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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by 50044 Exeter, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    A number of thoughts on this:-

    1. I am concerned about the possibility that (increased) opposition from various objectors will see this application declined.
    2. If so, then there is almost exactly 1 year and 1 week (if I've got my dates right) until the ENPA planning permissions expire. What is the realistic likelihood that any actual construction work will actually take place before that date if the 'Grampian conditions' are still in force.
    3. If the ENPA planning permissions do expire, then AIUI we have to start all over again with fresh surveys etc. Aprt from the sheer cost and timescale, there is a view that environmental constraints will be even more rigid and a fresh set of permissions is far from assurred. So.....
    4.....what is the railway's 'Plan B'? Indeed, do 'they' actually have a 'Plan B' yet anyway?

    As to the actual Parracombe proposal, the rumour on the grapevine is that it may accommodate only 3-coach trains. That would mean reduced passenger capacity on trains where the journey time will be longer, so the service frequency will be reduced. So will it actually be beneficial anyway?
     
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  2. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I suspect that Consultations have taken place with the officers at ENPA. Someone at the railway will have an idea of the level of opposition from the responses to the consultation - unless the main objectors are 'keeping their powder dry'. One of the purposes of the S73 application is to mitigate the 'Grampian Conditions'. Starting work on this section is proof that the railway is serious about the development - as was the work on the Bridges in the Blackmoor/Wistpoundland section. This is important when the TWAO is being considered by the powers that be.
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    We shouldn't overlook the possibility that some useful lines of communication may have developed between the railway (and/or EA) and the local community in and around Parracombe. Be mindful too, that although (north of Barnstaple) Parracombe is the closest sizeable community to the L&B's alignment, it's not the only location where the restored line will need to develop good neighbourly relations, even where those may lie years in the future.

    Clearly, there's much delicate negotiation needed to ensure common ground is established (concerning which, there seems ample scope for mutual benefit) and any nuisance is minimised, plus ensuring the positives for the community are maximised. For that reason, I'm wary of any speculation unlikely to serve such ends. On balance, though it may chafe at times, as an outsider, I'm content to await official announcements concerning Parracombe.
     
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  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    No doubt there will have been 'discussions' taking place on this matter. However the world of local authority planning is littered with instances where those who sit in judgement in the relevant Committee take a different view from the authority's officers. IMHO we simply do not have the luxury of concentrating solely on this matter without also having a Plan B already in readiness.

    To put it simply, the prime and pressing aim at the moment must be to secure the planning permission by doing permitted work before the deadline - IMHO everything else is a distraction which the railway can ill afford. Given the constraints of time and money, surely the smaller, simpler, cheaper and quicker the job the better. For example, what about (say) the rebuilding of Bridge 65 (?) at Killington Lane? Even if thereafter you never laid any track under for several years, that would not matter in the 'great scheme of things', as at least the consent would be secure.

    As for a TWAO, I'm not sure what anyone would make of the current Parracombe proposal on close examination - from what I can gather, it is not founded on any detailed survey, nor have the practicalities of how to operate it safely and efficiently yet been examined.
     
  5. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Plan B - head to Lynton ...
     
  6. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ...but that would do nothing to secure the planning permission for the line southwards. Lose the current opportunity and probably it would be gone for ever.
     
  7. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Agreed - but a Plan B was asked for. If the new idea to go Parracombe only for the time being is turned down, or if there's no means to buy the track-bed just beyond the halt, or if the TWAO doesn't materialize, then heading towards Lynton is surely the Plan B?
     
  8. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    To be clear...I was talking about a 'Plan B' for securing the existing planning permission, not as a alternative to Phase 2A.
     
  9. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Can't see how there can be a Plan B for that - Lynton can be renamed Plan C...!
     
  10. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Well, exactly; hence the question.
     
  11. Meatman

    Meatman Member

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    may i suggest you go to the L&BR archive site, hover over the supporters tab, click ALL ABOARD and scroll down to question 16,i think you will find the answer you seek there.
    Maybe i should add that at the members forum this very same question was asked and was met by a pulled face and a shrug of the shoulders by the trustee it was asked of
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2022
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  12. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I think perhaps Q17 is more pertinent.

