Wye Ruin It?

Wye Ruin It?

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Don't think somebody else will win this battle for you! One Question, One Date.

Dear all

The last time we asked for your support to raise questions to the Herefordshire Council, there was a mere 4% response from our supporters, and only 2 people turned up for the meeting. The council gave us completely inadequate responses to our questions and did not read questions from those who could not be present until challenged several times. This council has now admitted to 'guesstimating' the cost of major infrastructure, and is openly careless about planning what will be a >£1billion project on two flood plains to the West of Hereford. This madness must be stopped!

We have been working incredibly hard to oppose the Bypass, but we will not succeed unless those who say they want to stop the Bypass actually take action. It’s up to YOU!

 Written and Physical presence means a lot!

 In order to stop the Bypass, we must also oppose the Southern Link Road. There is an important Cabinet meeting to discuss this on Thursday 16th November 2pm at the Shire Hall.

Most of the work has already been done for you

Our research team has identified 40 questions from their key planning document, so you the work has been done for you. Please see below.

Please let us know if you have sent a question and which one it is. Please let us know if you are going to attend and let us know if you want a T-Shirt or any written information to take with you.  

The email for submission is:

councillorservices@herefordshire.gov.uk

Please ensure your question is no more than 40 words.

Below are 40 suggested questions arising from a review of the SWTP report by our research team.

Remember you can only ask one question each or two if you attend the meeting. Details of the meeting on the County Council website should appear in the next few days here:

https://councillors.herefordshire.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=251&Year=0

Questions arising from a review of the latest Options Assessment Report on the Southern Wye Transport Package (SWTP).

SWTP Options Report states: Page 16

NP3 - HIGHWAYS ENGLAND STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN (2015-2020)

2.2.19 The A49(T) is part of the Strategic Road Network (SRN) in which is described by the Highways England Strategic Business Plan as.

Providing a national strategic link for freight movements – as an alternative to the M5 / M6 – from the M50 at Ross-on-Wye to the M56 south of Warrington.

 

Question 1.

Traffic will rise on the A49 as M5/M6 relief must be at least 10%-20% to generate an economic return on infrastructure investments Why is this not made clear in the analysis?

What proportion of M5/M6 motorway traffic is assumed to use the A49 relief corridor when completed?

We calculate treble the current A49 volume based on 20% of M5/M6 volumes. M5/M6 traffic volume currently X10 greater than the through traffic on the A49 based on the official published statistics.

Question 2.

The M5/M6 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) volumes are much higher than current A49 HGV volumes. How much higher will the HGV volume be on the A49?

Why is this not made clear in the analysis? HGV Traffic relief for motorways will swamp the A49 volumes. (We calculate X5-X7 based on 20% of current flows)

Question 3.

What happens to A49 total traffic volumes if 10% or 20% of M5/M6 traffic uses the improved A49?

Question 4.

What happens to A49 heavy goods vehicle HGV traffic volumes if 10% or 20% of M5/M6 traffic uses the improved A49?

Question 5.

What happens to A49 fine particulate pollution volumes if 10% or 20% of M5/M6 traffic uses the improved A49?

Question 6.

What are the human health implications of a five-fold increase in fine particulate pollution volumes if 10% or 20% of M5/M6 traffic uses the improved A49?

Question 7.

Will a single carriageway SWTP road have enough capacity to support M5/M6 relief traffic? 

Question 8.

Will a single carriageway High-level river crossing bridge on the western relief road have enough capacity to support M5/M6 relief traffic? 

SWTP Options report Page 16 states:

2.2.22 The SWTP will assist in delivering these outcomes by focusing on making changes which decrease congestion, improve safety, and make active travel more attractive. It will also contribute to supporting economic growth by enabling key infrastructure to be brought forward.

Question 9.

When will County Council Cabinet demand a plain English report on traffic modelling and a clear and concise analysis of the local versus through traffic data projections? The assumptions of local versus regional traffic are not clear.

Question 10.

Please explain to the layman what proportion future city traffic is modelled as local in the projected flows given it was 85% in the last survey?

Question 11.

How much local traffic is assumed to flow over the Greyfriar’s Bridge is local if the SWTP and the WRR are constructed from the additional 23-26% increase in housing?

