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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 315989 times)
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #915 on: November 29, 2021, 08:45:32 pm »

I'm beginning to dread the next news of the Portishead line being the closure of current services.
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« Reply #916 on: December 03, 2021, 01:48:24 pm »

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'Red herrings' need to be ignored for Portishead Railway scheme

Pressure continues to mount on Government ministers after a series of 'red herrings' have been dismissed as reasons for delaying Portishead and Pill railway line plans.

Both North Somerset's MP (Member of Parliament) and council leader were left frustrated by the Minister of Transport's statement issued in a House of Commons debate which claimed the delay was partly due to the need to clear overgrowth from the Portishead Railway line, which was closed in the 1960s, as well as care to avoid destroying a number of rare species of plants further along the line.

Council leader Don Davies told the Times: "It seems to be one of the few times myself and Dr Fox have agreed during these proceedings.

"During his debate, Liam Fox laid bare the situation, which is heading for a cliff edge, to the Minister.

"And that is; if a decision is not made by January then we will have to re-do a lot of ecology and push back our schedule at a sizeable cost.

"It is incredibly frustrating that these red herrings are being presented - we have known about the rare species of plants mentioned for decades and made our proposals with this in mind."

Elsewhere, Portishead and Pill's Extinction Rebellion group has dismissed claims it would challenge the decision to reinstate a rail line in the two towns.

It had been previously believed that the group, or one's similar, would seek a judicial review into the Development Consent Order put forward by North Somerset Council as phase one of the wider MetroWest scheme.

...continues
Source: North Somerset Times

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stuving
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« Reply #917 on: December 03, 2021, 01:52:40 pm »

Are red herrings a protected species, an alien invasive one, or just common vermin found by the plagueful?
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TonyK
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« Reply #918 on: December 05, 2021, 08:22:24 pm »

Are red herrings a protected species, an alien invasive one, or just common vermin found by the plagueful?

I think they are a species found almost exclusively in North Somerset these days, with Cllr Don Davies keeping a few pet ones in the bath. Like:

Quote
The Portishead Busway Campaign has cited the government's ambition to phase out diesel trains by 2040 - stating that this means two tunnels on the Portishead-Bristol rail line would have to be modified to enable electrification.

The council's leader has dismissed this claim, calling it a 'fairytale'.

He said: "The busway campaign seems to be pulling ideas from Brother's Grimm fairytales and offering more red herrings.

"If we did accommodate an overhead electrical line then it would mean trains could not join with services past Bath, as it does not have the same line.

"However, technology such as a third rail means that we can easily meet the government's demands."

I'm guessing he did not consult ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) before saying that. Or anybody else for that matter.

I am pleasantly surprised by Extinction Rebellion's reaction. I though they were only against things, not for anything. Reading the report more carefully, they may see that Dr Fox did not exactly say that he thought tey might seek judicial review, and may even have been hinting at the opposite view.
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TonyK
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« Reply #919 on: December 11, 2021, 09:16:05 am »


The DfT» (Department for Transport - about) has invited comments on N Som's response.


And those comments can be found here.. There is one from James Willcock at North Somerset council, pointing out, slightly tersely, that this was not supposed to be a rehash of all arguments against the railway even if some thought it was, but he has answered all the points anyway. He ends by saying he doesn't want to see any more from B Cash and PG Virden on the matter, as they have had their chance. Sometimes, what is written between the lines is as interesting as what is written on them, and this is a pointed reference to the Portishead Busway Campaign's 7 page "proof" that reopening the railway will be a Very Bad Thing in environmental terms, as well as cost. This is in turn debunked in an expanded document detailing the effect on the carbon budget. Long story short: hardly noticeable.

The other notable submission is from someone called Tim at FOSBR (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways), which sticks resolutely to the subject in answering the carbon budget question.
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TonyN
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« Reply #920 on: December 11, 2021, 11:47:56 am »


The DfT» (Department for Transport - about) has invited comments on N Som's response.


And those comments can be found here.. There is one from James Willcock at North Somerset council, pointing out, slightly tersely, that this was not supposed to be a rehash of all arguments against the railway even if some thought it was, but he has answered all the points anyway. He ends by saying he doesn't want to see any more from B Cash and PG Virden on the matter, as they have had their chance. Sometimes, what is written between the lines is as interesting as what is written on them, and this is a pointed reference to the Portishead Busway Campaign's 7 page "proof" that reopening the railway will be a Very Bad Thing in environmental terms, as well as cost. This is in turn debunked in an expanded document detailing the effect on the carbon budget. Long story short: hardly noticeable.

The other notable submission is from someone called Tim at FOSBR (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways), which sticks resolutely to the subject in answering the carbon budget question.

