On Track: Dave Wood's column on railways
I HAVE been reading about the possibility of 1,000 new houses being built between Yanley Lane and Wild Country Lane Long Ashton. The site involved borders the main railway line between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.
So it would provide an ideal opportunity to incorporate a new station with the estate.
This could serve the new houses and neighbouring Long Ashton.
I remember about four or five years ago civil engineering work was carried out in the railway cutting from Wild Country Lane where the main road crosses the railway over a bridge.
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This work consisted of building concrete retaining walls because the cutting had been weakened over the years with the constant battering from wind and rain.
The retaining wall was built alongside the cutting to near where the cutting finished.
To bring materials to the site adjacent to the track land was used just off Wildcountry Lane on the other side of the line. A yard was built and crossing constructed of wooden railway sleepers to get material to the engineering work site.
With this in mind I believe it would be possible to build a road off Wildcountry Lane to serve a station and a park and ride site.
I believe consideration should also be given to reopening Flax Bourton station that closed around 1970.
The old station road is still in place which leads to the former goods yard that is still intact. There is land available for car parking and room for a park and ride site where the old oil terminal siding used to be.
There would also be space for pedestrian access to the proposed station.
It seems obvious to me that we need to think about these things if a large housing development of 1,000 homes is to be built. It will need public transport links and we need to put them into place.We need to take advantage of the fact that the railway line is right next to this planned estate and ensure it is linked to the Bristol Metro.
Otherwise the roads in and around Long Ashton will struggle to cope with the extra traffic.
This housing development represents a golden opportunity to integrate the planning of homes with public transport and we need to take advantage of it.
David Wood is a member of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union of Bristol. This column is written in a personal capacity.