Mike Lewis of the Green Man Backpackers in Chepstow Town Centre has this week also pledged £1,000 taking the total to £20,500 required to submit the revised Planning Applications to the Monmouthshire County Council and Forest of Dean County Council for the Wander Wye Route from the Severn Bridge to Tintern along the disused railway line.' The newsletter continued to report that both Sustrans (actually Railway Paths) and Network Rail were 'on board' with the project, and that Justin Bryce – who operates the adjoining National Diving and Activity Centre in the former Dayhouse Quarry – has given an undertaking (not legally enforceable) to work with A-B and allow public access for walking and cycling.
Regular readers of these pages will recognise 'Great Elm to Frome' as describing the missing section of Colliers Way (NCN24), which is needed to link Frome properly (by railway path) to Radstock, Midsomer Norton, Wellow, Midford and Bath.
Fencing has also been added along much of the path, which is near Coalash Lane.
Adjoining the old railway at its east end, the modern community park includes a smooth 3½ kilometre cycle circuit, which British Cycling (the UK's national governing body for cycling) has described as among the best outdoor tarmac road cycle circuits in the UK. The consultation, which was already being publicised at the start of this month, will collect public opinion about the proposed line and train service, as currently planned; it will not deal with the location of the stations and service levels, which have already been agreed. Opened in 1928 as a through route from Spain to France (and much used during World War 2 by Jews and Allied soldiers to escape into Spain), the line closed in 1970 when a train derailed on the French side.
We reported in February this year that the River Avon Trail runs parallel to the railway from Ashton Gate to opposite Sea Mills, thus providing future opportunities for 'ride and stride', i.e. In the years since closure, the weather and vandals have diminished the mighty station, but now the Aragon government wants to refurbish it as a hotel, build another one next door, and re-launch rail travel through the Pyrenees.
Members of the local group are now continuing negotiating with landowners, in preparation for the submitting of planning applications.' It will be good to see this route materialise after all these years; this was the trail which, just a couple of years ago, prompted Tessa Munt (then MP for Wells) to raise questions in the House of Commons about Somerset County Council's lack of progress in delivering it. Currently, we do not know when this is likely to happen.
(Jeff Vinter)Above: The view towards Rugby along the former LNWR Rugby to Leamington Spa line from near Draycote Water. There are proposals at the Rugby end of this former LNWR cross-country branch line for a large-scale development on land adjoining the old railway.One of the many abandoned engine houses on the east side of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, with the trackbed of the Liskeard & Caradon Railway clearly visible in the foreground. Local community group Frome's Missing Links continues to work tirelessly to fill the gap, and recently announced completion of another discrete section of its intended route.This part of the moor a treasure trove for railway ramblers and industrial archaeologists: the engine houses run into double figures, and a high proportion of the trails all have their origin as railways or tramways. Its 6th November newsletter reported: 'Volunteers have now completed a project to reinforce a 130 metre section of footpath, which will be part of the future Missing Link route, creating a surface of compacted scalpings which will be suitable for cycling.It was such a shock and a shame.' Mrs Fry said she thought the lady might have chosen to walk in the road as it is a flatter surface than the pavement.The traumatised driver of the car was interviewed by police who said 'an investigation into the circumstances of the collision is under way.'Sgt Craig Tatton said: 'This is a fairly quiet residential area and we have made a number of house-to-house enquiries to find out what exactly happened.'However, if anyone who has not spoken with officers yet has witnessed the collision, please contact us as soon as possible.'Contact the force with information on 101 quoting reference 6/127, email [email protected] call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.As can be seen from the width of the formation, this used to be a double track railway; it is not normally this clear, but Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire had cut back the vegetation to create a habit suitable for butterflies. Sustrans' Network Development Manager believes that Section 106 funding will become available from this, thereby creating a realistic possibility that, finally, a path might be constructed along the old trackbed within the next 5-10 years.