August 2020 update
PINS sent a Rule 17 letter to all interested parties, statutory parties and other persons with a request for further information. The information request related to the upcoming examination, and participants were asked to complete a questionnaire. This can be read on PINS website
The project team await a date for the Examination but continue to prepare for it, such as updating some of the application documents and working towards agreeing Statements of Common Ground with statutory bodies.
July 2020 update
PINS have issued the Rule 4 letter – notification of the appointment of the Examining Authority. This can be read on PINS website.
Following the 129 Relevant Representations received by PINS and published on PINS website the Project Team are continuing to draft responses. All responses will be contained within a report published on PINS website no later than 10 days before the DCO Examination.
June 2020 update
Despite the ongoing disruption from the Covid-19 outbreak, the Project Team are continuing to prepare for the examination period from home. This process involves reviewing the relevant representations made to PINS and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. We are awaiting an examination date from PINS however due to the ongoing issues this is likely to cause a delay to the start date. PINS have published an advice note on their website which can be read here
The final application consists of:
- 287 documents and 20,735 pages
- 69 sets of plans/drawings
- An Environmental Statement which has 19 chapters and 62 appendices
- The Book of Reference which has 2,465 pages
- The Consultation report which is 630 pages excluding the appendices.
When printed and stacked the application is around 7ft high!
A hard copy of the full suite of Application documents, including plans, maps and other documents may be inspected free of charge at Portishead Library, Pill Resource Centre, and Bristol Central Library until further notice.
Relaunching train services from Portishead with new stations at Portishead and Pill is a key part of the first phase of the MetroWest programme of transport improvements across the region being led by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and North Somerset Council.
The West of England Joint committee has also confirmed a £500,000 allocation to the MetroWest scheme, following the Transport Secretary’s commitment of an extra £31.9m to complete the funding needed. The Severn Beach line extension to Bath and Westbury is also on track for 2021.
Once the application is registered by the Planning Inspectorate, the Secretary of State for Transport is expected to make a decision within 18 months.
Subject to final business case approval, construction work is expected to start on the Portishead to Bristol line in December 2021 and take around two years to complete.
As well as reopening the Portishead Rail branch line, with two new stations at Portishead and at Pill, this MetroWest scheme also includes vital improvements to passenger services along the Severn Beach and Bristol to Bath Lines.
We received over 1,000 responses from members of the community, statutory bodies, landowners and other interested parties. Issues raised have been captured and considered in the Stage 2 Consultation Report which is now available and will help develop the scheme.
We will continue to engage with individual stakeholders on outstanding issues or concerns regarding the development of the project as we finalise the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). Thank you to everyone who took part.
The MetroWest proposals are being delivered in two phases, Phase 1 and Phase 2, along with a separate new stations package looking at the potential for future new stations.
Western Gateway leaders welcome extended scope of Metrowest 2 – Increased train frequency between Bristol and Gloucester
Leaders of the Western Gateway partnership have welcomed a decision taken at the West of England Combined Authority Committee on 19 June to extend the scope of the Metrowest 2 increased train services between Bristol and Gloucester.
More frequent trains to Gloucester, Yate and Westbury are a step closer as a change of scope to the MetroWest rail project was agreed at the West of England Combined Authority committee meeting on Friday 19 June.
Railway stations across the region will have better access, after the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) secured £548,000 of Government funding.