Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
britain's booming seaside ...
Three shots from Bournemouth at the weekend. Whilst the Air Show was on, this still shows the pure pulling power of the place! A hot August in Bournemouth would normally pull out visitors in their thousands.
British seaside resorts are booming. A lot of people who used to fly abroad are choosing to stay in the UK - no waiting at airports, language problems etc. And to think how much easier it will be in the future when all these visitors will all be coming in by train. No more vile car parks, busy roads etc, just a pleasant built environment, pollution free and safe.
A million fewer drivers on the road, a million extra cyclists in the last year. The pattern's clear, our car culture is now dying, right at the start of the beginning of the end of cheap oil. I doubt it has much power to survive the real oil price shocks that are coming. All investment will now be going to railways, tramways and cycleways. The S&D should be right at the top of the queue for that investment. It's a total no-brainer. Whilst Bournemouth does still have a rail link it is orientated towards Southampton and London. But visitors like us come from Bristol - difficult to do reasonably by rail, cost and time-wise. And of course from much further - the Midlands and Northern England. They need a direct link with through trains, from places like Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham etc. Capacity restraints will very soon kick in on Bournemouth's only remaining line that can carry this traffic. And bear in mind that freight traffic will explode over the next couple of decades.
And of course people living in the huge Bournemouth-Poole conurbation will need to go in the other direction. The S&D will also allow them to access Exeter, Devon and Cornwall by changing at Templecombe - bringing extra traffic to the Salisbury-Exeter route, once notoriously singled but which I can see needing long stretches of quadruple track in the not-too-distant future. Who knows, the LSWR's one time plan to build a line westwards from Dorchester to Exeter tapping into the many seaside resorts between will finally be built! All this upgrading and new build should help to ease capacity restraints in this part of the world, assuming demand doesn't go too high ...