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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

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

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    If I'm reading the runes correctly, the 'straight through' option at Parracombe seems more likely to shift some (doubtless not all) views locally to the supportive. Doing otherwise seems to have nothing to commend it, beyond a short term selfish expediency which the revived line will carry, like an albatross carved from a millstone, for as long as the line and communities exist.

    Reasoning? AIUI, the 'non-over-my-dead-body' element of local concern at Parracombe seems principally and quite understandably focused upon the effects of car parking snarling up the village and it's surrounding lanes. Anyone who knows the area will readily appreciate why that's the case. It's a completely valid point and ignoring it would be on the suicidal side of foolish. If you don't know the area, go look at Google Earth, where the nature of the problem is readily apparent. Imagine you're a farmer whose access to his fields is blocked by empty, locked parked cars (and don't try to tell me that doesn't happen!)

    Trains terminating at Parracombe does unquestionably run the risk of significantly exacerbating the car problem and even if that's dealt with by draconian parking enforcement, it would inevitably disturb everyday life, what with shout outs with parking wardens, tow trucks clearing away vehicles parked across roads and accesses by thoughtless idiots. Face it, we're all familiar with that scenario and Parracombe is no different to anywhere else in that regard.

    Now consider that temporary southern terminus SW of Parracombe. Not only do trains not then lead to extra traffic in the village, provision of nearby parking will most likely improve the situation for the residents. If the ENPA and LA were to flesh out their stated preference for getting grockles' cars off Exmoor's picturesque, if narrow lanes and out of villages, that then benefits all parties and the railway is part of the solution, not just one more problem, Parracombe seems to form the first and most significant test case. Get it right and the L&B is an asset. Cock it up and you can kiss goodbye to good community relations.

    Put that way, a bit of a no-brainer, wouldn't you say?
     
  2. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Howard,
    Have you read the "Statement of Community Involvement " yet? (The link is posted above)
    I have only skimmed it, but it does seem to address these issues. I will stay my hand until I have time to read it properly.
     
  3. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Thanks Phil, I had obviously skimmed over that part! Still not quite sure if it is feasible, but we shall see!
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Have done, but remain acutely aware of how delicate the situation is and don't forget that our posts are seen by folks whose priorities mightn't be railways ..... I'm reliably informed such people exist!
     
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  5. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Firstly, building northwards from Blackmoor (BR) without getting as far as Parracombe would be useless, as there would be nowhere to have a temporary terminus at the northern end.

    Secondly, the section from Blackmoor to Whistlandpound (WD) - which is south of Blackmoor - is in the NDC and the planning consent there has been secured by work done already, so there is no panic about that.

    Thirdly, although no doubt theoretically practical to build BR- WD in the immediate future, how would you operate and maintain the motive power and rolling stock without the necessary storage and workshops facilities? There is no scope as yet for them at the new BR station site and the proposed new BR Depot lies north of the road in the ENPA area, so subject to the same Grampian conditions as the rest of that part of Phase 2A. And even if you do get around that somehow, there remains the practical issue of trying to staff and operate two discrete sections of railway for an undefined period.

    Sadly, once again, we seem to be going all over the same old ground. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking.....
     
  6. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    But the L & B document "Business Plan" On Page 10 does say that operation of Stage 3 is to be Concurrent.....
     
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  7. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    My copy of the Magazine and Newsletter arrived this morning. The newsletter contains something about the Planning application - the magazine has pictures of the Tea room.
     
  8. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    If Parracombe becomes an unpassable problem (because of not being able to buy the stretch of land after the halt that we all know about and are not allowed to mention) then the only extension surely has to be back to Caffyns and thence to Lynton. I know there is a problem in that very little of the trackbed is owned by the railway, but clearly two separate stretches is unrealistic and temporarily abandoning the current stretch and trying to open further south comes up against the difficulties of storage etc mentioned a little way up-thread.
    I would hope that the current management team has quietly got this option as emergency plan Z, just in case...
     
