Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bristol channel meanderings.

Severn link http://www.severnlink.com/ are proposing a fast ferry from Swansea in Wales, to Ilfracombe in Devon. This will considerably shorten the journey between Wales and Devon, which currently requires a long trip via Bristol. Ilfracombe is currently the terminus for the boat to Lundy island, and Swansea was formerly the terminus of Swansea-Cork ferries, so the infrastructure is there to support a ferry service. The Swansea-Ilfracombe route was formerly run by the steamers of P&A Campbell's White Funnel fleet, which included the motor vessel Balmoral. The Balmoral itself is currently laid up in Bristol, awaiting funding to return her to service.  http://www.heritagesteamers.co.uk/balmoral/
Bristol is also home to a couple of railway campaigning groups. The Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways http://fosbr.org.uk/ are supporters of a frequent suburban train service and the reopening of suburban stations. One such station, Portishead, has its own revival group, the Portishead railway group. http://www.portisheadrailwaygroup.org/  Portishead makes a good case for reopening. Much of the line has already been reopened as a freight route to Portbury docks. Only a small extension would need to be built to the town, and crucially the trackbed has not been built on. A railway line would alleviate local road congestion and improve access to the town, as well as benefitting the environment.

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