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Rother Valley Railway

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

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Slightly surprised to note the NNR connection is now recorded as a "running line", given all the Hoo-Ha surrounding it's precise classification when installed.
     
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  2. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

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    Another document well worth a quick read is the evidence of Tom Lewis, one of the K&ESR's existing neighbouring farmers.
    As he says just like the RVR objectors he has fields that have been "chopped into narrow pieces, bisected and trapped between the railway and ... the River". He has to use four accommodation crossings in order to access these areas but rather than claiming a "materially detrimental impact" he describes this as no more than a minor inconvenience and one of the more trivial challenges that farmers have to face. When he was buying the farm not one of the land agents, lawyers etc. whom he consulted mentioned the railway, crossing two miles of his land, as a negative factor in the decision whether to purchase.

    A good counterpoint, and more enjoyable to read, than much of the detailed evidence from the objectors.
    https://gateleyhamer-pi.com/filer/sharing/1623081990/8798/
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    "[The Railway's managers] regard farmers as the custodians of the scenery that their passengers pay to enjoy."

    That's a good phrase.

    Tom
     
  4. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    Great read; thanks for calling it out. I hope his empirical experience is of some comfort to the other land-owners if the TWAO is granted.

    Also, that document says "In my main statement, I have provided quite a lot of detail which would take me too long to recite now, but it is there on the website if required"; here, to save others from having to search for it.

    Noel
     
  5. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    That is an excellent piece of writing by Tom Lewis, and there could be no better viewpoint, from a man truely "on the ground", and with 20 years experience of working a farm bisected by the railway.
    I really hope that his viewpoint carries weight with the inspector, in bringing some honest common sense into the sometimes fractious debate about land issues.
    Good for him.
     
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  6. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I listened in at the Inquiry [in part] over the last couple of days. The evidence from Network Rail and the Heritage Railway Association were particularly well presented. I intend to listen in on Friday to hear the evidence from one of the Landowners. The Inquiry moves to the Woodlands Enterprise Centre next week to hear from some objectors who were having trouble connecting [a couple of whom have been regular observers at the online event]. The objectors includes the Eastwoods of Quarry Farm which has been the subject of some discussion on this forum.
    The Inspector will make site visits on the second day - including walking the trackbed. He will be accompanied by representatives of both sides. There was some discussion as to whether they could cross Austin's bridge. The main obstruction to this is the fence on RVR's side of the bridge which was erected by the landowners [on RVR's land by all accounts]. He indicated that further visits would be made but this was likely to be early September.
    The Inquiry resumes online on Friday [30th July] to hear further Objections including the MP for Hastings and Rye and Kathryn Bell who has recently submitted a revised Proof of Evidence.
     
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  7. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    If it's on the RVR's land, they presumably could remove it (although they might not wish to do this without prior discussion with the erectors, lest it further upset the landowners; although maybe it's useful to have access restricted), or modify it so that people can get through. What would it take to confirm the location; I'd guess maybe get a surveyor out?

    Ms. Bell's objection was mostly reasonably cogent.

    Thanks for the report; much appreciated.

    Noel
     
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  8. Penrhynfan

    Penrhynfan New Member

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    Could you post a link to Ms bell's objection please?
     
  9. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    There are two versions on the "Documents Submitted" page; neither is dated, but I think that this is the early one and this is the later one.

    In saying the "objection was mostly reasonably cogent", that doesn't mean I agree with all her points (e.g. "I would have expected the applicants would have to provide a detailed business plan, to demonstrate that the scheme would be viable" - with a few exceptions like the Dartmouth Steam Railway, heritage railways are not self-supporting in revenue terms; although I suppose she could have just meant she wanted to see more details, to ensure that the RVR wouldn't get the thing 3/4 built, and then run out of money - although I'm a bit surprised that, as a local, she doesn't know the name of the main benefactor), just that her comments were generally reasonably well laid out, and in many cases could benefit from a detailed reply.

    Noel
     
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  10. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    The first part of the proceedings each day mentions which document are being loaded in this section of the website. It was stated that the first one is her Proof of Evidence - the other is her Summary Proof Of Evidence. I think it should be labelled as such. The first one gives her address - this part of Robertsbridge is popular with commuters who don't wish to pay the high price to park at the station - which is over £1000 for an annual ticket. When there was a landslip between Robertsbridge and Battle a couple of years back - services started from Robertsbridge - so many who used to get the train from Battle drove up - then realised that the season ticket was cheaper than from Battle - so there was a large increase of commuters parking in the village. By all accounts someone in the village started a campaign to get the station closed but then realised there were many people who live in Robertsbridge who use the train!
     
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  11. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It's reassuring to know that well into the 21st century, the elements of an Ealing comedy are still alive and kicking in our more genteel counties ;)
     
  12. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Apart from the potential of a rebuilt railway embankment potentially having a grave effect of flooding (though I am sure the RVR are not leaving this to chance), most of this seems to be clutching at straws. The main thrust of the objections are "people who currently come to Robertsbridge are inconsiderate, selfish drivers, and a steam railway will not materially improve this situation".
    I do not think the assertion that passengers will arrive immediately before they catch a train, and drive away immediately after leaving the train actually matches people's leisure behaviour- am I wrong? Personally I like to have time to mooch about in an unfamiliar town, rather than immediately jump into the car and rush off to some other entertainment. Maybe that's just another oddity about me.
    I also doubt that many people would attempt to visit the K&ESR/RVR and Sissinghurst or Batemans-(both of which seem rather difficult to get to without a car) in the same day-trip. I wonder how many people presently attempt to visit both Sissinghurst and Batemans in the same day. For me it would be one or other, then head to that fish and chip shop on the harbour at Rye.
    However, as much as my conjecture about other peoples likely behaviour is based on my own, the lady's estimate of how others will behave is based on her own apparent disinterest in the RVR, and is thus flawed, because surely those who visit a revived RVR/K&ESR will do so out of interest and enthusiasm, rather than some sort of 'cross it off the list and go on to the next thing' approach as if leisure activities are a series of obstacles to be surmounted.
     
  13. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    The fence was erected in 2018 when trackbed walks started. here is a picture - from the RVR blog - you will see it is on RVR's side of the river.
     
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  14. Penrhynfan

    Penrhynfan New Member

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    Clearly, but who erected the fence pre 2018?
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Was there a fence there pre 2018, i am not sure if there was, it might have been done when the current land owners inherited the land from Ms Dequincy and the RVR was able to purchase the plot of track bed up to Austin's bridge .
     
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  16. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I don't think there was a fence. I think you are absolutely right about the timing. There is a 'no RVR entry' sign on the fence which you can't see because of the walkers.
     

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