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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 292572 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #825 on: September 30, 2020, 08:47:07 pm »

Quote
Portishead Rail moves a step closer

A major scheme to reopen the Portishead to Bristol railway line has reached an important milestone.

Hurrah! We have a committee meeting scheduled in 3 weeks' time!

I wonder if this would be called significant progress in any other country?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #826 on: November 11, 2020, 04:55:19 pm »

Quote
Opening of Portishead railway line now delayed until 2024
The pandemic has caused another delay to the long-awaited project
Delays due to the coronavirus crisis mean the first trains on the reopened Portishead line will not run until December 2024.
...continues
Source: Bristol Live

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johnneyw
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« Reply #827 on: November 15, 2020, 02:55:04 pm »

There's a cynical voice in my head that's questioning if this would have been so delayed had it been a road.
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ellendune
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« Reply #828 on: February 19, 2021, 07:57:09 pm »

New Civil Engineer is reporting that:

Quote
Network Rail has launched a search for contractors to build the proposed Portishead to Pill rail line.

Quote
Works include detail design, surveys, environmental and ecology, civils, track, highways, signalling and telecoms, buildings, M&E and E&P. The estimated value of the contract is between £50M and £100M.

They also report that:

Quote
However Natural England also said that Network Rail has made “little progress on implementing agreed measures” in its Site Management Statement (SMS) and Vegetation Management Plan (VMP), which would ensure the conservation and enhancement of ecology and vegetation on the route.

Leads me to ask why would they when planning approval has not been granted?
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stuving
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« Reply #829 on: February 19, 2021, 11:04:23 pm »

Leads me to ask why would they when planning approval has not been granted?

The examination is due to close on 19th April. They've negotiated two procedural deadlines and five process ones, and there are only four hearings and two more deadlines to go. The draft DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) has already gone through several versions (I've not been to look at it, though). After that, the maximum allowed times for the inspectors to write the recommendation (three months), for the SoS to think about it (three months), and for waiting for a judicial review (six weeks) takes us to 30th November. Of course the first two bits could be done quicker.

Presumably NR» (Network Rail - home page) think it will take them that about that long to do the pre-contract stages of this, i.e. selecting contractors and talking about how they'd do things. And shouldn't they know?
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ellendune
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« Reply #830 on: February 20, 2021, 08:58:48 am »

Leads me to ask why would they when planning approval has not been granted?

The examination is due to close on 19th April. They've negotiated two procedural deadlines and five process ones, and there are only four hearings and two more deadlines to go. The draft DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) has already gone through several versions (I've not been to look at it, though). After that, the maximum allowed times for the inspectors to write the recommendation (three months), for the SoS to think about it (three months), and for waiting for a judicial review (six weeks) takes us to 30th November. Of course the first two bits could be done quicker.

Presumably NR» (Network Rail - home page) think it will take them that about that long to do the pre-contract stages of this, i.e. selecting contractors and talking about how they'd do things. And shouldn't they know?

Selecting a contractor yes, but why would they actually carry out:

Quote
However Natural England also said that Network Rail has made “little progress on implementing agreed measures” in its Site Management Statement (SMS) and Vegetation Management Plan (VMP), which would ensure the conservation and enhancement of ecology and vegetation on the route.

before grant of planning permission.. ..unless planning permission is a foregone conclusion and is just box ticking. In which case the whole planning permission exercise is a very expensive waste of money.
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stuving
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« Reply #831 on: February 20, 2021, 12:22:07 pm »

Selecting a contractor yes, but why would they actually carry out:

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However Natural England also said that Network Rail has made “little progress on implementing agreed measures” in its Site Management Statement (SMS) and Vegetation Management Plan (VMP), which would ensure the conservation and enhancement of ecology and vegetation on the route.

before grant of planning permission.. ..unless planning permission is a foregone conclusion and is just box ticking. In which case the whole planning permission exercise is a very expensive waste of money.

