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Rother Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by nine elms fan, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    From the Battle Observer Website [in part]:-

    Gardner Crawley, RVR chairman, said: “Although we have managed to satisfy many of the statutory consultees with regards any concerns they may have had about our proposals, Highways England and the Office of Rail and Road have requested additional studies be carried out. These are to better understand what effect a level crossing, which would only operate during off-peak hours, would have on the A21. “We are happy to carry out these additional studies and look forward to reassuring these consultees that it will be possible to reinstate the full length of the railway between Tenterden and Robertsbridge, with all the benefits that would bring, without any unduly adverse effects.”

    Read more at: https://www.ryeandbattleobserver.co...-railway-plans-delayed-to-next-year-1-8856766
     
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  2. philw2

    philw2 Member

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    Surely these agencies have had months to study RVR submissions, undertaken by professional organizations, and still they prevaricate.

    Are they scared to make a decision or what!

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  3. Davo

    Davo Member

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    Could the fly in the ointment be that see post #1056 that the A21 could be converted to a dual carriageway anytime in the near future at a guess thats maybe why the O.R.R. are been very hesitant in greenlighting the R.V.R. a level crossing and highways england surveying how much traffic is using the single carriage A21 for this and 2020 year? Cos i think (only my guess though) the possibility of duelling the A21 in the near future could be the achilles heel of this project thus and the 2 landowners not helping matters trying to say the connected R.V.R. would encroach their land and cause enviromental issues.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  4. Fireline

    Fireline Member

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    Davo, I understand that there is no intention to dual the A21 at that point. Not far north of there, it passes through areas that would be almost impossible to dual. The council have been looking for a reason to request a reduction of the speed limit on that section of road for years. The simple fact is that the Highways Agency want to make SURE that what they are being presented is a bomb-proof proposal. If that means more studies, then I suspect the RVR will be only too happy to oblige.
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If it was made dual carriageway in the future, once a level crossing was in place, Highways England would almost certainly be required to build a bridge over the line and the cost of so doing would be small compared with the cost of dualling of the road.
     
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  6. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Not sure I would be happy general taxpayers pick the bill up for any bridge. If a bridge has to be built then the RVR should pay for it. There is also the issue of the impact a bridge would make across a still very pleasant valley - look for the mess the Bexhill Bypass has made of the valley it runs through and the A259 around Bognor.
     
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  7. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    An accusation of prevarication is rather unfair. They are perhaps procrastinating but my friends still working in local government tell me that the bureaucracy is overwhelming and staff numbers continue to be reduced.
     
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  8. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    ORR and HE belong to central government, not local. And the minister in charge of them is (brace yourself) Chris Grayling.
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I take the view that the body making the change should pay for the consequences. Here, we are dealing with the RVR wishing to cross the A21 as a single carriageway road, so the RVR should fund the costs of that crossing.

    If at some time in the future DfT wish to build a dual carriageway in the area, and that needs a bridge to cross the RVR, then it would be reasonable to expect DfT to fund that.

    There may be some grey area if there is a project already underway that would be affected, but the basic principle of first come, first served should still apply.


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  10. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Highways England’s letter of objection makes it clear that a dual carriageway is not proposed since there is no mention of it.

    One of HE’s objections is that RVR haven’t provided sufficient justification for a level crossing rather than a bridge but they haven’t ruled out a level-crossing if evidence can be provided meeting ORR’s criteria. If dualling was proposed then this would definitely rule out a level crossing. In addition a bridge over a dual carriageway would have to have a longer span and, therefore, a higher cost than one over the existing road. In order for RVR to design it, cost it and seek approval HE would have to tell them, and the inquiry, about any dualling proposal.

    The HE objections, and all others, can be read at the public inquiry website in the documents section:
    http://rother-valley.persona-pi.com/
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  11. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    Surely HE can figure out for themselves that a bridge is totally impracticable? They can't be that stupid. Can they?
    In order to bridge the A21, the RVR would have to build what would amount to a ski jump immediately east of Northbridge Street crossing. Perhaps someone could work out the gradients involved, but we are probably into rack-and-pinion territory. It would need to be carried on an embankment up to 16ft or more in height in order to bridge the A21.
    The land take in order to build such a colossal embankment would be huge, would completely dominate the Rother Valley in that area, and the corresponding run off embankment on to the Hoad family's land would take vastly more of their agricultural land than is currently proposed.
    Do the RVR really have to jump through such an absurd hoop in order to tick a box which, in a sane world, would not be there in the first place?
     
