Redundant Weymouth rail tracks to be removed

Redundant Weymouth rail tracks to be removed

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:38am 2nd March 2020.

The rail tracks around Weymouth Harbour are finally going to be removed.

Dorset Council and Network Rail have won £1.1m in special government funding to take away the rail tracks from the old Weymouth Harbour Branch Line.

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced that Dorset Council was successful in its joint bid with Network Rail for funding to dismantle and remove the rails and to reinstate the carriageway.

The local authority says this will remove an ongoing hazard to cyclists and other vulnerable road users, reducing the number of incidents resulting in personal injuries.

rail tracks custom house quay weymouth 2

'History'

The Weymouth Harbour Branch Line is a redundant railway line along Commercial Road and Custom House Quay which access the town centre, the harbour and peninsula area.

Network Rail is responsible for the old rail infrastructure, with Dorset Council responsible for maintaining the surrounding road.

These rail lines are fully decommissioned and cannot be repurposed for other uses due to their deteriorated condition.

'Funding the project'

The award from the DfT equates to £1.137million from central government funds, with an additional £200,000 contributed by Dorset Council and Network Rail respectively. The total project scheme is estimated to cost £1.537million.

From tomorrow (2 March) until the 20th March, a Highways team will be removing 25m-50m of track in the Pavilion Car Park next to the old station platform on the harbourside, to learn how best to complete any future removal.

rail track next to pavilion car park in Weymouth

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

"The removal of the old tracks will help keep our roads safe for both cyclists and pedestrians, which we also hope will result in a reduction in vehicle emissions as more people take to walking and cycling in the area.

"The scheme should also reduce associated road maintenance costs and improve access to key development sites within the Weymouth regeneration area."

Weymouth Harbour BEST

Cllr Tony Ferrari, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Assets, added:

"I’m looking forward to seeing the results of our investigation work next month so we can pull together an action plan and timetable.

"This scheme is one of several projects we’re working on that we hope will demonstrate a commitment from Dorset Council to help unlock Weymouth’s potential in the coming years."