Plans to reopen Waterside railway set to be shelved

Daily Echo: Railway tracks Railway tracks

COUNTY transport bosses are set to formally shelve a multi-million pound plan to reopen a railway line that closed almost 50 years ago.

This comes after a report concluded that the scheme is unlikely to secure the necessary funding – mainly because of the “low demand” for a new rail service.

Passenger services stopped after 1966 as a result of savage rail cut backs across the country which followed recommendations made by Dr Richard Beeching.

Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, is set to follow the report’s recommendation at a council meeting on Tuesday (January 21) not to release county council funding for the project.

In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said suggested the line should be reopened to ease congestion on the A326 and other roads between Southampton and the Waterside.

Costing £17m, the proposal includes new stations at Hythe and Hounsdown.

But a Hampshire County Council report cites the “relatively low level of demand” for a new passenger service on the Waterside which would not justify subsidy or private investment. It would also impact heavily on the Hythe ferry and local buses.

Cllr David Harrison, who represents Totton and Marchwood, who has campaigned to open the line conceded the plan had stalled.

But he said: “I think it is inevitable that at some stage in the future, the Waterside railway line will reopen for passenger traffic.

“At the present time I don’t think it’s likely to happen because decisions are being made purely on financial grounds without taking into account the massive social and environmental benefits.

“The recent traffic snarl up in Southampton city which have led to crisis talks tell me a little bit about the need to invest in other forms of transport other than cars. “

Comments (20)

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7:07am Fri 17 Jan 14

Lockssmart says...

A train spur off of Swanwick station to Whiteley is more needed. Infrastructure Mr Woodward. Try logical thinking, instead of greed.
A train spur off of Swanwick station to Whiteley is more needed. Infrastructure Mr Woodward. Try logical thinking, instead of greed. Lockssmart
  • Score: -10

7:24am Fri 17 Jan 14

bullet93 says...

would be handy whatever form of transport you take takes around 45mins on ferry and an hour on the bus a train service would be much better and easier for people trying to find work in southampton
would be handy whatever form of transport you take takes around 45mins on ferry and an hour on the bus a train service would be much better and easier for people trying to find work in southampton bullet93
  • Score: 21

8:32am Fri 17 Jan 14

Zexagon says...

Would impact on hythe ferry and local buses? Do they worry bout tesco express and all the others impacting on local businesses ? They've got any excuse to suit their own needs
Would impact on hythe ferry and local buses? Do they worry bout tesco express and all the others impacting on local businesses ? They've got any excuse to suit their own needs Zexagon
  • Score: 18

8:55am Fri 17 Jan 14

Zeo says...

Lockssmart wrote:
A train spur off of Swanwick station to Whiteley is more needed. Infrastructure Mr Woodward. Try logical thinking, instead of greed.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is being extended that way if they can secure funding.
[quote][p][bold]Lockssmart[/bold] wrote: A train spur off of Swanwick station to Whiteley is more needed. Infrastructure Mr Woodward. Try logical thinking, instead of greed.[/p][/quote]The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is being extended that way if they can secure funding. Zeo
  • Score: 3

9:37am Fri 17 Jan 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Low demand? What is that little gem of knowledge based on, have they actually asked anyone? Is there any evidence of a feasibility study? Perhaps it is time that they look at what is happening in Scotland and elsewhere, lines are reopening, perhaps they need to check out the success of Chandlers Ford Station, that was another that was continuously deferred because there was "low demand". The head in the sand attitude is purely down to the dated "every one has the right to have a motor car" attitude. Have the recent problems in Southampton gone completely over these idiots heads? It isn't that the infrastructure isn't in place, the money spent on creating the service would be an investment not a loss maker. The sensible provision of Car Parks alone would help defer the costs. Please think again.
Low demand? What is that little gem of knowledge based on, have they actually asked anyone? Is there any evidence of a feasibility study? Perhaps it is time that they look at what is happening in Scotland and elsewhere, lines are reopening, perhaps they need to check out the success of Chandlers Ford Station, that was another that was continuously deferred because there was "low demand". The head in the sand attitude is purely down to the dated "every one has the right to have a motor car" attitude. Have the recent problems in Southampton gone completely over these idiots heads? It isn't that the infrastructure isn't in place, the money spent on creating the service would be an investment not a loss maker. The sensible provision of Car Parks alone would help defer the costs. Please think again. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 24

9:40am Fri 17 Jan 14

Totton Ric says...

