vs heavy rail 1360mm, and dual use vehicles require special wheelsets.   

With appropriate light rail vehicles - probably a tram-train specification, using either battery or hybrid vehicles, services can then run Portishead to Bristol Harbour - closer to the City Centre than Temple Meads! with minimal major works save for the link, between the Portbury freight branch and restoring (light) rail use of the Ashton Bridge.

From Bristol Harbour - which can be an interim terminus. The options remain to restore the railway route through to Temple Meads via Challoner Street and the existing Redcliffe Tunnel - which will now require reclamation of some land, and demolition/part removal of developments made in the past 30 years or so. Alternatively, and possibly faster, would be to run on street to Broadmead, and possibly split to pass through Queen Square to head for
the Redcliffe Bridge and a route paralleling Redcliffe Way which can bring Temple Quay in to a closer relationship with Temple Meads station.

Most important move however is to get a service running Portishead to Ashton (within easy cycling distance, and a moderate walk of the City Centre) and make the relatively quick onward connection to Bristol Harbour   
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« Reply #551 on: May 21, 2018, 04:51:02 pm »

Some very clear explanations there, which is to be welcomed. But I don't know whether to be cautiously optimistic, or optimistically cautious.


Think you'd better be optimistically cautious following the latest announcement of funding being turned down for it...  Angry

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-44166771
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Oh for the day when I can catch a train from Mangotsfield to the Centre, Bath and Yate!  ;-)
paul7755
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« Reply #552 on: May 21, 2018, 07:19:16 pm »

I thought I saw some sort of rebuttal of the scary BBC story.  Is there another thread current about this?

Paul
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grahame
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« Reply #553 on: May 21, 2018, 07:42:10 pm »

I thought I saw some sort of rebuttal of the scary BBC story.  Is there another thread current about this?

Paul

In "Bristol Commuters" at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19829.msg238217#msg238217 ... fit both "Bristol" and "Campaign" boards.   We should merge at some point.
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metalrail
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« Reply #554 on: May 21, 2018, 07:56:40 pm »

Yeah just found another thread on this...

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19829.msg238254#msg238254
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Oh for the day when I can catch a train from Mangotsfield to the Centre, Bath and Yate!  ;-)
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