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I've just been reading this FB posting.....
    https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=521087482898045&set=gm.10166273881615128
    ..which bemuses me.

    I have to say that, were I a stranger to L&BR matters, I would get the strong impression that - as the railway already has 'conditional consent' from the ENPA and NDC to extend to Whistlandpound - then the main, if not only, problem is the need for money. Indeed IMHO the talk at the start implies that they are now 'ready to go' from Killington Lane to Parracombe once they have the money. I see nothing therein about it all being dependant upon success of the Section 73 application etc.

    When was this 'flyer' issued?
     
  10. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    The "flyer" was sent to members with the newsletter and magazine. There is additional information in the newsletter - which members will be able to read.
     
  11. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    ....well, not arrived here yet :)
     
  12. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    Mine came this morning - I'm not sure whether they are posted in Batches or all together.
     
  13. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    My Magazine arrived today :)

    I note on page 1 of the Newsletter that the Sec73 application "..should be determined..." at the August ENPA planning committee meeting. Knowing the way of such things, coupled with likely personnel absences during the holiday period, I would not be surprised sadly if that decision is delayed. But, fingers crossed....:)

    Coincidentally, I was due to meet with one of my design team colleagues this week so that we could catch up recent developments prior to the AGM. In the event we cancelled our meeting when it became apparent during preparatory discussions that neither of us had heard anything new for several weeks. So if there is/has been any progress of note, then it's being kept 'close to the chest' somewhere....
     
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  14. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Stuart Nelhams has kindly posted some photos on L&B Facebook, of the current progress on the WB tea room, now looking very smart externally:
    280954330_10160090479389712_6176032392592525314_n.jpg

    The interior is also coming on apace, with dry lining now complete. This view looks towards where the servery will be:
    280407880_10160090482944712_5362153666951826673_n.jpg
    As has been noted elsewhere, this will make a very useful out of hours meeting space, too.
     
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  15. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    A step up from the tent. Is it the same floor space?
     
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  16. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    There was a fair amount of excavation involved. I'm only guessing, but it certainly looks bigger.
     
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  17. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    It’s hard to judge for me but definitely needed!!!
     
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  18. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie Part of the furniture

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    Belive it or not , its the same size as the tent with floor space.
     
  19. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Sadly, I wasn't able to make the AGM yesterday (work intervened), so some questions for those who were able to attend.

    Q1. Having read the Statement of Community Involvment in the planning application, it looks to me (highly) unlikely that the Section 73 route will allow a phased approach which includes a temporary terminus at Parracombe. It may be argued that the scheme's opponents would oppose it on principle, but the points around inadequate car parking and village facilities are well-made; after all, even if the railway were to ban alighting or joining services at Parracombe, there would obivously be considerable interest in the operation with tourists and enthusiasts alike coming to photograph the trains.

    Q2. What is Plan B if the Section 73 vairance is not agreed? What is the timetable for the TWAO application and the CP powers that all sides accept will be required - and if the Statement of Community Involvment is correct, something that was apparently already brandished and then retracted at the owner of Fairview? What is the plan to raise the money for the c . 3.5 miles from Parracombe to Wistlandpound? (At £30 an inch, that's £6.7m... and that's before you deal with Parracombe Bank, buy the Inn and set up the works at Blackmoor Gate).

    Q3. I'd also have expressed my discomfort with the wording of the appeal brochure, which infers that the planning permissions are in place to allow opening to Parracombe (the subject of the Appeal) which simply isn't the case at the moment. We need to be completely transparent - especially now - and this isn't in keeping with the best of the L&B.
     
  20. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I'm inclined to agree with you, Toby. The whole thing makes me feel deeply uneasy, and the local residents appear to have some perfectly valid grievances.
    I couldn't make the AGM either, so I too would be very interested to know how things played out yesterday.
     
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