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!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

pensioners get it right!

(Sent by Mick Knox)

Protest pensioner halts A35 traffic in Dorset

Tony Fuller: "We are afraid that the lorries are going to crash into our home".

A Dorset pensioner angry at lorries driving through his village blocked traffic for an hour by making sure a pelican crossing was in constant use.

Tony Fuller, 77, and his neighbours carried out the protest in Chideock, near Bridport, on Tuesday.

Traffic on the A35, the main coastal road between Bournemouth and Exeter, backed up within minutes.

Mr Fuller said the roads were too narrow for lorries and he wanted a bypass built around the village.

He said his house had been crashed into by vehicles twice and on one occasion the driver died.

'Terrible pollution'

He added: "It's virtually like a motorway, in fact it's got as much traffic on it as a motorway but there's no pavements and the houses are right on the road.

"The pollution in the village is terrible. You can't walk through the village without choking."

The A35 is the main coastal route between Bournemouth and Exeter

Is dawdling on a crossing illegal?

He said he was upset that plans for a bypass were abandoned several years ago.

He added: "If our local county council is spending £77m on a bypass to Weymouth for the Olympics for two weeks... why don't they come and do something for the citizens and parishioners of Chideock?

"We only want them to show they are doing something and when they do we will stop, but if they don't we shall continue, now, year after year."

Mr Fuller said about 50 residents had already pledged their support to the protest.

He added: "If they all turn up and they each press that button once, one after the other, that's 50 times that traffic will be stopped and it will cause chaos.

"Because they've only gone across once each, they can't be prosecuted for using the crossing that was put there for their benefit."

The Highways Agency, which is responsible for the A35, declined to comment.

Dorset County Council said the Weymouth relief road had mostly been funded by the Department for Transport and the council's contribution had totalled £8.6m rather than £77m.

Forget about a bypass Gramps - just press for ALL freight to be switched to the railways now!

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