Work starts on Portishead Level Crossing proposal

Work has started on a proposal to install a Level Crossing on the reopened Portishead Railway Line. It follows a consultation with regards to the location of Portishead Railway Station which was fiercely criticised after ruling out a Level Crossing over Harbour Road.

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  1. Is the ORR objection to a level crossing one of principle or one based on likely traffic congestion?

    The Ebbw Vale branch, reopened in 2008, has one level crossing. In the case of Portishead, train speeds are unlikely to exceed 20 mph at this location so safety concerns should be minimal. Surely the station needs to be as close to the town centre as possible.

    1. An issue was that the level crossing was not considered in the initial stage because of the perception that the ORR would not approve any Level Crossings.

      ORR policy on Level Crossings can be found here. The important part of this is quoted below

      other than in exceptional circumstances, no new level crossings on any railway therefore creating no new risks

      I don’t believe that they consider traffic congestion as part of this process but focus on the reasons for installation and the potential risks that may go with introducing the level crossing. The policy is new so there appears to be no cases where the ORR has defined what exceptional is. However, in summary, the ORR has advised that anyone looking at proposing a new level crossing should present evidence to an ‘expert panel’ at the ORR.

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