What a surprise, all of HCC sat in there office in Winchester making decisions, come on, open your eyes, the road’s on waterside packed each morning/evening, I sure this wouldn’t effect the Hythe ferry or regular bus customers but would give the chance to take traffic of the roads, this would have been fantastic if approved and would of made sense to do “Park & Ride” from Hythe and Hounsdown.
What a surprise, all of HCC sat in there office in Winchester making decisions, come on, open your eyes, the road’s on waterside packed each morning/evening, I sure this wouldn’t effect the Hythe ferry or regular bus customers but would give the chance to take traffic of the roads, this would have been fantastic if approved and would of made sense to do “Park & Ride” from Hythe and Hounsdown. Totton Ric
  • Score: 23

9:57am Fri 17 Jan 14

saint_rednwhite says...

Absolutely no effort seems to have been taken to find out truly what locals want. Pathetic! Only David Harrison is doing anything to try and get this up and running... good for him! The voice for thousands around the Waterside area!
Absolutely no effort seems to have been taken to find out truly what locals want. Pathetic! Only David Harrison is doing anything to try and get this up and running... good for him! The voice for thousands around the Waterside area! saint_rednwhite
  • Score: 18

10:02am Fri 17 Jan 14

solents says...

Ah yes the local bus services and the ubiquitous Hythe Ferry debate - what they don't tell you is how much these services are being subsidised by the councils in the first place - there is quite a detailed report available showing how much we tax payers are subsidising these services.
Ospreysaint has got it right when they stated "Head in the sand attitude"
Wake up Cllr Woodward - take another look and listen to those who really understand these things.
Ah yes the local bus services and the ubiquitous Hythe Ferry debate - what they don't tell you is how much these services are being subsidised by the councils in the first place - there is quite a detailed report available showing how much we tax payers are subsidising these services. Ospreysaint has got it right when they stated "Head in the sand attitude" Wake up Cllr Woodward - take another look and listen to those who really understand these things. solents
  • Score: 16

10:17am Fri 17 Jan 14

Beer Monster says...

bullet93 wrote:
would be handy whatever form of transport you take takes around 45mins on ferry and an hour on the bus a train service would be much better and easier for people trying to find work in southampton
Precisely, I've used public transport all my life and have used the ferry and trains to commute to work in Salisbury, Chichester and London. Sometimes work demands were such that the ferry and even the buses were not adequate for the journey - and I know I'm not the only one.

Osprey is absolutely correct as well - I used Chandlers Ford station myself when I did a contract at B&Q, and a good couple of dozen commuters would alight at the same time.
[quote][p][bold]bullet93[/bold] wrote: would be handy whatever form of transport you take takes around 45mins on ferry and an hour on the bus a train service would be much better and easier for people trying to find work in southampton[/p][/quote]Precisely, I've used public transport all my life and have used the ferry and trains to commute to work in Salisbury, Chichester and London. Sometimes work demands were such that the ferry and even the buses were not adequate for the journey - and I know I'm not the only one. Osprey is absolutely correct as well - I used Chandlers Ford station myself when I did a contract at B&Q, and a good couple of dozen commuters would alight at the same time. Beer Monster
  • Score: 8

11:36am Fri 17 Jan 14

Young Greybeard says...

This is total nonsense from Council "low demand" Rubbish! They never asked anyone that lives along the waterside. That is a fact as that is where I live.
The amount of traffic the rail link could potentially take off the A326 is huge and the knock on effect that would give to the rush hour traffic into and out of Southampton would be a blessed relief to others.
Come on Cllr Woodward listen to the electorate for a change.
It's what you are there for.
This is total nonsense from Council "low demand" Rubbish! They never asked anyone that lives along the waterside. That is a fact as that is where I live. The amount of traffic the rail link could potentially take off the A326 is huge and the knock on effect that would give to the rush hour traffic into and out of Southampton would be a blessed relief to others. Come on Cllr Woodward listen to the electorate for a change. It's what you are there for. Young Greybeard
  • Score: 16

12:46pm Fri 17 Jan 14

espanuel says...

