Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I'd promised a piece on busways weeks ago so I thought I'd do an impressionistic piece rather than a straight narrative as a few people have had a lot to say on this.
1. Today, after finishing nights I decided I would pay a visit to the guided busway near the A14. This busway replaced a railway that although closed to freight in 1992 still had track in situ and was reckoned to cost £50m to reinstate for passenger use. Instead the Tories on the local council decided to spend £116 million of taxpayers’ money on a guided busway, which only 4 persons voted for, with 2400 against!
With a spring 2009 opening date, things are obviously not going too well, but as they have spent so much money you will be told how much of a success it is, but my view as you might guess, is that it is just a pile of sh*te. It isn’t a road, nor is it a railway, but it looks more like a plateway as seen in the NRM and tried 200+ years ago. These boffins ought to get out their history books as see what has gone on before. I’m sure this was tried in Devon, a long, long time ago. Oh well, when it snows, floods etc, or the track needs tamping they’re going to find out how bad the whole thing is. All this to travel by bus! Smooth enough to drink coffee onboard they claim? Rightyo? Utter b*llocks there then?
And the freight will still be on the A14? I like trucking!
Anyway, like the open level crossing for the busway? Different rules apply there then? Someone will eventually jump the lights, as per railway crossings!
Ignore the weeds, they won’t grow much ...
2. 3800 voted for the return of the railway, 4 for the buses!
sounds like EU style democracy?
3. When the guided bus nonsense is finally abandoned, I have little doubt that nobody will be accountable for wasting the public's money. I believe that the Glasgow one is now being abandoned -any info? I don't think the Aussie one has been deemed a success either. I have also heard that there was a collision on one (info?) and both rail and road inspectors refused to get involved. Surely this comes under ROGS? 'Rail and Other Guided Systems'? (My italics) I think Cast Iron may well be able to stir things up big-time if there is an incident! But like you say Steve; you couldn't make it up.
4. Apparently according to a comment on your blog, Dunstable is next in line for a busway? Again the track is still in situ.
Do they Tory road brigade feel more threatened by the fact the rails are still there, and they need to deal with these former railways first?
Long term they’ll lose…
5. I got this today Steve. Guess what? Guided buses are excluded. What cr*p! They're guided for crying out loud! Other Guided Systems - Hah!
6. Caught the local news for Gosport last night (Meridian I think it was) and the Guided Bus fiasco has been given the go-ahead there now. The usual crowd of dip-sticks were interviewed for (pro) vox pop, and some bloke who was against it cuz his garden backed onto it, then a huge bunch of 'genuine' antis were shown but none were interviewed to give their view. Biased reporting I think it's called!!
7. Yeh; you're right Steve - the dozy sods try and drive alone railway lines so it's anybody's guess how long it'll be before there is a crash of some kind - head on twixt bus and car probably. Did you get my email re the ROGS? What a bloody fiasco! The guided buses are specifically excluded. Is it guided or what?! There was definately a crash on one somewhere and both road and rail investigators refused to have anything to do with it! Checkout the Glasgow one (found it somewhere on the web) It's being abandoned in favour of a tram apparantly. Incidentally, I've got a funny feeling that the inventor of this has actually come out and said it's a nonsense.
just heard on the local anglia bbc news that the busway is being delayed again and won’t now open until November….
Just in time for a bit of snow hopefully?
My own twopennyworth - This is all good fun - except for those communities that are going to suffer this barely believable misallocation of resources. I think this government, cravenly backed by certain opposition councils, is frightened of what will happen when the hornets' nest of rail reinstatement really takes off, for we are talking HUGE sums of money, and to get that they will have to accept and declare the reality of Peak Oil. We'll probably be drip fed the information, look out for a slight backing away from Climate Change and more emphasis on 'energy security', still a clumsy attempt to cloud the issue but at least a step in the right direction. This will probably all come out when the government (whoever it is) needs to start building nuclear power stations.
Busways will come and go, like monorails and other impractical pretend trains. I firmly believe that St Ives will get its trains back, but they may need to wait a few more years. In the meantime consider the busway as a custodian of the trackbed, a rather more expensive Sustrans!
None of this will affect the New S&D of course ...