Please consider the attitude of the supporters of the proposal to reinstate the Stratford-upon-Avon to Honeybourne railway (the Honeybourne Link) and how they so easily dismiss any objections:

  • The clock can be turned back over 40 years
  • There will be no downside to building the railway for Stratford-upon-Avon or the Greenway
  • People can continue enjoying Summerton Way and the Greenway with trains running close alongside them
  • Roads, footpaths, cycle routes and traffic flow into Stratford and Long Marston will not be afflicted
  • It’s acceptable to lose green space and constrict wildlife
  • There will be no other environmental concerns
  • There’ll be no detrimental effect on those living along the route from noise, vibration or dust
  • The profits of B&B’s and other businesses won’t decline
  • The railway will take thousands of cars off the road
  • There will be no traffic delays or disruption after the railway is constructed
  • The reopened railway will, at a stroke, generate increased tourism and create employment
  • Property prices won’t fall
  • Homeowners would actually benefit from a railway running at the bottom of their gardens
  • The majority of people want it
  • It’s a financially sound investment
  • The railway doesn’t conflict with the Stratford Neighbourhood Development Plan
  • In their minds, there are no grounds for concern about reinstating the railway and no drawbacks

SGG believes these assertions are a myth

Dreams of reopening this railway are just “pie in the sky”

WE DON’T NEED IT AND AT THE LIKELY HIGH COST WE CAN’T AFFORD IT

DUAL USE ALONG THE PROPOSED ROUTE FOR PEOPLE AND TRAINS IS UNWORKABLE

Too close for comfort on a day out with your family?

  • Does anyone believe that people and trains can happily co-exist in the same confined area along Summerton Way and the Greenway? A railway would squeeze out walkers, cyclists, horse riders, dog walkers, families, locals and tourists.
  • Even with a cursory reduced space allocated solely for leisure activities or folk going about their daily business along Summerton Way and the Greenway, would it be safe or pleasurable to use?
  • Try to imagine people and a single-track railway (or double in some sections of the Greenway) both using the same finite space, with a necessary safety barrier further restricting the room for people.
  • The five miles of Greenway is a precious community asset, held in trust by Warwickshire County Council for locals and visitors from around the globe. Reopening a railway will ruin it and future generations would not thank us for being so short-sighted.
  • We would like to think that there are more pragmatic and immediate investments that Warwickshire County Council, Stratford District Council and Stratford Town Council could make with our money, such as resolving Stratford’s road transport issues.

WEAK BUSINESS CASE

The original railway line closed in 1976 because it was under-used and unprofitable. We believe that the proposed Stratford-upon-Avon to Honeybourne link, which is essentially a branch line, will also struggle to make a profit and may require years​ ​if​ not ​decades​ of subsidies for the following reasons:

  • A high and overly optimistic growth rate was used to claim feasibility and a sound business case.
  • Passenger journeys predictions for the rail link extension from Stratford to Honeybourne are overly optimistic.
  • The 2012 Ove Arup GRIP 3 Report (funded by supporters of the rail line) gave an estimated project cost of £97m for their optimum solution.
  • This is years out of date and costs will undoubtedly have risen due to inflation and other factors in the interim.
  • Forecasting forward for inflation over the proposal, planning and construction periods, and unforeseen infrastructure problems that dog projects such as this, we think the real eventual cost would be at least £200m.
  • This does not include settling any compensation claims for damages from householders and businesses or a loss of commercial income during construction and afterwards.

E&OE

CONCLUSION

As the proposed railway does not make sense from financial or community benefits viewpoints, only the dreams of its supporters and the commercial motives of those who would profit from constructing the line remain. Let us not succumb to either.

Read further details of the spurious claims of the rail supporters and how we refute them on the High Cost, Break the GRIP, Misleading Statistics and Ten Issues pages.