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Ashton gate halt and the Portishead rail line (Merged)


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18 hours ago, Robbored said:

Stopping at Pill, Parsons Street and Bemmy.

Shortfall in funding supplied my the government 

If it all goes smoothly it could be up and running by 2022.......

About bloody time to!

it's local elections in north somerset, it will die a death again once thats finished

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14 hours ago, Lord Northski said:

If the news has taught us anything over the last three years, it’s  “Beware of Politicians bearing gifts prior to an election”. For after the vote, you don’t see them or their promises for dust. 

Vote in haste, repent at leisure. Or in this case, sit in traffic on the Portbury  hundreds for years to come. 

People don't worry about stuff like that. Look at the Tory manifesto from 2010, then look at what they actually did. 

Didn't stop them being re-elected as the majority don't vote on deeds but words. 

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14 minutes ago, JasonM88 said:

Just thinking about it, the new ‘Cumberland Village’ that SL is building has 500 homes in it. It’s a very short distance from both the P&R and what would be the location of the Ashton Gate Station. More the reason for a station to be there 

Yes the station was mentioned when the Ashton Gate phase 2 plans (which also included those houses) were announced.  See from 4.40 on this video:

 

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16 hours ago, pillred said:

As someone that lives only 50 metres from the station, on a purely selfish note hope to god they bring in a resident parking scheme as people will flood into the village from Portbury, Easton in Gordano, and ham green, it's bad enough trying to park now god knows what it will be like when the station opens.

The obvious way around this would be to build an new park and ride  station next to the Portbury motorway junction.

Drop down off the motorway park up, and in the middle of Bristol in twenty minutes.

Just as needed as a new station at Ashton Gate but far to forward thinking for our transport planners.

Edited by Hillzider
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Reading it that's the cheep proposal I talked about earlier in the thread, deffenalty not a stop at Ashton gate, 

Only one train an hour on the line no passenger trains passing at Pill, looks like to only tweek if the post is right is that they have found the money to make temple meads to Parson Street 4 track so that the new trains will be able to stop at Parson Street and bedminster, 

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2 hours ago, Hillzider said:

The obvious way around this would be to build an new park and ride  station next to the Portbury motorway junction.

Drop down off the motorway park up, and in the middle of Bristol in twenty minutes.

Just as needed as a new station at Ashton Gate but far to forward thinking for our transport planners.

thought exactly the same myself, don't even know why they need to extend the line as far as Portishead, a park and ride at Portbury would kill two birds with one stone be handy for Portbury and Easton in Gordano, and is less than 10 minutes from Portishead, would slash millions off the overall cost as well ,if you and me can see it beats me why the people responsible for the project can't.

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Portishead Railway Group:  April 2019 statement

How the funding was agreed and what happens now

Portishead Railway Group (PRG) Committee have prepared this paper so that residents of Portishead, Pill and the surrounding villages can understand the process that got us here and also the lengthy process that should eventually lead to the reopening of the railway.

It is really important that as many people as possible understand why rebuilding the railway can’t simply start immediately. They can then spread the word – expectations must be realistic to avoid further disappointment.

 

A recent history of the completion of the funding jigsaw

About a year ago it became clear to PRG Committee that it was unlikely there would be sufficient local money to reopen the line. Therefore, central government was the only other source.

o PRG Committee decided that ‘being nice’ with central government wouldn’t result in additional funding.

o PRG therefore adopted a strategy that can be summarised as ‘firm insistence’.

 

Some of PRG Committee met with Dr Fox in June 2018, with follow-up correspondence sent to him as a record of the discussion.

o A further letter was sent in September 2018, reminding Dr Fox that the railway wouldn’t go ahead unless central government released some funding.

Dr Fox, Tim Bowles of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Nigel Ashton, leader of North Somerset Council (NSC) have individually met with Chris Grayling and Department for Transport (DfT) officials, on several occasions.  MetroWest have also had several meetings with DfT officials.

 

Chris Grayling wrote a letter, insisting that WECA and NSC must work together on solving the wider Bristol area transport issues, and that local funding sources must be fully exhausted.

o WECA and NSC issued ‘working together’ undertakings.

o A further £16m of local funding was identified.

 

To complete its strategy, PRG Committee had an article entitled ‘Why is Portishead still waiting for its railway to reopen?’ published in the Railwatch quarterly magazine on 2 April 2019. The article:

o Made it clear that the remaining funding shortfall of £32m could now only be provided by central government.

o Proposed a combined national and local funding solution for future railway reinstatement schemes up and down the country.

On Monday 8 April, central government stumped up the missing piece of the funding jigsaw: £31.9m

 

PRG wasn’t the only organisation trying to prise open central government’s purse –  NSC, WECA, MetroWest, as well as PRG, have all played their part.

o The release of £31.9m of additional funding will have resulted from pressure applied by all of these organisations, not just by one particular organisation or individual.

o  As a result, no single organisation or individual should claim sole ‘bragging rights’.

 

Why rebuilding the railway can't just start immediately

Railway reinstatement is governed by the need for planning permission, just like almost all ‘build something’ projects.