Quite remarkable. None of the letters where written by someone with LLP in their company title.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2021, 12:23:06 pm by TonyN » Logged
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« Reply #921 on: January 13, 2022, 04:46:58 am »

From New Civil Engineer

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Shapps urged to consider busway alternative to restoration of Portishead rail line

12 JAN, 2022 BY CATHERINE KENNEDY

Pressure is mounting on transport secretary Grant Shapps to look at an alternative proposal to the restoration of the Portishead rail line.

According to the Portishead Busway Campaign, its proposal could save £100M, reduce emissions and provide a better service for the public.

The case made in the article resembles a colander (see earlier in this thread for just some of the holes in it) and perhaps now is the time not to consider alternatives but rather JFDI (just flipping do it (polite version)).  We seem to have discussed this until the cows come home!
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« Reply #922 on: January 13, 2022, 07:51:04 am »

Kicking it into the long grass, which must be about the height of a multi-storey building by now.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #923 on: January 13, 2022, 05:17:01 pm »

I like the use of the phrase 'pressure is mounting'... i.e. Barry has sent Grant another email.

As far as we (FoSBR» (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways - site)) are aware, the Portishead Busway Campaign consists of Barry Cash and (possibly) someone called PG Virden. But mostly Barry. He's come up with a variety of ideas to avoid the obvious strategy of running trains along an existing railway, including running buses down it on rubber mats. Now he's suggesting a short busway from Portishead to the M5, and then onwards on existing roads.

On balance, one can't help wondering why New Civil Engineer gave him the time of day.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #924 on: January 13, 2022, 05:36:11 pm »

On balance, one can't help wondering why New Civil Engineer gave him the time of day.
Perhaps they were just being... civil?


sorry.


More seriously, there's a tendency to give some minor, even cranky, viewpoints unwarrantedly large exposure in the name of 'balance'. Which sometimes becomes self-fulfilling in that they cease to be minor, even if still cranky.  Sad
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« Reply #925 on: January 14, 2022, 09:36:49 am »

From my Facebook feed from Tina Biggs (a public post) and referring us onward to her article from May 2020

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Please help us talk sense to Barry Cash or at least give the evidence to Grant Shapps. https://www.railpro.co.uk/railpro-magazine/may-2020/reducing-car-use-in-the-west-of-england-can-rail-do-the-job
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« Reply #926 on: January 14, 2022, 09:57:36 am »

I’m not at all sure that ‘talking sense to Barry Cash’ is a useful investment of time or energy. The Portishead DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) is in its final stages, and alternatives such as Mr Cash has proposed were dismissed long ago.

Without an advanced qualification in kremlinology, it is impossible to know why this scheme has not been given the green light. If they decide not to do Portishead, they may cite alternative schemes. But that will be part of the spin after the decision is made, not a reason for cancelling the scheme.
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« Reply #927 on: January 14, 2022, 03:16:13 pm »

I’m not at all sure that ‘talking sense to Barry Cash’ is a useful investment of time or energy. The Portishead DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) is in its final stages, and alternatives such as Mr Cash has proposed were dismissed long ago.

Without an advanced qualification in kremlinology, it is impossible to know why this scheme has not been given the green light. If they decide not to do Portishead, they may cite alternative schemes. But that will be part of the spin after the decision is made, not a reason for cancelling the scheme.

In a world where absolute scientific fact can be a matter of personal interpretation, I can't see any circumstance in which Mr Cash will ever say "You know what, I was wrong all along." My guess is that the fear of litigation is behind the latest inertia. The government could definitely use a bit of good news just now.
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« Reply #928 on: January 24, 2022, 11:45:58 am »

I'm not sure I should even give this the oxygen of publicity, but (groan) the colander is back in the media.

Quote
In a letter to transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris, Mr Cash wrote

Should someone tell Mr Cash that Mr Heaton-Harris is no longer a transport minister (though I grant you it feels hard to keep up at times) ... and whilst at it, tell him that a Mr Volk did some early experiments with electricity to power trains. In due course a development of that technology should be available to power vehicles even in and out of Bristol Temple Meads (it has already reached Cocklebury Lane, Chippenham), efficient and with rails not rubber, friction will be reduced and particulates from rubber virtually eliminated.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 11:53:22 am by grahame » Logged

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TonyK
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« Reply #929 on: January 24, 2022, 02:54:52 pm »

I'm not sure I should even give this the oxygen of publicity, but (groan) the colander is back in the media.

Quote
In a letter to transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris, Mr Cash wrote

Should someone tell Mr Cash that Mr Heaton-Harris is no longer a transport minister (though I grant you it feels hard to keep up at times) ... and whilst at it, tell him that a Mr Volk did some early experiments with electricity to power trains. In due course a development of that technology should be available to power vehicles even in and out of Bristol Temple Meads (it has already reached Cocklebury Lane, Chippenham), efficient and with rails not rubber, friction will be reduced and particulates from rubber virtually eliminated.

How to impress people.

"Dear Wrong Minister,

I have done some careful research..."

He could have written last month before mr H-H was shifted to Europe etc, and only just persuaded someone at ITV to humour him.
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