Portishead Rail moves a step closer


A nationally significant scheme to improve transport links in the region is set to move forward today (Tuesday 4 December).

North Somerset Council’s executive will be asked to approve £1.4m towards the next stage in the reopening of the Portishead to Bristol rail line.

The funding will be used to complete all detailed documentation for the potential submission of a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Government.

All nationally significant infrastructure projects require a DCO before they can progress.

The Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Nigel Ashton said the council was committed to seeing the Portishead to Bristol line reopened.

“It is down to North Somerset’s determination, supported by the West of England Combined Authority, that this project is still moving forward.

“We aim to submit the DCO in April and through our contacts with Chris Grayling, with the Secretary of State for Transport, the indications are that Government are supportive of the scheme.

“The Portishead Rail scheme is a nationally significant project that will open up the rail network to thousands of people across the region and will help relieve congestion during the rush hour periods.

“We remain committed to investing in the infrastructure of our area.”

Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, added: “I want the West of England to have the rail network it deserves to help reduce congestion, improve air quality and keep people moving. This will be a really positive step in the right direction to deliver a transport network fit for the future. We have to be ambitious and work at regional level to give people more options and encourage them to leave their cars at home. I hope that by also considering light rail as an option for Portishead it could reduce the cost of re-opening the line and also open up other opportunities within the region.”

North Somerset Council is currently looking at options with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to secure the remaining £46.9m needed towards the reopening of the Portishead line which forms part of the £116m MetroWest Phase 1 scheme.

As well as reopening the Portishead Rail branch line, this MetroWest scheme also includes vital improvements to passenger services along the Severn Beach and Bristol to Bath Lines.

The DCO is set to be submitted in April.