Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
bristol's tramways take shape
Works alongside Hartcliffe Way, Bristol, January 2010. Trams at last??
Bristol has a population of 380,615.
Bratislava (Slovakia) has a population of 426,927.
Bratislava has 40km of tramways and 13 lines. This is in addition to a suburban railway network, metro, trolleybuses and even (LOL) buses.
Bristol has 0km of tramways and 0 lines. This is in addition to a railway network that cleverly avoids most places, including Portishead, no metro, no trolleybuses and lots of (LOL) buses, many of which proudly proclaim 'Not in Service'.
No, the pic isn't of tramway works in Bristol. Our Supertram was abandoned a few years ago by a bunch of spineless councillors who would rather look backwards than forwards and have consequently condemned Bristol to years of congestion. The trams WILL come, that's inevitable. No real city lacks trams. What the pic is of is the new cycleway - but the interesting thing is that it can, and will, convert easily to a tram route. Perhaps the councillors here are taking their heads out of the sand and are - at last - looking ahead, even if they are doing it covertly.
So what's Bratislava got to do with anything? Well, apart from being a similar size to Bristol it's our holiday destination in June. And why did we choose it? Precisely because it does have modern public transport, which makes it tourist friendly.
And what's any of this got to do with the New S&D? Well, Bristol will be a destination for us, using the old Pensford route. In fact I fully expect trams to shadow our route south from Bristol to Whitchurch station on the New S&D. And trams will almost certainly reappear in Bournemouth, Poole and up to Broadstone and Wimborne. Over the longer term trams/light railways will pop up everywhere, feeding into the new rail network, carrying frieght as well as passengers. Those dinosaurs who think that the 21st century will merely see a reversal of the Beeching cuts simply haven't understood the urgency and depth of the energy crisis.
So keep watching this space. I fully expect to retake these pictures by 2015 with tram tracks running down Hartcliffe Way!