More importantly, the Planning Act 2008 sets out a specific protocol for approval to spend public money on public infrastructure projects such as Hinckley Point ‘C’, or reopening the Portishead-Bristol line.

o These projects are known as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

 

Why is reopening the Portishead line deemed to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project?

o Because between Portbury Junction and Portishead more than 2km of track will be built (the main criterion for railways within the Planning Act 2008).

That may seem an astonishingly short length of track to be Nationally Significant but please bear in mind that the on-going cost of upkeep (maintenance and replacement) falls to central government in future years.

o Therefore any track built and added to the rail network forever increases the cost of maintaining the rail network.

This ongoing increased upkeep funding commitment must be properly authorised and accepted, via a Development Consent Order.

The Planning Act 2008 mandates the approval of the relevant Secretary of State before work can start on a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

o This is achieved by a Development Consent Order (DCO).

The application for a DCO has to be submitted by MetroWest to the Planning Inspectorate (the government body charged with assessing DCO applications) who then make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State.

A huge number of documents have to be written to support a DCO application.

o One of them is a Full Funding Statement which obviously couldn’t be written until central government had stumped up the final piece of the funding jigsaw: £31.9m.

PRG understands that MetroWest hope to submit the DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate in June or July but there is still a massive amount of work to do.

 

The DCO process and why it is important

For Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, obtaining a DCO is the equivalent of obtaining planning permission, but at a national level.

o Because reinstating the Portishead railway is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project under the criteria set out in the Planning Act 2008, a DCO is required.

Therefore, it is a legal requirement that an application for a DCO has to be made to the Planning Inspectorate, under a process that is published and maintained by the Planning Inspectorate.

o MetroWest has the responsibility for preparing and submitting the DCO application –  hopefully in June or July.

The process operated by the Planning Inspectorate takes a standard 18 month period, regardless of the topic or the size of the project.

o Assuming the application is received by the Planning Inspectorate by the end of July, a decision could reasonably be expected in Q1 2021.

o There are circumstances which could lead to a longer assessment period, or possibly a shorter assessment period, but it seems these rarely occur.

 

A possible overall programme

The railway works are complicated:

o Construction compounds and temporary roadways have to be built first.

o Much of the line through the Avon Gorge is in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with almost no access.

o The line has to be sufficiently available for Royal Portbury Dock rail traffic to run.

Very little work can start until the DCO has been signed off by the Secretary of State although NSC may start some roadway works ahead of the DCO being signed.

o These could be separately authorised locally, if that is seen as advantageous.

However, with a railway works programme of around 21 months, plus time for testing (signals, points control, and the necessary safety interlocks) it seems likely that the roadway infrastructure works can be carried out in parallel with the railway works.

 

So a possible overall programme from a July 2019 DCO application could look like this:

o DCO process, to signature   18 months (end Jan 2021)

o Contracts start-up time       6 months (end Jul  2021) See Note *

o Railway and road works      21 months (end Apr 2023)

o Testing period                   4 months (end Aug 2023)

 

Possible total:  approximately 49 months from DCO submission

This sort of programme is little more than a reasoned guess at this stage, based on provisional information.

o Unexpected geological issues uncovered during the works in the Avon Gorge could extend the railway works period.

o As a counterbalance, the railway and road works period and the final test period could both be slightly shorter.

Trains could therefore be running as early as the end of Q2 2023 but a more realistic estimate might be by the end of Q3 or possibly the end of Q4 2023.

 

* A note regarding the contract start-up period

No contracts should be signed until after the DCO has been signed.  

Contractors will then require reasonable contract start-up times – the period during which they will marshal materials, machinery and labour, perhaps also placing subcontracts on other organisations. This all takes time.  

Even then, very little ‘rail’ work can be carried until the various compounds and temporary roadways have been built, and these cannot be built until the DCO is signed off.

In the programme estimate above, PRG Committee has assumed a start-up period of six months. This is generous; the start-up period could be shorter if there is a will to make it so.

PRG Committee hopes the reader now has a good grasp of why these things have been, are, and will be, this complex, and therefore why work cannot start for around another two years.  

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On 09/04/2019 at 08:28, TomF said:

If you look to your left on A370 going into Bristol you’ll see if just as the A369 traffic joins.

Theres still platforms down by the old A&S police and dogs unit as well which was Clifton Bridge station. Lot more disused stations (ie closed before line closed) along the line that you’d imagine 

7ACE2B92-C421-449D-9AD5-862D4482C0C8.jpeg

I'd love to know where this map and milages came from?

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May be of interest to some on here (especially @Never to the dark side )

This is the presentation that was given by Peter Maliphant the Membership Secretary of the Portishead Railway Group at a recent meeting with North Somerset council https://www.portisheadrailwaygroup.org/The Next Four Years.pdf

Also the full report to the council following that meeting http://apps.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/docs/doc29672.pdf

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All this fuss about trying to shoe horn in an hourly service around the freight running from Portbury and yet right now pretty much *nothing* is going down the line. Nearly all the daily paths are cancelled each day.  All the coal trains have stopped due to the coal fired power stations all closing, they've built a cargo/container system in Avonmouth and about 99% of the cars coming in are going out on transporters.  The only thing that's run down the line lately is new rolling stock that was collected by rail operations group. The lines getting overgrown its barely being used! 

