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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 292548 times)
stuving
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« Reply #840 on: April 21, 2021, 11:13:45 am »

I think you're right, Lee - it was NCE doing their own reverse ferret and not showing the edit (they date the piece to today but don't give any time). The headline grabbed by News Now and timed at 05:24 was "Plans to reopen abandoned Portishead railway marred by flood risk and construction concerns". And Google's headline+ shown just now as "6 hours ago" was:
Quote
Plans to reopen abandoned Portishead railway marred by flood risk and construction concerns.

The potential high frequency of flooding of the proposed railway line.

The potential increase in flood risk to third parties, particularly in the vicinity of Portishead, Pill, Easton-in-Gordano and Clanage Road.

That might have been clearer if Graham's original quote had included the headline, of course.

And in answer to the question "Just standard stuff, or elements which could delay / deny the re-opening?", it is consultation, pretty much as it is meant to happen. The DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) process just does it very slowly and laboriously and largely in public.

* Ignore the automatic expansion! It is of course a Development Control Order.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 04:58:11 pm by stuving » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #841 on: April 21, 2021, 11:27:19 am »

Yeah ... it does look as if the publication I was quoting was also changed - with a significant change of meaning - under me.  Don't you just yearn for the return of the printed word so you can comment, reassured, that this won't happen and make you look like a complete twat for twisting words!
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #842 on: April 21, 2021, 03:36:01 pm »

Moving on..!

Owing to the sheer quantity of paperwork required to progress the Portishead line, a new source of wood pulp was required. Fortunately there is an ample supply in the Avon Gorge, alongside the line!



Actually this is the sad result of Ash Dieback, which has led to extensive felling in the Gorge and Leigh Woods.
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TonyK
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« Reply #843 on: May 14, 2021, 09:31:37 am »

News from Construction Enquirer.

Quote
Bid race for £70m job to restore disused Portishead rail line
Aaron Morby
2 hours ago
 
Network Rail Infrastructure has started the tender race for a contractor to re-open passenger services between a new Portishead station and Bristol Temple Meads.


The Portishead rail branch line will see two new stations at Portishead and at Pill

The project is a key part of the first phase of the MetroWest programme of transport improvements across the region being led by the West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council.

The multidisciplinary project will involve 5.5km of new railway along a disused line between Pill and Portishead.

Works comprise detail design, surveys, environmental & ecology, civils, track, highways, buildings, telecoms, M&E and E&P.

It is proposed to use a target cost contract (NR12) for a single design and construct contract.

Network Rail is presently assuming railway control systems works are to be undertaken by other specialist contractors, but may include, subject to funding and consents, to include and award these works within the main build contract.

The reopening of the Portishead to Bristol line is hoped to solve the congestion gridlock faced by thousands of motorists who battle to get in and out of the growing town each day.

Under the procurement timetable expressions of interest are due in by June with four shortlisted firms due to be invited to tender in July.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #844 on: May 14, 2021, 11:43:59 am »

I thought (clearly incorrectly) that one of the reasons that projects like this take so long, is that this tendering stage could not go ahead before the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) came back with the necessary permissions to proceed (Development Consent Order?) that are still being waited upon.
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chuffed
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« Reply #845 on: May 14, 2021, 12:35:04 pm »

I also thought that the whole GRIP (Guide to Railway Investment Projects) process had been discredited and abandoned.....so why is Portishead with its 6.5km paper trail(see RAIL magazine issue 927) still sticking to this ?
Tony K thought that it shouldn't take long once the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) is approved. Even if this approval comes at the earliest, later this year, it will still be late 2024 before we see any trains on the line.
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stuving
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« Reply #846 on: May 14, 2021, 12:53:35 pm »

I thought (clearly incorrectly) that one of the reasons that projects like this take so long, is that this tendering stage could not go ahead before the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) came back with the necessary permissions to proceed (Development Consent Order?) that are still being waited upon.

The DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) was applied for by North Somerset Council, and will be delivered by the Planning Expectorate. They will send it to DfT, recommending the decision to be made. 

The inspectorate completed their examination last month:
Quote
20 April 2021
Dear Sir/Madam
Planning Act 2008 (as amended) – Section 99

Application by North Somerset Council for an Order Granting Development Consent for the Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1 - TR040011


Notification of completion of the Examining Authority’s Examination

As required by section 99 of the Planning Act 2008, I write to inform you that as the Lead Member of the Panel I completed the Examination of the above application at 23:59 on 19 April 2021.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Examination through written submissions and participation in oral hearings.

