Part of Henbury rail line: MetroWest Phase 2
The new station at Ashley Down is part of a project to re-open the Henbury Line that runs from Bristol Temple Meads to Henbury.
The station has been submitted by Network Rail to Bristol City Council for ‘prior approval’. This is the consent process by which Network Rail receive permission to reopen previously closed stations.
We expect a result from the prior approval process by Spring 2022, and will then be able to proceed further with the scheme.
The new station is part of the West of England Combined Authority’s plans to significantly increase travel by rail and improve air quality in the region, as part of MetroWest phase 2.
In 2020 Bristol City Council in partnership with West of England Combined Authority (WECA) conducted public engagement to gain feedback on the proposed designs for access arrangements to the new proposed Ashley Down Rail Station, whilst informing on the design of the station itself.
The proposed station at Ashley Down will increase the community’s connectivity to the wider train network through to Bristol Parkway and Temple Meads and then further afield to London, Wales, the Midlands and the South West of England. The proposals for the station also include improvements to pedestrian and cycle access on Station Road, enhanced planting, a ‘hop on’ point for cyclists and two new accessible parking bays.
The new Ashley Down Rail Station is located on the site of the previous Ashley Hill Station. Its location makes it easily accessible for people living locally.
The station entrance will be located on Concorde Way where the path meets Station Road in Ashley Down, Bristol. The route to the station from Muller Road and Station Lane, will be via the existing subway footway. This gives access to the entrance on Station Road/Concorde Way.
The opening date of Ashley Down Rail Station is likely to be in 2023 and we are working with Network Rail who are building the station, to refine this date.
Key design elements
Let us take you through the improvements and changes to support access to the station and explain why certain design decisions have been made. Click on the image to view full screen.
To ensure the station can be used by all members of our community and to meet national standards, the new station at Ashley Down must have accessible access. In accordance with national standards, a ‘1 in 20’ gradient path is proposed to enable access from the accessible parking bays to the station entrance.
To slow cyclists that may have gathered speed travelling down Station Road toward the station, bollards have been suggested and road markings indicate where cyclists should join the accessible path.
There is a resting area suggested mid-way and for assistance a handrail on the left hand side of the path (as you travel down from Station Road).
The path adjacent to the railway line has been realigned so that it is no longer a straight line. It is expected the proposed new alignment would help reduce speeds of anyone on a cycle using the path and the additional length makes the path less steep.
On Concorde Way where the path intersects with paths from the subway/Station Road/Muller Road visibility would be improved in all directions at that point. It is expected there would be better visibility exiting the subway with Concorde Way on the right.
The proposed alignment of the steps has taken into consideration the desires lines from both Lilstock Avenue and Station Road.
Steps with handrails on either side are proposed from Station Road in the direction of the subway entrance. To provide the best gradient from the subway to the station entrance, levels are reduced particularly in the area around the subway entrance. The resulting gradient is too steep for a path. To comply with Building Regulations and Bristol City Council accessibly standards, steps as well as the alternative path provide a new Equality Act compliant access for all members of our community.
- At the station entrance an area protected by bollards is proposed and a crossing point is marked on Concorde Way.
- Slow markings with a buff coloured high friction surface are suggested to be spaced out intermittently on paths.
- Signage is suggested to indicate the shared use of the space.
There will be no additional parking created for the station. We are proposing to replace three parking spaces on Station Road with two on-street accessible bays for Blue Badge holders (with access ramp from Station Road) and one loading bay, for use by rail maintenance vehicles and local residents. See FAQ’s for more information.
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Frequently asked questions
The new rail station at Ashley Down is located on the site of the previous Ashley Hill Station. Its location is in a position that makes it easily accessible from the surrounding catchment area. The adjacent bank and wooded slopes shield the station from the adjacent properties. To move the station either North or South of its proposed position would limit access to it and would have a significant effect on the adjacent allotments.