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/PTBRLOP/2019/07/17/0000-2359?stp=WVSC&show=all&order=wtt 

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1 hour ago, phantom said:

May be of interest to some on here (especially @Never to the dark side )

This is the presentation that was given by Peter Maliphant the Membership Secretary of the Portishead Railway Group at a recent meeting with North Somerset council https://www.portisheadrailwaygroup.org/The Next Four Years.pdf

Also the full report to the council following that meeting http://apps.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/docs/doc29672.pdf

Blimey! Just reading that report makes you wince! If Brunel had had to live with that I reckon the GWR would never have got further than Saltford. 

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This is one of the drawbacks to living in a modern democracy. 

When I was in China 2 years ago, our guide in Shanghai was quite ‘political’ and he said ‘you westerners value your democratic system where everyone has a say, but we built Shanghai into a huge metropolis in 30 years with fully functional everything. In your west you would still be arguing over where the first stone should be laid.’

although I wouldn’t swop his regime for ours quite yet (getting close recently) he has a point. 

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9 hours ago, TomF said:

All this fuss about trying to shoe horn in an hourly service around the freight running from Portbury and yet right now pretty much *nothing* is going down the line. Nearly all the daily paths are cancelled each day.  All the coal trains have stopped due to the coal fired power stations all closing, they've built a cargo/container system in Avonmouth and about 99% of the cars coming in are going out on transporters.  The only thing that's run down the line lately is new rolling stock that was collected by rail operations group. The lines getting overgrown its barely being used! 

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/PTBRLOP/2019/07/17/0000-2359?stp=WVSC&show=all&order=wtt 

The slots are in place, cancelled on the day doesn’t mean they could suddenly fit in a passenger train,

its cheques and balances, reduce the amount of slots for the foc’s (Freight operating companies) won’t happen until a year after the time table is published imo,

(I’m not on the time table planning section thankfully)

just getting passenger trains to run is the only aim at the moment, we can always increase services later (if the infrastructure around parson street allows it)

 

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4 hours ago, bcfcredandwhite said:

This is one of the drawbacks to living in a modern democracy. 

When I was in China 2 years ago, our guide in Shanghai was quite ‘political’ and he said ‘you westerners value your democratic system where everyone has a say, but we built Shanghai into a huge metropolis in 30 years with fully functional everything. In your west you would still be arguing over where the first stone should be laid.’

although I wouldn’t swop his regime for ours quite yet (getting close recently) he has a point. 

At what human cost was Shanghai built up though. Nowadays you only have to look at their treatment of the Euighurs (sp?) to realise they are a million miles from any sort of accountability. 

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2 hours ago, CyderInACan said:

At what human cost was Shanghai built up though. Nowadays you only have to look at their treatment of the Euighurs (sp?) to realise they are a million miles from any sort of accountability. 

The Euiighurs live up in the north - but I get what you are saying - hence my comment about not wanting their regime.  I think there is a balance to be struck and the Chinese and ourselves are the extremes when it comes to engineering projects. 

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I read recently that North Somerset Council are now giving "serious consideration" to residents parking zones, and particularly mentioned were Long Ashton and Leigh Woods. 

So we'll have a 28000 seat venue that's virtually surrounded by RPZs in both Bristol and NS, a metrobus system that passes the ground but doesn't run when half our games are played and (by its own admission) wasn't designed for that amount of use, a huge car park at the P&R that for some reason can't be opened, and now a rail line that will run right past the ground but won't stop. 

If SL still owns Ashton Vale, how about a huge car park and shuttle buses? 

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8 minutes ago, italian dave said:

I read recently that North Somerset Council are now giving "serious consideration" to residents parking zones, and particularly mentioned were Long Ashton and Leigh Woods. 

So we'll have a 28000 seat venue that's virtually surrounded by RPZs in both Bristol and NS, a metrobus system that passes the ground but doesn't run when half our games are played and (by its own admission) wasn't designed for that amount of use, a huge car park at the P&R that for some reason can't be opened, and now a rail line that will run right past the ground but won't stop. 

If SL still owns Ashton Vale, how about a huge car park and shuttle buses? 

and amazingly NSC still stand in the way of the Long Ashton park and ride area being used on a matchday

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7 minutes ago, italian dave said:

I read recently that North Somerset Council are now giving "serious consideration" to residents parking zones, and particularly mentioned were Long Ashton and Leigh Woods. 

So we'll have a 28000 seat venue that's virtually surrounded by RPZs in both Bristol and NS, a metrobus system that passes the ground but doesn't run when half our games are played and (by its own admission) wasn't designed for that amount of use, a huge car park at the P&R that for some reason can't be opened, and now a rail line that will run right past the ground but won't stop. 

If SL still owns Ashton Vale, how about a huge car park and shuttle buses? 

He's building 520 houses on that land

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