Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by nine elms fan, Nov 4, 2012.
On the contrary, they just need an old fashioned design!
You are quite correct. It was the Local Highway Authority (DCC). I stand corrected.
You'd think the chance of horrible death under the wheels of a train would be enough, but guard towers, machine guns and small retractable minefields might just do the trick...
Yep, sorry about that! Hope I still get to keep my house points!
Certainly, and I was considering a nit-pick about Staveley in the other post but John Stewart beat me to it. His advice on the other examples was good and I do not think there is any difference in safety standard on that score between a Trunk Road or Local Authority road. That is why I mentioned Wallingford. Actually a full barrier is what is needed, not half barriers, and I have now looked at the road with Street View. Advance warning yellow flashers would be helpful and I was surprised that the HA did not introduce a 40 and then a 30 and i can quote lots of precedent for that. It could be worth RVR supporters lobbying for that, as local councillors and public (rather than as RVR). RTC data for the stretch would be useful to collect.
We must remember that we are only talking of spasmodic use of the crossing - it isn't a train very 5 minutes going at 100 mph is it? !!
In my opinion the increasing ubiquity of this and similar policies adds to the general risk of accidents as incompetent drivers become indifferent to taking the responsibility to adjust their speed appropriately for the road and conditions.
It is not so much the speed of approach to the level crossing from the south that concerns me more the proximity to the roundabout which is likely to be choked with the tailback of traffic travelling south. There is no sign of the original trackbed so if it was possible to lay a new trackbed north of the original it could take advantage of the proposed flyover to pass under the A21 although an LC may still be required for local traffic.
I think that people may be getting a little too worried about the railway crossing the A21 although, living a long way off, I am not as familiar with local circumstances as an ability to inspect the site would make me. This part of the restoration is one of the few where the original route has disappeared totally into the fields so there is some scope for taking a slightly modified route if such were advantageous. The historic alignment would cross the A21 some 110m south of the roundabout. If a full-barrier crossing were provided there would be conflict with traffic movements on the roundabout because the closure period would inevitably result in backing-up. An AHB would possibly not have this impact but it would be rather too close for comfort. If one allows for a notional 500 vehicles/hr, a 1.5 minute closure could be expected to generate a queue of 13 vehicles, say 100m queue with a bit of space between each.
The character of the current A21 would, I believe, make a level crossing tolerable but not desirable. If the road were to be dualled I feel that a level crossing would be not at all appropriate. This need not be bad news as the total reconstruction associated with such work would enable grade separation. I see no difficulties with the engineering, but there would be the problem of agreeing on who bears what share of the cost of the extra works.
Having had some experience of how the HA/DfT thinks in another part of the country, I suspect that its negotiating base would be to resist a level crossing of the current road; not so much because of traffic safety / capacity reasons but because, once installed, the railway would become an existing facility that would have to be dealt with at public expense when the dualling arrives. A slightly comparable case would be that of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust which had to pay for the construction of an aqueduct over the M6 toll road. They were in weak position as no restoration of the canal had been started at that time whereas the K&ESR/ RVR has been substantially operable for many years.
However, is there really any point in trying to get the HA to agree to something that would not suit either party in operational and maintenance terms? If the RVR accepted that bridge is needed at the A21 and started exploring the options for achieving that in both current and future circumstances a way forward may emerge. As far as I can see, all the other roads would be suitable for level crossing reinstatements.
Is dualling, or any other major reconstruction works, proposed on this part of the A21? There is nothing shown on the listing of future proposals on the Highways Agency's website.
Nobody came up with a AADF so I did some searching and got a report which stated that the traffic counter on the Robertsbridge bypass registered no more than 7000 to 8000 in 2005.
This is the link, see Fig B3 on page 33.
This AADF is peanuts and regardless of origin and destination of traffic the road should have been de-trunked long ago. For those who don't know, the trunk roads were created in the thirties. County councils then (and now) pressured the Minister to take them over because of course then the budget was national taxation with no element falling on local ratepayers directly, very convenient. Then a myth grew up that there was something nationally significant about these roads without analysis of origin and destination data to prove it.
What does this mean for Robertsbridge? The A21 is just another country main road. The notion that it needs dualling is ridiculous, let alone fancy flyovers and the like, at least at this location, without significantly horrendous collision data to justify something like that. It's all comparative, remember.
I suggest that those of you intimately concerned with the issue pass this on to the RVR board. Of course it may all be known to them. I see John Stewart's point that bending the line away from the roundabout could be helpful to accommodate a queue stretching back but there could be a better solution for that involving traffic lights at the roundabout.
Digging around in the archives I have found proposals, even that the route has been protected from future development. Whether that still stands I do not know as the A21 improvement scheme appears to have been cancelled by the October 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review.
Thanks - I've found that too. However those, now cancelled, proposals did not appear to include dualling the A21 where it would be crossed by the RVR. According to the HA site the dual carriageway would have ended at the roundabout where the Robertsbridge bypass begins, just before the A21 crosses the line of the trackbed.
The January '13 edition of 'The Railway Magazine' has an article on the RVR
The way the country is going, there isn't going to be any money for dualling the A21. A reopened line from Robertsbridge to Tenterden is surely a higher priority.
I don't believe there are any plans to dual this part of the A21.
Disbelief is seldom helpful, but it depends on what one means by "plans". Obviously plans exist insofar that they had to be devised to include the proposal in a preliminary programme. The Government may now have cancelled the scheme but cancellation does not mean banished for ever; it means not in a current programme. I have not made local enquiries but I would suspect that any safeguarding lines imposed for development control purposes would remain.
The is no point in rejoicing at the absence ofa current scheme; such would present an opportunity to the railway that it does not have in a situation where the current road is left as it is.
The new carriage storage shed at Rolvenden had it's planning permission approved last night, so work can now begin on another big step towards improving the K&ESR infrastructure needed on the existing railway in preparation for running to Robertsbridge.
Also known as Area 51..... A field soon to be filled with items yet to be identified.....
What preliminary programme do you mean? If a dual carriageway was envisaged in the 1960s or 70's it clearly wasn't considered justifiable in the 1980s when the Robertsbridge bypass was built. The Highways Agency's website details a number of improvement proposals for the A21, including those schemes which have been cancelled in recent years. Whilst there are or were dualling schemes the proposed sections of the A21 do not include the Robertsbridge bypass. As you say, no reason to rejoice.
On the other hand the plans updated today on the RVR's website (look in the news blog) indicate their current thinking is still to cross the A21 using a level crossing. The people involved have a good track record in obtaining agreement for complex level crossing arrangements on the Welsh Highland.
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