Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Photos Mick Knox
A few shots around and about Cole. This was a particularly attractive spot on the line. Top shot shows something that really shouldn't be happening in the 21st century - a house being built on/near the trackbed. This is pure madness.
The policy for dealing with encroachment on our trackbed will be quite simple -
a) Divert where possible.
b) Tunnel/bridge if a not possible.
c) Where a or b are not possible then the properties will be purchased, rented out to recover the capital cost (or part of it if the line is quickly relaid) and then demolished with the bricks etc recycled and sold on. Whilst we would always prefer that this can be done by agreement we will certainly use compulsory purchase powers where we have no choice. This power is available to any public railway offering a proper service, and has been used recently at Croydon (on houses built only a few years earlier on the Tramlink ex-SR trackbed) and on the Waverley route in Scotland. Similar powers were also used against a particularly Neanderthal farmer on the Welsh Highland Railway!
d) Any costs incurred would be claimed against local/regional/national government where appropriate.
All railway trackbeds should have been protected even back in the 60s as it was obvious that no matter what happened (Peak Oil or business as usual) these routes would need to be rebuilt at some time in the future.
I don't have a lot of sympathy for anyone that has bought a house on a railway trackbed. They should have been aware that the property would almost certainly at some time in the future be demolished where no other options were available. But I suspect that 9 times out of 10 diversion will be possible. Remember that the inhabitants of the house will also desperately need the railway!