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Helian

Somerleyton Bridge

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Currently closed, expected to remain so until approx 20:00, and close again at 10:30 tomorrow. According to Someryelton bridge on vhf12

 

Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

 

 

 

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I wonder if anyone will be stuck for getting back through after the bank holiday weekend at Oulton Broad.  I imagine it could have put some off going by river altogether. 

What happened to the NYA looking for support to take action last year, nothing seems to have improved and it must still be affecting business.

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14 minutes ago, dnks34 said:

I wonder if anyone will be stuck for getting back through after the bank holiday weekend at Oulton Broad.  I imagine it could have put some off going by river altogether. 

What happened to the NYA looking for support to take action last year, nothing seems to have improved and it must still be affecting business.

I don't suppose there's an easy solution.

Leaving the bridge open and putting rail passengers on buses would sort out the river problem and everyone would still get where they need to be, but would inconvenience a lot of people.

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7 minutes ago, Coryton said:

. Leaving the bridge open and putting rail passengers on buses would sort out the river problem and everyone would still get where they need to be, 

Yeah, that would be amazing. Do the same to Reedham, blow up Potter Heigham old road bridge, and it would solve all our problems. Also, get rid of that hideous rusting bridge in Gt Yarmouth, it does`nt serve any purpose, so pull the monstrosity down.

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oi, leave potter heigham bridge alone, cant have all and sundry up there to witness my boating actions and maybe film me taking my submarine dinghy for a trip.

 

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18 minutes ago, Coryton said:

I don't suppose there's an easy solution.

Leaving the bridge open and putting rail passengers on buses would sort out the river problem and everyone would still get where they need to be, but would inconvenience a lot of people.

It would also make traffic in Lowestoft & Oulton Broad flow a hell of a lot better and could save the Government millions on a 3rd Harbour crossing!

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2 hours ago, dnks34 said:

It would also make traffic in Lowestoft & Oulton Broad flow a hell of a lot better and could save the Government millions on a 3rd Harbour crossing!

Oi, hands off our third crossing, we've waited generations for that! David Cameron, when he was PM, promised us a third crossing and we all know that we can trust an MP's promises, especially in the run up to an election. Personally I favour a tunnel under Oulton Broad.

 

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The fastest solution for me would to be to remove about 30 metres of track crossing Bridge Road but apparently “some” people use the Railway “sometimes” and wouldn't be very happy about it!  :default_gbxhmm:

I have dreamt of a bypass but never a tunnel, could you elaborate! 

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12 hours ago, dnks34 said:

It would also make traffic in Lowestoft & Oulton Broad flow a hell of a lot better and could save the Government millions on a 3rd Harbour crossing!

and reduce exhaust emissions at the crossings.

i seem to recall hearing they were closing the line for a short period to do level crossing work and repairs to the bridges.

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3 hours ago, Bytheriver said:

There is some hope that reliability of the bridges could improve when some of the equipment from the 1940s is replaced during the closure at the start of February 2020 (additional information from Greater Anglia Management)

https://www.edp24.co.uk/motoring/norfolk-and-suffolk-railway-lines-closing-for-upgrade-february-2020-1-6218265

Although I don't think that will help in hot weather.

It looks as if they are updating the equipment used to prove that the bridge has shut properly and is safe for trains to proceed (going by the usual use of the word "detection" in a railway context)

2 hours ago, grendel said:

and reduce exhaust emissions at the crossings.

Which could also be done by people turning off their engines while waiting...

2 hours ago, grendel said:

i seem to recall hearing they were closing the line for a short period to do level crossing work and repairs to the bridges.

Yes - as referred to in Bytheriver's post.

The main purpose of the closure though is to commission the new signalling system which will replace the current Victorian-era one.

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This will supposedly reduce delay times at the Level crossings which given the 40 odd train crossings each day is still going to remain excessive. 

I also agree about the swing bridges, its not going to make any difference to hot weather failures.

Still, its going to be lovely while the railway is out of action in Feb for anyone who usually wastes a lot of their time every day sat waiting at one of the 40 odd level crossing closures. 

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29 minutes ago, dnks34 said:

Still, its going to be lovely while the railway is out of action in Feb for anyone who usually wastes a lot of their time every day sat waiting at one of the 40 odd level crossing closures. 

But not so much fun for those who rely on trains and will have over a month of bus travel instead.

 

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36 minutes ago, Coryton said:

But not so much fun for those who rely on trains and will have over a month of bus travel instead.

No offence but I sincerely hope the Feb closure costs the railway some customers considering 2/3 buses run to Norwich hourly anyway and at £9.60 for your cheapest off peak return on the train the bus is considerably cheaper and probably only takes 10 - 18 minutes longer on most Journeys.  

I also suspect that when the railway is closed traffic on the roads will flow so well the Busses will be able to get in to Lowestoft Bus Station more efficiently than they usually might. 

This may sound harsh but when sitting in the traffic every day you begin to consider why 1000s upon 1000s of road users are being inconvenienced every day, 40 odd times a day for a smaller number of people using the train when the impact might well be outweighing the benefits!  

If the Railway were prepared to undertake some serious infrastructure investment, replacing/improving swing bridges to the point their reliability is flawless, reducing delays on level crossings to the absolute minimum by slowing arriving trains sooner keeping barriers down for the absolute minimum of time they would have my full support.  

 

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1 minute ago, dnks34 said:

No offence but I sincerely hope the Feb closure costs the railway some customers considering 2/3 buses run to Norwich hourly anyway and at £9.60 for your cheapest off peak return on the train the bus is considerably cheaper and probably only takes 10 - 18 minutes longer on most Journeys.  

However, many people will use a train when it's convenient but would never think of getting on a bus even they don't mind a longer journey, so in your world where the railway is closed down for the greater good you may not be waiting at level crossings but there's going to be more cars on the roads. 

Also, some people use local trains as part of a longer journey where having to change from a train to a bus is not very convenient and likely to be more expensive than travelling by train throughout.

I'm not sure what you're hoping for. That the closure costs so many customers that the line is forced to close? Otherwise what you'll end up with is more taxpayers' money going to the railway, or possibly ticket prices increasing which won't make you spend any less time at the level crossings.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Coryton said:

I'm not sure what you're hoping for. That the closure costs so many customers that the line is forced to close?

In a word......Yes!

But, lets hope the February improvements do provide a noticeable benefit for non railway users. 

When the Swing Bridges can no longer be kept going I predict they will just cease to open as the solution. The navigation will be permanently restricted unless there is big opposition to keep opening bridges in place.  The railway always comes first.  Fair?

 

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4 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

The Railways Act is quite clear on this matter:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/26-27/92

Seems that the railways company can be fined £20.00 for holding a vessel up beyond a specified period. Strikes me that folk should start demanding said twenty quids.

Perhaps they should.

But I don't imagine it would change the decision to leave the bridges closed across the river on hot days - I think it would take a lot of £20's to match how much Network Rail would have to pay in compensation to Greater Anglia for the line being closed.

12 minutes ago, dnks34 said:

When the Swing Bridges can no longer be kept going I predict they will just cease to open as the solution. The navigation will be permanently restricted unless there is big opposition to keep opening bridges in place.  The railway always comes first.  Fair?

Well I very much hope that doesn't happen.

But as for fair....you are suggesting closing the line because it would benefit more people than it would inconvenience. Now I don't have any numbers for this, but my guess would be that if we applied the same "greater good" argument to the swing bridges they would stay firmly shut across the river. Number of rail passengers per day vs occupants of boats requiring the bridge to swing? Quite a lot larger, I would have thought.

I am also not convinced that Lowestoft would be a more prosperous place if the tourists who currently arrive by train either turned up in a car and had to find somewhere to park, or just didn't bother coming. It is well established that when you close a railway line passengers don't just all shift to buses, no matter how good the service.

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It isn't as simple as train users vs river users.  Hypothetically (at this stage) what about the numerous Broads business’s that would inevitably suffer due to height restricted navigation at Somerleyton & Reedham.  These are Livelihoods which provide important marine services and employment to local communities.  

Thankfully the Railways act reads that this could not happen but then could it be challenged on the grounds of cost for replacements?

In my opinion the Railway is obviously an important and useful transport link but its local impact needs to be carefully studied and changes made so road river and rail can exist with minimal inconvenience to one another. 

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2 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

The Railways Act is quite clear on this matter:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/26-27/92

Fascinating.

This one doesn't seem to have been repealed:

"For the greater convenience and security of the public, the company shall erect and permanently maintain a lodge at the point where the railway crosses on the level the turnpike road or public carriage road; and the company shall be subject to and shall abide by all such regulations with regard to the crossing thereof on the level, or with regard to the speed at which trains may pass the level crossing, as may from time to time be made by the Board of Trade.

If the company fails to erect, or to maintain, such lodge, or to appoint or keep a proper person to watch or superintend the level crossing, or to observe or abide by any such regulation as aforesaid, they shall for every such offence be liable to a penalty not exceeding [F2£50], and also to a penalty of ten pounds for every day during which the offence continues after the penalty of [F2£50] is incurred."

 

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Aw .... somebody corrected the spelling

I was enjoying the memories of the Morecambe and Wise Show:-

All the right letters, but not necessarily in the right order.

I'll give you that, Sunshine

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If I seem to remember we have this same conversation every year about the bridges not opening in hot weather and network rail not installing the summer rails again.. And nothing ever gets done apart from people’s holidays being mucked up again..

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Just to add to this topic, we were out on the Southern Broads last week and twice the signal man never opened the bridge for us, we temporarily tied up to the pontoon and sounded 3 long blasts, after about 5 mins he puts on the display board “due to extra trains the bridge will open at approximately 11.20”, we arrived at 10.00, we watched 3 trains go through during that time and when the countdown was down to zero the display screen went blank, we waited and waited and still waited with no further instruction, in the end we had to wait for the tide to get lower before we could pass.  This happened twice in a matter of 2 days, all I can say is the guy in the signal box was being totally unreasonable and lazy!

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On the way back up to Brundall yesterday I radioed through to him at and He told me a 15 to 20min wait until the next train so we tied up on the floating pontoon until the bridge opened...  abit of a boat que did form...At least the bridge was operational.. 

05585424-3124-4A9B-B93A-674A5D7D55CC.jpeg

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