The station entrance will be located on Concorde Way Greenway where it meets Station Road in Ashley Down, Bristol. The route to the station from Muller Road and Station Lane, will be via the existing subway footway to access the entrance on Station Road /Concorde Way.
The site allocation for Ashley Down Station was agreed through the Bristol Local Plan Transport Schemes Policy DM24, adopted in 2014.
This new rail station is part of the Transport and Access Improvements (BCS10) Policy of Bristol Development Framework Core Strategy, adopted in June 2011.
The opening date of Ashley Down Rail Station is likely to be in 2023 and we are working with Network Rail who are building the station itself, to refine this date.
The opening date is also dependent on the tender process and contractor programme.
The operational date has been changed to ensure any transport developments fit with the city’s wider plans for growth and regeneration. This includes additional work to inform the most appropriate station site for Henbury Station and the new development planned for the former Filton Airfield site, which will be completed later than initially forecast.
Some technical aspects of the project have required more complex solutions than previously anticipated, which required additional funding to be identified and the costs and benefits of the scheme to be reconsidered to ensure that it remained value for money.
Impacts of COVID-19 have also hindered progress.
Works to access the station (on the highway and Concorde Way) will take place once the rail infrastructure has been completed. Station construction works are likely beginning in spring 2022, with access works to follow. Sign up to the Metrowest e-news receive updates.
In order to construct the new station there is likely to be temporary impacts on the Concorde Way path which may need to be diverted at times. The construction approach will be designed to minimise any impacts on the path.
We will give advanced notice of any diversions to footway or Highway and maps showing the diversion will be online and displayed on site.
Core rail services to be delivered as part of the MetroWest Phase 2 project will connect Ashley Down Station to Bristol Temple Meads, along with new stations to be built in the north fringe of Bristol at North Filton and Henbury. Connections to the wider rail network will be available via Bristol Temple Meads.
As part of the development of wider rail enhancements, Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority will work with the rail industry to investigate opportunities for connecting the station to additional services to offer additional destinations and connections.
The MetroWest Phase 2 project will deliver an hourly service between Bristol Temple Meads, Ashley Down and new stations at North Filton and Henbury. Timetable work is ongoing to confirm the number and timing of services that will call at Ashley Down station.
The route to the station from Station Lane from Muller Road will be via the existing subway footway to access the entrance on Station Road /Concorde Way. The two platforms will be connected via a bridge within the station, with steps and lifts down to the platforms
Due to the significant level changes between Station Road (Ashley Down side) and Station Lane (Muller Road side) along with the additional rail lines that would need to be crossed, it is not feasible to create a second entrance directly from Station Lane.
A footbridge with lifts has been chosen for access between the two platforms. This was viewed as having a lesser visual impact than ramps and will also allow quicker access between platforms.
The level of the path will be reduced to improve the gradient rising from the subway towards Ashley Down (1 in 12 from 1 in 5). We hope to also improve the subway tunnel with better lighting and surface.
Proposed improvements to Station Lane, up to the subway, are planned as part of a package of works associated with the delivery of the new Trinity Academy (a new secondary school in Lockleaze). With a large proportion of pupils predicted to come from the Bishopston/Ashley Down area, who are likely to be reliant on access through Station Lane, improvements will make this more accessible and provide better links to walking routes and the wider cycle network.
To travel north towards Henbury, use Platform 1 on the Station Road/Concorde Way side. To travel south towards Temple Meads you will need to use the bridge accessible by stairs or the lift to cross to the opposite platform, Platform 2.
The site to access the station is physically limiting and in order for the design to meet Equality Act standards for accessibility, it will be necessary to remove some trees. The access proposals have been designed to minimise the loss of trees whilst recognising the need to deliver an accessible pathway to the station entrance. Currently the proposed design for access to the station indicates a loss of 7 trees (which are shown in red circles on the plan available online).
