November 2019 update
The application for a Development Consent Order for the £116m MetroWest phase 1 scheme is being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by North Somerset Council. A press release was issued on the 7th November 2019
October 2019 update
The final stages of engaging with statutory bodies on the environmental and flood risk impacts of the scheme are underway which need to be worked through before the DCO application can be submitted. These discussions have meant revisiting the track designs, and providing flood compensation areas to counter any scheme impacts from possible flooding events. Further work is also required to take into account advice received on air quality effects of the scheme which need to be modelled and then reflected in a number of the DCO application documents. This has resulted in the DCO application submission being delayed, but addressing these points now will save time within the overall programme
June 2019 update
At a Full Council meeting, North Somerset Council agreed to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate, a requirement to reopen the Portishead to Bristol line.
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.