    As regards Q16, it says that no TWAO=no railway, yet the report in the latest Magazine - if I have read it correctly - says that a TWAO is not needed in order to construct (if not actually operate - that distinction is not clear) a extension to Parracombe, given that the railway owns all the land. I do know however that there are those who take a different view....
     
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  13. Meatman

    Meatman Member

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    I have always said the extension towards Parracombe should have been started back in 2009 when they had the chance (see page 156, exchanges between AXE+1 and myself, interesting how the official trust line of thought has since changed, maybe last chance saloon scenario) When those who got this railway built stood down either by choice or force,the new incumbents of railway management (some of whom are still holding positions of power to this day) had the chance to extend in 2009 down to Heddon Hall, they have always argued that the ENPA would never let them extend to Parracombe and that it had to be the bigger project yet here we are some 13 years later and coming full circle back to what could have been done, no TWAO in sight, no section 73 applied for (middle of Jan then Feb and already no sign in the middle of March ) less than 12 months left on the planning, the only thing that might be gotten is a pub where we can all go and drown our sorrows and they might try to save face and build another leisure line to the reservoir, although how this line might be staffed i dont know as it seems staffing is tight a lot of the time at WB. A lot of questions should have been asked over the last 5 years and especially now with less than 12 months to go but the official 'its delicate' line seems to have put people back in line.

    In my opinion the railway should have inched its way back towards Parracombe to maintain momentum and interest whilst the big planning should have been to get to Lynton, Woody bay is already suitable for a park and ride and there is less resistance to the railway in this direction whereas the resistance in the other direction has been known of for many years so why decide to take on that challenge when you already know it will be a significant issue. this really is crunch time for the railway and its getting a bit bloody late in the day ,even if the section 73 succeeds and we have to hope it does management should seriously be looked at for the incompetence of the last 5 years ,if it fails a lot of heads should roll
     
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  14. Meatman

    Meatman Member

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    im of the understanding that a TWAO isnt needed because DCC are taking on the responsibility of Killington lane bridge,it is pretty confusing as different sources say different things,the only thing for sure is theres less that 12 months to get this sorted out
     
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  15. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    But there are other bridges in the section to Parracombe, at least one other of which involves a public right-of-way.

    I don't claim to understand the requirements/impacts of a TWAO - everything that I read about them seems to give a different view - but I do know that some with greater knowledge of such matters have expressed concern about the assumption that one is not needed. BUT....clearly there is no point in having a TWAO for land on which you have no planning permission, so is all effort and resources actually being directed correctly at the moment? Just asking...

    Meanwhile, sadly, as I know from recent personal contact, the railway continues to lose the valuable services of regular volunteers who find that the effort and ever-increasing expense of travelling to Woody Bay no longer tolerable, given the apparent lassez-faire attitude of 'the management' in fixing any of the myriad of problems which affect the current working environment. It would seem that all is not well under the surface.....
     
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  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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  17. Thomas Woods

    Thomas Woods New Member

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    "given the apparent lassez-faire attitude of 'the management' in fixing any of the myriad of problems which affect the current working environment."

    Can you elaborate on this please?
     
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  18. Snail368

    Snail368 New Member

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    As the L&B have only recently purchased Paracoombe Halt, I am not sure how an extension to Paracoombe would have worked in 2009. I'm certainly no expert on this, but I understand that a runaround loop (or equivalent) on land that is level is the minimum requirement. I certainly hope that the Planning Permission can be fixed by making a substantive start in the next 12 months - even if this is limited to building or repairing the bridges.
     
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  19. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I don't think it would be appropriate for me to go into too much detail here, as I have no wish to identify the individuals in public here. Suffice to say that :-
    1. There appears to have been a long list of problems relating to the working environment, proper storage of equipment, access arrangements, neglect in maintenance etc, all of which have been brought to the attention of the relevant people without result, and
    2. Too many instances of a failure of overall strategic coherance on the railway, leading to different groups doing conflicting work, lack of proper planning and execution etc.
     
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  20. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Well
    Well, you won't get a level site at PE (originally 1:100 IIRC) without extensive groundwork that will have an adverse effect on the gradients on the approaches.
     
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