MetroWest

MetroWest will transform rail travel in the region, generating over a million new rail journeys and giving 80,000 more people access to train services.

The West of England Combined Authority is working in partnership with DfT, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council and Network Rail to deliver new and more frequent rail services across the region.

MetroWest Network Map Download pdf

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Latest News

Phase 1 (Portishead to Bristol, Severn Beach Line, and Bath to Bristol)
  • As of January 14th 2022, the MetroWest Phase 1 project is still awaiting a decision on the Development Consent Order (DCO) by the Department for Transport (DfT).

    The DCO application was submitted in November 2019. The process included an examination in public which took six months and ended in April 2021. The decision had been expected in October 2021 but it was confirmed then that the Secretary of State would require up to a further 6 months to make the decision.

    The project team are continuing to press for a decision to be made as soon as possible.

  • Since the delay to the DCO decision was announced in October, the Secretary of State has requested comments from interested parties on numerous occasions, responses to which have all been published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website. This included requests for further information from North Somerset District Council in relation to its Carbon Budget Assessment.

    Whilst the project team awaits the DCO decision, other workstreams that do not require the DCO to be in place continue to move forward. Network Rail, on behalf of North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority, are progressing with the procurement of a contractor to construct the scheme. The ecological enabling works are readying the disused line in preparation for the main construction works, which includes clearing the vegetation, an annual activity to ensure growth is kept to a minimum and allows continued access to the line. And other activities including ground investigation works and development of the Full Business Case are ongoing.

  • A decision on the DCO was due on the 19th October 2021.

    The Secretary of State has decided to re-set the statutory deadline for decision to the 19th April 2022. For further information, please refer to the written statement laid in Parliament.

    The project team are currently working through the implications of this delay to the programme.

  • The Secretary of State wrote to the project team stating that he was ‘minded to’ remove the bridge planned next to Trinity Primary School from the project and asked for revised plans and documents. These were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on the 20th September and can be viewed on PINS’ website. A decision on whether he will grant the DCO is expected around the 19th October 2021.

    Network Rail, on behalf of North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority, continue to liaise with potential contractors interested in the construction of the main works as part of the ongoing procurement process.

  • The DCO Examining Authority issued a Recommendation Report to the Secretary of State on 19 July 2021. The Secretary of State has three months in which to issue a decision. The decision letter and Recommendation Report will be published on this project page and PINS website once a decision has been made.

    Network Rail, on behalf of North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority, issued an Invitation to Tender (ITT) to four contractors for the main works to re-open the Portishead to Bristol railway line.

    Parts of the historic Portishead railway line are to be recycled and reused as part of an exciting project with the Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust. The old rails, points and buffers will remain in the region to be used for the heritage railway which runs between Oldland and Avon Riverside, and needs upgrading and improving in some areas.


Portishead rail line: MetroWest Phase 1

  • Severn Beach: Hourly services on the Severn Beach Line to Bristol Temple Meads and half hourly services from Avonmouth to Bristol Temple Meads calling at a new station at Portway next to the Park and Ride. 
  • Bath & Westbury: Half hourly services from Bristol Temple Meads to Bath to Westbury.
  • Portishead Line: Re-opening of the Portishead Line providing an hourly service between Portishead and Bristol Temple Meads with new stations at Pill and Portishead. 
Phase 1 updates
  • As of January 14th 2022, the MetroWest Phase 1 project is still awaiting a decision on the Development Consent Order (DCO) by the Department for Transport (DfT).

    The DCO application was submitted in November 2019. The process included an examination in public which took six months and ended in April 2021. The decision had been expected in October 2021 but it was confirmed then that the Secretary of State would require up to a further 6 months to make the decision.

    The project team are continuing to press for a decision to be made as soon as possible.

  • On October 20th 2021, a Written Ministerial Statement was presented in the House of Commons stating that the deadline for the DCO decision is to be extended to 19 April 2022 (an extension of 6 months) to allow further consideration of environmental matters.

  • Parts of the historic Portishead railway line are to be recycled and reused as part of an exciting project with the Avon Valley Railway.

    The historic railway assets, some of which date back to the 1920s, are not needed by the MetroWest Phase 1 project which is set to deliver a new £116m railway line between Portishead and Bristol.

    At North Somerset Council’s meeting on the 19th July, councillors agreed that parts of the disused Portishead line could be used to assist the Avon Valley Railway Heritage Trust.

    The line allows visitors to experience a bygone age of steam and heritage trains along the old Midland Railway branch line which ran between Mangotsfield and Bath. The current three-mile heritage railway line runs between Oldland and Avon Riverside and needs upgrading and improving in some areas.

  • The DCO Examination period began on Tuesday 6th October 2020 and lasted 6 months, closing on 19th April 2021.

    It began with two preliminary hearings followed by a number of open floor and issue specific hearings. Many different parties were engaged in the Examination process raising their issues and concerns, which the Examiners then addressed to the project team. The process resulted in a significant number of written questions to the project team as well as stakeholders, partners and other bodies and individuals. A series of formal deadlines were set, and it proved to be a very intense period for the project.

    Following the Examination’s closure, there is a period of three months for the Examining Authority to write its report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, the deadline for this being the 19th July 2021. The Secretary of State will then have three months in which to make a decision.

  • Network Rail are leading on the preparations to appoint the contractors who will carry out the vast amount of works required. The tendering process is multi-staged and begins with the pre-qualification questionnaire stage beginning in May/June 2021. This will be followed by the Invitation To Tender stage later on in the year.


Henbury rail line: MetroWest Phase 2

  • Henbury Line: Re-opening of the Henbury Line with new stations at Henbury, North Filton and Ashley Down, providing an hourly service from Bristol Temple Meads to Filton Abbey Wood and onto North Filton and Henbury. 
  • Yate & Gloucester Line: Half hourly services between Bristol Temple Meads and to Gloucester via Yate with a potential new station at Charfield. 

North Filton and Henbury train stations

Ashley Down Station


New Stations Package

The MetroWest Phase 1 and Phase 2 proposals include new or reopened rail stations at Portishead, Pill, Henbury, North Filton and Ashley Down.

In addition to these stations, a separate new stations package is looking at the potential for future new stations in other locations.

Proposals for a new station at Saltford on the line between Bristol and Bath are being pursued by Bath & North East Somerset Council. Bristol City Council has commissioned a study to investigate the likely costs, benefits and operational feasibility of a new station at Ashton Gate.

  • Bristol City Council commissioned a study to investigate the likely costs, benefits and operational feasibility of a new station near Ashton Gate stadium.

    The former Ashton Gate station was served by the Bristol to Portishead rail line, which closed to passengers in 1964.

    The Greater Bristol councils are developing the £60million MetroWest rail project, Phase 1 of which includes the reopening of the Portishead rail line to passenger services.

    Our studies have shown that it is not feasible to build a new Ashton Gate station as part of Phase 1. A new station at Ashton Gate remains within the MetroWest new stations package.

    The West of England Joint Transport Board has stated that implementing MetroWest Phase 1 will not rule out options for an Ashton Gate station. Network Rail has also confirmed that the scheme will be future-proofed to enable a new station to be developed when the funding and business case allow.

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  • Bristol City Council commissioned Network Rail to produce a GRIP 2 study to assess options for a new railway platform and associated station facilities at the Portway Park and Ride site.

    The station would provide Park and Ride users with an alternative mode of transport to the existing bus service.

    The report can be viewed below.

    The document below may not be accessible for people using assistive technology. If you require assistance please contact us.


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