Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Regional Round Up Jan 2017


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Above and below are two big developments which may be of interest to some of you. On the one hand the Covenanta Rookery Pit alongside the Marston Vale Railway will add 500 lorries plus per day alongside other road based warehouse development along the A421 corridor. It is ERTA's view this should be rail connected from day one and the waste brought in by rail and the ash likewise taken out by rail. These incinerators need bulk to be viable and a regional waste and recycling hub is just what rail is good at serving if some leadership can be found and a more sustainable planning system inaugurated such as to demand it as a planning pre-requisite. Even retrospective road and environmental safety and stewardship would surely make a good case? We have Oxbridge regional rail capacity off main lines opening up, so getting it right at the start bodes well. We can't stop the development, we can hope to have it more environmentally friendly managed.

The road A421 is fast flowing, any mistake can be critical, especially in these days of virtually invisible highways policing. Speed must be brought down in the interest of safety and a plan for what freight by rail Oxbridge could be reasonably courting now going forward should be worked on by those in the know. If freight over 100 miles is viable, then all freight over 100 miles should be made to go by rail. East Anglia - the West Country and North-South, criss-cross.

On the HS2, you can still write to your MP against it. Our concerns are:
a. will it impede the integrity of the East-West Rail corridor and bump up costs and
b. will it impede the reasonable recovery of a route for a reopened Great Central south of Rugby around Brackley and connecting to the Calvert-Grendon line with realignments where blockages exist?
If we can be satisfied that the answers are okay for GC, fine, but we see that the project could be a white elephant, that costs will rule out swathes of people, that if no station between Old Oak Common and Birmingham, all brownfield sites and development - Brackley is burgeoning on the A43 access corridor commute (Northampton-Oxford)all new development will use existing roads and rails of lack of the latter! This will mean congestion, overcrowding, costs rising to manage demand and more pain. Great Central from Rugby - Aylesbury would serve Daventry and Brackley two large towns of growth without any rail access - a new commuting corridor rail served, off the roads. Blockages need to be got round, a determined and principled plan and incremental progress must be tabled. We invite Councils to work with us, it is a main line project and Network Rail are aware. At Rugby a link to the West Coast Main Line is needed and either a new viaduct over the West Coast and yonder or utilising the old Midland route to Leicester would have to be considered. Old GC north of Rugby serves Lutterworth and that M1/M6/A14 tie-in interchange, via the Midland Route, less blockages but getting into Leicester at the Leicester end may be an issue.

At a cost of £millions yet another East-West Road would seemingly create capacity in a context of growth. But it is a false economy. It eats up land and the growth ends up at junctions and town centres fuelling more land used for parking and more out of town sprawl as Councils pander to popularism and accommodating drive-round access to the car rather than close knit communities where walking, cycling and using public transport gives the edge.

We think that the £millions spent on an East-West Road would be better spent to:
a. hasten the railway and get more freight off roads onto rails
b. de-congest London by virtue of early delivery of East-West Rail
c. Spare money in days of austerity should go back to councils who invested in good faith to make the case whereas Whitehall should have picked up on the error of this particular closure and rectified it decades ago. We want to keep libraries open with lights on!

Hope this information is of interest. It informs the shape of where we're heading currently. It needs trimming and turning around. The railway is what is lacking, everything else just needs the railway to re-balance the imbalance of a roads only platformed society which is increasingly going bust because of competition and congestion adding costs.

Parishes get the rat runs and short cutting junctional hot spots, informing danger to pedestrians and cyclists, they have an interest to take notice and make objections heard and ensure safe-drive, safe-villages are reviewed to ensure speeding is brought to book.

Thanks to our sources. What with Fracking and Incinerators, these issues are at work across the regions so have a nation-wide implication as well as local impacts.

Other news is that from the 3rd of January the No. 74 bus has not been operated by Stagecoach but contracted to Grant Palmer who have posted notices saying they apologise for breaks in the timetable due to operational issues. Meanwhile No. 41 to Northampton now takes longer as it winds around Biddenham and Bromham villages en route due to withdrawal of the No. 40 to Milton Keynes. Personally I think No. 11 could have done Biddenham and Bromham and Stagsden en route to Great Denham one-way looping. No. 41 could have stayed on it's straighter route and served the main Bromham Road. Grant Palmer could also have done the loop if wanted, maybe en route to Stevington and Harrold via that side, rather than Pavenham, which could be served by No. 51's which are frequent enough. Grant Palmer could loop Bromham, Stevington-Pavenham-Oakley-Clapham. Can Oakley bridge take buses? Yes, I went over it when a No. 41 driver lost his way. 

Yours sincerely,

Richard Pill

Section Page 63 refers to the work around the Brackley area.

On Monday, 16 January 2017, 15:01, UK Parliament <email@mail.subscriptions.parliament.uk> wrote:

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