Dolgarrog station cut off

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topydre

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Just came across this article in the daily post

A village has been “permanently” cut off from its train station after a decision to close a bridge over Afon Conwy.

Network Rail recently spent around £1m on Dolgarrog railway station - with hopes improved facilities would help boost passenger numbers.

There were hopes the access road to the village would also be improved to encourage more people to use rail services - particularly with the Hilton Garden Inn hotel opening at Adventure Parc Snowdonia.

But Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water has now announced it plans to close the bridge that links the station and the village.

Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders has called for a public consultation before any final decision is made.

She said: “This bridge provides the only access route to Dolgarrog Railway Station from the beautiful village of Dolgarrog.

“Plainly, there is just no other alternative route for local residents. This objectionable decision by Welsh Water has effectively cut off an entire community from their railway station, which has just been subject to extensive repairs by Network Rail.”

Rhydian Owen said: “I use both the station and the path regularly in non-Covid times and the station has had £1million spent on it.

“The natural thing would be to formally link the station with Adventure Parc Snowdonia and the soon to open Hilton Garden Inn hotel by means of an active travel route (multi use cycle/pedestrian route).

“It would allow both locals and tourists to actually use the station for leisure and commute travel.

“As the Welsh Government naturally want to encourage more active and greener travel it makes sense that they intervene here to get all agencies working together to make the investment on the new station worth the money.

“Without the bridge open how can it be called Dolgarrog station as you would have to pass both Tal y Cafn or Llanrwst stations by car to get to it from Dolgarrog. Without the tourist footfall using the surf site, the usage will be very low as Maenan’s population is tiny.”

Imogen Brown, head of Water Distribution at Welsh Water, said: “We have an extensive network that helps us provide high quality and reliable water supply to customers.

"We routinely inspect our network to ensure it operates safely, and recent inspections of the pipe bridge in Dolgarrog identified safety issues linked to the ageing bridge.

"This is why we have taken the necessary decision to close the bridge. We are carrying out further inspections of the underside of the bridge over the coming weeks.

“We appreciate the inconvenience that this may cause to local community and we would like to assure people that it isn’t a decision we have taken lightly.


"This bridge has never been a designated footpath or public right of way. It has always been in Welsh Water’s ownership and we only agreed with Conwy Council to allow it to be used as a walkway until such time as it would be needed to be terminated.

“The dangerous condition of the bridge means that we must close it as the safety of local users is our priority. We understand that this will disappoint local residents and walkers which is why we are willing to engage in discussions with relevant parties.”

Let's sit back and watch Dŵr Cymru and Conwy Council blame each other...
 
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Bletchleyite

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Regardless of the station it's a VERY long walk/bike ride round, so I would say the Council needs to step in here to provide a replacement footbridge and make it a right of way. With footbridges being much cheaper than road bridges it isn't reasonable to just remove it.
 

Llandudno

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And how much did it cost to completely rebuild Dolgarrog station?

Not only is the new platform too short for certain types of 2 car trains, now it no longer serves the village of the same name with its fabulous tourist attraction and new Hilton hotel.

You couldn’t make this stuff up!
 

Tomos y Tanc

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Regardless of the station it's a VERY long walk/bike ride round, so I would say the Council needs to step in here to provide a replacement footbridge and make it a right of way. With footbridges being much cheaper than road bridges it isn't reasonable to just remove it.
Agreed. It's very easy to blame the water company but if the bridge really is dangerous they could face insurance liabilities and court action by keeping it open.

It isn't Dŵr Cymru's reponsibility to provide active travel links, it's Conwy Council's and there are Welsh Government funding streams they could apply for.
 

Baxenden Bank

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I was going to ask the question 'is this the rail bridge which served the siding to the aluminium works?'. The article has Welsh Water stating that it has always been their bridge. The comments below the line in the quoted article suggest otherwise, basically that the original water company bridge caught fire and they relocated their water pipe onto the railway bridge.

It will be interesting to see if there was a transfer of the bridge to Welsh Water and whether they placed the necessary 'not intending to dedicate as a highway' notices.

From the Daily Post, as per #1 conwy-village-cut-train-station-19851589

12 hrs ago Utopian

The fact of the matter is, that there are about six wooden planks, that need replacing, having been reported to Welsh Water a year ago. Resulting in them loosely placing token barricades , to deter usage, which were readily bypassed. The structure predates Welsh Water, as it belonged to Dolgarrog Aluminium works , as a working rail line. The water pipes crossed the river on a separate bridge running alongside . Obviously, the existing pipes need safe access to be “regularly inspected”, why on earth should pedestrian traffic be denied ?
Having recently spent over £50 million upgrading their facilities , to meet EU directives , replacing a few planks is hardly asking much !
5 hrs ago Aluminium co employee

I don't know how Welsh Water can claim "It has always been in Welsh Water’s ownership". The bridge has its origins way back as part a spur railway line to the Aluminium Corporation well before Welsh Water ever used it for their pipework. In my time back in the 60's the railway spur has long since been out of use, but I remember one winters day actually driving over it to get to work from Conwy as we could not get up Gyffyn Hill in the snow. One of my ex-colleges remembers removing the rails off the bridge, which were repurposed at the Works for another project.

2 hrs ago Wales75

My family and i have lived in dogarrog all our lifes born n raised. There has been a bridge crossing over the river conwy since the beginning of the ACL factory. Trains would transport materials from the station to the factory and from the ACL to the railway sidings at dolgarrog station, until the ACL had there own haulage fleet transporting goods from the factory and the railway crossing declined , the ACL have always owned the bridge, my father Used to driver his vehicle across that bridge to help a friend on his chicken farm on weekends in maenan. During late 70s early 80s there was a fire at the bridge thats when the a small water pipe was redirected over the existing bridge, people and fishing men and vehicles have had access over that bridge for years and years, long before welsh water put there small pipe there, and even then it was still owned by ACL factory, so i dont get how welsh water said today in this article that "This bridge has never been a designated footpath or public right of way. It has always been in Welsh Water’s ownership and we only agreed with Conwy Council to allow it to be used as a walkway until such time as it would be needed to be terminated.
 

Kite159

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No doubt Welsh Water are playing hardball in the hope of getting money from the government to repair the bridge rather than digging into their own pockets.

Although I can't see there being much demand for users of the Hilton from the railway, they will most likely arrive by car (or even taxi from Llandudno Junction)
 
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