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!

Monday, April 02, 2012

even Britain's least green city is starting to wake up!

Gloucestershire CCC backs campaign to re-open Ashley Hill station

by commsofficer

MP Stephen Williams, TomRichardson, Gordon Hollins, Cllr Tim Kent
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is backing a Bristol transport campaign that could result in the reopening of a train station where fans of the “father of cricket” WG Grace would disembark to watch him play in the mid Victorian era.
The Greater Bristol Metro Rail campaign would see the Ashley Hill station create a new link in suburban rail for the city and connect to the city’s major stations Parkway and Temple Meads – something the Club supports in conjunction with its plans to develop their Nevil Road ground only a few minutes’ walk away.
Representatives of the Club visited the old station site in Ashley Down with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) who were in Bristol to discuss progress on the Club’s new planning application.
If the plans get the go-ahead the County Ground would host national and international matches and want to attract more people to use public transport to arrive at the Ground. This would help to minimise parking on local roads as well as support a sustainable transport plan.
Tom Richardson, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (GCCC), said: “There are many good reasons for both the Club and local residents to want to have this station reopened and we fully support the Greater Bristol Metro Rail campaign’s efforts.
“Promoting public transport for match travel is an on-going focus for the Club. We benefit from good bus links on the Gloucester Road and make full use of park and ride on match days.
“We recognise that the major matches have an impact on traffic in the local area and as such are committed to looking at all the ways we can reduce this and bring benefits to residents as well.
“The fact that fans would disembark at the station to watch WG Grace is a great piece of local history and so it is fitting that we could also be a part of its future.”
Gordon Hollins, Managing Director Events and County Business at the ECB, said: “The ECB is fully supportive of ensuring a variety of public transport options for travelling to and from matches is available and this is particularly important when large crowds are expected.
“Creating a sustainable infrastructure for sport is of benefit to everyone and in one that has such a significant connection to cricketing history would be a great way for fans to travel to matches in Bristol.”
Stephen Williams MP said: “Bristol’s rail links are incredibly important to the city, and I believe that any decision to reopen Ashley Hill station will assist in supporting a more sustainable public transport system which could help to ease road traffic congestion.
“I am immensely pleased that Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (GCCC) are supporting this proposal, as it will undoubtedly appeal to many cricket fans who could benefit from its location.”
Cllr Tim Kent, executive member for Transport at Bristol City Council, said: “It is great to see GCCC and the ECB supporting this campaign to have more trains running more often in Bristol.
“It is vital that as our city grows and develops, our long-term vision for a greener and more effective way of travelling and our campaign really helps people get involved in this process.”
To find out more about the Greater Bristol Metro Rail campaign log onto http://greaterbristolrail.com/ where there is an e-petition calling for a better deal for Bristol’s railways amongst other ways of getting involved.
Any businesses or organisations willing to support this campaign will need to do so before the closing date of Saturday 31st March.


Anonymous said...

Surely this is commonsense-The crowds you see at a major fixture have to be seen to be believed-Imagine if everybody tried to pile into Wembley for a major football match and they all came by car! Not many would get to see the game thats for sure. Well done to GCC for their stance on this and also their futuristic vision. Maybe CP boy would like to explain to us all how he would get to a match on time if we all came by car! Somehow I think he would miss the fixture!

Sunshiner said...

I think the future's an alien concept to CP Boy. I suspect he spends most of his time looking up in the sky for an approaching asteroid - worrying that it will wipe out his pedal car!