An historic document, the first contact from the Ministry of Transport to the New S&D. The Ministry, and Minister are now aware of our plans!
It's a bit of a curate's egg, but there are some very useful and important statements in there. I'm not surprised that the Minister was not already aware of us as we've adopted a very low key approach whilst we were building membership. Not any more!
Best statements are -
'We are aware of the history of the Somerset and Dorset Railway and like many lines closed in the [c]ountry as a result of the Beeching Report, a different decision may have been arrived at with the benefit of hindsight'.
'[I]n the light of the recently published National Planning Policy Guidance we would be keen to ensure that there is no further loss of the trackbed to development which would preclude the use of this route as a railway line in the future'.
We can make a great use of both of these - basically an admission that the Beeching Report is NOT set in stone, but can now be adapted - and secondly that any future attempt to build on the trackbed will be frowned at by the Ministry of Transport. They'd also make excellent banner statements on tee shirts and posters!
The Ministry has also given advice on our next steps including contacting the Local Enterprise Partnership(s) and also to analyse the demand for travel along the corridor.
The workload is building at about the same rate as the membership!