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 19 states:

 

CYCLING AND WALKING INVESTMENT STRATEGY

2.2.44 The DfT is actively looking to create a walking and cycling nation through a number of short and long term steps. The long term goal (2040) is that walking and cycling should be a normal part of everyday life, and the natural choice for shorter journeys such as commuting to school, college, work or leisure trips.

Question 12.

How much longer must City residents wait for the active travel measures proposed in 2015? Must we wait until 2040?

SWTP Options report Page 20 states:

RP 1- MARCHES LOCAL ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP STRATEGIC ECONOMIC PLAN (2014)

2.2.51 The Marches SEP states that:

“The South Wye Transport Package (SWTP) provides transport improvements to this part of Herefordshire, which supports the new Hereford Enterprise Zone [and that] …Major congestion on the A49(T) is currently impacting upon journey time and costs for commuters in the area; a significant blocker to further development at the HEZ and other employment sites.”

 

Question 13.

What basis is the congestion going to decline if the SWTP must accommodate M5/M6 relief traffic and a major increase on freight transport from new enterprise zones along a proposed single carriageway relief road/bypass?

SWTP Options report Page 30 states:

2.2.115 The 2010 report concluded that:

 “Adding an Outer Distributor Road, on either alignment [eastern or western bypass], is forecast to provide some relief from the adverse effects. The resulting network operation would be similar to that if the additional trips had not been introduced.”

DaSTS – Growth Point Connectivity Study (2010) – Mouchel

Question 14.

What basis is the congestion going to decline if the Bypass must accommodate M5/M6 relief traffic and a major increase on freight transport from new enterprise zones along a proposed single carriageway relief road/bypass?

SWTP Options report Page 32 states:

Rotherwas New Station – High Level Demand and Business Case Study- Parsons Brinckerhoff

2.2.128 The main purpose of this study was to introduce the proposal for the Rotherwas Railway Station in Hereford. The report outlines the base and future demand for the proposed Rotherwas Railway Station, as well as outlining a business case appraisal. The study involves a comprehensive capacity review of the proposed Rotherwas Railway Station.

 

2.2.129 This study illustrated how the proposed station could increase sustainable travel, as well as accommodating a number of commuters that are currently traveling to the Hereford Enterprise Zone. The business case looked at addressing issues associated with growth in Hereford, as well as the sustainable transport options.

 

2.2.130 A 60 year Value for Money Business Case showed that the current proposals offer a Benefits to Cost Ratio (BCR) of 0.33 which is defined as representing a poor value for money under DfT guidelines. Due to the low BCR the report concluded that such a service could not be delivered commercially and would therefore require a subsidy

Question 15.

Independent research clearly shows, building more roads to ease congestion does not work. Why not revisit the rail freight plans?

Question 16.

What happens to the rail freight enhancement plans when the relief roads get clogged up with motorway traffic?

 

SWTP Options report Page 32 states:

Hereford ‘Metro’ Study Final Report (2001) – Halcrow

2.2.131 This study investigated the scope for introducing a Metro to improve public transport in Hereford via three options:

Light Rail Transit (LRT) – using modern electric trams powered by overhead wires;

Ultra-Light Rail Transit (ULRT) – such as a flywheel powered parry people mover operating on narrow gauge steel rails; and

Guided Bus Systems – using rubber tyre vehicles with guidance, powered by overhead wires.

 

2.2.132 The study looked at the scope for the Metro to link with the existing public transport network, key demand locations, and proposed developments. The route(s) considered run on a broadly north-south alignment, using the Great Western Way former railway line to cross the River Wye. 2.2.133 Modelling forecast c. 3 million trips per annum with roughly half from existing car trips, a quarter from existing bus trips, and a quarter from existing walk and cycle trips. Revenue was estimated at £1.5million per annum.

2.2.134 Capital costs for all three options were significant at £60m for LRT, £35m for ULRT, and £50m for the guided bus. A 30-year economic evaluation forecast a return of -£18m for LRT, -£10m for guided bus, and +£0.4m for ULRT. Sensitivity testing using lower operating costs and higher modal shift from buses made little difference to the overall assessment findings.

