Since 1998, Railway Paths Ltd (RPL) has been working with other charities and local authorities to reintroduce paths from the old railway land it owns. It is now consulting on the future after declaring that its original mission to create paths is complete. RPL has launched an online survey titled “We’ve completed our original mission, should we continue?”
Some of the questions in the survey include options to return the RPL portfolio to the Department for Transport (DfT). Railway Ramblers have regularly covered items in the magazine and website where decisions by Highways England (HE), an Executive Agency of DfT responsible for the Historical Railways Estate (HRE) have virtually assured that former lines can never be re-opened or re-used.
An excellent article from Matt Skidmore in the next edition of Railway Ramblings will identify a number of examples where HRE has adversely impacted projects to bring back lines into public use and examines the way HRE operate with their underlying philosophy of rendering infrastructure unsafe or exhibiting theoretical risk. Matt’s piece concludes by highlighting a likely outcome of the DfT acquiring the assets and the impact for future re-use and re-purposing of disused lines and infrastructure – and what part should Railway Ramblers play in this!
Alternative options in the survey include Railway Paths Ltd continued responsibility for the assets in the portfolio. With appropriate funding, RPL objectives are aligned to RR aims – and indeed aligned to the vision set out by the Government and the current Transport Minister promoting a green transport policy by encouraging cycling and walking in the UK.
RPL’s existing objectives are set out here http://www.railwaypaths.org.uk/about-railway-paths/
A link to the survey is contained below for you to express your view…
Link to Railway Paths survey