Just to let everybody know that waterside railway is not SHUT it is still used by Exxon Mobil a few times a week. I think the reporter should get his facts right and it has never been CLOSED. It wouldn't take much to run this line and to do up the station. HCC head in the sand.
Just to let everybody know that waterside railway is not SHUT it is still used by Exxon Mobil a few times a week. I think the reporter should get his facts right and it has never been CLOSED. It wouldn't take much to run this line and to do up the station. HCC head in the sand. espanuel
  • Score: 7

1:38pm Fri 17 Jan 14

tharg64 says...

solents wrote:
Ah yes the local bus services and the ubiquitous Hythe Ferry debate - what they don't tell you is how much these services are being subsidised by the councils in the first place - there is quite a detailed report available showing how much we tax payers are subsidising these services.
Ospreysaint has got it right when they stated "Head in the sand attitude"
Wake up Cllr Woodward - take another look and listen to those who really understand these things.
I was brought up in Hythe & visit regularly.

I'm constantly amazed at the fact the Ferry to Soton is still running given the low numbers that seem to use it these days & likewise the number of buses that seem to have only one or two people on them. Must be the subsidies...?

Maybe someone, somewhere, has a lot of financial / political self-interest to be able to ensure that any plans to reintroduce passenger traffic on the Waterside railway are dismissed....or maybe not.

...Maybe I'm just being cynical?
[quote][p][bold]solents[/bold] wrote: Ah yes the local bus services and the ubiquitous Hythe Ferry debate - what they don't tell you is how much these services are being subsidised by the councils in the first place - there is quite a detailed report available showing how much we tax payers are subsidising these services. Ospreysaint has got it right when they stated "Head in the sand attitude" Wake up Cllr Woodward - take another look and listen to those who really understand these things.[/p][/quote]I was brought up in Hythe & visit regularly. I'm constantly amazed at the fact the Ferry to Soton is still running given the low numbers that seem to use it these days & likewise the number of buses that seem to have only one or two people on them. Must be the subsidies...? Maybe someone, somewhere, has a lot of financial / political self-interest to be able to ensure that any plans to reintroduce passenger traffic on the Waterside railway are dismissed....or maybe not. ...Maybe I'm just being cynical? tharg64
  • Score: 7

2:10pm Fri 17 Jan 14

LadySam says...

I was born and bred in Hythe and lived there until 1998. Caught the ferry and/or bus to work in Southampton every day from 1987 to when I moved away. In those days a monthly bus pass was £35 and a ferry ticket for the week cheap as chips. Now the bus takes forever because the routes changed and costs an arm and a leg. The ferry is miserable on wet days and similarly overpriced. Maybe a bit of competition from the railway would be a positive thing. Well worth re-introducing. I would certainly use it to visit my family on the Waterside.
I was born and bred in Hythe and lived there until 1998. Caught the ferry and/or bus to work in Southampton every day from 1987 to when I moved away. In those days a monthly bus pass was £35 and a ferry ticket for the week cheap as chips. Now the bus takes forever because the routes changed and costs an arm and a leg. The ferry is miserable on wet days and similarly overpriced. Maybe a bit of competition from the railway would be a positive thing. Well worth re-introducing. I would certainly use it to visit my family on the Waterside. LadySam
  • Score: 8

2:17pm Fri 17 Jan 14

LadySam says...

espanuel wrote:
Just to let everybody know that waterside railway is not SHUT it is still used by Exxon Mobil a few times a week. I think the reporter should get his facts right and it has never been CLOSED. It wouldn't take much to run this line and to do up the station. HCC head in the sand.
Totally agree. Someone in the council has an interest in this being swept away.............I bet they never even asked the residents of the Waterside. The railway needs nothing more than an electrical upgrade or run a diesel train. The old station at Hythe is still there too.
[quote][p][bold]espanuel[/bold] wrote: Just to let everybody know that waterside railway is not SHUT it is still used by Exxon Mobil a few times a week. I think the reporter should get his facts right and it has never been CLOSED. It wouldn't take much to run this line and to do up the station. HCC head in the sand.[/p][/quote]Totally agree. Someone in the council has an interest in this being swept away.............I bet they never even asked the residents of the Waterside. The railway needs nothing more than an electrical upgrade or run a diesel train. The old station at Hythe is still there too. LadySam
  • Score: 8

3:11pm Fri 17 Jan 14

espanuel says...

