Track and signalling

13.02.19

New Forest railway line proposed despite criticism for ‘pie in the sky’ idea

The construction of a New Forest railway line and the reopening of stations closed in the ‘Beeching cuts’ has been recommended, but a local MP has dismissed plans as “pie in the sky.”

A detailed costing for a raft of rail revivals has been put forward by Campaign for Better Transport (CFBT), focusing on a new railway line from Brockenhurst to Ringwood.

It argues that reopening railway stations, including some of which fell in the Beeching cuts to the national railway in the 1960s, should be a “national priority” to help combat poverty, congestion, and climate change.

But New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne asked: “Who is going to pay for it – and is there really an economically sustainable demand for such a service?”

The MP questioned the report’s credibility and called it a “lovely idea, but pie in the sky.”

Barry Rickman, leader the New Forest District Council, echoed Swayne’s scepticism and said it was unlikely to happen.

“It’s an imaginative idea but there are so many hurdles that would have to be overcome before it became a reality.”

The report proposes several options alongside the new rail line, including reintroducing passenger services on the freight line between Totton, Hythe, and Fawley and a tramway style line along Weymouth quay in Dorset.

The CfBT said: “Reopening railways has the potential to transform communities. For both passengers and freight, rail is a high-quality national transport network that can give people access to a wealth of social and economic opportunities.”

Local councillor David Harrison said: “I’m delighted the CfBT has recognised the potential the Waterside line has for running passenger services. An organisation like this has the ear of government, so makes investment more likely.”

But any application to build a new rail line would need the approval of the New Forest National Park Authority, and its executive director of strategy and planning Steve Avery also stated his reservations.

He said that since the rail network in the area closed 50 years ago, much of the route has returned to the landscape and become a haven for wildlife, with other sections being incorporated into walking and cycle paths.

The push for a new rail line comes as Bournemouth, Poole, and Christchurch councils prepare to merge and form an area dubbed ‘Urban Dorset’ – which the CfBT says will mean new and better rail links will be even more important.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Maritime Transport launch new rail services

17/07/2019Maritime Transport launch new rail services

Maritime Transport has launched two new rail services from DP World London Gateway to its rail terminals in Trafford Park and Wakefield. It ... more >
Campaign for Windsor Link Railway to be revived

17/07/2019Campaign for Windsor Link Railway to be revived

A campaign for a rail link between Windsor and Heathrow Airport is to be revived, after the scheme was turned down by the Department for Transpor... more >
Conwy Valley Line to partly reopen tomorrow

17/07/2019Conwy Valley Line to partly reopen tomorrow

The Conwy Valley line is set to reopen for passengers ahead of the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst, Network Rail has announced. Llandud... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey’s commercial account director, Anna Delvecchio, for her insight into what the Rail Sector Deal means for the rail industry and its supply chain. Anna started her career as an apprentice at the age o... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >