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The following want sent via snail mail to the Health & Safety Executive dated 17th March 2016:

This written correspondence is in response to your email to me (Document 1) of 3rd March regarding a health and safety issue I raised relating to the operation of a pedestrian level crossing in Oswestry.

 

I had sent an email to your department via your website online contact form expressing my concerns, but the nature of your site places emphasis on a building as a cause for concern. As such, I want to take this opportunity to better illustrate the danger I to intended express:

 

There is a much used pedestrian level crossing at Coney Green in Oswestry that links a residential estate and large children’s play area (Wilfred Owen Green) with access to the town centre. The track is a long disused line, but there is an intention to restore it by a local heritage charity that offers occasional excursions at weekends. With increased use of the crossing by trains (Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited (Redacted)) the quality of the surface for walkers is worsening.

 

It must be made clear that Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited leases the line from Shropshire Council under the terms of a long lease, but it is the charity that has responsibility for the maintenance of the crossing. With increased use of the line for rail traffic, the quality of the crossing has significantly dropped for walkers causing increased problems for the elderly and people with mobility problems in particular.

 

I have attached here two press cuttings to illustrate the problem. The first (Document 2)appeared last year and concerns an elderly man using a mobility scooter trying to negotiate the crossing. The second from January this year (Document 3) gives details of an elderly women who actually fell on the crossing. Within these articles you can read the statements by Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited citing that the standard of the crossing meets the requirements by the regulator.

 

I approached Ian Prosser, John Gillespie and Paul Wilkinson of Office of Rail & Road via email last year and more recently (Document 4) attaching the press cutting on 10th February to raise these concerns but have received no reply to date.

 

I have read with interest a report titled “Level crossings Summary of findings and key human factors issues” prepared by Davis Associates Limited for the Health and Safety Executive in 2005 which does go into great detail regarding the operation of all sorts of crossings and who has responsibility for their maintenance.

 

SUMMARY OF MY CONCERN:

 

John Gillespie and Ian Prosser (The Office of Rail & Road (Redacted)) were informed last year and this year about the deteriorating quality of the Coney Green pedestrian level crossing for the elderly and those with disabilities. They have been sent press cuttings illustrating the problem. These gentlemen represent the rail regulatory authority in this country with the emphasis on implementing safety policy, yet they have failed to acknowledge that there is a problem here and to acknowledge my correspondence.

 

Is the Health & Safety Executive able to help in this case?

 

I would gratefully appreciate an email reply of acknowledgement even if you are unable to help.

And a reply from the Health & Safety Executive received via email today:

"I am emailing on behalf of HSE’s (Redacted), to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 17th March 2016, which was received today, 18th March 2016. The matters raised in your letter are being considered and a reply will be sent to you soon."

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In the summer of 2005 the Cambrian Railway Society restored the signal box in Oswestry using grants supplied by Oswestry Borough Council and Advantage West Midlands for a  total of £22,000, £2,458.10 alone of which was spent on re-slating the roof.

In February the following year the box was vandalised causing £700 of damage. The suspected cause was children throwing stones at the glass windows. As the box is a listed building replacement glass had to be used to restore it, but a CCTV system and a lighting system was considered to discourage further vandalism.

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And a response from the Health & Safety Executive:

 

"Re: Pedestrian Level Crossing Safety Issues

 

I refer to your letter dated 17th March 2016 to (redacted) who is a member of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board. (Redacted) has asked me to reply on her behalf as I am the Manager of HSE’s Concerns and Advice Team and it was my team who dealt with your original enquiry.

 

You wrote in to HSE on 2nd March 2016 about the possible illegitimate use by an independent rail operator of a pedestrian level crossing in Oswestry. We responded to you the next day saying that this was not a matter within HSE’s remit and directed you to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) who have enforcement responsibility for this area of health and safety. We provided you with a link to their website.

 

In your letter to (redacted) you state that you informed ORR of your concerns but have had no response from them to date. I am afraid that this is not something that HSE can pursue for you with ORR and I would suggest that you follow up directly with the ORR their lack of any acknowledgement to you regarding your letter.

 

For additional information I have attached the following links from the ORR website which explains health and safety and level crossings in more detail:

 

http://orr.gov.uk/what-and-how-we-regulate/health-and-safety/guidance-and-research/infrastructure-safety/level-crossings"

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I have been deeply unimpressed by the answers I'm getting from my Freedom of Information requests to the Office of Rail and Road as they have missed yet another deadline. On top of this executives of the department appear to be ignoring my concerns regarding Health and Safety issues. It has been necessary for me to prompt them yet again:

By law you should have answered my FOIR promptly. You have not done this. Your reply of the 17th March 2016 does not answer my question.

Let me be clear once more: The Department for Transport has told me it does not have a copy of a document that gives Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited permission to run a passenger service in Oswestry. Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited have admitted to me that, other than the Oswestry Light Railway Order 1995, the Light Maintenance Depot Exemption of 2004 and the Licence Exemption of 2005, they posses NO other documents regarding their railway operations.

The ORR have stated that the Licence Exemption of 2005 and the Oswestry Light Railway Order of 1995 give permission for Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited to operate a passenger service in Oswestry, however the Oswestry Light Railway Order of 1995 explicitly states that no passengers shall be conveyed along the line without the written permission of the Secretary of State. As all parties (DfT, CHRL and ORR) have no other written documents apart from the 3 mentioned here, how is Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited able to operate a passenger service in Oswestry lawfully?

This is a matter of LAW. Therefore you are politely asked to answer the question; when was the ORR first made aware that Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited was operating a passenger service in Oswestry and, if the Secretary of State didn't sanction the service, who did and when? I urge you to be prompt, precise, open and accurate in you answer.

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Earlier this year there was a press report about an elderly lady that stumbled and fell on the Coney Green pedestrian level crossing in town. I've seen a copy of the Accident Report drafted by CHRL that states that as no representation was made directly to the charity no action will be taken.

After some research I found the lady and asked her exactly what had happened; the front wheel of a 3 wheeled walking frame got caught in the gaps between rails on the crossing and she lost balance and fell. She had approached the Mayor, but no action resulted.

I instructed them to contact the Office of Rail & Road, which they did. The department responded in early April stating that Ian Bertram would look into the matter. That was the last that has been heard.

Having spoken to the elderly lady I was told that other pedestrians had suffered similar problems, and that the press report did highlight this fact. As a result I distributed a series of flyers to properties around the area encouraging people who had suffered similar problems to contact the ORR.

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Yesterday I contacted the Office of Rail & Road to ask about the progress Ian Bertram had made on the health and safety issue connected to the Coney Green pedestrian level crossing in Oswestry. I received a response almost instantly from a department head saying that he would look into the situation.

Meanwhile, Shropshire Council have completed the Greenway, a traffic/cycle route consisting of a tarmac path separated from the railway with a wire fence, from Coney Green to Sycamore Avenue. There is also access from Plas Ffynnon Green. Originally the plan was to have an another access from Middleton Road, but the cost a building a ramp proved to be too expensive.

The Greenway was planned before this thread started way back in December 2011 and is nothing to do with what I've been campaigning for, except in the sense that it utilises land owned by the rate payer that anybody can use for free.

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On the 8th April 2016 a further written representation by Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited was received in support of the Transfer order (transferring powers from Network Railway to the charity to run trains along the Oswestry branch line) via the Department for Transport. The representation was 35 pages long and also included further supportive documents.

The letter from the Department of Transport that accompanied the representation invited objectors to respond no later than Thursday 28th April. An extension was requested but the Department refused.

On the 26th April 2016 a response was sent to the Department for Transport via Special Delivery clarifying the objections to the transfer Order. The representation consisted of over 50 pages and included more supportive documents.

Following a prompt, the Department for Transport acknowledged receiving the documents and stated that no further representations would be exchanged and that all correspondence would go before the Secretary of State who would make a final decision.

What follows is the final representation to the Department for Transport detailing why objectors feel that Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited is an unsuitable organisation to receive the powers conferred by the transfer Order...

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The following inserts are a series of edited extracts from a final objection to the Department for Transport in respect of an application of a transfer of powers and responsibilities from Network Rail to Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited for the Oswestry branch railway line.

To make things clearer (in these confused times that we live in), I'm adopting a text colour key code:

Green text is CHRL's summary of the objector's concerns

Blue text is CHRL's final response to the objector's concerns

Red text is the objector's final response to the reply from CHRL

...now, read on:

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This correspondence deals with the further written representation of Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited as forwarded by Angela Foster on behalf of the Department for Transport dated 7th April 2016.  We apologise in advance if this document contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and some skewed referencing to documents in previous representations both by the Applicant and from ourselves. We did approach the Department for Transport to get an extension to the deadline in order to refine and make clear the points we have highlighted, but we were refused.

 

The Applicant appears confused by the points we have raised in our previous exchanges, so we have attempted in this document to make our concerns as clear as possible.

 

In our original objection of the 16th April 2015 and in our addendum of 20th August 2015 we asked to be kept informed of all future developments or decisions made in connection with this project. The Department for Transport failed to keep us informed of the change in the position of Highways England in August 2015 or the Office of Rail & Road in December 2015. We had to approach Robert Fox of the department in 2016 to formally request copies of said documents.

 

Despite the information submitted in CHRL’s further written representation of April 2016 for the transfer Order, we note that a number of areas of concern we raise in our original objection and addendums and written representation have still not been addressed.

 

Within the text some supportive documents are referenced to the Applicant’s representation whilst others refer to (redacted) representations or addendums. New supportive documents enclosed with this representation are listed as letters of the alphabet as detailed immediately below.

 

List of supportive documents appended here

Document A         An email from Angela Foster of the Department for Transport (10 September 2015)

Document B          Shropshire Council’s completed Local Sustainable Transport Fund Application Form

Document C          A series of emails between executive members of CHRL (November-December 2013)

Document D         Shropshire County Council Exempt Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 December 2005

 

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CHRL failed to acknowledge (redacted) addendums to its objection, however, CHRL do reference a quote from Paul Wilkinson of the ORR from the addendum of 20August 2015 in an effort to suggest that the department is satisfied that the charity is running a passenger service in Oswestry without the consent of the Secretary of State.

CHRL summarised the objection of (redacted) in paragraph 2.1 of its written representations and then went on to respond to those points in paragraph 3 of its written representations. That summary, and CHRL’s response to the objection, took into account the original objection and (redacted) further commentary.

CHRL notes that Document 31 of (redacted) written representation (a copy of an email dated 12October 2015) from Paul Wilkinson of the ORR re-iterated that the ORR is satisfied that “In summary, the Cambrian Railways Trust do run trains on the 300m section of track south of Coney Green crossing with passengers. We are satisfied that an Inspector acting with delegated powers from the Secretary of State for Transport has agreed with the railway that it is safe to carry passengers. We are unable to find the original consent but an inspector with delegated powers has visited recently and is content with the safety of the operation”.

The Applicant has failed to make reference to the second addendum dated 15 October 2015 featuring extracts from a letter dated 6 August 2015 by director and trustee of CHRL that states “I should explain in advance that I do not intend to respond to all the points made in your objection, but only those of relevance to the current application. In particular, whilst noting your commentary about CHRL, I do not accept that your comments are reasonable or that the content of your letter is factually accurate. In particular, CHRL refutes any suggestion that there has been collusion between CHRL, Shropshire Council and others for improper purposes or that any of the bodies involved in this application have put political and financial considerations ahead of potential risk to life and damage to the environment”.

 

I asked the DfT about the terms of reference regarding the transfer Order and was told “...I can confirm that all information is considered before proceeding to determination of any application” in an email from Angela Foster dated 10 September 2015 (Document A).

 

The second addendum of 15 October 2015 made a number of points regarding the Applicant’s relationship with the Cross Border of Tourism Group:

 

Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited was formed in 2009 along with the Cross Border of Tourism Group, both based at the Old Railway Station, Oswald Road, Oswestry, both with the same Board of Directors. When I asked Shropshire Council via a Freedom of Information Request, to clarify the involvement of the Cross Border of Tourism Group they provided the following information:

 

“Oswestry Borough Council set up a Service Level Agreement with the Cross Border Tourism Development Group for 2009 – 2011. Shropshire Council inherited this Service Level Agreement when the unitary council was formed in 2009. The Service Level Agreement, now with Shropshire Council, was revised mid-term to focus the work of the group and its project officer on supporting the Cambrian Heritage Railway project. A representative of the Sector Support Team attended board meetings of Cross Border Tourism Border Group at which reports were presented. Meetings to progress the Cambrian Railway project were held with the relevant Shropshire Council representatives. The Service Level Agreement, funding and formal involvement from Shropshire Council ended in 2011.”

 

Nigel Davies was appointed by Oswestry Borough Council to oversee the creation of the Cross Border of Tourism Group and bring the Society and the Trust together to form Cambrian Heritage Railways Limited. Shropshire Council inherited the services of Mr. Davies when the Borough was abolished.

 

The Applicant has made no comment on its relationship with the Cross Border of Tourism Group, its connection to Oswestry Borough Council and Shropshire Council.

 

Regarding the communication from Paul Wilkinson of the Customer Correspondence Team, ORR dated 12 October 2015 (Document 31 of the Applicant’s April 2016 submission); this document in no way proves that CHRL has the necessary permission. As stipulated in the 1995 Oswestry Light Railway Order - the only official document - written permission from the Secretary of State would be required BEFORE any passenger service is granted. The DfT have admitted that they have no copy of this document, the ORR have admitted that they do not have a copy of the original consent and CHRL admit that they don’t have a copy of the consent either.

 

To repeat and clarify, the Oswestry Light Railway Order of 1995 is the only OFFICIAL document that can possibly explain the services operating along a 300 metre stretch of line in Oswestry and it explicitly states that NO passengers will be conveyed along the line without the prior written permission of the Secretary of State. All the bodies involved have failed to produce said document, therefore the service is illegitimate...

 

...unless there was some kind of unwritten “Gentlemen’s Agreement” between CHRL and the ORR. In which case, not only is it highly suspect, but some form of document must exist to enable the service to be insured.

 

We restate for clarity, not only is the Applicant running a passenger service in Oswestry with the full knowledge of the ORR but without the official documentation required to do so, they are also allowing paying passengers to operate their engines.

In addition, when we asked Shropshire Council if they had checked that the services being operated by the Applicant prior to the signing of the lease in April 2014 were legal, the authority answered in the negative.

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CHRL is a staff and marketing company. Why would a marketing company seek a railway transfer Order?

See paragraphs 1.9 to 1.14 of CHRL’s written representation.

The Applicant has not answered the question; why would a marketing company seek a railway transfer Order?

 

Paul Wilkinson of the ORR states in his answer to a Freedom of Information Request  that CRS is authorised to operate trains over a 300 metre stretch of line in Oswestry (Document 10 submitted by the Applicant in their April written submission), yet in the Applicant’s written representation of March 2015 it states that the operational line stretches to 400 metres.

 

Is the ORR aware of the total length of track over which CRS operates?

 

The Applicant has made no reference to the Cross Border of Tourism Group and Nigel Davies’ role in bringing CRS and CRT together. We understand that Nigel was appointed by Oswestry Borough Council and continued working for the authority when it became Shropshire Council. His paid role was to bring CRS and CRT together, so the authority had a financial role in the formation of CHRL. The Cross Border of Tourism Group was made up of directors from CRS and CRT and was folded in 2011.

 

We would state at this point that Shropshire Council (formerly Shropshire County Council along with Oswestry Borough Council) and Oswestry Town Council have committed themselves long term both politically and financially to the railway restoration project as stated in Document 11, Shropshire County Council Cambrian Railway Branch Line Oswestry 18th May 2004, included in our written representation of 22February 2016.

What exactly was the role of the Cross Border of Tourism Group?

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Whether or not CHRL is actually a railway operator.

See paragraph 1.14 of the written representations. CHRL is currently seeking powers to become the statutory undertaker of the railways described in the Schedule to the transfer Order. This has been the aim of the charity since its inception in 2009.

We have reviewed paragraph 1.14 of the Applicant’s written representation and find no answer to our question. We are aware that CRS and CRT operate trains.

We must therefore clarify the question: Does CHRL run trains on the line leased to them by Shropshire Council?

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CHRL will only be operating services on a fraction of the line.

See paragraphs 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 of CHRL’s written representations. The proposed Order provides for the transfer to CHRL of the existing powers relating to the railway. It does not extend those powers or provide for any new works.

 

In common with many other heritage railway undertakers, it is envisaged that CHRL will deliver the revival of the branch line over time by working in partnership with a number of statutory bodies, businesses and other railway operators who support its aspirations to deliver a community and heritage railway for the benefit of the local community. Such restoration will be delivered in phases, as funding becomes available.

In particular, CHRL will work with the council and ORR in the usual way to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for each crossing along the branch line. Indeed, there is no reason to suggest CHRL would not do so

Paragraphs 3.3.2 and 3.3.3 of the Applicant’s written representation does not answer our point. To clarify, as it stands with the fractured nature of the line, CHRL will only be able to operate on small sections of the whole 8.5 miles of line for a number of reasons, not least safety and security. How does this justify the past, current and possible future public expenditure?

 

We would state at this point that Shropshire Council (formerly Shropshire County Council along with Oswestry Borough Council) and Oswestry Town Council have committed themselves long term both politically and financially to the railway restoration project as stated in Document 11, Shropshire County Council Cambrian Railway Branch Line Oswestry 18th May 2004, included in our written representation of 22February 2016.

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Shropshire Council does not own the 900m of railway where it enters Gobowen Station and therefore this section is not leased to CHRL.

The length of track leading into Gobowen station remained in the ownership of Network Rail at the time of the disposal of the railway corridor to the Council. CHRL has been in negotiations to buy this land from NR and that sale has been completed, along with another parcel of land nearby which CHRL intends to use for car parking. Prior to the acquisition of the relevant land, Network Rail permitted CHRL access under licence.

This is new information. Is the Applicant now saying that they have purchased the entire 900 metres of track bed from Gobowen Station to the boundary fence crossing the line (indicating the boundary between Network Rail and Shropshire Council land) from Network Rail?

 

A large metal fence gated at both ends has been erected around a section of unused track in Gobowen Station close to an estate of new social housing. This site was constructed by the Wrekin Housing Trust on behalf of Shropshire Council.

 

We would also point out that the Applicant undertook a joint presentation with Wrekin Housing Trust at a local Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council meeting prior to the construction of the new estate. They also shared a drop in session with the developer concerning plans for the new estate in Gobowen Library.

 

We would again state at this point that Shropshire Council (formerly Shropshire County Council along with Oswestry Borough Council) and Oswestry Town Council have committed themselves long term both politically and financially to the railway restoration project as stated in Document 11, Shropshire County Council Cambrian Railway Branch Line Oswestry 18th May 2004, included in our written representation of 22February 2016.

As the Applicant wouldn’t have the expertise or knowledge to construct such a fence we will assume that Network Rail erected it. As the railway and buffers within the fenced area are in extremely poor condition, we would ask exactly for what purpose Network Rail permitted the Applicant to enter onto their land?

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Matters are complicated by contradictory statements within the lease.

There are no such contradictory statements. The position is entirely clear.

In the usual way, LR4 on page 2 of the lease states in relation to Clause 1 – the Demise that “in the case of a conflict between this clause and the remainder of the lease then, for the purposes of registration, this clause shall prevail.” Clause 1 of the lease then defines the Demise by reference to the title numbers specified in clause 1 and shown on the accompanying plans.

The Applicant appears to be making reference here to item 1.3, paragraphs 3, 4 5 and 6 of our written representation of 16 February 2016.

 

The contradictory statements we refer to are in relation to the actual land being leased; whether it is from Llynclys Junction to Gobowen, or from Blodwel to Gobowen.

The Applicant needs to clarify which one it is so that objectors know exactly how much land we are talking about.

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Is it the intention of CHRL to operate the service in sections?

See item 3 above and paragraph 3.1.3 of the written representations.

The short answer is “yes”. That is what happens at the moment and CHRL envisages a staged expansion of its operations over a number of years. The transfer of statutory powers from Network Rail and the immediate opportunity that provides for improving its operation as a tourist attraction is a key paving stone towards its long term aims.

This is a misleading statement as CHRL don’t operate trains in two locations; CRS and CRT operate train services separately and independently of each other on unconnected sections of different lines, one on a 1km stretch of restored line in Llynclys and the other along a 300 metre stretch of line in Oswestry.

 

The actual stretch of line that the Oswestry service operates has now become somewhat fluid. The ORR appears to think it is 300 metres, but trains carrying passengers have been seen regularly heading North toward the level crossing access to the Emergency Ambulance Bay/Minor Injuries Unit/Cambrian Medical Centre without a buffer stop in place.

We can only guess that the Applicant is utilising a newly restored 100m stretch of track to extend its operations that is not covered by the ORR’s existing agreements.

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Because of the recent decision of the ORR (Document 2) we have no officially confirmed idea of the number of individual sections of operational railway.

(Redacted) Document 2 confirms that the ORR is content with the wording of the Order proposed by CHRL. There is no further requirement on either the ORR or CHRL to provide an “officially confirmed idea of the number of individual sections of operational railway”.

The Applicant is reminded that the line is leased to the charity by Shropshire Council, which we contribute to as rate payers, and the transfer Order refers to responsibilities currently held by Network Rail, that we contribute to as tax payers. We would point out that the contribution of match funding for the transfer Order is partly, if not wholly funded by tax payers. Finally, we would remind the Applicant that almost all other projects it has used to restore and maintain its assets have been funded from the public purse, be it local, central or European grants.

With these facts in mind we would urge the Applicant to be more open and transparent.

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CHRL seeks to sell or lease part of the line with the consent of the Secretary of State.

Article 3 of the proposed Order is a standard provision. Its inclusion in the Order does not mean that CHRL has any immediate plans to dispose of the railway undertaking.

Nevertheless, we have heard of plans to run a non-heritage service between Gobowen Station and the Orthopaedic Hospital.

 

Is the Applicant or Shropshire Council aware of the Atkins Report commissioned by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority into the role of heritage railways operating commuter services?

The results indicate that heritage railways would have to comply with Network Rail Rules and Regulations, thus making such a connection incompatible.

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CHRL is running a passenger service in Oswestry without the consent of the Secretary of State.

(Redacted) document 31 and paragraph 3.6 of CHRL’s written representations.

See our response at item 1 above.

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There are huge grey areas regarding all other unmentioned level crossings.

(Redacted) representations appear to be based on a misunderstanding of the legal position pertaining to the operation of level crossings, which do not need to be explicitly provided for the transfer Order.

 

There are no grey areas and nothing sinister about the non-inclusion of every single crossing in article 4 of the proposed transfer Order. There exists legislation and an established process by which the operation and safety of level crossings is governed. See paragraph 3.7.1 of CHRL’s written representations.

(Redacted) criticism is misconceived.

The Applicant appears to be under the impression that an objector to a railway restoration as ill-advised and poorly thought out as this one has to be an expert on the railway industry. We do not.

 

What we do have is knowledge of the area and its people. Knowledge that the ORR, despite its long association with the Applicant and its predecessors, doesn’t have.

Highways England made reference in their original objection to level crossings they were aware of that were not mentioned in the original draft transfer Order.

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Many sections of the track have been removed.

This statement is factually incorrect and misleading.

 

It is accepted that 25mm thin tarmac has been laid over the track where crossed by the A495 as part of an informal arrangement with the Council whereby it will be reinstated in due course. The rails remain in place.

 

Also, a short section of track was stolen from the line in the Porthywaen area some years ago.

Other than as referred to here, no sections of track have been removed other than as part of repair or renewal works.

We must assume then that the 25mm thin tarmac laid over the level crossing on the A495 will be removed should the line become operational. We must also make the assumption that the reason tarmac was laid over the line at this point was that it was causing disturbance for vehicles. It must be noted that the A495 is a very heavily used road, not least be haulage vehicles.

 

We note here an admission by the Applicant of poor security along the line regarding the theft of actual track in this rural area.

Other sections of track that have been removed including the entire link between Llynclys Junction and Llynclys itself, the land of which is in private hands, and a further section removed by the Highways Authority from underneath the Gasworks Bridge to allow scaffolding to support the structure over a decade ago, that is still in situ to this day. The removal of the track for propping a bridge is neither for repair or renewal works.

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The land was not purchased by the Council specifically ‘for transport purposes’.

As (redacted) documents make clear, it is clearly envisaged by all involved that the acquisition of the land by Shropshire Council would be followed by commencement of the process to bring forward the heritage railway within the former Network Rail railway corridor.

Nevertheless, the Applicant will concede that the document actually states that the Council did not purchase the land specifically for transport purposes? This is another fact that the Applicant refuses to acknowledge.

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