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Author Topic: Air Balloon closes 31st December 2022 - thoughts on Swindon - Gloucester  (Read 703 times)
grahame
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« on: December 28, 2022, 01:33:31 pm »

Swindon to Gloucester via A417 and A419 - 36 miles, 51 minutes by road. 53 minutes by train

I remember substantial road improvements most of a working lifetime ago.  Single track roads mostly became double, and later the section via Birlip and the hill being bypassed by a long sweep on the top of the hill to the Air Balloon and then back in a dogleg down a much more gentle hill, and with two lanes in the opposite (ascending) direction.

I read (BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)) that the Air Balloon is to close for yet another road improvement.   And I wonder if the section past the Golden Heart has been improved or will be.

The railway has, over the years, been improved too - with redoubling of the Swindon to Kemble section, and the rebuilding of Stonehouse Station.  And services have become largely through trains to London.  Service remains about hourly.  Noting the flows along this corridor that are clearly buoyant, should there be a second train in each hour ...
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ellendune
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2022, 01:58:36 pm »

And I wonder if the section past the Golden Heart has been improved or will be.

It is being by-passed as part of the same scheme
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2022, 01:59:33 pm »

The railway has, over the years, been improved too - with redoubling of the Swindon to Kemble section, and the rebuilding of Stonehouse Station.  And services have become largely through trains to London.  Service remains about hourly.  Noting the flows along this corridor that are clearly buoyant, should there be a second train in each hour ...

Being realistic, I think that's your lot.  Hopefully the hourly through service can continue, but it's one of a few obvious candidates for cutbacks should the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) demand the savings that are being rumoured.
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2022, 02:17:27 pm »

My ex wife was from Brockworth, a matter of minutes away from here.
I understand the need for progress etc, but am amazed such an old building is being knocked down

That area will always be a problem for traffic volume and bad weather
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johnneyw
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2022, 05:12:31 pm »

I wonder if serious consideration was given to moving the building out of the way.  I guess that if that had been possible then it would have meant that there would have been room to divert the road instead.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2022, 05:45:08 pm »

Birdlip Hill is still very busy at certain times of the day, with traffic from Gloucester using it to get to the A417 as well as to join the Birdlip to Stroud road.
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2022, 06:44:44 pm »

Quote
Birdlip Hill is still very busy at certain times of the day, with traffic from Gloucester using it to get to the A417 as well as to join the Birdlip to Stroud road.

It is indeed. There was a stretch of this very busy road either side of the "knee" in the dog-leg which was never dualled when everything else between the M4 at Swindon and M5 outside Gloucester was done - it's not just on the railways where we as a nation fail to complete improvements to our transport infrastructure properly.

How about matching this with electrification of the railway between Swindon and Cheltenham?
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Mark A
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2022, 01:00:38 pm »

There's a strong argument to be made that moving the Air Balloon pub should have been costed into the preferred option for the road. It's hardly unaffordable, especially with costs offset against the value of the building when reconstructed - the building doesn't necessarily need to come back as a pub. But perhaps there's no investment in that option from either National Highways or the large hospitality chain who are its operators and who will presumably be able to walk away with the compensation, leaving the area's built heritage the poorer.

Mark
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2022, 07:00:44 pm »

And I wonder if the section past the Golden Heart has been improved or will be.

It is being by-passed as part of the same scheme

How long will it then last being off the main road ? Shame - nice pub.
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