RAILWAY LINE DISCUSSION…
RAILWAY LINE DISCUSSION
I was out delivering my Annual Report in Marchwood today and got chatting to a lady whose house is right next to the railway line.
She told me that she didn't support the campaign to restore a passenger service along the Waterside line and I asked her why.
She was most concerned about noise nuisance, saying that she sometimes got disturbed by track maintenance work and the freight trains that go to Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre. She said that when she bought the house 20 years ago, she was led to believe that the line would one day be redundant.
I explained that the line will almost certainly never be redundant as it serves the needs of Britain's one remaining military port. On top of that, it's very likely to get busier with freight traffic in future years because of commercial plans that Solent Gateway have for the land they have acquired, also Associated British Ports ambitions for Dibden Bay.
There is no prospect of the line being less used in the future. Compared to freight traffic, I anticipate that a passenger service of maybe two light carriages will hardly be noticed.
She seemed to accept my points but then expressed concern about cars parking in local roads, used by people accessing the Marchwood platform.
I explained that it is common for the immediate area around all train stations to have restricted parking, possibly by means of a residents permit scheme. It isn't the intention to encourage people to park and ride from Marchwood, which will have very few parking spaces. Most people that live in the village are able to walk or cycle to the platform within ten minutes of leaving home.
We had a very pleasant exchange. In truth, I don't think I changed her mind about not backing the campaign but she did acknowledge that you view these things differently, depending on where you live. For me, the prospect of stepping on a train and being in central Southampton just nine minutes later seems a very attractive one.
In reality, there will always be some people who oppose things that you judge are a good thing for the community. If I decided to always drop things because somebody objected, nothing would ever get achieved. This does not mean that I am not listening and that I won't try and address their concerns.
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