Monday, 30 November 2015

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British Rail wants security fences at Waverley Viaduct for three more years

British Rail wants ‘temporary’ security fences that keep people off Carlisle’s Waverley Viaduct to stay in place for another three years.

Have your say

The powers that be have spent tens of millions of pounds on a road across a World Heritage Site to provide car access to the new industrial developments at Kingmoor but begrudge the much smaller amounts needed to provide cycle and pedestrian access -- and, for that matter, access by train or bus.

They have also allowed the southern end of the old
railway trackbed to peter out in an ugly new industrial estate when it (and the bridge) used to be one of the glories of Carlisle, giving access to a lovely nature trail. I always used to enjoy using this route to the old youth hostel at Etterby, until that day when I found the bridge fenced off and had to spend a whole hour working my way round via the road bridge. Needless to say just then it started to rain...

Posted by Simon Norton on 30 November 2012 at 14:12

'But one year on there has been no progress'. No change, either, let me tell you, in my opinion over that period of time. The Walker brothers, Disillusioned and Angry, have expressed with great eloquence what a shambolic, embarrassing, inept affair this continues to be. But it is just part of a wider problem - is there a local authority in the land that has done less to maximise its riverside and path network potential? All we have is a litany of wasted opportunity: flood defences that could have been capped off with a hard top to form a footpath, links that go unmade for the want of a few metres of tarmac, and my favourite, a cycle / footpath on the new development route that crosses 4, yes, count them, public footpaths on its northern half yet doesn’t connect to any of them. Is it really asking too much to find a solution to open up the viaduct? Clearly the city council thinks it is.

Posted by Letterwright on 28 November 2012 at 20:44

If anyone has looked at the "Save the Waverley Viaduct" web page they might notice that the current planning notice doesn't run out for another 18000 years, surely there is no point in trying to fight this cauase?

Posted by Mjr. Barrington Stanley-Farqhar on 28 November 2012 at 12:26

In a not too distant country, they too closed the waverly line many years ago, but have had the foresight to reopen the line, so as to make central sctoland more accessible to the populace, its a shame here in england we dont also have the urge to cut down congestion on the roads, by re-opening closed lines. i suppose using George stephenson, as an analogy, 'its rocket science'.

Posted by John on 28 November 2012 at 10:11

Matthew - it is not BRB's job to open the footpath, it is BRB's job to maintain the viaduct and the county council's job to create/open the footpaths. One would hope that the city could take the lead and co-ordinate everyone but that as ever seems to be a forlorn hope.

There is no joined up government.Every one from BRB to city to county tries to pass the financial buck and nothing gets done.The bridge may not be in the ideal place but it is where it is and access across the river can be provided at a fraction of the price of a new footbridge.

We have a city council that apparently has unrivalled expertise in squandering whatever money they do receive. By the time the wrangling had finished on the Millennium projects, they had run out of money for the planned Millennium bridge from Etterby to the Sheepmount. We then had the shambles of Renaissance with hundreds of thousands of pounds squandered on consultants who plan grandiose schemes which come to nothing before the money runs out again. Then we have the farce of the Sustrans link where we get the funding but still our council cannot deliver and we lose it.

Re-opening the Waverley viaduct should be such a simple, achievable goal but the powers that be cannot even do that. We have seen politicians on both sides make promises of support that have come to nothing.

I do not know who to be angry with - should I be more angry with the politicians and what WAC calls their empty promises or is a case of officials not being given a proper mandate? Should I be angry with a landowner north of the river not prepared to grant access to those south of the river or does he have real and genuine concerns? I do not know.

What I do know is that we should be dismantling this Berlin Wall between communities and not giving permission to BRB to maintain this eyesore of a barrier.

Posted by An angry walker on 27 November 2012 at 21:05

Seems there is no money for the council to take this over from BRB ltd. It is not BRB ltd job to open up a footpath. Looking at the bridge It would seem that it is far from an ideal place as footpath and would likely need substantial lighting along the route to be viable as a safe footpath for alot of the year. I would suggest the money if there was money coud be used better elsewhere.

Posted by Matthew Dryden on 27 November 2012 at 16:16

There lies the problem Bob. During the canvassing period councillors will promise the earth if it gets them elected. Then reality sets in and all those empty promises are soon forgotten.

Posted by WAC on 27 November 2012 at 15:25

Any readers who wish to object to this application should do so using the following link. The more the better!

Posted by Common Sense on 27 November 2012 at 14:03

'British Rail’s planning application says: “The structure is in a rural location"'

"chinny reckon", said anyone who could use google maps

Posted by martin on 27 November 2012 at 13:31

This 'lack of progress' is a disgrace. We have three governmental or quasi-governmental bodies unable or unwilling to engage with a highly popular campaign to get the viaduct re-opened.

We have the British Rail Board (Residuary) with a legal resposibility to maintain the viaduct not wishing to abide by their legal duty to repair/maintain and trying to pass on the maintenance costs eleswhere.

Then we have our city and/or county council failing to enforce repair of a listed structure, not coming up with any practical suggestions and both trying to pass the buck on to someone else.

In the interim, it is the people that suffer. We see one landowner opposing a 2000+ signatory petition from those south of the river and beyond.

I was under the impression that our local government had powers to create public footpaths and rights of way so the objection of one landowner can be (albeit with regret) easily surmounted.

What is not easily surmounted is the continuing apathy and bureaucratic inaction. I predict that just as we saw the City Council blame Sustrans for the loss of c£1m of funding to improve access north of the river and Sustrans blaming the city council, we are now going see the Council blame British Rail for the delay and vice versa.

Any other city in the UK would have overcome these problems. Why can't Carlisle?

Posted by A disillusioned walker on 27 November 2012 at 13:04

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