Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

jurassic park

The past.

The future.

This extraordinary load of old tosh appeared today on AOL.

Road congestion 'could rise by 37%'

Britain's roads need more investment, the Road Users' Alliance has said.

Traffic congestion will rise by 37% if the current "minimal levels of investment" in roads continues for the next 15 years, a report has said.

By 2025, drivers could be wasting 656 million hours a year - the equivalent of 75,000 years - sitting in traffic jams, the Road Users' Alliance (RUA) added.

"Under-investment in the strategic road network has left the UK with a transport system which is uncompetitive, congested, vulnerable to incident and inadequate to meet the future needs of the economy," the report concluded.

The RUA said that the UK's investment in new motorway capacity was among the lowest in Europe, with no new motorway miles being created in 2007 and 2008.

It added that while £47 billion a year was collected in road user taxes, only £4 billion was invested in new road capacity.
The survey also revealed that the major road network grew by 1% between 1998 and 2008, but had to cope with traffic growth of almost 10%.

Travel by car remained the most popular form of transport, with 92% of Britain's passenger transport taking place by road and 70% of commuting and business journeys made by car.

RUA director Tim Green said: "Road users have for too long been regarded as wallets on wheels, providing an endless stream of revenue for the Government to spend on anything except the road network.

"Hard choices face whichever party leader finds himself in Downing Street after the election. Will limited funds be spent on rail, which moves fewer than 10% of UK passengers, or invested in the transport mode which makes the biggest contribution to the UK's prosperity and quality of life - the road network?"

Well, I know dinosaurs had tiny brains but this goes beyond that! Why do people so desperately want to hang on to the twentieth century? Was it really that good?

All through this piece the clues are there. If any government seriously believed roads DID have a future then obviously this investment would be made - it would be madness NOT to invest in the road network. But we know that roads don't have a future - no amount of scrabbling about trying to replace oil is ever going to produce the levels of traffic we have today. There's no possibility of road transport being used for freight in the future -except for very short runs where private sidings, goods lines or goods tramways haven't yet been built. All long distance travel will quickly switch from road (and air) to rail. Private cars will become really scarce and the roads themselves will begin to physically vanish from the landscape, apart from those adopted by Sustrans, horse riders and walkers. This is the reality and these mugs at the anachronistic Road Users' Alliance have found themselves on the wrong side of history.

I almost feel sorry for them!
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will said...


Ok, 4 bn invested in "new roads",

but also....

9.2bn in road maintenance,
("20% of 46bn invested back into roads", might include afore mentioned 4bn, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/pothole-every-120-yards-on-britains-roads-1676398.html)

2.86bn in cost to the NHS attributable to ONLY air pollution from vehicles (lower estimate, does not include lost working days , other indirect costs, 45,000 deaths),


Around 8bn lost as direct & indirect result of road accidents,

the list goes on.... (oil wars, longer commute times etc). You are subsidising the roads every time you buy something

the entire rail subsidy for the UK is 5bn (and falling) by the way, so im not sure why Mr Green thinks he can get the money from there.

Anonymous said...

Ola, what's up amigos? :)
In first steps it is very nice if somebody supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)

Freddie said...

These road people are probably the same dinosaurs who are campaigning for Silver Street in Midsomer Norton to be upgraded to an A Road so that more lorries can use it!

Knoxy said...

Flew back from Lisbon Friday and queued for 30mins for the Heathrow landing slot. This isn't good, considering all the wasted fuel involved. Shorter flights will have to go by rail, it's the only answer. Most of Europe seem to realise this and it’s a lesson we will have to swallow, whatever your views. The answer is rail, rail, and a lot more by rail, and I’m looking forward to it....
And I’m a petrol head, while it lasts...
More roads mean more traffic, which in turn leads to even more congestion, not exactly good for any of us?