Question 17

Why not refresh the 2001 study for a mass transit system? It is clearly outdated and in need of a professional review. Much has changed in transport technology available since 2001 and a systematic analysis is essential before omitting this modern option. (Changing economics did not get in the way of rail developments at HS2).

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 33 states:

Summary of Transport Studies

2.2.136  Since  2001, a number of transport studies have examined the options for improvement of infrastructure to meet forecast demand arising from long term spatial planning projections for housing and employment growth.

 

2.2.137 These studies have consistently concluded that a Hereford Bypass (on a western alignment), and the reallocation of road space to more sustainable modes in the city, are necessary to deliver the forecast growth in travel demand from development. The majority of these studies have pointed to the need to strike a balance between a targeted increase in highway capacity to facilitate planned development, and alleviate pinch points combined allied to complementary measures in the city and along key radial corridors such as the A49(T) and the A465. This balanced approach would help to facilitate an increased use of sustainable modes, particularly for shorter distance journeys within the city.

Question 18.

The studies should be focused on mass transit systems to remove the need for school journeys in cars and commuters in cars for a future proof pollution free solution. When will the Council recognise it is not just about building more roads and houses?

Question 19.

Would the Council Cabinet agree that the studies outlined are now seriously outdated given the improvements in modern mass transit technologies and a comprehensive review is now due?

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 42 states:

PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK

2.4.30 Local public transport in Hereford is provided by the city’s bus network. Longer distance public transport demand is met by a combination of rail, inter-urban bus and scheduled coach services. The local and inter-urban bus network is focussed on the city centre, with a proportion of services also routeing via the railway station to provide interchange opportunities.

2.4.31 The principle operator of local bus services is Yeomans Canyon Travel (YTC), with a limited number of services operated by Lugg Valley Travel (also part of YTC). First Group withdrew their local services from the city in 2015. Longer distance inter-urban bus services to/from Hereford are operated by Stagecoach West, Stagecoach in South Wales, DRM and Sargeants.

2.4.32 Whilst a significant proportion of the Herefordshire county bus network is supported financially by Herefordshire Council, the majority (95%) of the Hereford City local bus services are operated on a commercial basis, with a limited number of journeys supported by a financial subsidy.

2.4.33 The existing local bus routes in the area are shown in Figure 9.

2.4.34 Hereford railway station, managed by Arriva Train Wales, is located east of the city centre. It is served by trains operated by Arriva Trains Wales, London Midland, and Great Western Railway train operating companies (TOCs). Hereford is the terminus of the services from Birmingham New Street and London Paddington via Worcester Foregate Street and is served by all passenger trains on the Marches Line (Shrewsbury – Newport).

2.4.35 The only cross city link in Hereford is provided by service 75 (Belmont – Hampton Park). It is also outlined that the YTC service provider (principle operator) offers both a day (£3.70 Adult) and a weekly (£16.50 adult) ticket.

2.4.36 Bus services within Hereford commence from four points currently; City Bus Station (For local routes), Country Bus Station (for longer distance services), Hereford Railway Station (where inter-urban services terminate, calling at Country Bus Station on the outbound leg), and Shire Hall, which is a calling point for Local buses to Hampton Park and Bartonsham.

2.4.37 The Shire Hall is the terminus of the service to Leominster via Bodenham, and of the Wednesday only services that run in to Hereford from Cradley, Much Marcle and Swainshill.

2.4.38 As previously mentioned a proportion of local and inter-urban bus services operate via the station interchange, with the majority serving city centre bus stops and/or the Country Bus Station.

2.4.42 City Bus Station and Shire Hall stops serve a market almost entirely focussed on travel within Hereford itself, with the extent of onward travel either by longer distance buses or rail is small. In contrast, the services which use the Country bus station and the stands at the railway station have a far larger proportion of passengers for whom Hereford is the point at which they gain access to the national or regional transport network. It is therefore questionable whether a centralised hub for bus travel would be an intuitive step forward in improving the interconnectivity and accessibility to Hereford’s bus services.

Question 20.

Why have buses and coaches crossing the river Wye at Greyfriar’s Bridge declined 65% in the last few years? Is it lack of availability and cost issues?