LadySam wrote:
espanuel wrote: Just to let everybody know that waterside railway is not SHUT it is still used by Exxon Mobil a few times a week. I think the reporter should get his facts right and it has never been CLOSED. It wouldn't take much to run this line and to do up the station. HCC head in the sand.
Totally agree. Someone in the council has an interest in this being swept away.............I bet they never even asked the residents of the Waterside. The railway needs nothing more than an electrical upgrade or run a diesel train. The old station at Hythe is still there too.
I know that the old railway station could tell a few stories and the bus staion where Hants & Dorset they use to park up a night. Left Hythe in 2005.
[quote][p][bold]LadySam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]espanuel[/bold] wrote: Just to let everybody know that waterside railway is not SHUT it is still used by Exxon Mobil a few times a week. I think the reporter should get his facts right and it has never been CLOSED. It wouldn't take much to run this line and to do up the station. HCC head in the sand.[/p][/quote]Totally agree. Someone in the council has an interest in this being swept away.............I bet they never even asked the residents of the Waterside. The railway needs nothing more than an electrical upgrade or run a diesel train. The old station at Hythe is still there too.[/p][/quote]I know that the old railway station could tell a few stories and the bus staion where Hants & Dorset they use to park up a night. Left Hythe in 2005. espanuel
  • Score: 1

7:05pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Positively4thStreet says...

There is something very suspicious about all of this.The fact that the reinstatement of this line would be a resounding success,is obvious to any rational thinking person,without the need for any enquiry or feasibility study.The potential" Low demand" statement is just laughable and so what if it impacts on the buses and ferry,healthy competition can only be good for passengers and the local community... Oh,but hang on,that's not what it's all about though is it!
There is something very suspicious about all of this.The fact that the reinstatement of this line would be a resounding success,is obvious to any rational thinking person,without the need for any enquiry or feasibility study.The potential" Low demand" statement is just laughable and so what if it impacts on the buses and ferry,healthy competition can only be good for passengers and the local community... Oh,but hang on,that's not what it's all about though is it! Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 3

8:37pm Fri 17 Jan 14

jim110 says...

Young Greybeard wrote:
This is total nonsense from Council "low demand" Rubbish! They never asked anyone that lives along the waterside. That is a fact as that is where I live.
The amount of traffic the rail link could potentially take off the A326 is huge and the knock on effect that would give to the rush hour traffic into and out of Southampton would be a blessed relief to others.
Come on Cllr Woodward listen to the electorate for a change.
It's what you are there for.
The report can be freely viewed on the Hants council website under the council meetings section.

As the conclusions of the report states, most of the users of the rail link would be the existing bus or ferry users meaning those services would just suffer as the passenger numbers would drop. This would be followed by inevitable cuts/reductions which in turn would be followed by outcry on this website!!
[quote][p][bold]Young Greybeard[/bold] wrote: This is total nonsense from Council "low demand" Rubbish! They never asked anyone that lives along the waterside. That is a fact as that is where I live. The amount of traffic the rail link could potentially take off the A326 is huge and the knock on effect that would give to the rush hour traffic into and out of Southampton would be a blessed relief to others. Come on Cllr Woodward listen to the electorate for a change. It's what you are there for.[/p][/quote]The report can be freely viewed on the Hants council website under the council meetings section. As the conclusions of the report states, most of the users of the rail link would be the existing bus or ferry users meaning those services would just suffer as the passenger numbers would drop. This would be followed by inevitable cuts/reductions which in turn would be followed by outcry on this website!! jim110
  • Score: 0

9:58pm Fri 17 Jan 14

forest hump says...

