Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1

Received 25 February 2020
From BNP Paribas Real Estate on behalf of Royal Mail Group Limited

Representation

Under section 35 of the Postal Services Act 2011 (the “Act”), Royal Mail has been designated by Ofcom as a provider of the Universal Postal Service. Royal Mail is the only such provider in the United Kingdom. The Act provides that Ofcom’s primary regulatory duty is to secure the provision of the Universal Postal Service. Ofcom discharges this duty by imposing regulatory conditions on Royal Mail, requiring it to provide the Universal Postal Service. The Act includes a set of minimum standards for Universal Service Providers, which Ofcom must secure. The conditions imposed by Ofcom reflect those standards. Royal Mail is under some of the highest specification performance obligations for quality of service in Europe. Its performance of the Universal Service Provider obligations is in the public interest and should not be affected detrimentally by any statutorily authorised project. Royal Mail’s postal sorting and delivery operations rely heavily on road communications. Royal Mail’s ability to provide efficient mail collection, sorting and delivery to the public is sensitive to changes in the capacity of the highway network. Royal Mail is a major road user nationally. Disruption to the highway network and traffic delays can have direct consequences on Royal Mail’s operations, its ability to meet the Universal Service Obligation and comply with the regulatory regime for postal services thereby presenting a significant risk to Royal Mail’s business. Portishead Delivery Office is 0.8 miles from the proposal site. There are three other operational facilities within 9 miles: • Nailsea Delivery Office BS21 7RW • Nailsea Vehicle Park BS48 1RD • Clifton Delivery Office BS8 1BJ The construction phase of the Portishead Branch Line comprising a temporary compound and railway station may present risk of impact / delays to Royal Mail’s road based operations on the surrounding road network. In particular Portbury One Hundred and Wyndham Way. Every day, in exercising its statutory duties Royal Mail vehicles use all the main roads that may potentially be affected by additional traffic arising from the construction of the proposed Portishead Branch Line. Any periods of road disruption / closure, night or day, have the potential to impact operations. Royal Mail supports the Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest as these works, once completed, will improve traffic flows in and around Portishead. However, Royal Mail wishes to ensure the protection of its future ability to provide an efficient mail sorting and delivering service to the public in accordance with its statutory obligations that may be adversely affected by the construction of this proposed scheme. Royal Mail requests that the final DCO includes a specific requirements that that: 1. Royal Mail is pre-consulted by North Somerset Council or its contractors on any proposed road closures / diversions / alternative access arrangements, hours of working, and the content of the final Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP)., and 2. the final CTMP includes a mechanism to inform major road users about works affecting the local network. Royal Mail reserves its position to object to the DCO application if the above requests are not adequately addressed.