WHILE Emma Mason’s report (Citizen September 14) on the cost of leasing the Bramley Line accurately reflected the discussion at the Town Council meetings, the meeting did not clearly set out how the costs were arrived at.
The last time Bramley Line officers met with Network Rail (NR) they were quoted a figure of no more than £100 for the lease. However, they were also informed that NR would use solicitors who specialise in railway law and estimated the cost at £10k which would have to be met by the Bramley Line.
NR would also require the Bramley Line to apply for a Transport and Works Act (TW) Order. Last year I sourced a firm of specialist railway solicitors who would carry out this work at a reduced cost for the Bramley Line. This could be as little as £12k. They also said they would undertake the lease work for the Bramley Line as well.
The figure of £60k mentioned at the council meeting is based on there being serious objections which could lead to a public inquiry. This, according to the specialist solicitor, is only likely if the County and/or District Councils have significant objections.
If everything went smoothly it is possible for the lease and TW Order to be achieved for as little as £20k. Allowing for objections £30k is a realistic figure.
Evidence from other heritage railways shows that the Bramley Line is likely to generate at least half-a-million pounds income a year for the area, both directly and indirectly support a number of local jobs and business as well as provide a range of social benefits.
Not a bad return for just £1 on the Council Tax.