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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 206866 times)
grahame
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« Reply #615 on: December 05, 2018, 07:39:17 pm »

WECA's offering of half a million seems a bit miserly, given that it is supposed to be doing transport now.

But it's not supposed to be doing transport in North Somerset is it?   I get lost between who is
- Bristol
- Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BaNES
- Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BaNES, North Somerset
- Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, Poole, Bournemouth, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, South Glouceter, Wiltshire

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grahame
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« Reply #616 on: December 05, 2018, 08:08:47 pm »

I have a slight worry that Dr Fox may have something like this in mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sINjk3W-NjU

Still an improvement on the current situation, maybe he has this in mind though:

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=837410829632854&ref=content_filter

All sorts of alternatives - go over the top with rack sections?

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johnneyw
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« Reply #617 on: December 05, 2018, 08:33:35 pm »

I have a slight worry that Dr Fox may have something like this in mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sINjk3W-NjU

Still an improvement on the current situation, maybe he has this in mind though:

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=837410829632854&ref=content_filter

All sorts of alternatives - go over the top with rack sections?



Well, that's the gradient to Bristol Airport sorted!

Edit to help make quoting clear - Grahame
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 08:54:21 pm by grahame » Logged

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« Reply #618 on: December 05, 2018, 10:57:20 pm »

WECA's offering of half a million seems a bit miserly, given that it is supposed to be doing transport now.

But it's not supposed to be doing transport in North Somerset is it?   I get lost between who is
- Bristol
- Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BaNES
- Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BaNES, North Somerset
- Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, Poole, Bournemouth, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, South Gloucester, Wiltshire



Perfectly true, but the line to Portishead can't just stop at the boundary. A lot of people who live there work in Bristol, as is evidenced by the daily queue from Abbotts Leigh to the Cumberland Basin. They pay council tax in North Somerset, but also add value to Bristol. WECA really has little choice other than to consider north somerset when planning transport.

WECA is shortly taking over some 200 transport staff from its three constituent councils. If I were the Western Super Mayor, my first job would be to look at what they all do, then make as many of them as possible redundant. The chances are that the three councils have had staff writing letters to each other and doing the same research. If BaNES has someone planning bus routes between Bath and Bristol, and Bristol has someone planning bus routes between Bristol and Bath, then you have an obvious saving. Having transport under one roof must lead to economies of scale. As a former bureaucrat, I think having one official for every two or three buses is not sustainable, particularly when much of the day-to-day work such as the "back office" for divvying up cross-operator day rider payments will be automated by now.
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grahame
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« Reply #619 on: January 19, 2019, 09:35:26 am »

An update from last night's FoSBR meeting ... would love someone with more detail to confirm this as it's my reading as someone with limited knowledge on the topic. E&OE

1. The tram trains idea being looked at is a report to be made on quite a short timescale, and will not effect the critical path / timing (unless of course its results are a suprise!)

2. There is an issue with conservation and law changes in the gorge - case law from a Northern Ireland fresh water mussel thing under European law which, however, was largely written by the UK team in Europe, and stays.  Something about "no you can't build / improve there - look at alternatives"  then "oh, isn't there an alternative, then we can give you special permission provided you put mitigation in place".  Not been able to find anything on Google - closets is http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1379

3. Development consent order needed as it's more that 1 km of "new" track and that's a public enquiry and massive volumes of drawings.  The fact that the railway was never officially closed and is still there under the weeds doesn't remove the need for the enquiry - it's still regarded as 'new' because (?) it hasn't been tested under current legislation

4. "Going ahead" with 2023 as the current planned date for the first passenger services, even though there's a funding gap that they're looking to fill somehow in the next 18 months.
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« Reply #620 on: January 19, 2019, 12:05:54 pm »

An update from last night's FoSBR meeting ... would love someone with more detail to confirm this as it's my reading as someone with limited knowledge on the topic. E&OE

1. The tram trains idea being looked at is a report to be made on quite a short timescale, and will not effect the critical path / timing (unless of course its results are a suprise!)

2. There is an issue with conservation and law changes in the gorge - case law from a Northern Ireland fresh water mussel thing under European law which, however, was largely written by the UK team in Europe, and stays.  Something about "no you can't build / improve there - look at alternatives"  then "oh, isn't there an alternative, then we can give you special permission provided you put mitigation in place".  Not been able to find anything on Google - closets is http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1379

3. Development consent order needed as it's more that 1 km of "new" track and that's a public enquiry and massive volumes of drawings.  The fact that the railway was never officially closed and is still there under the weeds doesn't remove the need for the enquiry - it's still regarded as 'new' because (?) it hasn't been tested under current legislation

4. "Going ahead" with 2023 as the current planned date for the first passenger services, even though there's a funding gap that they're looking to fill somehow in the next 18 months.