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 46 states:

OPPORTUNITIES

2.5.1 The key opportunities, considered as a part of the option development and the initial sifting stages, include:

à Reducing the high proportion of short distance trips (less than 3km) within the South Wye area made by car, particularly for journeys to work. This could be encouraged by the provision of additional and/or improved infrastructure (such as improved connections with existing walking and cycling facilities, including the Great Western Way and Connect2 scheme) thereby helping to reduce car dependency and managing demand on the highway network.

 

Question 21

Why no plans to improve buses or a mass transit system as alternate for short car trips? The last analysis was in 2001 before modern electric systems were developed.

 

SWTP Options report Page 50 states:

 

3.3.5 Table 3-1 below summarises the forecast growth in peak period travel demand (excluding goods vehicles) across the modelled network between the 2012 Base Year and 2032 Forecast Year. This shows a forecast growth in peak travel demand of approximately 29% by the end of the HLPCS plan period.

 

3.3.7 The forecast changes in peak period demand between 2012 and 2032 (Do-Minimum) includes :

à 29% increase in total personal travel demand.

à 26% increase in car demand.

à 32% increase in public transport demand.

à 45% increase in walk and cycle demand.

3.3.8 Car is forecast to remain the dominant mode of transport, accounting for approximately 76% of trips in 2032 in comparison with 78% in 2012. Relatively small changes (Table 3-2) in public transport, walk and cycle mode shares are forecast for 2032 in comparison with 2012.

3.3.9 The capacity constraints imposed by the transport network is highlighted, noting that by 2032:

 

Question 22 ref page 50 para 3.3.7

 

Please could the Council commission an updated traffic analysis including a mass transit option using modern technology and reducing our dependence on car travel for short journeys asap?

 

The Highways England Hereford VISSIM traffic Model

SWTP Options report Page 52 states:

FUTURE LEVEL OF SERVICE - STRATEGIC TRANSPORT MODELLING

3.4.1 As part of the assessment of the transport impact of the HLPCS planned growth, the Hereford Transport Model provides forecasts of future network performance. The outcome of this assessment is summarised in the JMP Hereford Transport Strategy Phasing Study, which includes an assessment of network performance against a number of indicators:

“A number of [level of service] indicators have been established and agreed by the Council…

Question 23 ref page 52 para 3.4.1.

What level of M5/M6 Motorway relief traffic is assumed in the modelling and how long will the single carriage way flow freely before it needs to be upgraded to dual?

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 54 states:

Performance of A49(T) River Wye Crossing

3.4.7 In respect of traffic queuing on the approaches to the A49(T) crossing of the River Wye by 2032, it is forecast that:

“Very little increase in vehicle flow [is forecast] in the northbound direction through the plan period, this reflects the fact that the link is operating at or close to capacity within the model, through the plan period. The same situation is reflected in the southbound direction by the end of the plan period. Once this level of flow is reached then queues begin to form.”

“It is clear that the southbound queued flow increases dramatically through the plan period, doubling by 2022 and over quadrupling by 2032.”

3.4.8 In summary, the strategic modelling work undertaken to identify the transport impact of the forecast growth in travel demand over the period to 2032 has identified a significant deterioration in the performance of key elements of the transport network, in particular the A49(T).

 

Question 24 ref page 54 para 3.4.7.

Please answer a simple question on your traffic modelling. What would the traffic flows be if 90% school traffic was replaced with public transport? Why not revisit a mass transit system with modern technology since the last study is 15 years old?

 

Question 25 ref page 54 para 3.4.7.

Why is your traffic modelling focused solely on bigger roads and not factored for reducing people on single occupancy journeys using modern public transit.

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 61 states:

4.1.23 Analysis of the Hereford SATURN model indicates that 50% of trips using the ‘rural rat runs’ of Haywood Lane and the B4348 to the Callow Marsh Garage junction on the A49(T) have origins and destinations which suggest these trips should be using the A-road network, i.e. the A465 and A49(T).

4.1.24 The non-local destinations of the journeys that route via these rural roads can result in vehicles travelling at a consistently higher speed than traffic with a local trip end. Increased traffic speeds in residential areas increase the risk of vehicle collisions, particularly with vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

4.1.25 In summary in response to traffic congestion on the A465 and A49(T), traffic is re-routing to less suitable routes, including residential roads and rural lanes. The re-routing of traffic can also contribute to:

à Increased severance.

