The Pedestrian Pier
Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Three Cheers For| Three Piers (2)
Back in he 1950s and 1960s foot passenger traffic on a Summer Saturday was huge! You would find it hard to get a motor vehicle to the pier head, although, in theory it was possible! Now the motorist dominates and promenaders are restricted to a narrow walkway on the eastern side of the structure.
But the tram pier planking was removed as soon as the main pier was complete. We were told that English Heritage would not approve the conversion of the dilapidated tram pier into a walkway as "it would detract from the Victorian original".
The rotting tram pier was a far worse detraction!
In tomorrow's blog shall see the new walkway soon to open (in 2023) on the tramway pier. Porky pies in 2010/11?
Now it is the turn of the railway pier, the last of he three to arrive.
The Railway Pier
Once upon a time Ryde Pier Head had four platforms, originally three with a fourth (far right) added later.
... leaving a two-sided platform 3, now renumbered 2.
Access to Platform 2 at Ryde Esplanade is now blocked off and the platform replaced by flowerbeds ...
Once again, the piles are in good condition ...
Now here is the daft thing. The Island Line has only recently re-opened after a major refurbishment to accommodate the new class 484 ex Underground trains. This work overran drastically. So to welcome back the Island's rail service, the line up the pier is now closed from October 2022 to "Spring" 2023 - whatever that means.
Wouldn't it have made sense to do both "big jobs" at the same time?
Island Line has produced a leaflet giving full (overfull?) details ...
So the result of all this money's being spent on the pier may well be a further reduction in ferry traffic, higher fares and a steady decline in the "classic" passenger only route.
Of course this all comes soon after a massive rebuild of the Portsmouth Harbour ferry terminal ...
Necessary but costly work, fbb thinks.
Tomorrow, the tramway pier.
Next Three-Pier blog : Wednesday 1st February