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  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Having read the HA letter, I realise just how good the L&B planning application was. These hoops may or may not be absurd, but when they involve statutory bodies, they need to be jumped through as part of what it takes to make things happen.


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  13. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    RVR already have planning permission - their planning app was pretty good too. L&B haven’t applied for their TWAO yet and will, no doubt, be watching this one with great interest.
     
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  14. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    It is HE’s duty to represent the best interest of their road-network, and the traffic upon it. A level crossing will have some effect on A21 traffic. The vital questions are how much effect and do the benefits of the railway outweigh this; and would the costs of either a rail bridge or a road bridge be disproportionately expensive for the traffic and safety benefits it would bring. It is up to the promoter (RVR) to prove this not the HE. Not an HE issue but they also have to prove there is enough of a public benefit to justify taking away somebody else’s land against their will. It is quite right that the RVR should be seen to jump those hoops. Although my natural sympathies do not lie with apparently wealthy landowners I would hate any process which could take away my property or yours or theirs on a private whim or a political fancy. The TWAO process is a safeguard against this. I wish the RVR well - and they’ve done so well so far.

    Fortunately neither HE or the landowners have a veto - that’s up to the inquiry inspector and ultimately Chris Grayling (or whoever replaces him in the next few weeks).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  15. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Member

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    Sure, I understand the function of the question, and the matters of cost weighed against safety. My point was purely about the physical impossibility of a bridge over the A21, given the physical constraints of its location, quite apart from the ruinous effect such a scheme would have upon the landscape, and neighbouring landowners. I know boxes have to be ticked, but surely the conjectural case for any bridge should take very little, if any, disproving.
     
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  16. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    A few years ago proposals were agreed for improvements to the A21 north of the Robertsbridge By-Pass, which were subsequently dropped. This included a by-pass for Hurst Green. I found a map of this which I attempted to attach but without success. Interestingly this was for a single carriageway road which finished at the Robertsbridge By-pass Roundabout. This proposal must have been based on traffic flows at the time, as was the decision to construct the Robertsbridge by-pass as single carriageway. Dualling of the A21 seems to be an aspiration of the current MP for Hastings who has a very small majority. I am surprised that the landowners seem to be pro dualling the A21 which would take more of their land. Since dualling of the A21 would need a by-pass for Hurst Green which would run to the east of the village, it maybe that this would continue to the east of the current Robertsbridge by-pass.
    I understand that the reason that RVR were not allowed to cross Junction Road [now the B2244] in the 1970s was that this road [then the A229] was seen as a potential for becomming the A21. It has to be remembered that at the time the A21 ran through Battle [now the A2100] and that the current A21 south of the John's Cross roundabout was the B2091 until it joined the then A229 just south of Sedlescombe
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  17. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    I might agree but HE’s point is that RVR haven’t provided that simple proof. It’s actually a little harder than you suggest since ORR’s policy is that no new level-crossings will be authorised except in exceptional circumstances (including where disproportionate costs would outweigh any benefits) - which must be proved by the promotor.
     
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  18. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    I think that part of the problem is that RVR have provided what they understood was required, but then further information has been requested. In cases like these you are aiming at a moving target, in that policy changes as you go along.
     
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  19. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    It seems that one of the landowners asked someone at RVR how they were sleeping. They state "because I can promise you we aren’t thanks to the continuing arrogance and contempt shown by RVR and your secret sponsors. It is an utter farce that the public enquiry that you instigated (not us we’ve never wanted any of this) has been allowed to have been postponed because you have failed as we knew you would to get anything in order in time! So we will have this hanging over our heads for another year at least! Again contempt but this time to the tax payer as well because I can assure you this public enquiry will cost the public purse a great deal of money..."

    I thought that the public inquiry was being held because of the Statuatory Objectors - the landowners.
     
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  20. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt New Member

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    The other reason they may not been sleeping is that their Planning application for 160 houses in Bexhill is due to go back to Rother DC's planning committee after a lot of local opposition. The recent election has resulted in the council going from Conservative to No Overall Control.
     

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