Container traffic via rail
Philip Crossland is, of course, correct in questioning why more container traffic is not sent via rail via the underutilised overhead rail track, which circles the city right into the docks.
For many years, and on many occasions, in this column I have championed the ex-leader of the council, Pat Doyles’s, idea to utilise the overhead rail line, which has no road crossings whatsoever circling the city from the main line at approximately Dairycoates to the docks.
This line is dramatically underused and should have had investment many years ago, like Newcastle (almost 40 years ago) and other cities have had to produce metro passenger and freight lines without any disruption to the road network whatsoever.
There could and should be regular small tram type trains stopping at small tram stops at every major road bridge like other cities.
Freight and passenger movements could be programmed to use off peak times for freight and a transfer main line station could be built at Daiycoates.
A small supertram link into the city centre would then transfer people who want to come into the city centre removing level crossings and even expensive-to-maintain flyovers and bridges, freeing up vast tracts of land to help pay for the project.
It would also dramatically reduce pedestrian need to catch buses and taxis etc in the city centre to go straight out.
It would do this by linking with buses at the small arterial road stations instead of clogging up the town. The other obvious thing it would do would be to create a direct line to and from the ferries.
The city will never be able to construct an underground like many other cities as geological conditions would make that cost prohibitive. Whether we have electric driverless cars or whatever people will always use the roads whether we like it or not unless we give them efficient and effective transport services.
It is pointless continuously trying to fill shopping spaces with other shops and vying to get people into the city centre so we may as well try to make transport easier.
Being the poor relation, ignored or forgotten out on a wing Northern Powerhouse relation (who actually does input the power) it will never happen. Nothing will happen until we actually almost permanently achieve the almost total gridlock we see on a more regular basis every time there is a road incident almost anywhere in the city. Frank Mcconaghy.