à Increased air and noise pollution.

à A less liveable environment discouraging social interactions and active mode travel usage.

 

SWTP Options report Page 61 states:

Question 26 ref page 61 para 4.1.23.

Does the SATURN Model include impact of increased HGV motorway traffic on the proposed new infrastructure? If not why not?

4.1.20 In summary, increasing volumes of traffic in the South Wye area are leading to;

à Increased and less reliable journey times for road users, including private and public transport;

à Increased costs for car users as more time is spent on the network, incurring greater fuel costs;

à Increased costs and decreased delivery time reliability for road freight hauliers;

à Increased journey times and decreased service reliability for public transport users; and

à Deteriorating access to key destinations, including the HEZ.

 

Question 27 ref page 62 para 4.1.20.

Does the SATURN Model have the functionality to include the long term economic benefits of a mass transit system? If not why not?

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 62 states:

 

4.1.28 Transport-related severance can deter people from using active modes of travel. This in turn has an adverse impact on health, including on key metrics such as those used within the health deprivation and disability domain of the Indices of Deprivation 2015. These include:

à Years of potential life lost: an age and sex standardised measure of premature death.

à Comparative illness and disability ratio: an age and sex standardised morbidity/disability ratio.

à Acute morbidity: an age and sex standardised rate of emergency admission to hospital.

à Mood and anxiety disorders: a composite based on the rate of adults suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, hospital episodes data, suicide mortality data and health benefits data.

à Excess weight in adults.

à Excess weight in Reception Year and Year 6 children.

 

Question 28 ref page 62 para 4.1.28.

Does the SATURN Model have the functionality to include the long term health benefits of a mass transit system? If not why not?

4.1.37 The dependency on private car for short distance trips could be due to one (or a combination of) the following:

à Road safety concerns

à Poor health / fitness

à Severance

à Lack of knowledge (for alternative modes)

à Attitude

à Peer pressure

à Perceived time savings

à Avoidance of bad weather

à Requirement to move heavy/ difficult to carry items

à Convenience (assuming nearby, possibly free parking available)

 

Question 29 ref page 64 para 4.1.37.

Why does this report fail to acknowledge the decline in quality of public bus services and increase in costs?

SWTP Options report Page 69 states:

4.1.11 During the July 2014 Public Consultation, members of the public were invited to provide their views on the current transport problems within the South Wye area. The following were identified as the five biggest issues (ranked in order of responses received):

à Traffic congestion on the A465;

à Delays at the A49/A465 signalised junction (ASDA roundabout);

à Traffic congestion on the A49(T);

à Volume of heavy goods vehicles; and

à Poor walking/ cycling infrastructure.

 

Question 30 ref page 69 para 4.1.11.

Why does this report fail to acknowledge the public need for increased improved public transport to reduce congestion, reduce pollution and improve human health along the main access routes to the city?

 

 

SWTP Options report Page 71 states:

4.2.9 Increased levels of congestion will result in slower and less reliable bus journeys as compared to the current scenario, thus discouraging their use. Bus operators will be faced with increased costs to sustain current levels of service. This may result in a reduction in the service provided on a commercial basis and place increased demand on financial subsidy from Herefordshire Council. With levels of public sector subsidy already under stress, this may result in a rationalisation of public transport services with consequent adverse impact on accessibility and an increased dependency on the car, particularly for short journeys within Hereford. A reduction in public transport accessibility will have an adverse impact on areas which are already impacted by high levels of deprivation. Alternatively, a more highly subsidised public transport network would have a direct impact on public accounts.

Question 31 ref page 71 para 4.2.9.

Why do the authors of this report think the impact of public transport costs on the public accounts are  more important than reducing congestion, pollution and improving human health along the main access routes to the city with mass transit?

SWTP Options report Page 73 states:

5.1.1 Objectives for the South Wye Transport Package have been developed based on the following:

à Wider policy context and the objectives to be delivered at the national, regional and local level.

 

Question 32 ref page 73 para 5.1.1.

Please explain the wider context of National traffic flows in terms of M5/M6 motorway volumes expected to use the route after completion.

 

SWTP Options report Page 74 states:

 

5.2.1 The following objectives have been highlighted as having a wider impact on the South Wye area including additional benefits of supporting planned growth in Hereford City

à Objective L1-O1: Support the delivery of planned housing and employment growth in Hereford.