Trees will be replaced in accordance with Bristol City Council’s Tree Replacement Standard. An Aboricultural Assessment report is underway and this will help inform the number of replacement trees giving consideration to other options such as relocating existing trees. We will work with Bristol City Council’s Aboricultural Team to identify species. The draft landscaping proposals help give an indication as to replanting and will be finalised once the number of replacement or relocated trees are known. We will continue to engage on the works to the station access including planting and landscaping as designs develop.
The Bristol Tree Replacement Standard can be found in the following documents:
No, the loss of trees is associated with the access arrangements to the station, rather than for the rail infrastructure works.
Bird and bat boxes will be installed, and native flowering hedges, bulbs and shrubs are included in the design. Also proposed is rain garden planting for a sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).
Ecological surveys have been undertaken to assess the impact of the proposed station on local wildlife. The results have identified that the site has potential for priority invertebrates, common toad, slow-worm, common lizard, breeding birds, foraging and commuting bats, badgers and hedgehogs.
However, it is considered that the habitat loss for these, as a result of the station and access works, will not affect local populations. This is due to the abundance of suitable habitat of equal or greater value within the immediate and wider landscape. As a precautionary approach, a Reasonable Avoidance Method Statement will be produced and implemented during the works, to prevent them from becoming trapped and to allow any trapped wildlife to escape. Any reptile or amphibians found during works will be carefully moved, by the supervising ecologist, to a suitable alternative location away from the works. A badger sett survey will be undertaken prior to construction.
Where possible, woodland, tree and scrub vegetation will be retained. Where removal cannot be avoided it will be undertaken outside of the nesting bird season. If removal must be during the breeding bird season a nesting bird check will be undertaken by an ecologist prior to removal commencing. If breeding birds are present then the site will be left undisturbed until chicks have fledged.
While all trees are unsuitable to support roosting bats, bat and bird boxes have been proposed in suitable locations.
Yes, 7 new trees are proposed in the design. It is anticipated that there will need to be further off-site replanting to mitigate for the loss of trees, based on our Local Plan tree replacement standard.
Guidance on the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard can be found in the following documents:
This is a community rail station intended for people who live locally within easy distance to walk or cycle to the station which is ideally situated on the well-used walking and cycling route of Concorde Way, providing real opportunity for many people to travel there by sustainable modes. There are bus stops within a 5 minute walk on Ashley Down Road (Sefton Park Rd stop for service 70) and Muller Rd (Shaldon Road stop for services 17 and 506 and Muller Rd Lidl stop for services 17, 70 & 506).
We appreciate that not everyone is able to walk and cycle and we are proposing 2 accessible bays on-street for Blue Badge holders with access ramp from Station Road.
This will be an unstaffed station with service announcements displayed on customer information screens. A public announcement (PA) system will be installed for aural train information (this is an Equality Act Compliance requirement for passengers with visual impairment), and it will also be used in emergencies to communicate with people on the platform. The PA system has been designed to lessen the impact on any adjacent properties by having directional speakers.
The lighting on the new station will be LED and will power down to a low level when there are no trains or people in the area. The lights will be fitted with back screens and will also be directional to avoid overspill to any adjacent properties.
Yes, there are existing lighting columns on the corner of Station Rd/Lilstock Avenue and also near the steps and entrance to the subway. We hope to also improve the subway tunnel with better lighting.
While we cannot physically stop people driving to the station, we encourage walking, cycling and connecting to the station by bus.
A positive is that because the station is located on a well-used walking and cycle route it provides a real opportunity for many people to travel there by sustainable modes.
There will be an informal crossing facility for pedestrians to cross Concorde Way to reach the station entrance, as well as floor signage encouraging people of bicycles to slow down, warning them of the station entrance ahead.
To slow cyclists that may have gathered momentum travelling down Station Road toward the station, bollards have been used and road markings indicate where cyclists should join the accessible path. ‘Slow’ markings with a buff coloured high friction surface are spaced out intermittently on paths.
New ‘shared use’ signs will be installed on the entrance to the path on Station Road.