That was taken from NE's deadline 5 submission, which is a bit convoluted so needs reading more than once! But, as I understand it:

  • The applicant for the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) is WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about), but most of the land is NR» (Network Rail - home page)'s and NR will do much of the work
  • so WECA is making promises about protecting the enviroment, and compensating for any necessary damage, which NR will implement
  • but NR already has commitments to NE about how it manages its land to improve environment quality - these are the "agreed measures"; they predate the DCO application
  • and NE has not been impressed with NR's performance so far on this score, and keeps nagging them about it
  • so NE are sceptical about how well NR will implement WECA's promises - NR is a huge industrial organisation; WECA ... isn't
  • NE think NR are double counting some measures as new ones for the DCO, when they are already committed to doing them anyway
  • I may be reading between the lines a bit there, but you'd need to go back through the whole DCO archive to make sure
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TonyK
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« Reply #832 on: February 20, 2021, 03:00:06 pm »


I may be reading between the lines a bit there, but you'd need to go back through the whole DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) archive to make sure[/li][/list]


I don't know about DCO. OCD seems closer to the mark. I have now reached the point where I wonder how this is all being done so cheaply.
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« Reply #833 on: March 23, 2021, 01:09:11 pm »

Imagine my surprise when turning the page of my RAIL magazine issue 927, to find a 2 page article by Philip Haigh with a alliterative title of 'Riding the rails on a revived route to Portishead'.

It has an excellent full colour aerial photograph of the whole dock area as it was in 1970 and a highlighted paragraph that reads....

"Despite track running all the way to Portishead (albeit decayed beyond use), the application to return trains comprises 287 documents comprising 20,735 pages. If you printed them to fit A4 paper and placed them end to end, you would cover 6.1km...rather longer than the length of disused railway they plan to re-open."
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« Reply #834 on: March 23, 2021, 02:40:46 pm »

Proof, if it were needed, that the system is a little bit broken!
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« Reply #835 on: April 21, 2021, 07:42:10 am »

From New Civil Engineer

Quote
Highways England and the Environment Agency have raised concerns with plans to restore the abandoned Portishead railway line.

Highways England has aired concerns that the construction programme will adversely impact the nearby road network, while the Environment Agency has flagged the potential risk of the railway flooding once it is reopened.

Just standard stuff, or elements which could delay / deny the re-opening?
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TonyK
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« Reply #836 on: April 21, 2021, 07:56:34 am »


Just standard stuff, or elements which could delay / deny the re-opening?

I think, or at least hope, that it is standard grousing. Having lots of construction traffic around is bound to  have an impact on the local roads, particularly the Portbury Hundred A369, and Highways England would not be doing their job if they didn't point that out. I would expect a couple of tweaks to the planned movements away from peak hours. On the other matter, I don't know why an active railway would be any floodier than a derelict one, but I would expect that Britain's finest have poured blood, sweat and tea into making sure it doesn't happen, if only for the smooth running of the railway.
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« Reply #837 on: April 21, 2021, 09:32:43 am »

From New Civil Engineer

Quote
Highways England and the Environment Agency have raised concerns with plans to restore the abandoned Portishead railway line.

Highways England has aired concerns that the construction programme will adversely impact the nearby road network, while the Environment Agency has flagged the potential risk of the railway flooding once it is reopened.

Just standard stuff, or elements which could delay / deny the re-opening?

Ooh, that's a rather bad case of selective quoting, isn't it? If you add the headline and next paragraph up and down, it becomes:
Quote
Construction concerns resolved on plans to reopen abandoned Portishead railway

Construction and flood risk concerns have been alleviated as part of plans to reopen the abandoned Portishead rail line.

Highways England and the Environment Agency had raised concerns with plans to restore the abandoned Portishead railway line, as part of the ongoing planning process.

Highways England aired concerns that the construction programme will adversely impact the nearby road network, while the Environment Agency has flagged the potential risk of the railway flooding once it is reopened.

However, the project's programme manager has confirmed that an agreement has already been reached with both bodies to alleviate those concerns.

Or was that meant as a demonstration of how to reverse the sense of a piece by picking only some bits?
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grahame
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« Reply #838 on: April 21, 2021, 09:45:47 am »

Just standard stuff, or elements which could delay / deny the re-opening?

Ooh, that's a rather bad case of selective quoting, isn't it? If you add the headline and next paragraph up and down, it becomes:
[snip]

Or was that meant as a demonstration of how to reverse the sense of a piece by picking only some bits?

Neither - it was having too much to do and too little time to do it - passing on the headlines.   At least I ASKED if it was standard stuff ....
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« Reply #839 on: April 21, 2021, 09:59:17 am »

Given the subtle differences in the wording between what grahame quoted and what's in the article - "have raised" and "had raised" for example - I wondered whether grahame quoted an earlier version of the story which NCE then updated after it got a subsequent quote from MetroWest Phase 1 Programme Manager James Willcock. To follow on from stuving's quote:

Quote
MetroWest Phase 1 Programme Manager James Willcock told NCE that "the concerns raised by Highways England and the Environment Agency were raised some weeks ago and have now been resolved".

He added: "The agreed position with these two statutory bodies in set out in the respective Statements of Common."

However, grahame has provided his own explanation, so there you go.
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