The Mall Rail Link
With the closure of the runway at Filton to aircraft, a new railway line could be built across the defunct runway to The Mall shopping complex. This line would join the existing freight line from Avonmouth to Bristol Parkway station at a point north of the east hanger. Heading westward, it would curve north, before straightening to align with the Marks and Spencer end of The Mall. The ground is flat from the junction with the Avonmouth branch to the Mall, so earthworks would be minimised.
The purpose behind this proposal is to build a tunnel beneath The Mall for the delivery of goods directly to the shopping centre. The line would enter tunnel to pass beneath Merlin Rd and the adjacent car park and terminating under The Mall itself. The terminus would be serviced by an underground system of conveyors to distribute goods around the shopping centre.
Being so close to the Filton rail junctions, goods trains from north, south, east or west directions could be accepted. The potential is for the removal of a vast number of lorries from the busy intersection of the M4/M5 motorways, greatly relieving traffic congestion, improving road safety, and providing for a more environmentally friendly solution of goods transport to The Mall.
This transport proposal is the most limited of several available. Clearly one could provide a triangle to link directly with the busy Avonmouth port (e.g. delivery of cars to the Mercedes/BMW/Audi showrooms), and also extend the loop to re-join the Severn Tunnel main line, but such proposals would incur greater cost. In addition, the potential for a passenger link to The Mall is an enticing prospect given the heavy traffic around this region.
Why the contribution is important
First, it has the potential to remove the concentration of heavy lorries from the roads local to The Mall. There are obvious benefits in terms of environment, road safety and congestion. Second, it has the potential to attract more trade to the area, allowing a freer flow of traffic on the roads and, if the option to include a passenger transport facility is included, allowing shoppers to visit directly by rail. Third, it is a relatively cheap solution: the new line would be no more than a mile long, would avoid the destruction of existing infrastructure, and is built on flat terrain.
Overall, therefore, the proposal can be expected to be extemely cost-effective.
by user156674 on December 03, 2013 at 09:42PM