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
The examination period is continuing well, with the latest hearings taking place on the 11th and 12th of January 2021. A further three have been scheduled for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of March. Documents required for Deadline 5 were successfully submitted on the 16th February, and included responses to the second round of questions from the Examining Authority. Further information on the examination process is available on PINS website.
Network Rail continue to carry out ground and structural investigations on and around the railway through Pill until 25th April. Apologies in advance for any disruption caused by these works.
As warmer weather approaches, the ecological survey season is starting again and so you may spot some of our contractors on and around the railway over the next few months carrying out survey work.
The examination period is well under way, with issue specific hearings held on the 7th, 11th and 12th of December 2020, and the 11th and 12th of January 2021.
Throughout the examination, the Examining Authority have set a number of challenging deadlines for document updates and responses to questions which the team has successfully met. Deadline 4 was on the 19th January and Deadline 5 on the 16th February. The date for the second round of questions from the Examining Authority is the 26th January which require written responses for Deadline 5. Further information on the examination process is available on PINS website.
In other news, Network Rail will be carrying out ground and structural investigations on and around the railway through Pill from Wednesday 20th January until 25th April. To do this work, they will be using large, heavy machinery and power tools which will be noisy at times. Lighting equipment will also be in use when the natural daylight is not adequate. The works will be during the day only i.e. no night time working, and some Sundays. Apologies in advance for any disruption caused by these works. Residents have been written to with further details.
The examination period continues, with the Compulsory Acquisition Hearing on the 4th December and the Issue Specific Hearing on the draft Development Consent Order on the 7th December.
Following the completion of preliminary hearings and the first open floor hearing the Examining Authority issued a significant number of questions to the project team as well as stakeholders, partners and other bodies and individuals. These questions have been answered and have been published on PINS website, along with a number of other application document updates.
The annual vegetation clearance works on the disused line to enable ongoing access have been completed. We understand the works can be disruptive to local residents but please be assured that they are essential for the continued development of the project.
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.
The Planning Inspectorate (on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport) has accepted the Development Consent Order (DCO) Application made by North Somerset District Council. The Application was made on 15th November 2019 and accepted for examination on 12th December 2019. The acceptance letter can be read on PINS website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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