The findings and conclusions arising from the Examination, together with my Recommendation will be sent to the Secretary of State, Department for Transport no later than 19 July 2021

Yours faithfully
Jo Dowling
Lead Member of the Panel

Network Rail are bystanders at this stage, but presumably have a good idea what the recommendations will be. Thus they can start the contracting process with suitable TBDs to cover the wait for a firm decision. So it does look as if they expect a "go" to come.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #847 on: May 14, 2021, 01:05:33 pm »


I don't remember stuving making a joke before, but it was worth waiting for. I need to wipe the tea from my keyboard now...
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stuving
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« Reply #848 on: May 14, 2021, 02:03:52 pm »


I don't remember stuving making a joke before, but it was worth waiting for. I need to wipe the tea from my keyboard now...

Tea? I shall try to remain phlegmatic ...

Meanwhile, the trouble with my keyboard today is that it's forgotten how to spell.
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TonyK
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« Reply #849 on: May 14, 2021, 06:03:57 pm »


I don't remember stuving making a joke before, but it was worth waiting for. I need to wipe the tea from my keyboard now...

I thought it was DfT» (Department for Transport - about) that would need to cough up.

It is pretty obvious that Portishead is no longer the only putative rail reopening scheme around. Leave the tendering too long, and the risk will be the big boys saying they are busy right now, but can fit it in early 2030-ish if they can book the machinery by next week. So why not make a couple of assumptions - or has someone given a quiet nod behind the scenes? As Chuffed reminded me, I believe that once all the ducks are in a row, the actual work will happen quickly. The line into Portbury was done in under a year, including the chord from what is now Portbury Junction. The whole line from Parson Street to Portishead is roughly the same length as Crediton to Okehampton, re-railed within four weeks. It will be the bits that aren't actual railway that will take the time.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 08:36:04 pm by TonyK » Logged

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #850 on: May 15, 2021, 11:30:41 am »

That's pretty much what I was thinking to myself this morning. Building a railway, unless there are things like "underground fire-spitting monsters" involved, doesn't take long. It's the deciding whether to do it or not that takes a long time.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #851 on: May 15, 2021, 01:06:41 pm »

That's pretty much what I was thinking to myself this morning. Building a railway, unless there are things like "underground fire-spitting monsters" involved, doesn't take long. It's the deciding whether to do it or not that takes a long time.

In this case, hopefully, that will be true. We don't have the signalling complexities of Crossrail, or the tri-modal power requirements of Cardiff to worry about (yet!).
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TonyK
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« Reply #852 on: July 25, 2021, 05:15:26 pm »

Repair, reuse, and recycle. According to Bristol Post, some of the century old bits of the Portishead railway are to be moved to Avon Valley Railway.

Quote
Old Portishead train line to be recycled
Another step towards £110m plan for two new stations and passenger railway


The Bristol to Portbury rail way line where the track splits at pill, 2003. (Image: PAUL GILLIS/Western Daily Press)

Parts of Portishead’s historic railway line are to be recycled as part of an exciting project with the Avon Valley Railway.

Pieces of the disused railway line, some of which date back to the 1920s, are not needed as part of the MetroWest Phase 1 project to open a new £118 million rail line between Portishead and Bristol.

Council bosses have now agreed that old rails, points and buffers, can be used to assist the Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust.

The line allows visitors to experience a bygone age of steam and heritage trains along the old Midland Railway branch line which ran between Mangotsfield and Bath.
(Continues at source)
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chuffed
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« Reply #853 on: October 17, 2021, 03:29:32 pm »

The SoS Grant Shapps is due to make a decision on the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) for the Portishead line by this coming Tuesday 19th October. Any straws in the wind, or will be the decision be kicked further into the long grass ?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 08:31:39 pm by chuffed » Logged
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« Reply #854 on: October 20, 2021, 09:39:27 am »

A written statement has gone up on the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) website to say that the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) decision has been deferred another 6 months to 19th April 2022 to allow more time for environmental issues to be  considered.

This is copied from the DfT website

I have been asked by my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Transport to make this Written Ministerial Statement. This Statement concerns the application made by North Somerset District Council under the Planning Act 2008 for the construction of a new railway on the trackbed on the former branch line from Bristol to Portishead.

Under section 107(1) of the Planning Act 2008, the Secretary of State must make his decision within 3 months of receipt of the Examining Authority’s report unless exercising the power under section 107(3) to extend the deadline and make a Statement to the House of Parliament announcing the new deadline.

The Secretary of State received the Examining Authority’s report on the Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1 development consent order application on 19 July 2021 and the current deadline for a decision was 19 October 2021.

The deadline for the decision is to be extended to 19 April 2022 (an extension of 6 months) to allow further consideration of environmental matters.

The decision to set new deadlines is without prejudice to the decisions on whether to grant development consent for the above application.
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