This is just ridiculous!!!, If it's there, it should be just relaid and station provided, should only need planning permission from BCC and that's it, would of thought, sounds somebody putting obstacles in the way to delay opening it.
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« Reply #621 on: January 19, 2019, 06:35:47 pm »


...

2. There is an issue with conservation and law changes in the gorge - case law from a Northern Ireland fresh water mussel thing under European law which, however, was largely written by the UK team in Europe, and stays.  Something about "no you can't build / improve there - look at alternatives"  then "oh, isn't there an alternative, then we can give you special permission provided you put mitigation in place".  Not been able to find anything on Google - closets is http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1379

...


The species referred to is, I think, the freshwater pearl mussel. My googlings suggest that they are seriously endangered, with the remaining population concentrated in a few places in Ireland.

Of course we don't have any of these in the Avon Gorge, but it is home to 24 rare and two unique (as in they exist nowhere else on earth) plant species, along with some rare invertebrates. In this time of mass-extinctions we can get a bit blasť when just one more species disappears for ever; to paraphrase Stalin 'a single extinction is a tragedy, a million extinctions is a statistic'. I'm as keen as anyone to see passenger trains return to Portishead, but I do think it is absolutely right to make sure that it is done in a way which minimises any impact on the special ecosystem they will pass through.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 06:41:56 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged
CyclingSid
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« Reply #622 on: January 19, 2019, 06:45:14 pm »

Should we expect a dose of the "Livingstone vapours" coming on?
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« Reply #623 on: January 19, 2019, 07:53:30 pm »

Let us hope that they don't find any sort of Newt !..
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grahame
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« Reply #624 on: January 19, 2019, 08:13:21 pm »

Of course we don't have any of these in the Avon Gorge, but it is home to 24 rare and two unique (as in they exist nowhere else on earth) plant species, along with some rare invertebrates. In this time of mass-extinctions we can get a bit blasť when just one more species disappears for ever; to paraphrase Stalin 'a single extinction is a tragedy, a million extinctions is a statistic'. I'm as keen as anyone to see passenger trains return to Portishead, but I do think it is absolutely right to make sure that it is done in a way which minimises any impact on the special ecosystem they will pass through.

Can't fault that logic.    I find myself wondering about adding a poll - but can't do it mid thread, so will ask the question for people to post their votes.   If anyone really wants to vote but not have their handle in public, send me a p.m. and I will post

Opening a rail service from Bristol to Portishead.  Been talking for years. What solution would YOU like to see adopted?
1. Use the current freight line, relay from Pill to Portishead, and accept some limit on number and speed of trains
2. Relay through the gorge to higher speed standards, accepting some effect on wild life but minimising it as practical
3. Add a connecting chord from 51.4834, -2.6928 to 51.4846, -2.6815 to avoid the need to go through the gorge
4. Provide another alternative, such as ferry across the Avon mouth or a tunnel from Portishead to Avonmouth
5. Stick with roads and look for junction and bus service improvements
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #625 on: January 19, 2019, 08:26:40 pm »

When Bath's Two Tunnels project was in its design phase, I seem to remember something close to uproar when this issue of bats was raised. Then it turned out that all was necessary was a good lighting design that pointed the light away from the tunnel roof, and everyone was happy. I suspect that something similar will transpire in the Avon Gorge: 'tread softly, for you appear to be thinking of building a gabion wall on my sorbus wilmottiana...'

It was disappointing, though perhaps not surprising, that some (very few, thankfully) people at the FOSBR meeting seemed to be trying to turn this into an example of Eurocratic madness - as though we'd be following some other set of rules in a post-Brexit world!
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« Reply #626 on: January 19, 2019, 08:35:36 pm »

I still think a coffer dam at the end of the gorge connecting the Severn beach line with the oakwood cutting merits consideration. No worse than some of the other half baked solutions. As for more buses...this is a totally discredited solution.  They can't
 even run the existing ones at peak time round the marina for all the parked cars !
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 02:40:56 pm by chuffed » Logged
eXPassenger
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« Reply #627 on: January 19, 2019, 10:16:17 pm »

I would go for 2, while minimising the effect on wild life.  If this is not possible then we will need 1 and a tram train might make sense for Portishead to Temple Meads.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #628 on: January 19, 2019, 10:48:10 pm »

Go for 1 (JFDI) and later 2 when money allows and time has been taken to minimise ecological impacts.
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Reginald25
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« Reply #629 on: January 20, 2019, 08:15:36 am »

I'd go for two. If 1 with a later upgrade to 2, the later upgrade would never happen.
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