Author Topic: Station Road overbridge  (Read 646 times)

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Offline Pugwash

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Station Road overbridge
« on: December 28, 2019, 22:26:28 PM »
Here's an example of what should be happening on Station Road to replace the existing Victorian overbridge.  It would probably take even less time as it is a steel structure not masonry.  We can but hope.

Link missing, will try to replace.


« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 22:28:31 PM by Pugwash »

Offline baldy

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 11:22:50 AM »
Network Rail are responsible for maintaining the bridge. Wiltshire Council is happy with the weight limit on the bridge because it keeps down the overall traffic flowing along Station Road, especially larger lorries.

There are some folk who dispute the strength of the bridge but senior Wiltshire Council officers who are actually qualified in civil engineering or traffic engineering say that the surveys and their conclusions are correct.
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Offline Pugwash

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2019, 21:22:58 PM »
This is the video clip missing from original post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AyXDPWfI1w

Russell, I don't know if you have walked over the bridge recently, but whoever is responsible for the maintenance is not doing a very good job IMHO.  Admittedly, my qualifications are in electronic engineering, but the corrosion apparent on the steel structure tells its own story, even the makers plate is rusted in half.
And as we are talking about bridges, I see that the housing development at the Station Pond is well under way, but no sign yet of the bridge over the railway at the western end being started.
I suspect that it never will be.

Offline baldy

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2019, 01:30:58 AM »
The funding for part of the cost needs to come from the next nearby development. It's not that much money and so it is a question of "when" not "if".  The so-called "Wiltshire Core Strategy" or local plan system of planning policies is currently under review following the first round of public consultations that occurred earlier this year.

I'm not quite sure yet where any further and future new sites for development will be allocated in Westbury, but I am sure that the senior spatial planners on the case who are developing the plans for the next round of public consultations do know and understand the need and priority to ensure that some of the allocated land is expected to include a requirement to pay for the missing amount for the bridge over the avoiding line from Mane Way towards Station Road.

I would guess that this process could easily take 10 years .... so I'm not holding my breath .... but I am quite confident that what plans and actions can be taken to make progress are at least being done rather than being forgotten .... 
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Offline Pugwash

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2019, 11:49:20 AM »
I am not sure I follow that, Russell.
I (possibly mis-) understood that this latest development provided the top-up funding to that already "in the bank" from the Persimmon(?) development to enable the bridge to proceed, and that the planning permission was granted on the basis of the new route from Mane Way to the new  roundabout by the Railway Inn providing relief for the existing route through Oldfield Park.
Further, the original plans showed that the proposed new bridge provided the diversion route for the public footpath which is has already been stopped up.
Do you mean that the alternative foopath route will not be provided for up to ten years?

Offline baldy

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2019, 12:08:54 PM »
OK. The development underway on land west of the sailing lake etc and north of Oldfield Road did provide £2m via a S.106 Agreement provided by the original developer. This was the best I could press for at the time and it meant that no social homes were provided and little or no contribution was made towards education etc. after the developer insisted on claiming that the viability of the site was working with thin margins and after a thorough open-book analysis was undertaken by consultants working with the planning case officer to establish what planning gain (blackmail by the council really) could be asked for by the council without risking a planning appeal that might cause all planning gain to be lost.

When WC highways officers checked on the cost of proceeding to build the bridge, it turned out that they were still about £500-750K short, so a relatively small amount still needs to be obtained.  Some of that figure relates to buying land off Railtrack and/or Persimmon at both ends of the proposed bridge due to a legal cock-up which WC has powers to overcome though WC will still end up paying some money to sort this. Other costs are simply because civil engineering contract work has shot up in cost over the last decade.

If I had to make an educated guess about which bit of farm land is the most likely to be allocated for development nearby in the forthcoming new/revised issue of the Wiltshire Core Strategy (old name) or Local Plan (long-standing generic name for local planning policies), I would say it's most likely to be the piece of land to the right of Penleigh Road (the farm track) when walking from Mane Way towards Penleigh House. That large field on the right (or to the north) runs up to the railway line that runs towards Warminster.  I would say that this is the nearby land (to the proposed bridge) that I most expect to be allocated in the revised local plan and which I then expect to be developed with a planning requirement to pay a sum towards completing the bridge. The site can get water-logged so the developer will argue about his costs of drainage etc but I am pretty sure there will be enough money to extract for the bridge even if it means there will be less than normal social homes etc built ...

I would expect it all to take about 6 - 10 years to get the bridge built, allowing 3 years just to sort the bridge after getting all the money lined up.

As for the new footpath / cycle lane from the Cinder track running beside Sidings Yard Lane to the Station car park, that should be built any time soon as per the conditions in the planning permission and per a promise by a director of the development firm to me.  In the meantime, my appeal to the Planning Inspectorate claiming a new right of way along the closed section of the Cinder track is still rolling on and I am about 75% confident of winning that eventually. The reason I am confident is because during the toing and froing of legal argument before the papers all went off to an inspector, it was clear that the WC case officer was changing her argument every time she realised my case thoroughly proved her wrong and because I have piles of evidence in old maps located at the archives in Chippenham that show that the path existed and was used BEFORE the railways existed. Cllr Morland undertook all the research and wrote the lengthy and detailed legal arguments. All I really did was take the photos of the old maps over two long days ...
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 18:26:48 PM by baldy »
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Offline Pete

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 17:25:45 PM »
All I really did was take the photos of the old maps over two long days ...

Should have saved yourself some time and used https://www.old-maps.co.uk.

Offline baldy

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2019, 18:16:48 PM »
Don't tell Francis as he spent about 2 months virtually living at the archive centre all day nearly every day poring over old maps and carefully writing all the details he needed down ...

When I went there to take the photos, I noticed that all the staff and some of the "regulars" who attend to go through the archives, were on first name terms with Francis and some of the obviously professional archivists (one or two I actually recognised as experts myself having met them previously to obtain advice about local heritage - eg. The Laverton Hall) went out of their way to tell me how impressed they were with Francis' dedication and attention to detail

I'm not sure that the oldest of the OS maps and the non-OS maps drafted by various railway companies who planned all sorts of railway routes in the area (almost all of which did not get built) would be on this online system though.

Incidentally, I was stunned by one old map which planned a railway line going from the existing Westbury station east towards Edington and which veered south to enter a tunnel at the foot of the escarpment by Edington. That tunnel ran up quite an incline and then emerged about 2 miles further south east with the track going through Imber and then I forget where after that. Obviously that plan did not get built but I was gobsmacked to see it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 18:31:08 PM by baldy »
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Offline Pugwash

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Re: Station Road overbridge
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2020, 10:18:34 AM »
Happy New Year to all our readers!

Another good source of old maps is the National Library of Scotland site.

e.g Westbury station and  ironworks  pre-1914

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=17&lat=51.2668&lon=-2.2018&layers=168&b=1