We have sought advice from Bristol Physical Access Chain (BPAC), a group who volunteer their time to improve the quality of life for all people in Bristol, and in particular disabled people. BPAC have inputted into the design but we would welcome any further comments to further improve this aspect.
We will encourage and promote sustainable travel to and from the station, linking into the wider transport network, by foot, by bike and by bus.
Should there be local support for it, there is a possibility implementing a Residents Parking Scheme in the area to control parking from non-residents.
Yes, there is a resting area with provision for bench and wheelchair/ buggy on the north side of the access ramp from Station Road.
Covered secure cycle parking will be provided within the station, covered by CCTV, with space for 20 cycles. The current access layout proposals do not include additional cycle parking outside of the station as this area will not be covered by CCTV. There could be an opportunity to include additional cycle parking outside of the station if station users and the local community feel that this would be of benefit.
There are bus stops within a 5 minute walk on Ashley Down Road (Sefton Park Rd stop for service 70) and Muller Rd (Shaldon Road stop for services 17 and 506 and Muller Rd Lidl stop for services 17, 70 & 506).
There will be a directional sign on Station Road showing the route to station for pedestrians and cyclists.
As part of the delivery of the new station, an audit of local signage will be undertaken to ensure that the station is signed on the key routes and to better connect the local bus routes. We would welcome your views on any specific areas that you feel it would be useful to include in this. Passenger information, including timetables and onward travel information will be provided within the station.
Engagement Survey Report
Between 21 September and 1 November 2020 Bristol City Council, in partnership with West of England Combined Authority (WECA), conducted a public engagement survey to gain feedback on the design proposals for access arrangements to the new Ashley Down Rail Station. We also shared information on the design of the station itself.
We received 457 responses to our community survey from businesses, the general public and other stakeholders, with a further 35 enquiries with comments and suggestions via phone calls and emails. Of those who responded to the survey:
- 83% are Bristol residents
- 79% live locally to the new rail station
- 83% said ‘Yes’ they did intend on using Ashley Down rail station when it opens
- 46% are pedestrians and 39% are cyclists who use Concorde Way
- 26% are car drivers using a route near the new rail station
Travelling to the new railway station was the main concern raised in the community survey as follows:
|Number of responses||% Total responses|
|There is not enough parking||141||30.9%|
|The street is busy with traffic||116||25.4%|
|No adequate secure overnight bicycle parking||115||25.4%|
When asked about the design for access to Ashley Down Station, 291 people commented:
|Number of responses||% Total responses|
|Keep path by steps (Station Road to underpass)||24||5.2%|
|Secure and covered cycle parking||21||4.6%|
Other comments and suggestions made relating to Ashley Down Station include:
|Number of responses||% Total responses|
|Residents Parking scheme at the station||72||16%|
|Car park for Station (locating it on Station Lane)||21||4.6%|
We took into consideration all the feedback we received from the community engagement survey and updated the design based on these comments. The revised design was then sent to Bristol City Council’s Planning Team as a Prior Approval submission by Network Rail. As a result of the design suggestions having already been explored earlier as part of the public engagement process, it is anticipated that approval will be gained without any major changes requested by the planning team. We expect a result from the prior approval process by Spring 2022 and will then be able to proceed further with the scheme.
The changes made to the design following the engagement process are:
- Handrail on eastern side of the accessible path will run continuously by the steps and alongside blue badge holder parking bays
- Handrail with two rails at differing heights will be installed on the accessible path
- The path that runs from the direction of Station Lane to the station entrance will be reassessed to determine if installation of handrail, either single or double height handrail, is needed.
- Extra bollard at accessible parking
- Junction protection – double yellow lines on corners and at the crossing point on Station Road
- Additional replacement trees have been added to the most recent landscape design proposal.
Following the engagement process, the design plans for access and landscape have been updated.View technical drawing of Access plan for the station (NB: this doesn’t include proposed landscape design plans) Download pdf View technical drawing of landscape design plan for the station (NB: this is subject to change once works are underway) Download pdf
Please get in touch using the contact form below if you have any further enquiries.