à Objective L1-O2: Improve health outcomes by encouraging and enabling physical activity.

à Objective L1-O3: Minimise adverse economic and environmental impact of future developments

 

Question 33 ref page 74 para 5.2.1.

Please explain the wider context  why Herefordshire housing targets exceed government target growth levels for all housing but fail to provide sufficient affordable houses year on year?

 

Question 34 ref page 74 para 5.2.1.

Please explain why Herefordshire  health outcomes are expected to improve with the National traffic flows of M5/M6 motorway volumes expected to use the route after completion.

 

Question 35 ref page 74 para 5.2.1.

Please explain how a bypass and southern relief road that constrains access for ten years and draws in more motorway traffic and has no mass transit system for the city can be considered, in any way to minimise adverse economic and environmental impact?

 

SWTP Options report Page 80 states:

6.3.1 As set out in Chapter 3, travel demand is likely to increase significantly over the HLPCS plan period. Weekday peak period demand forecast is anticipated to increase by approximately 29% by 2032, equivalent to 16,000 additional trips, with approximately 69% of these made by car.

6.3.2 Figure 7 identifies the major peak movements within Hereford. This demonstrates a high demand of travel from South Wye into the city centre and north west Hereford. Movements within South Wye are also relatively high and are predominately in a west (Belmont) to east (Rotherwas) direction in the AM peak.

Question 36 ref page 80 para 6.3.1.

Please explain why current but outdated traffic modelling assumes the only option for new residents in the city is transport by car with a 29% increase in city journeys against a 26% increase in city households?

SWTP Options report Page 81 states:

7.2.2 Table 7-2 summarises the specific options considered within the studies carried out to date. These studies have developed various packages of measures – including a Bypass – across the whole of Hereford and not just in the South Wye area. Table 7-2 extracts the options from these studies which are relevant to South Wye.

Question 37 ref page 81 para 7.2.2.

Please explain why current but outdated 2001 study for a mass transit system to reduce congestion is not a strategic issue using modern technology when the building of bigger roads that attract more congestion is?

SWTP Options report Page 84 states:

Table 7-3: Options Generated to Address Identified Transport-Related Issues in South Wye

 

A new station is proposed at Skylon Park, the Hereford Enterprise Zone (HEZ) at Rotherwas. This would include an extension of infrastructure to connect Rotherwas to the rail network. The station would be served by the London Midland service currently operating between Hereford and Birmingham.

 

 

School transport package

The school based campaign will seek to encourage pupils and parents to walk to school as an alternative to driving, through a number of schemes. The campaign will aim to reduce congestion in peak hours, and improve air quality & health.

Ultra-light rail transit (ULRT)

An ultra-light rail solution to connect South Wye with Hereford city centre, potentially using the former Great Western Way railway alignment, which is currently a walking and cycling route.

Bus priority

Introduction of bus priority measures on the A49(T) and A465 towards Hereford city centre.

 

Question 38 ref page 84 table 7.3.

Please explain what happened to the proposals to re-use the Hunderton bridge for mass transit?

SWTP Options report Page 89 states:

Ultra-light rail

8.2.8 This option currently has no fit with wider transport and government objectives or regional policies. This option is currently at the pre-feasibility stage with very little or no design work undertaken at this time. Therefore there is significant risk to the deliverability of this option.

Question 39 ref page 89 table para 8.2.8

Please explain why modern transport for cities is excluded as an option because it has no fit with government objectives, would take more than ten years and is only at pre-feasibility stage?

SWTP Options report Page 94 states:

9.3.2 Due to the level of scheme development and the nature of some of the options being appraised a distributional impact appraisal has not been completed. In particular, the locations of the active travel interventions have not been decided and are over a wide study area therefore it is difficult to determine the area of impact. A distributional impact appraisal will be carried out during Stage 2, when the preferred option or package has been further refined.

Question 40 ref page 94 table para 9.3.2

It is most likely the distributional impact analysis of active travel interventions would be radically different if travellers had the option to use a non-polluting, fast efficient public transport system. Could this be included as an option in a more up to date appraisal before Stage 2?

 

Patricia Ronan