Supposing there were sufficient funds (lots of £££) available to embark on this project, each new or remodelled station would require significant areas to park vehicles. As for our local councils' greed mentality, they would charge the earth to park and add that to the rail fare, it would be more cost effective to drive. The Highways Agency/ HCC need to get off of their butts and make the A-326 a dual carriageway from the M-27. It must be one of the county's busiest roads with a snail's pace every morning. There is plenty of space to cost effectively achieve this. Cue all the greenies who will rant on about saving the dung beetles!
Supposing there were sufficient funds (lots of £££) available to embark on this project, each new or remodelled station would require significant areas to park vehicles. As for our local councils' greed mentality, they would charge the earth to park and add that to the rail fare, it would be more cost effective to drive. The Highways Agency/ HCC need to get off of their butts and make the A-326 a dual carriageway from the M-27. It must be one of the county's busiest roads with a snail's pace every morning. There is plenty of space to cost effectively achieve this. Cue all the greenies who will rant on about saving the dung beetles! forest hump
  • Score: 1

12:30am Sat 18 Jan 14

craige says...

The GRIP3 study uses industry standard modelling to determine expected usage, and the report specifies that this is likely to be low if this line is reopened for passenger usage.

Not only that but within the waterside area, where in excess of 30,000 people live, and where broadband usage is higher than the national average, and coupled with the fact that more than 57% of the UK population use Facebook at least once per month (and 30% of population at least once a week), Councillor Harrison has only attracted 2400 Facebook 'likes' on his campaign page in the (about) 3 months it has been live. Note that some of the comments are from organisations and enthusiast accounts, so it's probable that the 'likes' from real humans is much less than this.

Statistics conclude that there has been ample time for Harrison to reach out to enough Watersiders to make their point. Clearly demand seems weak.
The GRIP3 study uses industry standard modelling to determine expected usage, and the report specifies that this is likely to be low if this line is reopened for passenger usage. Not only that but within the waterside area, where in excess of 30,000 people live, and where broadband usage is higher than the national average, and coupled with the fact that more than 57% of the UK population use Facebook at least once per month (and 30% of population at least once a week), Councillor Harrison has only attracted 2400 Facebook 'likes' on his campaign page in the (about) 3 months it has been live. Note that some of the comments are from organisations and enthusiast accounts, so it's probable that the 'likes' from real humans is much less than this. Statistics conclude that there has been ample time for Harrison to reach out to enough Watersiders to make their point. Clearly demand seems weak. craige
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Sat 18 Jan 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

jim110 wrote:
Young Greybeard wrote:
This is total nonsense from Council "low demand" Rubbish! They never asked anyone that lives along the waterside. That is a fact as that is where I live.
The amount of traffic the rail link could potentially take off the A326 is huge and the knock on effect that would give to the rush hour traffic into and out of Southampton would be a blessed relief to others.
Come on Cllr Woodward listen to the electorate for a change.
It's what you are there for.
The report can be freely viewed on the Hants council website under the council meetings section.

As the conclusions of the report states, most of the users of the rail link would be the existing bus or ferry users meaning those services would just suffer as the passenger numbers would drop. This would be followed by inevitable cuts/reductions which in turn would be followed by outcry on this website!!
Quote: - most of the users of the rail link would be the existing bus or ferry users meaning those services would just suffer as the passenger numbers would drop
Correction they would be replaced by a more efficient and quicker mode of transport. Bus routes should be co-ordinated as feeders to the railway, the ferry would be simply made redundant and a lot of subsidy could be diverted elsewhere, car parks would increase the usage, as it would save time and money in traffic jams.
[quote][p][bold]jim110[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Young Greybeard[/bold] wrote: This is total nonsense from Council "low demand" Rubbish! They never asked anyone that lives along the waterside. That is a fact as that is where I live. The amount of traffic the rail link could potentially take off the A326 is huge and the knock on effect that would give to the rush hour traffic into and out of Southampton would be a blessed relief to others. Come on Cllr Woodward listen to the electorate for a change. It's what you are there for.[/p][/quote]The report can be freely viewed on the Hants council website under the council meetings section. As the conclusions of the report states, most of the users of the rail link would be the existing bus or ferry users meaning those services would just suffer as the passenger numbers would drop. This would be followed by inevitable cuts/reductions which in turn would be followed by outcry on this website!![/p][/quote]Quote: - most of the users of the rail link would be the existing bus or ferry users meaning those services would just suffer as the passenger numbers would drop Correction they would be replaced by a more efficient and quicker mode of transport. Bus routes should be co-ordinated as feeders to the railway, the ferry would be simply made redundant and a lot of subsidy could be diverted elsewhere, car parks would increase the usage, as it would save time and money in traffic jams. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

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