On track: inside Bristol Temple Mead’s new £23m entrance

On 8 November, Metro Mayor Dan Norris along with Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and partners including Industry Programme Director at Network Rail Daniel Round visited the new ‘Eastern Entrance’ to Bristol Temple Meads station as it begins to take shape.

The build of a new station entrance is part of the Bristol Temple Quarter programme, one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration programmes in Europe.

Construction on the new entrance began in early October, with piling work into the ground (which will eventually form the walls of the new underpass) taking place next to platform 15.

While on site, project partners checked out the works that are creating a tunnel into the station. Works began this week and will see around 250 cubic metres of material removed to form the new subway into the station.

The £23m ‘Eastern Entrance’ is set to welcome its first rail travellers in late 2026. It is the first major piece of infrastructure delivery under the ambitious Temple Quarter regeneration programmes, and is being administered by the Mayoral Combined Authority.

Initial works to prepare for the delivery of the new entrance were carried out in 2021. These works were part of the £21m funding from the Mayoral Combined Authority to keep the programme on track before the government grant was secured.

Over the next 5-10 years, the first phase of the programme will see three new entrances delivered to the north, south, and east of Temple Meads station. Additionally, the programme aims to deliver 10,000 new homes, thousands of new jobs, and a £1.6bnn annual boost to the regional economy.

I’m thrilled to see we are firmly on track to see this brand-new entrance for Brunel’s iconic station – a gateway in and out of this amazing city. It’s really going to improve access for locals east of the city.

It’s all part of one of most exciting regeneration projects in Europe, a major investment in the present and future of Bristol, and our West of England region, which I’m proud is being administered by my Mayoral Combined Authority.

Combine this with the multi-million-pound programme of region-wide rail improvements – think the opening of Portway Park and Ride this summer, 30-minute train journeys across our region to and from Temple Meads, and soon-to-be new stations at Henbury, North Filton and elsewhere – it’s clear we’re making getting around in the West easier than ever before.

My Mayoral Combined Authority will continue to deliver at pace which we know is so vital. It’s what Bristolians, and everyone in our amazing region, expects and deserves

Dan Norris, Metro Mayor

It’s great to be on site at the first construction site under the BTQ programme after years of preparation and planning to get to this point, starting with the first Strategic Board back in 2017. It’s a sign of what organisations can do when they put their minds and effort towards a common goal, and all pull in the same direction with an openness to collaborate pragmatically and flexibly.

This has been a year of milestones for the project – we’ve endorsed a Development Framework for the area and started enabling works on Temple Island. We appointed masterplanners last week to develop the next iteration of plans for the area, and now we’re stood in front of a new entrance being delivered as part of the first major improvements to the station in 100 years. This is a fantastic point to reflect on the progress we’ve made and look forward to the delivery of new homes, jobs and opportunities

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

We’re delighted to be well underway with the creation of the new Eastern Entrance for Bristol Temple Meads. All of the work we’re doing at the station at the moment is focused around improving the passenger experience and increasing capacity for the future, but with preserving the station’s heritage for future generations at its heart.

We’re making great progress on site and I’m looking forward to seeing the entrance building start to take shape in the new year. Once opened alongside the new Bristol University Campus in 2026 it’ll be a crucial part of the transformation of the station to make it a world class gateway to the city.

Although the works are expected to finish in late October 2024, the station entrance is not set to welcome passengers until September 2026. This is to coincide with the opening of the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus which is currently under development.

Daniel Round, Industry Programme Director at Network Rail

Original press release by West of England Combined Authority