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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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    It sounds as if, A21 crossing aside, the issue of flood prevention is uppermost in the minds of many locally. If I lived on the Rother Levels, I'd be very concerned at any risk of increasing the likelihood of inundation too, so I can't say I blame anyone for that.

    A good while back now, I met a sheep farmer from that area (a bit south of Bodiam), not one of yer Good Life wannabes, but an honest to goodness hard bitten umpteenth generation farmer. Anyone who knows the levels knows there's always a chance of some flooding, they've lived with that forever. When you've spoken to someone like that guy, who's been flooded so often over the years that it mostly goes without comment, you don't expect to find them in pieces. That year produced several incidents in quick succession, waterlogged ground making each time worse than the last, culminating in more than usually severe flash flooding, which killed around 20 pregnant ewes on his one farm. Hearing something like that, it's a lot easier to understand why these aren't just abstract, theoretical concerns of local NIMBYs (though there'll be a smattering of them too). The problems are all too real..

    If the RVR scheme can demonstrate clearly that such perfectly understandable questions have been properly accounted for and they can convince the likes of that farmer that any concerns based on bitter experience can now safely be regarded as unfounded, most of the reasoned objections will melt away and then you'll have a clearer sight of any remaining objections

    The flip-side is, of course, if it is clearly shown that reinstatement can be carried through in such a way as to significantly reduce that likelihood, that's a game changer and were I in in the situation of the local populace, I'd not then be objecting, so much as biting the RVR's hand off to get the job done.
     
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  2. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I was able to attend the pre-Inquiry meeting using microsoft teams. The discussions are reported in the note produced by the inspector. Of interest it was reported that discussion between RVR and Highways England were ongoing and that this could lead to the withdrawal of their objection. It was suggested that the inspector visited the site of the proposed A21 level crossing to observe traffic - this could be the person observed by a previous poster.

    We will just have to be patient a while longer. I intend to attend [virtually] some of the Inquiry and await details of the programme to decide when.
     
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  3. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    There was a smartly dressed individual counting traffic on the recent Bank Holiday Monday. It may have been the inspector.
     
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  4. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I understand that North Bridge Street did not flood when the rilway was in-situ. The removal of the railway embankment must have made a difference to these properties which is why an emabnkment was put there as a flood defence. I don't think that the railway will have any negative impact as far as flooding is concerned west of the A21. I am somewhat puzzelled by the Cricket Clubs objection [and the fact that they intend to speak at the Inquiry] given that the railway embankment between Robertsbridge station and North Bridge street has never been removed. RVR have replaced all the Bridges on this section which should have improved things.

    Interestingly when the land was sold to Mount Farm [the 'other' landowner] I understant that there were covenants to keep the culvets in good repair. Since the trackbed has been left to go wild the only question seems to be the provision of occupation crossings which would be a matter of negotiation. With the lack of dialogue currently this discussion would have to take place if/when the TWAO is approved.
     
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  5. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    Highways England have submitted their evidence as an objector to the application. Details can be found at: https://gat04-live-1517c8a4486c4160...ivio-media.org/rother-valley/socs/obj-782.pdf

    Their conclusion states:

    The draft Order as submitted and the works it proposes to the A21 Trunk Road are inadequately prepared such that there are compelling reasons to believe that the works proposed in the draft Order would result in severe harm to the safe and effective operation of the SRN. Therefore, Highways England continues to object to the proposed development on the grounds stated in this Statement of Case. The Order should not therefore be made by the Secretary of State.
     
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  6. 2392

    2392 Member

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    The report makes interesting read. Looking at things could go either way IMO, though my view is that there are grounds for negotiation......
     
  7. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    This document is dated 20 September 2018 - I believe that this is their original submission of their statement of case. There have been further documents submitted by RVR modifying the design of the level crossing more recently and ORR have acknowledged that there is no alternative to a level crossing at the three locations in the draft TWAO. At the pre-Inquiry meeting last month it was indicated that discussions between RVR and Highways England were still on-going and that further documents would be submitted in advance of the commencement of the Inquiry.
     
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  8. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I must confess that I find it difficult to locate documents on the Inquiry website
     
  9. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    What will happen to all the track and new station if they are not allowed to do it?
     
  10. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    That one's dated "20 September 2018"; is it still their current position? ISTR RVR (and their consultants) did a lot of work recently on this subject.

    Noel
     
  11. Dead Sheep

    Dead Sheep New Member

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    Well spotted
     
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  12. Bertie Lissie

    Bertie Lissie New Member

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    Brake van rides behind Kilmersdon?
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I would imagine that if by chance the minister decides not to grant approval, it will go to appeal, but i remain hopeful that the inspector will see fit to approve the plans, the main stumbling block is the A21, but hopefully the RVR and Highways England are still talking, and will come to agreement on the crossing details, The talk of Duelling, the A21, won't happen, because of the sheer cost involved, and disruption the works would create, the A21 actually was down graded as a trunk road, some years ago, its now, i believe seen as just another A road, similar to the A22 to Eastbourne, no ones asking for that to be changed to a dual carriageway.
     
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  14. H Cloutt

    H Cloutt Member

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    I am not sure that there is an appeal procedure. As I understand it RVR and Highways England are still talking. If the A21 were dualled [and I am not sure that the traffic would justify this] then I suspect that the road would cross the railway on a bridge. I think that it is still a trunk road otherwise the discussion would be with East Sussex rather than Highways England.

    I have just checked on the Inquiry website and there are some additional documents in 'Core Documents' - As a layman I am unclear what the current situation is but there is a document RVR/HE/05 dated 31st May(?) which states the 'Common Ground' between RVR and Highways England. Watch this space!

    I am assuming the agenda for the Inquiry will be published shortly.
     
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  15. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Don't worry, it's all been designed to be rolled up and moved to another railway.
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I'd have gone with 'horse trading' ..... for which there certainly is considerable scope, when one considers the several decades of fannying around, at different times from central and local authorities, concerning whether or how to upgrade this significant trunk route, which is woefully inadequate beyond where the dual carriageway currently peters out, a few miles south of Tunbridge Wells.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  17. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it there is, or certainly was, an appeal procedure.
    Remember the FR's TWAO for the rebuilding of the Welsh Highland was rejected following the initial public enquiry, but was overturned on appeal by the SoS, who at the time was John Prescott. This was just before devolution handed such matters over to the new Welsh Assembly. And yes, you are correct, in that the A21 is still classified as a strategic trunk road.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  18. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    not quite. The presiding inspector will hear the evidence and present his conclusion which is a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The SOS can either follow the recommendation or go against it. John Prescott went against the minister’s decision for the WHR as you stated.

    A judicial review could be initiated as an appeal, but the applicant would have to show that the decision was one that no reasonable minister would have made in the circumstances (difficult).

    regards

    Matt
     
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  19. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification, Matt.
    Then what it probably comes down to, ultimately, is the way the political wind is blowing, at least as far as public v private transport is concerned.
    That may sound a little cynical, but perhaps I've been an observer of political posturing for too long. So were possibly relying on "Building back Beeching" or whatever they're calling it.;)
     
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  20. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Is a tourist railway "public transport"?
     

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